Bachelor's in behavioral science degree programs use natural and social sciences to examine human interaction and social relations. The interdisciplinary degree integrates methods and theories from disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Graduates can pursue diverse careers in areas like social work, counseling, and criminal justice.

Applied behavioral science programs often feature concentrations like community health, criminal justice, and gerontology. This guide covers important information about online bachelor's in behavioral science programs, including common courses and careers for graduates.

Best Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Science Programs

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

CMU is a private university located in Fayetteville, Missouri. The school hosts approximately 3,400 students and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Distance students can take advantage of the school's online bachelor of science in applied behavior analysis.

In this program, learners study instructional techniques for working with children who have differing abilities, like autism, behavioral challenges, or developmental delays. Pupils study contemporary case studies and research to provide the best care for clients and students. Graduates can conduct behavioral assessments and evaluate, administer, and supervise behavior analysis sessions.

CMU's Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Credits and courses: The degree comprises 120 credits, including 42 applied behavior analysis credits. Required courses for the major include child development, behavior assessment, leadership and management, behavior change procedures, and autistic spectrum disorders. Students also complete 21-24 credits of general education classes.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students pursuing the behavioral science degree typically complete the program in four years.
  • Field education: Students complete two practicum classes and a capstone course.
  • Transfer credits: CMU reviews transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.
  • Cost: $250/credit
  • Admissions requirements: Incoming students need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Competitive applicants have a 21 or higher on the ACT or 1050 or higher on the SAT. Applicants must submit official transcripts for consideration, which should reflect courses in English, math, science, social studies, and a foreign language.
  • Accreditation: Central Methodist University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Saint Francis University

Saint Francis is a Roman Catholic, private liberal arts institution located in Loretta, Pennsylvania. The school serves 2,300 students and offers more than 25 undergraduate academic programs, including a bachelor of science degree in behavioral science that integrates psychology, social work, and sociology with a liberal arts curriculum.

Remote learners can complete the applied behavioral science program online with no on-campus obligations. Pupils can also use a hybrid format that incorporates face-to-face classes. Graduates often pursue careers in social work, counseling, or law enforcement. Most graduates work with businesses to help them understand consumer behavior or with government agencies that rely on behavioral scientists to assist with shaping public policies.

Saint Francis's Online's Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science

  • Credits and courses: Degree-seekers need 128 credits to graduate. Behavioral science core classes include social research, introduction to computer systems, American national government, social welfare policies, general sociology, and developmental psychology. This flexible program also offers 32 elective credits, so scholars can tailor the degree to their academic and professional interests.
  • How long does it take?: Learners typically need four years to complete the program.
  • Transfer credits: Incoming students with an associate degree in a related field can typically transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree in behavioral science. Students can also receive credit for military experience. The school limits students to 32 transfer credits.
  • Cost: $485/credit
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. The school also requires a personal essay that highlights the applicant's interest in behavioral science.
  • Accreditation: Saint Francis University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Bellevue University

Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, BU is a private, nonprofit institution. Established in 1966, the university hosts over 10,000 students and features diverse undergraduate and graduate programs, including a fully online bachelor of science in behavioral science degree.

The curriculum features a combination of psychology, sociology, social psychology, and counseling courses. Students learn popular methods of exploring human behavior to understand the relationships between individuals, society, workplaces, and families.

BU's Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science

  • Credits and courses: Students take classes in an accelerated cohort format. Degree-seekers need 127 credits for graduation, 40 of which come from behavioral science courses. Required classes include counseling theories, treatment strategies, ethical considerations, social divergence and psychopathology, and diversity in human services. Learners also complete a behavioral science capstone class.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students typically graduate in four years.
  • Transfer credits: The school considers transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.
  • Online student support: Online students enjoy access to a variety of career and academic services, including online tutoring sessions and writing assistance.
  • Cost: $425/credit; $250/credit for active-duty military personnel
  • Admissions requirements: Prospective students must submit high school transcripts and an application fee.
  • Accreditation: Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning (HLC).

Mercy College

Established in 1950, Mercy is a private college located in Dobbs Ferry, New York. The school also hosts locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Yorktown Heights. Mercy offers more than a dozen online bachelor's programs, including a behavioral science degree with concentrations in community health, health services management, gerontology, and general behavioral studies.

Graduates of this program possess a strong understanding of behavioral analysis and related theoretical paradigms in psychology and sociology. Additionally, graduates can employ quantitative and qualitative research methods to carry out scholarly research. Alumni often pursue careers in education, government, law enforcement, business, and human services.

Mercy's Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science

  • Concentrations: General behavioral science studies, community health, gerontology, and health services management.
  • Credits and courses: Students need 120 credits for graduation. Required courses include social psychology, research methodologies in the behavioral sciences, and classic sociology for behavioral sciences. This flexible program also allows students to choose eight elective courses to tailor the degree to their educational and professional goals.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students complete the program in four years.
  • Transfer credits: Incoming students may transfer up to 75 credits from an accredited community college and up to 90 credits from an accredited four-year college, provided the student earned a "C" or higher in the class.
  • Cost: $9,467/term with 12 or more credits; $796/credit with 11 or fewer credits
  • Admissions requirements: Applicants must submit official transcripts. Mercy does not require the ACT or SAT, though applicants may submit their scores to supplement a low GPA.
  • Accreditation: Mercy College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Wilmington University

WilmU is a private, nonprofit research institution founded in 1968. Located in New Castle, Delaware, the university hosts 21,000 students through more than 100 academic programs.

The school offers an online bachelor of science in behavioral science that focuses on the impact of social issues, human environments, and cultural influences on human behavior. Through a combination of coursework in sociology, cultural anthropology, and psychology, graduate students at WilmU prepare for careers working with disadvantaged populations, including children, the elderly, and people with addictions.

WilmU's Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science

  • Concentrations: Human services
  • Credits and courses: Distance students take 40 classes for a total of 120 credits, including 45 credits from the behavioral science core curriculum. Required classes include social change, interpersonal communication skills, cultural anthropology, marriage and family, and inferential statistics. The flexible program allows students to choose 36 elective credits to tailor the degree to their interests.
  • How long does it take?: Full-time students typically graduate in four years.
  • Transfer credits: Incoming students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree.
  • Cost: $372/credit
  • Admissions requirements: Prospective students must submit transcripts and immunization records.
  • Accreditation: Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Science Program


Accreditation indicates that a program meets high quality standards. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. National accreditation typically applies to for-profit vocational institutions, while regional accreditation usually applies to nonprofit liberal arts schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Programs within a school can earn programmatic accreditation. As of August 2019, there is no programmatic accrediting body for bachelor's-level behavioral science degrees, so prospective students should seek out regionally accredited schools.

Curriculum in an Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Science

Curricula vary by program, but most accredited online applied behavioral science degrees cover similar concepts and skills. The interdisciplinary degree gives students research, communication, and interpersonal skills. Students also obtain critical-thinking, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills drawn from fields such as sociology, cognitive studies, and communication studies.

Bachelor's in behavioral science programs typically comprise 120 credits, including general education and major-specific courses. Common course topics include communications, abnormal psychology, cultural anthropology, human anatomy and physiology, and public health.

Bachelor's in Behavioral Science Concentrations

Many bachelor's in behavioral science programs offer concentrations that allow students to tailor the degree to their interests. Students looking to work with a specific population should ensure that their prospective schools offer concentrations aligned with their professional goals and interests. The following list covers several popular concentration options.

  • Criminology

    Criminology is the study of crime and criminals. This concentration examines the criminal justice system and related sociological and criminological concepts. Courses cover topics like criminal justice systems, violent crime forensics, laws and ethics, and human rights studies.

  • Addiction Studies

    Many graduates with a bachelor's in behavioral science pursue careers as counselors and social workers. A concentration in addiction studies prepares graduates to secure counseling and social work positions working with clients with substance abuse and other addiction issues.

  • Child Welfare

    Child welfare concentrations examine topics like parenting education, in-home services, abuse and neglect, and adoption. This concentration prepares graduates to work with children and their families to overcome mental and behavioral challenges.

Online Bachelor's in Behavioral Science Careers

Graduates with a bachelor's in behavioral science degree enjoy diverse job opportunities in fields like human services, human resources, and consumer science. The following list outlines several common careers for graduates.

Case Manager

Case managers assist vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, people with mental illnesses, and children. They customize treatment plans and often work closely with healthcare providers, including psychiatrists and psychologists.

Median Annual Salary: $40,000

Urban Planner

These professionals help communities maximize their land use and infrastructure. They often take on research and analysis roles, evaluating social trends, the environment, and economic statistics. They typically work for private firms, developers, government entities, or private property owners.

Median Annual Salary: $56,000

Family Support Workers

Family support workers connect families with helpful resources and organizations. They may work with families to overcome drug issues, secure mental healthcare, or manage interpersonal issues.

Median Annual Salary: $31,500