Best Behavioral Science Programs

A bachelor’s in behavioral science teaches you about the fundamentals of decision-making. Discover the best programs in the United States.

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by Blake Weil

Published on July 13, 2022

Edited by Jared McMasters
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Behavioral science is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the fundamentals of human decision-making. A bachelor's in behavioral science introduces students to different perspectives on why we do the things we do while incorporating diverse fields like psychology and economics.

Typically, a bachelor's in behavioral science is a four-year program. Certain online programs may feature shorter completion times. According to a BestColleges data summary, tuition and fees at a public four-year school costs an average of $9,375 per year as of 2021. Out-of-state and private students pay significantly more. An online degree may cost less because students often do not need to relocate for their education.

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Behavioral science graduates can pursue jobs such as market research analyst, human resource specialist, and research assistant. According to 2022 Payscale data, these jobs have mid-five-figure salaries, paying between $40,000-$56,000 on average.

Our Top Pick

Brown University - Providence, Rhode Island

Why It's #1: Brown University tops our list of the best bachelor's in behavioral science. Brown features a high graduation rate of 96% and offers financial aid to 56% of students. While admissions are highly competitive, with only 7% of applicants admitted, Brown's stellar reputation makes it a great choice. Sixty-one percent of admitted students ultimately choose to attend.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

Best Accredited Bachelor's in Behavioral Science Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Brown University

School Information
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Admission Rate 7%
Graduation Rate 96%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $62,680

Semester Hours to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Brown University offers a bachelor's program in behavioral decision sciences. The coursework combines classes in psychology, neuroscience, economics, computer science, and philosophy.

Students are encouraged to specialize in two disciplines within the major. After speaking with leaders in those disciplines, students then go on to use quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct original research.

First-year applicants must submit the Common Application along with transcripts and recommendations for admissions consideration. Standardized testing is optional for the 2022-2023 application cycle.

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#2

Johns Hopkins University

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $60,480

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Johns Hopkins offers a major in behavioral biology. This program offers foundations in biology and natural sciences, along with the social and behavioral sciences. Students must participate in research or an intersession Galapagos field program. Students who complete more research may pursue departmental honors.

Applicants must submit the Common Application or Coalition for College Application along with transcripts and recommendations. Standardized tests are optional through the 2025-2026 school year. 

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#3

United States Air Force Academy

School Information
Location USAF Academy, Colorado
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
Federal | No Cost

Credits to Graduate
140-147

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

For those wanting to pursue a career as a military officer, the United States Air Force Academy offers a major in behavioral science and leadership. Students can choose to concentrate in psychology, sociology, or human factors.

Applicants must acquire a nomination to the academy and submit their GPA and class ranking. Students must pass basic fitness requirements. They must also commit to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air or Space Force after graduation.

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#4

Purdue University Northwest

School Information
Location Hammond, Indiana
Admission Rate 29%
Graduation Rate 38%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Program Format (i.e., 100% Online, Hybrid, or On Campus) | Course Format (i.e., Self-Paced Classes or Scheduled Classes)

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $3,686.50
Out of State | $5,529.65

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Purdue University Northwest's bachelor's in behavioral science offers students an introduction to sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Coursework emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding human behavior in the context of culture and society. The program prepares students to work in a variety of fields or pursue graduate study. 

Applicants must submit an online application, high school transcripts or GED scores, and SAT or ACT test results. 

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#5

University of Houston-Clear Lake

School Information
Location Houston, Texas
Admission Rate 74%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $9,226
Out of State | $25,876

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

University of Houston - Clear Lake offers a B.S. in behavioral science. Coursework includes courses in anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Students also take criminology, social work, and geography courses. Students are encouraged to select one of these subjects for a concentration area.

First-year students must apply through the Apply Texas system. Along with the application, prospective students must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Standardized test scores are optional for applicants looking to begin school in 2023.

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#6

Andrews University

School Information
Location Berrien Springs, Michigan
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $31,464

Credits to Graduate
124

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Andrews University, a private Seventh-Day Adventist university, offers a B.S. in behavioral science. The program combines coursework in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. This interdisciplinary approach is designed to give learners an understanding of the way people interact with the world around them. Coursework also introduces students to research design and analysis. 

Applicants must submit a high school transcript showing a 2.75 GPA or higher. Standardized test scores are not required.

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#7

San Jose State University

School Information
Location San Jose, California
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $7,899
Out of State | $396 Extra per Unit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

San Jose State University's behavioral science program offers students an introduction to the foundations of decision-making. Students go on to pursue careers in various fields requiring an understanding of social science data. The program is designed by the anthropology, psychology, and sociology departments. Students must specialize in one of those subject areas.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts. Standardized tests are not used in admissions decisions.

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#8

Mount Saint Joseph University

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $32,100

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Mount St. Joseph University undergraduate students can pursue a B.S. in behavioral science. Students learn behavioral science fundamentals and apply them to a variety of social issues. The program also emphasizes developing an understanding of the scientific process.

Mount Saint Joseph University requires high school transcripts to apply. However, standardized testing is optional. Students can apply via the Common App or the university website.

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#9

Wilmington University

School Information
Location New Castle, Delaware
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hybrid | Self-Paced

Avg. Cost per Credit
Private | $390

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Wilmington University's B.S. in behavioral science lets students complete their degree online or in person. The program focuses on various viewpoints on the foundations of human behavior, including anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. Most students are older than 25, and the coursework is designed to be balanced with other commitments. 

Applicants must submit transcripts from any postsecondary education along with their application. Students with no prior college experience must submit proof of high school graduation or GED scores.

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#10

University of West Georgia

School Information
Location Carrollton, Georgia
Admission Rate 59%
Graduation Rate 45%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $182
Out of State | $643

Credits to Graduate
85

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

University of West Georgia students can pursue a bachelor of science in social and behavioral health. The program prepares students for careers in health and social services. It also prepares students to pursue graduate education. Students must also pursue an internship to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment.

Applicants must submit transcripts and either ACT or SAT scores. Applicants with a 3.2 GPA or higher can apply without standardized test scores.

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Popular Online Behavioral Science Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor's in Behavioral Science ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 28 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Frequently Asked Questions About Behavioral Science Programs

Is a bachelor's in behavioral science worth it?

Yes. A bachelor's in behavioral science is worth it in many circumstances. A bachelor's in behavioral science prepares students for a variety of careers working with people and social sciences data. Beyond that, on average, those with a bachelor's degree take home a higher salary than those with no college education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

When determining whether a bachelor's in behavioral science is right for you, it's important to explore your financial aid options. College is possible for many people with good financial planning.

What can I do with a bachelor's in behavioral science?

With a bachelor's in behavioral science, you can enter the workforce immediately. Possible jobs include working in market research, human resources, and academic and clinical research. The degree prepares students for any job where an understanding of people or research methodology might be useful.

Many students also go on to pursue graduate degrees. Behavioral science is a gateway to a variety of programs, including doctoral degrees in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Students can also attend medical school or law school.

What continuing education is available for behavioral science graduates?

Behavioral science graduates may go on to various continuing education programs. Many pursue law, business, or medical degrees. Some go on to pursue independent research interests while earning a Ph.D.

Others seek a master's degree to work as a licensed social worker or therapist, or to deepen their understanding before pursuing a Ph.D.

Those who don't pursue an additional degree can still develop their knowledge. Many attend conferences and keep up to date with academic journals detailing new findings in behavioral science.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in behavioral science?

A bachelor's in behavioral science can lead to a solid starting salary directly out of college. As per BLS data, market research analysts earned a median annual salary of $63,920 in May 2021. Another job available to graduates is a human resources specialist. These workers earned a median salary of $ 62,290 annually as of May 2021. Both of these salaries exceed the median yearly salary of $45,760 for all U.S. jobs. But salaries vary by location and often correspond to the increased cost of living in cities

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in behavioral science?

One of the highest-paying jobs for someone with a bachelor's in behavioral science is a human resources manager. According to the BLS, workers can move into these managerial roles with at least five years of related experience. Human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $126,230 in May 2021. The top 10% of earners made over $208,000 per year.

Those looking to boost their income also typically pursue more education or certifications. Salaries also typically rise with experience.


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