Rural Community Health

Master of Behavioral Science in Rural Community Health

Degree Type

Master of Behavioral Science (MBS)


Master of Behavioral Science in Rural Community Health

The Rural Community Health MBS develops expertise in behavioral science for topics as diverse as positive youth development, trauma, mental health, suicide, violence, isolation, food insecurity, addictions and the geographic patterning of health inequalities. Western’s dedicated faculty and campus location in the small-town of Gunnison enable rich opportunities aimed at sharpening students’ interpersonal skills with problem-framing, focus group interviewing, quantitative analysis and uncovering a community’s needs. MBS graduates will be prepared to contribute at a high level in many organizations including government entities, nonprofits, healthcare and other service-oriented organizations, community foundations, planning agencies and public-private partnerships.

Program Overview

Sharpen your skills in behavioral science to enrich community health.

The Master of Behavioral Science (MBS) in Rural Community Health program prepares students for work in behavioral and social science fields including substance abuse prevention, health promotion, elder care, youth health and empowerment, early childhood interventions, violence prevention, and education and advocacy around a range of community issues. You’ll sharpen your awareness about suicide prevention, school violence, addictions, trauma-informed interventions, stress and social isolation, poverty and much more. The program emphasizes culturally sensitive and multiscale definitions of “health” that include evidence-based practices and a variety of strategies for healing, advocacy, education, assessment, research and consultation.

Creating Community Wellness

Community-level education about nutrition is key to health and well-being. The Rural Community Health MBS prepares students to apply behavioral and social science principles (theories and methods) to develop, implement and evaluate programs oriented around various prevention and promotion models for community health.


Get involved and gain experience.

Your student experience doesn’t end in the classroom at Western. Learn more about opportunities you can pursue to enhance your understanding of content, make peer and professional connections, and build your resume before graduating.

  • MBS Spring Colloquium: Coming Spring 2022!

Empowering Generations

Children’s social and emotional health is crucial for their later-life outcomes, and it can be challenging to rigorously investigate how these are linked. The MBS program trains interested students to pursue a range of youth-oriented research, especially regarding the long-term payoffs of creative expression, social-emotional skills, and positive youth development strategies.

News & Research

masters program connects with community

MBS Program Connects with Community to Teach Rural Behavioral Health

Read More

Additional Resources

About the Program

Western’s MBS in Rural Community Health is here, and we’re about you. Our mission is meant to provide a creative, academically rigorous space so students can: Refine their research talents and …

Learn More


MBS in Rural Community Health – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) I don’t have much research experience. Is this important for my application? Having conducted original research (scholarly/ …

Learn More

Tuition and Fees

MBS in Rural Community Health Tuition & Fees MINIMUM Total Program Cost $28,094.40 (minimum of 39 credits @ $780.40 per credit) Credits Tuition/credit Other Fees/credit TOTAL Fall 9+ $730 $50.40 7 …

Learn More


Matt Aronson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Administrative Assistant

Deanna Banker, B.S.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Contact Information


Campus Location

Western Colorado University

Kelley Hall 218
1 Western Way

Gunnison, CO 81231