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Bachelor of Arts (BA): Behavioral Science Degree Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science programs teach students how to analyze human behavior. Programs provide instruction in a variety of methodologies and approaches to prepare students for careers in social services.

Essential Information

Students in a bachelor's degree program in behavioral science study principles of psychology, sociology and anthropology. Some programs allow students to focus their studies on one area of behavioral science, such as sociology or psychology. These Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs may offer students the option to gain practical experience through internships. Most programs are 4-years long, but some schools offer accelerated programs through colleges' adult learning departments.

Applicants to these programs need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Accelerated programs may have additional requirements, such as an associate's degree or some college work. Accelerated programs may also require a minimum age for applicants.


Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science

Students in a behavioral science bachelor's program learn the methodologies that are needed to observe behavior and gather information, as well as the science required to analyze their findings. They use critical-thinking skills to examine the interaction of humans and determine how culture and society influence people's behavior. Students also learn how to apply behavioral science theories to real life settings. Course offerings may include:

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

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Individuals with bachelor's degrees in behavioral science can work in law enforcement, social services, teaching, counseling and human resources. Here are some career choices that are attainable with a bachelor's degree:

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

Based on reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of social workers is projected to increase by 12% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). A 4% increase is projected for police and detectives, including criminal investigators such as profilers. Human resources specialists should see growth of 5%. In 2015, the BLS reported that child, family and school social workers earned an average annual salary of $46,610. Detectives and criminal investigators received $79,620, while human resources specialists earned $63,710.

Continuing Education

Many students with bachelor's degrees in behavioral science go on to obtain professional degrees in law, medicine or education. Others, who want to work with healthcare organizations, public health departments, substance abuse treatment centers or not-for-profit organizations may pursue master's degrees in behavioral science. Master's programs in behavioral science consist of advanced theory and research instruction in the classroom as well as practical experience in the field. Note that entry to some professions related to behavioral science require licensure. Teachers, social workers and lawyers, for example, must be licensed or certified to practice in their professions.

Students in a bachelor's program for behavioral science will study human behavior, counseling techniques, research methods and more. Graduates often pursue advanced degrees, but can begin work as social workers, criminal profilers and human resource specialists.

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