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Behavioral psychology focuses on how external stimuli motivate how people act, think, feel, and interact with others. Some professionals with behavioral psychology backgrounds use methods to help people repair destructive behaviors or adopt healthier ones. Psychologists may also work to uncover the factors that influence people's actions.
A graduate of an online bachelor's in behavioral psychology program can go on to obtain a career as a therapist, psychologist, counselor, or any other occupation that involves helping people in need. An undergraduate degree can lead to a variety career paths in behavioral psychology. However, to qualify for many clinical roles, students will also need to earn a graduate degree.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:
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|1||University of Wisconsin Green Bay||Green Bay, WI|
|2||Saint Francis University||Loretto, PA|
|3||Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE|
|4||Ball State University||Muncie, IN|
|5||Central Methodist University||Fayette, MO|
- How We Rank Schools
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Programs
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University of Wisconsin Green Bay
|Green Bay, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
The University of Wisconsin Green Bay enrolls more than 8,000 students in hundreds of academic programs. The catalog includes a partially online bachelor of science in psychology track with a brain, behavior, and health emphasis. Distance learners in this hybrid program must complete some on-campus courses at UWGB.
Required courses include human biology and introduction to lifespan development. Students also cultivate applied research and counseling skills. They take four courses in their emphasis area, with options like drugs and behavior, health psychology, and cognitive affective neuroscience.
Like other bachelor's in behavioral psychology programs, UW-Green Bay's program provides learners with hands-on experience opportunities, like internships and/or research assistantships. Applicants need to submit ACT or SAT scores. The university offers scholarships specifically for psychology students.
Saint Francis University
|Loretto, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Based in Loretto, Pennsylvania, Saint Francis University delivers online coursework asynchronously through Canvas. Students can enroll in an online bachelor of science in behavioral science program at Saint Francis. Learners may complete the program entirely online or choose to take certain classes on campus.
The 128-credit curriculum includes classes like elementary statistics; the family in theory and practice; and social welfare policies, programs, and issues. Mirroring other bachelor's in behavioral psychology programs, the curriculum also covers developmental and abnormal psychology. Learners personalize their degree plans through 32 elective credits.
Saint Francis accepts applications on a rolling basis and maintains two start dates each year. Prospective students should complete an online form and submit transcripts. By enrolling in a Francis Worldwide program, candidates benefit from a low tuition rate that ignores residency status.
|Bellevue, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Established in 1966, Bellevue University is an open-access higher education institution that serves about 9,000 students each year. The school offers a comprehensive catalog of online programs, including a bachelor's in behavioral science. Totaling 127 credits, this flexible program prepares students for careers in counseling and human services.
Coursework covers topics like research and data analysis, social deviance and psychopathological perspectives, and applied human development. Students delve into treatment strategies for anxiety, depression, phobias, and pain management. Participants can use 51 elective credits to pursue advanced topics in the field or complete a complementary minor.
To enroll in this degree completion program, applicants need an associate degree or at least 60 transferable credits. BU offers a variety of institutional scholarships based on criteria like academic merit.
Ball State University
|Muncie, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Ball State University delivers asynchronous distance learning through Canvas. Ball State students can earn a fully online BA or BS in applied behavior analysis. This program emphasizes theories and practices that support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The 120-credit curriculum includes coursework in lifespan development, exceptional children and adults, and single-subject research design and development. Candidates learn to implement effective ASD treatments and interventions. They also examine the complex ethical concerns that influence professional conduct in the field.
First-time students under the age of 23 must submit ACT or SAT scores. This applied behavior analysis program is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and graduates can sit for the board certified assistant behavior analyst exam.
Central Methodist University
|Fayette, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Central Methodist University maintains its flagship campus in Fayette, Missouri. The school provides more than 25 fully online academic programs, including a bachelor of science in applied behavior analysis. Throughout the 120-credit curriculum, students develop the skills needed to support children with developmental delays, behavioral challenges, autism, and other similar conditions.
Learners take required classes like child development and leadership/management principles. They learn to implement behavior assessments and verbal analyses with regards to approved methodologies and modes of professional conduct. This bachelor's program culminates in an intensive practicum that prepares graduates to take the board certified assistant behavior analyst exam.
Incoming first-year students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. They also need to score at least 21 on the ACT or 1050 on the SAT. CMU funds several scholarship programs, including awards for first-time students and transfer candidates.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Program?
Individuals who pursue a behavioral psychology degree tend to possess strong interpersonal communication skills.
Behavioral psychology majors often want to help others. They also typically display a curiosity about human behavior, scientific research, and mental health. Individuals who pursue a behavioral psychology degree also tend to possess strong interpersonal communication skills.
Behavioral psychology programs generally request academic transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Most programs require a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA from high school or a previous postsecondary institution, and programs typically charge a $25-$45 application fee. Schools might also ask for one or more recommendation letters.
Most bachelor's degrees require about 120 credits and take full-time students about four years to complete. The curriculum of a bachelor's in behavioral psychology program exposes students to topics in cognitive, organizational, developmental, and social psychology. Advanced undergraduate classes cover research methods and case studies.
Some programs offer a bachelor of arts (BA), which emphasizes more liberal arts courses. Other programs award a bachelor of science (BS) and focus more on the hard sciences. Many bachelor's programs let participants choose from concentrations such as abnormal psychology, childhood development, clinical psychology, counseling, and organizational psychology.
In addition to coursework, students might also need to complete a capstone project. Undergraduates also can take an internship to gain hands-on experience. Many graduates go on to acquire a license, certification, and/or advanced degree, preparing to work as a case manager, psychiatric technician, or behavioral counselor.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Program?
Most programs include coursework in basic theory and research methods. Students in BA programs take many classes in behavioral, cognitive, and social psychology. They also learn about history, sociology, and political science. While BS students also complete humanities courses, they may receive more exposure to statistics, clinical psychology, and neuroscience.
- Abnormal Psychology
This branch of psychology addresses irregular behavior and psychopathology, usually in clinical settings. Abnormal psychology encompasses disorders that lead to deviations from standard mental health. Students learn about anxiety, depression, personality disorders, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental conditions. Coursework also covers the history of these disorders, their diagnosis, and their management.
- Behavior Analysis
This class provides the foundational knowledge that bachelor's students need to complete their degree. Students learn how people develop new habits and behaviors. The course also teaches participants to analyze current behavior. Through behavior analysis, professionals use behavioral modification to help people deal with their problems. Common subjects include classical conditioning and behavior reinforcement.
- Child and Adolescent Psychology
This course investigates how children develop cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally. Students learn how observing children's exchanges with parents, peers, and others sheds light on their mental development. This class also discusses how child psychologists use observation to diagnose and treat behavioral and psychological conditions.
- Clinical Psychology
This class provides an important foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in a clinical setting. Clinical psychology explores topics like counseling ethics, clinical theory, and research-based practice. Students also learn about current issues in clinical practice.
- Interpersonal Communication
This subject addresses how people use symbolic behavior to exchange ideas, feelings, and information. Students learn concepts that help them work with people in one-on-one or group settings. Coursework covers the skills professionals need to communicate effectively through verbal and nonverbal means.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Degree?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that, overall, employment for psychologists will grow by 3% from 2019-2029. This rate is in line with the average projected growth for all occupations in the U.S. A bachelor's in behavioral psychology prepares graduates for many entry-level jobs in government, education, business, and healthcare.
According to the BLS, the 2019 median annual pay for psychologists was $80,370. However, salaries vary widely depending on a worker's field, experience, and education level. For example, bachelor's degree-holders can increase their career opportunities and earning potential if they pursue a master's or doctoral degree.
Learn about the various opportunities you can pursue with an online bachelor's in behavioral psychology and read more about behavioral psychology careers.
- Community Health Worker or Health Educator
Community health workers and health educators help improve the emotional and physical health of their communities. A significant part of their job involves disseminating health information. These professionals also develop educational programs and strategies to educate the public. They assist healthcare professionals with community outreach.
- Social Worker
Social workers provide support to clients by helping them solve problems in their lives. They also assist people in accessing the services and resources they need. Social workers with a bachelor's in behavioral psychology can collaborate with community organizations to develop services, programs, and policies to improve conditions in their community.
- Social or Human Service Assistant
These professionals work under the supervision of psychologists and social workers to secure services and resources for clients in need. They also help individuals and families gain access to community and benefits programs. Assistants often follow up with clients to make sure they receive the services they require. They also work with supervisors to develop plans for addiction recovery and overcoming other challenges.
- Social or Community Service Manager
Professionals in these fields manage several services and programs in the community. These managers regularly collect data and generate reports that demonstrate program effectiveness. They also train volunteers and staff and conduct regular employee assessments. Workers can find employment with private companies, government organizations, or nonprofits.
- Substance Abuse or Mental Health Counselor
These counselors serve clients with mental health challenges, eating disorders, and other behavioral problems. Addiction counselors help individuals cope with withdrawal and guide them in their recovery. Mental health counselors work with individuals, couples, families, and groups to manage stress, life changes, relationship challenges, mental health problems, and other issues.
Behavioral Psychology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Programs
- Is a bachelor's degree in behavioral psychology worth it?
It depends on a person's professional goals. Most high-paying careers in behavioral psychology require a master's or doctorate. However, job candidates with a bachelor's in behavioral psychology can work in education, healthcare, social services, and business. Behavioral psychologists with bachelor's degrees have many opportunities because the principles of psychology apply to various disciplines.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in behavioral psychology?
People with bachelor's degrees can find entry-level positions in administrative and nonclinical settings in the psychology field. They can also qualify for work in business, education, criminal justice, government, and social work fields. However, to pursue work as a clinical behavioral psychologist, students typically need a graduate degree and a license.
- How many behavioral psychology majors get jobs?
The job outlook for psychology majors varies depending on their level of education and field. For example, according to the BLS, the U.S. unemployment rate in 2019 among bachelor's degree-holders was 2.2%. Individuals with a graduate-level degree experienced lower unemployment rates ranging from 1.1-2.0%.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in behavioral psychology?
Salaries depend a great deal on a worker's job title, geographical area, licensure standing, and career track. For example, social and human services assistants earned a median salary of $35,060 in 2019, while social workers made a median salary of $50,470 that same year. Graduates with only bachelor's degrees do not tend to earn as much as those with graduate degrees.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a bachelor's in behavioral psychology?
Relatively high-paying jobs related to behavioral psychology include social or community services manager and human resources specialist. According to the BLS, professionals in these roles earned median salaries of $67,150 and $61,920, respectively, in 2019.