Credits and costs
Online Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health
As attention increasingly turns toward the quality of human health across the globe, the demand will grow for health science professionals trained to influence this discipline. Designed to integrate biological, behavioral, psychological, socio-cultural, and environmental approaches to the study of the science behind health, a bachelor's degree in biobehavioral health (BBH) can help prepare you to address and solve the problems of human health and illness.
Distinction of an Online Degree in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State
With the innovative nature of Penn State's online Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health degree program that focuses on the complex factors influencing health across the lifespan, you will have the opportunity to learn from an interdisciplinary team of world-class scientists who contribute to making this a unique health science degree that you can't earn just anywhere.
As a complement to the challenging, but rewarding, health studies curriculum, the online courses in our program provide you with the flexibility and convenience to study around your schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education — and prepare yourself for more challenging career opportunities without leaving the comfort of your home.
Your Online Health Science Courses in the BBH Degree
The courses in the online degree in biobehavioral health, taught by engaged, global faculty that range from geneticists to community health professionals, will cover topics in biobehavioral health, biology, epidemiology, physiology, nutrition, genetics, and statistics.
The breadth of your health studies in the BBH degree program can help to prepare you for a multitude of health science careers, including roles as health promotion professionals, research assistants, laboratory managers, and biomedical product representatives and in technical support positions in biomedical and health-related fields. This major can also provide excellent preparation for advanced study in natural and social science disciplines and related professional areas such as epidemiology, public health, environmental health and safety, and human services.
Important note: The online Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health is not meant to provide adequate preparation for postgraduate medical training (for example: medical school, physician assistant programs, etc.) and likely will not satisfy the admission requirements for such programs. If you plan to pursue postgraduate work in one of these fields, please consult with your adviser as to how you might best prepare to meet the necessary requirements.
The Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health (BBH) is a 120-credit program that offers a solid foundation in the science behind health and wellness through course work in biobehavioral health, biology, epidemiology, physiology, nutrition, genetics, and statistics.
Prescribed Courses (38 credits)
Life Sciences Courses (select 3 credits)
Courses taken to fulfill this requirement may not be double counted toward the 12 credits of Basic Sciences.
Basic Sciences Courses (select 12 credits)
Additional BBH Courses (select 15 credits; 6 must be at the 400 level)
BBH courses chosen from a predetermined list in consultation with program. Additional course details and program requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Please consult with your adviser.
Health and Developmental Science Courses (select 9 credits)
Human Development and Family Studies Courses (select 3 credits)
Ethics Course (3 credits)
Health Promotion (select 3 credits)
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (15 credits)
- 3 credits of 400-level health promotion from approved list, in consultation with adviser.
- 12 credits of University-wide offerings from approved list, in consultation with adviser.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate or have completed your GED.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
The breadth of your health studies in the BBH degree program and the support of Penn State career resources can help prepare you for a range of health science careers.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Health Psychology, University of California, Irvine
DegreeM.A., Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine
DegreeB.A., Psychology, UCLA
Dr. Marie Cross is an assistant teaching professor in biobehavioral health. Her teaching interests include biobehavioral aspects of stress, research methods, and ethics within the health sciences. Her research focuses on how positive psychological factors, including positive emotion and different types of smiles, are associated with health and health-relevant outcomes.
DegreePh.D., Exercise Psychology, Penn State
DegreeM.S., Exercise Physiology, East Carolina University
Dr. Jennifer DiNallo is an assistant teaching professor of biobehavioral health. She has worked as a researcher for the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness and the Department of Defense. Her research interests include the impact of health-promoting behaviors (i.e., diet, physical activity, and screen time) on chronic diseases, primarily within the family framework (parent-child).
Marc DingmanDegreePh.D., Neuroscience, Penn State
Dr. Marc Dingman's teaching interests are diverse and include epidemiology, pharmacology, neurobiology, and many other aspects of biobehavioral health.
DegreePh.D., Biobehavioral Health, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Health Policy and Administration, Penn State
Dr. Beth Edwards' teaching and research interests include health promotion and health behavior, especially harm reduction approaches to tobacco use and sexual health.
William HortonDegreePh.D., Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado – Boulder
Dr. William Horton’s primary research interest is understanding the intersection between circadian rhythms and drug abuse, especially nicotine. He is particularly interested in how molecular/genetic changes lead to differences in behavior and vice versa.
Elizabeth LasherDegreePh.D., Counselor Education, Penn State
Dr. Elizabeth Lasher's teaching interests include the biobehavioral effects of psychoactive drugs and the widespread effects that drugs have on modern society.