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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Behavioral Science

Majors Overview April 5, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Behavioral Science and its educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Behavioral Science

Bachelor’s degree programs in behavioral science are devised to teach students about human behavior through the use of the principles and methodologies of anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Students use critical thinking skills in examining the interaction of humans and determining the influence of society and culture on people’s behavior.

Students also learn about applying behavioral science theories to real-life environments. Students usually complete these Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs in four years; however, accelerated programs are available through some schools, whereby students may complete the programs in less time.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Students seeking admittance to accelerated programs at some schools are required to have completed some college or hold an associate’s degree. Colleges often offer these accelerated programs through their adult learning departments and possibly only to students above a specific age.


Coursework in a behavioral science bachelor’s program is devised to teach enrolled students the methodology they would need in observing behavior and gathering information, in addition to the science necessary for analyzing the findings.

Students enrolled in some programs are allowed to concentrate on a specialization of behavioral science, such as psychology or sociology. Programs may also allow students to choose to participate in internships to gain practical experience. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Social psychology
•Personality theory
•Research methods
•Statistics in behavioral science
•Counseling theories
•Lifespan development

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in behavioral science can seek careers in fields such as human resources, counseling, teaching, social services, and law enforcement, wherein they may find employment through not-for-profits, private businesses, or government agencies. They can opt for career choices such as:

•Grant writer
•Human resources specialist
•Behavioral science teacher
•Social worker
•Criminal profiler

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 19% have been predicted for social workers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During the same decade, criminal investigators, such as profilers, among other detectives and police personnel, are expected to see 11% growth, while human resources specialists are expected to witness 7%. In 2012, child, family, and school social workers brought in an average annual wage of $44,200, criminal investigators and detectives earned $45,740, and human resources specialists banked $55,640 on average per annum.

Continuing Education Choices

Many behavioral science bachelor’s degree program graduates opt for continuing education to earn professional degrees in education, medicine, or law. Holders of master’s degrees in behavioral science may seek occupations with not-for-profit organizations, substance abuse treatment centers, public health departments, or healthcare organizations.

Coursework in master’s programs in behavioral science combines classroom lectures on advanced theory and research with practical field experience. Licensure is mandatory for some occupations in the field. For instance, licensure or certification is required of individuals who aspire to work as lawyers, social workers, or teachers.

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