Online PhD in Behavioral Science: Degree Program Overview

Learn about online doctoral programs with behavioral science courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and course descriptions available for this field.

Essential Information

Online behavioral science programs are more commonly available at the master's degree level, although a small number of schools offer online doctoral programs. Both hybrid and fully online programs are available, but they may require an internship. These degree programs can help prepare graduates for a wide variety of public health and social welfare careers. Since the requirements for these careers vary by employer and by state, check for state-specific regulations when choosing a degree program. When enrolling in an online program, it is important to note that some schools may require specific computer types, programs, and equipment such as Microsoft Office, speakers, a microphone, a Webcam and a fax machine or scanner.

Master's Degree in Behavioral Science

Online behavioral science programs are available as a Master of Science or a Master of Public Health. A master's degree in behavior analysis with a focus in autism is also an option for online learners. Behavioral science includes studies from sociology, anthropology and psychology. These programs cover aspects of administration, program assessment and research methodologies.

Program Information and Requirements

While some schools offer master's programs completely online, other schools offer hybrid formats with some classes on campus. An internship may be required as well. This degree program can be completed in three years.

Students communicate with each other through e-mail, online discussion forums and chat rooms. Because not all schools support Mac computers, personal computers should have Microsoft Office. Speakers, a microphone and a Webcam are required for full class participation. Some courses have assignments that must be submitted via a fax machine or scanner.

List of Common Behavioral Science Courses

While behavioral health is relevant to most public health topics, most classes within the master's degree programs cover a broader range of public health information. Common public health classes explore epidemiology, environmental health, chronic and infectious diseases, and health disparities.

Social, Behavioral and Psychological Issues

This class examines behavior indicators for health problems and discusses methods of prevention. Students review the influence of culture and media on health, illness and disease.

Research Methods for Social and Behavioral Science

This course outlines strategies and design for scientific studies. It also trains students in data collection and statistical analysis. Students learn to predict and troubleshoot potential laboratory and field problems.

U.S. Health Care

Students assess the U.S. health care system according to distribution and population needs. Definitions for health, illness and disease are evaluated. This course discusses historical developments in health care and current trends.


Career Information

An online master's degree related to behavioral science can prepare graduates for management and supervisory positions in social welfare and public health organizations. Public health students can be trained to assess community behavioral health needs for future program development in education and health care. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, applied social and community service managers had a median annual salary of $63,530, while medical and health service managers made a median of $94,500 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education

Although online doctorate programs are rare, on-campus Ph.D. programs in behavioral science are available. Related online doctorate degrees include Doctor of Social Work, Doctor of Psychology or Doctor of Public Health.

To prepare for careers in public health, interested individuals may pursue an online master's or doctoral degree in behavioral science. In these programs, students learn how to effectively respond to the needs of individuals with specific problems, such as psychological disorders, as well as broader issues within communities, like disease proliferation and health care availability.


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