Copyright

How to Choose a School for an Aspiring Behavioral Specialist

Dec 07, 2019

Degree programs for aspiring behavioral specialists are designed to prepare them for situations encountered in the classroom and other academic settings. A master's degree is generally required, but some jobs may only require a bachelor's degree. Associate's degree and certificate programs are also available in this area of study.

Programs for aspiring behavioral specialists can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at 4-year colleges and universities, but community colleges may offer options as well. Specifically at the master's level, behavioral specialist programs may be designed for certified teachers, and evening courses allow for students to continue their teaching career while earning their degree.

Ten Schools with Behavioral Specialist Programs

Here's a list of schools with applicable programs:

University/College Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition 2018-2019*
Chicago State University Chicago, Illinois 4-year, Public Master's In-state $5,850
Out-of-state $11,340
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois 4-year, Public Bachelor's, master's Undergraduate:
In-state $13,764
Out-of-state $26,980
Graduate:
In-state $13,612
Out-of-state $23,299
California State University at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California 4-year, Public Master's, certificate Undergraduate:
In-state $6,749
Out-of-state $18,629
Graduate:
In-state $7,176
Out-of-state $16,680
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts 4-year, Private Master's, graduate certificate $24,027
Central Washington University Ellensburg, Washington 4-year, Public Master's In-state $8,072
Out-of-state $21,583
California State University at Sacramento Sacramento, California 4-year, Public Master's, certificate Undergraduate:
In-state $7,310
Out-of-state $19,190
Graduate:
In-state $7,176
Out-of-state tuition $16,680
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4-year, Public Master's, graduate certificate In-state $16,488
Out-of-state $22,698
Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida 4-year, Private Graduate certificate, master's, doctorate $22,338
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth North Dartmouth, Massachusetts 4-year, Public Master's In-state $15,912
Out-of-state $28,716
Northern Michigan University Marquette, Michigan 4-year, Public Bachelor's, masters Undergraduate:
In-state $10,729
Out-of-state $16,225
Graduate: In-state $8,672
Out-of-state $12,128

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Some things students should consider before selecting a school/program are:

  • Students who wish to become behavioral specialists should select a school with small class sizes since they should experience the same individual attention that they will eventually give their future clients.
  • An institution that offers flexible classes may allow for working in the daytime to gain professional experience.
  • Since there is a great demand for behavioral specialists in inner-city public schools, attending a school in an urban area may offer more nearby job opportunities after graduation.

Associate of Science (A.S.) in Behavioral Science

Students who undertake this level of study must complete core requirements during the first 12-24 credits of the program. An associate's degree is the first step toward a career in this field, but it isn't sufficient to obtain a job as a behavioral specialist. Students may be required to select an area of emphasis, such as psychology, anthropology or sociology.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Behavioral Science

A bachelor's degree program in behavioral science lends a greater emphasis to psychology and sociology courses. A major in this field requires approximately 124 credits. Students may be required to take an exit exam before graduation. A bachelor's degree may prepare students for some jobs in the field and qualifies them for graduate study.

Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Science

Graduate certificate programs consist of approximately five courses and 18 credits. These programs may require a bachelor's degree, teaching certification or minimum teaching experience for admission.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education with a Behavioral Specialist Track

This degree program is geared toward students who wish to become special education teachers. Among the concentrations offered in this program is a track for behavioral specialists. This graduate program prepares students to handle problematic behavior from their future clients through practicums. A master's degree is typically required for those who wish to become behavioral specialists.

Before choosing a behavioral specialist degree program, students should research the location of the institution, class size and scheduling flexibility.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?