Behavioral Science PhD Program Information

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Behavioral Science degree programs require students to engage in substantial research on the interactions between humans or other organisms. Learn about behavioral science programs, careers and licensure.

Essential Information

Most broadly, doctoral programs in behavioral science focus on human interactions and decision making. Programs vary according to each student's research interests, and may span several subject areas. For instance, some students study behavioral science within the context of business and finance, while others prefer to look at behavioral science in health care.

Applicants need at least a bachelor's degree and usually submit a resume, recommendations, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose. The PhD in Behavioral Science program requires a minimum of four years of full-time study, with actual time-to-degree dependent upon the student's progress on a research dissertation during the final year of residency.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Behavioral Science

Generally, behavioral science departments do not have strict requirements concerning a particular area of study. Coursework for a PhD in Behavioral Sciences program varies according to the area of concentration, and students may choose to specialize in such areas as public health or gerontology. Common courses include:

  • Public policy, health and poverty
  • Theories of behavioral science
  • Ethics and behavioral science
  • Behavior analysis
  • Behavioral modification and development
  • Homelessness and health

Popular Career Options

Behavioral science is a broad discipline with many possible career outcomes. Here are some possibilities:

  • University professor
  • Social psychologist
  • Behavioral economist
  • Behavioral neuroscientist
  • Anthropologist
  • Developmental psychologist

Continuing Education

The PhD is the terminal degree for behavioral science. However, for those graduates who are interested in pursuing careers as practicing behavioral scientists, a license will be required. The requirements for licensure vary, and students should contact their academic department for more information on the process.

Doctoral degree programs in behavioral science usually allow students to concentrate in areas of the field they're most interested in, with potential courses including behavior analysis, ethics and more. Graduates pursuing a career as practicing behavioral scientists will also need to attain licensure.

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