Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences


The mission of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. School of Public Health is to understand and intervene on the social determinants of health and health equity across the life-course.

This mission is achieved through research to identify the social and behavioral determinants of health, development and evaluation of interventions and policies leading to the improvement of population health, and the preparation of professionals and researchers who will fill leadership positions in advocacy and public service. The department’s educational mission is to train both scholars and practitioners: scholars whose research will illuminate basic social determinants of health and who will identify and test innovative social policy and service interventions; practitioners who are skilled in designing, implementing, and evaluating health-enhancing interventions in action settings.

Quick Facts

26 Primary Faculty | 22 Secondary/Adjunct Faculty
45 Researchers | 34 Staff Members
34  Doctoral students | 83 MPH students | 1 SM student

Research Areas

Social Determinants | Interventions & Health Communications | Human Development & Maternal Child Health

Why Harvard Chan SBS?

From current students and alumni:

“Diverse faculty interests, social justice oriented classes, and peers with a diversity of perspectives and life experiences.”

“Harvard Chan’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences allows students to learn how rigorous public health is essential to yielding health equity for all from experts that are leading the field internationally.”

“As an alumnus, I’ve found that the opportunities available to learn from a wide range of professors who are experts in their fields have helped me significantly in my subsequent public health career.”

“At times of global health crisis, more than ever before we need social and behavioral sciences dialoguing with health sciences.”

Learn more about Harvard Chan SBS