Social and Behavioral Health Sciences (SBHS)

Point of Contact

Specialization Head: Jane Chung-Do, DrPH Phone: (808) 956-4548

Over the last century, chronic diseases have replaced infectious diseases as the leading causes of death and, despite advances in medicine and technology, health disparities are increasing in almost every country. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco use, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, unsafe sexual practices, substance abuse, and overexposure to the sun are major contributors to disability and death. Social factors, such as discrimination, poverty, dangerous living and working environments, and unequal distribution of resources (including health care resources), also affect health status.


Master of Public Health (MPH)


In addition to meeting the general admissions requirements of the University's Office of Graduate Education, individuals applying to the SBHS specialization will be expected to have the academic background, experience, interests, and commitment for professional training in public health. While no specific undergraduate major is specified, applicants should have coursework in mathematics or statistics, biology or human development, and sociology or psychology. Applicants must have computer skills in word processing, spreadsheet construction, and Internet applications. Experience in an applied health/social sciences field or in health/social sciences research is preferred, especially with communities in Hawai‘i, such as Native Hawaiian, Asian, or Pacific Islander populations. Successful applicants possess a strong academic record with particular emphasis on health behavior theory, community engagement and research skills, which are reflected in transcripts, GRE scores, and professional recommendation letters.