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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Human Behavior

Majors Overview January 3, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in human behavior and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Human Behavior

In human behavior master’s degree programs, psychological concepts are approached from a human resource management angle. Schools offer these programs as a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Arts (M.A.); the programs focus on individuals who seek management or supervisory positions. Enrollees are imparted ideas and skills for use in helping organizations with correction and improvement of employees’ morale and behavior. They learn about applying psychological theories to resolve time-consuming and expensive workplace conflicts while also covering business topic areas such as industrial organization and human resource management.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business administration or psychology. Students would benefit from completing undergraduate courses in the social sciences or liberal arts before they enroll in human behavior graduate programs.


Varying by the University, the duration of Human Behavior MA and MS programs can range from one to two years. Research papers have to be written, classroom discussions engaged in, and a capstone project or thesis project completed. Program coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Industrial/organizational behavior
•Sexuality issues
•Adult development
•Professional ethics
•Personal growth
•Business leadership
•Organizational assessment
•Behavioral research
•Behavior change theories

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek employment with small businesses, corporations, or governmental organizations, either as independent consultants or internal employees. Human Behavior MA and MS program graduates are commonly employed in the fields of:

•Public relations
•Policy advocacy

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, advertising, promotions and marketing managers are expected to see a nine percent job growth. In May 2012, advertising and promotions managers earned a median annual salary of $123,450 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, public relations and fundraising managers are expected to witness a seven percent job growth while public relations specialists are projected to see a six percent job growth. In May 2012, public relations managers and public relations specialists earned respective average annual wages of $101,510 and $55,680 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Master’s degree program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll in a doctorate program in organizational behavior. Advanced counseling concepts and research skills are in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Organizational Behavior that could lead to careers in practical business application or academia. As enrollees in Ph.D. programs are required to work closely with faculty members, they can tailor their curriculum in keeping up with their career and research interests.

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