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Online Colleges with Behavioral Science Programs: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online behavioral science school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, time requirements, and common topics offered for the field of study.

There are several degree options available in Behavioral science. This article reviews several schools that offer online programs, as well as specifics on student time requirements and the focus of the degrees available.

How to Select an Online Behavioral Science School

Students considering online behavioral science schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Behavioral science degrees teach students concepts and theories involving counseling, psychology and sociology. Both associate's and bachelor's degrees are available online, and students should choose a degree based on both scheduling necessities and career direction.

Degree Focus

Behavioral science is a general study that serves as a foundation for several other disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, economics, history and social science. Graduates can pursue a variety of career options, and students often use a behavioral science degree as a foundation for a more advanced degree in another area. Students develop skills that help them think critically and assess the connections between individual lives, humans as social beings, human sciences and social identities.

Student Time Requirements

Degrees have varying time requirements depending on the program and the institution. Some degrees are offered in a synchronous format that requires students to log-on at certain times to attend video or voice conferences and view video lectures with the rest of their class. Other degrees are offered asynchronously. In this type of degree program, students communicate with others via forums or message boards. Depending on the type of program, assignment dates may be either strict or flexible, and students should choose a program that fits their scheduling needs.

Online Programs for Behavioral Science

Associate of Arts in Behavioral Science

An associate's degree in behavioral science often functions as a foundational degree for a bachelor's degree. Students in the program explore human behavior, interactions and actions. The program requires students to complete 60 credits, which can be accomplished in two years with full-time study. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Human growth and development
  • Criminal justice
  • Counseling theories
  • Critical inquiry
  • Political theory

Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science

A bachelor's degree program focuses on sociology and psychology, and prepares graduates for careers in counseling, education, gerontology and health services management. Many programs offer students an opportunity to take a wide range of elective courses to help them prepare for a particular career path. Full-time students can graduate from the program in four years and must complete at least 120 credits. Required courses often include:

  • Applied psychology
  • Treatment strategies and ethics
  • Social deviance
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Sociological perspective in human services

Schools with Online Programs in Behavioral Science

There are a few schools that offer fully online programs in various behavioral science fields. One school, Kaplan University, offers a bachelor's degree in Psychology, specifically in industrial/organizational psychology. This degree will assist you with working with behaviors in the workplace environment, including employee satisfaction, performance and communication among staff. Kaplan University includes courses focused on business, in addition to psychology.

The bachelor's program at Bellevue University is offered fully online and prepares you for the Master in Arts program in Human Services or Clinical Counseling (clinical counseling requires licensure). This program runs on a cohort, so the program needs to be completed at the pace determined by the cohort. If you are worried you may need time off during the program, this option should be avoided.

Philadelphia University offers a flexible online program that prepares you as a mental health technician, health services manager, residential treatment specialist or community health specialist. A capstone project is due after you reach 100+ credits.

A degree in behavioral science has many specializations that you need to be aware of before you pursue a degree. Make sure you carefully review the programs being offered and select a school that has the specific program area you want to be employed in.

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