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MSPH with a Concentration in Behavioral Health

MSPH in Behavioral Health at USF's College of Public Health


This concentration is offered jointly with the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. The primary focus of the Behavioral Health Concentration is the study of alcohol, drug use, and mental disorders from a population or public health perspective. As an MSPH student within the Behavioral Health Concentration, you will examine the organization, financing, services delivery, dissemination and implementation, and outcomes of behavioral health services. In addition, students will become well-versed on the topics of mental health & substance use across the lifespan, translational research and implementation sciences, epidemiology of mental disorders, and co-occurring mental, substance use, and physical disorders. Behavioral Health Concentration students will also study the planning, evaluation, and accountability of mental health and substance use services. Graduates will be prepared to work in alcohol, addiction, mental health, and many other public health organizations.

  • The USF Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drug Use (ITRE) is supported by a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health, specifically the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Institute is a collaboration between the Department of Child & Family Studies at the USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, the Center for Health Equity Research at Northern Arizona University, and the USF College of Public Health Behavioral Health Concentration.

    The mission of the ITRE is to develop, cultivate, and disseminate an innovative model of research education that addresses best practices for translational research and implementation science in the field of adolescent behavioral health as it relates to substance use and co-occurring disorders.

    The ITRE focuses on training scholars in translational research methods, policies and perspectives, and the practical skills of implementation science. Special attention is afforded to childhood precursors to drug use and mental disorders in middle to late adolescence, such as early onset substance use and externalizing disruptive behavior disorders. A cross-disciplinary collaborative approach is used with special attention given to evidence-based practices for adolescents as an at-risk population.

    The USF Graduate Certificate in Translational Research in Adolescent Drug Use annually offers master’s and doctoral degree students (called “Institute scholars”) a unique education and training program in implementation science in adolescent drug use through a 15-credit, four-semester program experience including conducting a service-learning applied research project within a community-based behavioral health setting relevant to alcohol and drug use as well as other behavioral health issues in adolescents.

    Funding for course credits and related program activities are supported by NIDA. Applications for the 10-15 Scholar positions are due in the early fall semester of each year.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has established four major objectives for the Comprehensive Mental Health Action plan: 1) Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health; 2) provide comprehensive, integrated mental health in community-based settings; 3) implement strategies for promotion and prevention; and 4) strengthen information systems, evidence, and research for mental health [and substance abuse]”.

    Following the key principles of public health training, graduates from the MSPH Behavioral Health Concentration will be able to:

    MSPH Behavioral Health Concentration program graduates will be qualified to serve in leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including:

  • To learn more, please contact a Pre-Admissions Advisor at (813) 974-6505 or