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Major Overview: Behavioral Psychology Program

Majors Overview April 6, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in behavioral psychology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Behavioral Psychology

An examination of the way people change at the group and individual levels is the focus of a sector of the psychology field known as behavioral science. Schools most commonly offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Behavioral Science aimed at providing students with a grasp of abnormal and normal human development, in addition to behavior patterns across cultures.

Core coursework in behavioral science undergraduate degree programs includes the basic principles of sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Students learn ways of building professional, ethical, and interpersonal knowledge and skills apart from developing their research and counseling capabilities.

Work–study experiences or hands-on internships are often required to be completed by behavioral science majors, thereby allowing them to engage in applying behavioral psychology theories to actual patients while under supervision.

Education Requirements

Four-year universities and colleges commonly offer behavioral science degree programs wherein admission criteria require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Before they graduate from the program, students may be expected to complete general education courses related to sociology, psychology, English, and communication.


Program coursework is devised to provide students with both practical and theoretical backgrounds in behavioral psychology. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Social change
•Abnormal psychology
•Interpersonal communication
•Cultural anthropology
•Ethics in behavioral science
•Introductory psychology
•Lifespan development
•Group dynamics
•Personality theory

Career Choices

Completion of the broad degree program of behavioral science can open up many professional opportunities with a focus on studying and helping people. They may aspire for various job positions — some of which may require teacher certification or other additional credentials:

•Behavioral health technician
•Behavioral science specialist
•Special education teacher
•Behavioral researcher
•Healthcare program director
•Social worker
•Market research analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 19% have been predicted for professionals in the field of social work (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Counselors are expected to see 12% growth rates over the same decade. Social workers and counselors bring home respective average annual wage of $44,200 and $53,610.

Continuing Education Choices

Earning a bachelor’s degree program in behavioral science can give graduates several possible career choices; similarly, those who seek continuing education can avail several graduate program choices, such as master’s degrees in fields such as anthropology, counseling, psychology, or sociology. Continuing studies may include Ph.D. programs in these fields, the completion of which can prepare them for careers in academia or research.

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