Best Behavioral Science Degrees

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Learning to Analyze Human Behavior and Helping People by Earning one of the Best bachelor's in Behavioral Science

If you're interested in addressing social problems and improving the human condition, a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science can give you the tools you need.

Behavioral Science is a combination of psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. You'll study the factors that influence human behavior and the effect of human behavior on families, workplaces, and society. Finally, you'll learn to apply this knowledge to help people through prevention and intervention.

These programs will prepare you for a variety of careers that share the common goal of helping individuals and society. Whether you're passionate about working with children, the elderly, the justice system, or people struggling with addiction, these degrees will give you the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

What kind of bachelor's in Behavioral Science degree should you get?

Most bachelor's degree programs in Behavioral Science offer a variety of specializations or areas of emphasis. These may include Early Childhood, Youth Development, Adults with Disabilities, Community Health, and much more. Programs that don't offer specializations allow you to choose electives tailored to your interests and career goals.

These programs are available on college campuses and online. Both options offer advantages, but learning online gives you the freedom and flexibility to work around your schedule. If you're interested in exploring some online programs, check out our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people with a bachelor's in Behavioral Science degree make?

A degree in Behavioral Science prepares you to work in human services and other related fields. Let's look at a few career options and the median salary for each, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Social worker- $49,470
  • Criminal profiler- $68,000
  • Substance abuse counselor- $44,630
  • Human resources specialist- $60,880

Job opportunities in each of these careers are growing as fast or much faster than average. For instance, the demand for social workers is expected to increase by 16 percent over the next decade. Meanwhile, demand for substance abuse, mental health, and behavioral disorder counselors is projected to grow by 23 percent. If you choose to pursue graduate study in this field, you’ll also have access to a variety of higher paying positions.

What can you do with a degree in Behavioral Science?

An understanding of human behavior can apply to many careers. A degree in Behavioral Science prepares you to work in human services, education, law enforcement, counseling, and health services management.

You'll be able to work with disadvantaged populations, people struggling with addiction, families, youth, the elderly, government agencies, crisis intervention services, and much more. Potential careers include:

  • Grant writer
  • Case worker
  • Child advocate
  • Victim's advocate
  • Domestic violence counselor
  • Family support worker
  • Probation officer
  • Grief counselor
  • Public health educator

After earning your degree, you can also pursue graduate study in fields like clinical counseling and human services administration. An advanced degree can open to the door to careers as an anthropologist, criminologist, clinical social worker, market research analyst, and much more.

What are the requirements for a degree in Behavioral Science?

To apply to these programs, you'll need to send transcripts, test scores, and occasionally letters of recommendation or a personal statement. The selectivity of these programs varies.

Once enrolled, you'll take courses on topics like sociology, psychology, research, statistics, human development, human services, as well as current theory and practice in behavioral science. In most cases, there are minimum GPA requirements for required courses and courses within your major. For some of these degrees, an internship or other hands-on experience is required. You may be expected to compile a portfolio as well. These programs generally take four years to complete.

What are the best bachelor's in Behavioral Science degrees?

To help you reach your academic and career goals, we've put together a list of the best bachelor’s in Behavioral Science programs. You may be wondering how we define "best." We consider factors like school reputation, tuition costs, and return on investment. In addition, all schools on College Choice rankings are accredited.

Our data comes from trusted sources such as:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • Princeton Review
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Official college and university websites and course catalogs

Whatever you'd like to accomplish in the field of behavioral science, applying to any of these five programs is an excellent first step.

  1. University of Kansas

    Lawrence, KS




    Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the University of Kansas is a public research university popularly known as KU. The university was established in 1866 and currently serves more than 28,500 students. KU is consistently ranked among the Best in the Midwest by Princeton Review. Across five campuses and online, KU offers over 400 academic programs, so there truly is something for everyone. For you, there’s a BA in Applied Behavioral Science.

    Program Features

    KU’s Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences program offers six specialty areas. All students learn to examine and address important social problems across the lifespan. They learn to apply their knowledge of behavioral science to improve the human condition through prevention and intervention. Core courses include:

    • Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science
    • Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy
    • Research Methods and Applications
    • Contemporary Behavioral Science
    • Specialty area practicums (2 semesters)


    Specialty areas include Adults with Disabilities, Basic Research and Conceptual Foundations, Early Childhood, Community Health and Development, Youth Development and Juvenile Justice, and Organizational Behavioral Management Research and Practice. These areas allow students to further develop their knowledge and apply it to social problems of particular interest.

  2. Mercy College

    Dobbs Ferry, NY




    Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a dynamic and diverse private research university in the New York City area. Mercy’s mission is to provide educational access to both traditional and nontraditional students. On average, Mercy’s costs are about 50 percent less than other private universities in the area. The college places a high value on real-world experience and on giving back through community service. Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate programs, including a BS in Behavioral Science.

    Program Features

    Students in Mercy’s Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science program undertake an in-depth study of human behavior. They examine insights and information about how people behave at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community. The program blends psychology and sociology, and specializations are available in Community Health, Gerontology, and Health Services Management. You’ll take courses like:

    • Social Psychology
    • Critical Inquiry
    • Computers for Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Methodology for Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Classics in Social and Behavioral Sciences


    The program consists of four required courses and eight electives, allowing for a combination of structure and flexibility. Students may use elective courses to tailor the program to their individual interests and career goals. Graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers in settings such as education, human services, government, business, and law enforcement.

  3. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE




    Bellevue University is a private university that was founded in 1966 in Bellevue, Nebraska. From the start, Bellevue has been committed to educational outreach and accessibility. BU serves 9,000 students across campuses in four states and through a variety of online programs. It’s routinely recognized as one of the nation’s top military-friendly institutions. Bellevue offers more than 80 student-centered, career-driven academic programs including a BS in Behavioral Science.

    Program Features

    The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science at Bellevue University explores the effects of human actions and relationships between people in the family, workplace, and society. The program blends concepts and theories from psychology, sociology, and counseling. Students also examine topics like ethics, treatment strategies, and multicultural diversity through courses such as:

    • Introduction to Human Services
    • Social Deviance and Psychopathological Perspectives
    • Counseling Theories
    • Treatment Strategies and Ethical Considerations
    • Counseling Microskills for Human Services Professionals


    All students complete a capstone course that involves the creation of a portfolio. Graduates are prepared to make real-world applications to their personal growth and to careers in human services. The program is also excellent preparation for graduate study in human services administration or clinical counseling.

  4. Wilmington University

    New Castle, DE




    A private university in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University offers affordable tuition, flexible course options, and more than 90 career-focused degree programs. In addition to its main campus, WilmU has eight additional locations and a wealth of online degree programs. The school enrolls close to 20,000 students annually and is known for being military-friendly. Wilmington University offers a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science that is available at seven locations and online.

    Program Features

    The Wilmington University Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science emphasizes the effect of cultural influences, social issues, and environments on both individual and group behaviors. The only program of its kind in the region, this degree program combines theory and practice in sociology, psychology, and cultural anthropology. Students complete hands-on learning experiences and internships and take courses including:

    • Ethics and Values in Behavioral Science
    • Marriage and the Family
    • Social Deviance
    • Social Change
    • Inferential Statistics


    The program also emphasizes skill development in interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and evaluation of programs and research. Graduates are prepared to work with disadvantaged populations, the court system, government agencies, crisis intervention services, families, youth, the elderly, people struggling with addiction, and more.

  5. Central Methodist University

    Fayette, MO




    Central Methodist University is a private liberal arts university based in Fayette, Missouri and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1884, CMU has a long history of preparing students to make a positive impact on the world. In addition to academic and professional excellence, CMU emphasizes ethical leadership and social responsibility. The university’s main campus enrolls 1,100 students who choose from over 40 programs of study, including a BS in Applied Behavioral Science.

    Program Features

    CMU’s Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavioral Science teaches students to effectively work with children who have developmental delays, autism, behavioral challenges, and other conditions. Students learn to conduct behavioral assessments and develop, implement, and evaluate behavioral programs to address various behavioral issues. Courses include:

    • Child Development
    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Behavior Assessment
    • Research and Data Analysis Methods
    • Leadership and Management in ABA


    Courses are taught by faculty who actively work in the field of applied behavioral analysis. Program graduates meet the academic requirements to sit for the national accrediting exam. They work with clients of varying ages in settings that include homes, schools, businesses, and mental health facilities.

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