Online Degrees in Applied Behavioral Science

Get information about online applied behavioral science degree programs. Find out more about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, as well as career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Applied behavioral science bachelor's degree programs are available fully online, usually in a degree-completion format for students who have already completed an associate's degree. This degree program can be applied toward a wide variety of careers in psychology, social work, and human resources, many of which require the graduate to complete a master's and/or doctoral degree program. Bachelor's-level programs most often take a hybrid format that requires some on-campus coursework, and master's degree programs typically include an in-person internship.

Psychology and social work careers may require licensing, so check with your state's regulations before choosing an educational program to make sure your educational and career goals match closely.

Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science

A Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science is an interdisciplinary degree related to psychology and sociology. Behavioral science examines the effect that exterior factors, such as community and family, have on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals. In an online degree program in this field, students learn to assess behavioral issues, identify causes and modify behavior with empirically tested methods.

Program Information and Requirements

Online bachelor's degree programs in applied behavioral science are generally degree completion programs, aimed at students who already have an associate's degree or a number of earned credits to transfer. It usually takes students two years to complete this type of bachelor's degree program online, depending on the number of previously earned credits. While most courses are available online, programs require students to fulfill some on-campus requirements; for example, certain mandatory classes are only offered on campus. Other programs require students to attend one class per week on-campus and complete the rest of the coursework online.

In order to access coursework and fulfill other course requirements, it is recommended that students' personal computers have current browsers and operating systems. E-mail is necessary to contact instructors and school staff. Some programs require students to have Microsoft Office to complete assignments.

List of Common Applied Behavioral Science Courses

Many courses in an applied behavioral science program focus on communication, including communication in the workplace and corporate culture, nonverbal communication and persuasion. Other topics include social problems, aging, and drug addiction. To earn a bachelor's degree, students must also complete general education courses. When enrolling in a degree completion program, applicants are expected to have completed most of these requirements with an associate's degree program or two years of previous college-level education.


This course examines theories and research on human communication, including the effects of culture, family and gender. Different settings of communication, such as group, organizational, interpersonal, and public communication, are discussed. Additionally, students study the dynamics of group decision-making and gain a basic understanding of math and statistics for research.

Social Psychology

In this course, students learn about how the behaviors, thoughts and emotions of the individual are affected by social situations. This class discusses group behavior, prejudice, attraction, conformity and conflict. Students analyze the methods and conclusions of social psychology research.

Behavior Analysis

This course deconstructs the relationship between physical and social space and resulting behavior. Students review codes of behavior respective of culture and social environment.

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Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis

Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis programs are available with entirely online coursework, though an internship is usually required as well. These programs are aimed at training Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Some master's degree programs focus primarily on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Program Information and Requirements

Master's degree programs in applied behavioral analysis can typically be completed in just over two years. Coursework is available entirely online. Assignments are completed from home and uploaded for review. However, approved clinical internships are typical in-person requirements for this graduate degree program.

Computers must have audio and visual equipment and software to view instructional videos and instructor presentations. Some classes require specific video chat programs, so a Web-cam and microphone are necessary.

List of Common Applied Behavioral Analysis Courses

Students learn to assess behavior in a number of different professional situations and determine what therapies are necessary to solve problems. Many classes outline how to design and implement research or plan therapeutic responses.


This course examines the basis for autism spectrum disorders. Discussion includes how autism affects the development of social and language skills. Students review empirical research on therapies and evaluate their effectiveness.

Behavior Assessment

This course highlights methods of observing and reporting behavior in a variety of settings. Students learn efficient techniques for assessing behavior in schools, businesses, industry and mental health care facilities. Focus is on behavior assessment for individuals with autism.

Behavior Therapy

Students study the history and development of behavior therapy, as well as cognitive-behavior therapy. In this course, students evaluate the effectiveness of current techniques and learn population-specific applications. Other topics include ethical considerations and design implementation.

Career Information

Graduates of an online applied behavioral science bachelor's degree program are prepared for careers in social work, human resources, human services, counseling, consumer science and nonprofit management. The following table reflects job and salary data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Career Projected Job Outlook, 2014-2024 Median Annual Salary, May 2015
Social workers 12% (faster than average) $45,900
Social and human service assistants 11% $30,830
Human resources specialists 5% $58,350
Mental health counselors 20% (faster than average) $41,880
Social and community service managers 10% $63,530

Graduates of online applied behavioral analysis master's degree programs are prepared for careers in private practice, behavior therapy, behavioral medicine and residential treatment. According to, certified applied behavior analysts earned an annual salary between $40,798 and $774,346 as of November 2016.

Continuing Education

Pursuing a doctoral degree may lead to job opportunities in research, counseling and medicine. Related Ph.D. programs include psychology, behavioral psychology and educational psychology.

Online degrees in behavioral science are offered at the bachelor's and master's levels, with the option to continue and pursue a Ph.D. The job outlook for all related professions is projected to grow at a favorable rate from 2014-2024.

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