If you enjoy helping people, are drawn to the social sciences, or just want to know what makes people tick, a behavioral sciences degree might be perfect for you. If you think you might be interested, why not find out more about behavioral sciences degrees and what you should be looking for in your college choice?
What Is Behavioral Science?
Behavioral science is closely related to fields like psychology, political science, anthropology, and sociology. Students in behavioral sciences degrees learn to analyze the influences on human behavior and their effects on society, individuals, families, and workplaces. Behavioral science is a social science that follows the principles of natural sciences, including experimentation, observation, and statistical method. Behavioral sciences degrees may offer specializations from among community health, disability, youth and early childhood, and political behavior.
What Can You Do With a Behavioral Sciences Degree?
Graduates with behavioral sciences degrees often work in fields devoted to helping others. Job opportunities for people with behavioral sciences degrees include social workers, case workers, victim advocates, political scientists, criminal profilers, probation officers, human resources specialists, and mental health counselors. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with behavioral sciences degrees can earn anywhere from $35,000 working as an entry-level social services assistant to well over $100,000 per year as a political scientist.
Best Value Behavioral Sciences Degrees
We compiled a list of schools around the country that provide behavioral sciences degrees and ranked the top 16 schools. We used tuition and acceptance rate to rank the schools. Check out our rankings below to find the best value behavioral sciences degrees in the United States.
1. Seattle Central College
Seattle Central College offers a bachelor of applied science degree in applied behavioral science. The program is ideal for people who are passionate about helping people, solving problems, and promoting positive social change. The program runs on a cohort model and provides a rigorous curriculum taught by accomplished faculty with doctorate degrees, small class sizes, evening on-campus and hybrid courses, and a strong practical component.
- Tuition: $9,923
- Acceptance rate: 100%
2. University of Nevada — Reno
The University of Nevada — Reno offers a bachelor of arts in behavior analysis. The mission of the behavioral sciences degree is to produce skilled behavior analysts who meet the needs of the community and contribute to the science and practice of behavior analysis. The degree provides comprehensive training in behavior analysis and prepares students for graduate study or for paraprofessional careers in human services. The behavior analysis specialization allows students to become eligible for certification as board certified assistant behavior analysts, an internationally recognized paraprofessional credential, and to be eligible for licensure in Nevada as certified autism behavior interventionists.
- Tuition: $7,268
- Acceptance rate: 88%
3. Wilmington University
The Wilmington University bachelor’s degree in behavioral science focuses on the impact of social issues, environments, and cultural influences on individual and group behaviors. This social science degree prepares students to work with youth, families, the elderly, disadvantaged populations, those struggling with addictions, the court system, crisis intervention services, and government agencies. The interdisciplinary degree program combines coursework in psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology and blends theory and practice through internships and hands-on learning experiences.
- Tuition: $11,430
- Acceptance rate: 100%
4. Bellevue University
The bachelor of science in behavioral science at Bellevue University provides streamlined preparation for graduate study in human services or clinical mental health counseling. The degree is available on campus or online, with the option to join an accelerated cohort. Students will study individual, family, and community-wide challenges and execute projects that level into a comprehensive electronic portfolio they can share with potential employers.
- Tuition: $13,494
- Acceptance rate: 100%
5. California State University — Dominguez Hills
California State University — Dominguez Hills offers an undergraduate program in behavioral science through the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences. The program is designed to provide students with a broad systematic understanding of human behavior, and of the biological, psychological, cultural, political, and social factors that influence such behavior. The behavioral sciences degree stresses the mastery of key behavioral science concepts and provides practical knowledge and skills with enduring career applicability.
- Tuition: $5,742
- Acceptance rate: 64%
6. University of Kansas
The Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas offers two undergraduate behavioral sciences degrees, including a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of general studies. Students in either degree program choose a specialty from adults with disabilities, basic research and conceptual foundations, community health and development, early childhood, organizational behavior management research and practice, and youth development and juvenile justice. The curriculum teaches students to examine and address problems of social importance across the lifespan and to apply behavioral science to improve the human condition through prevention and intervention.
- Tuition: $10,182
- Acceptance rate: 92%
7. University of Florida
Psychology majors at the University of Florida receive a broad, science-based liberal arts education. The curriculum emphasizes the principles and applications of psychological knowledge as a natural and social science. Students are encouraged to participate in activities such as research projects, colloquia, and paraprofessional activities, and volunteer work in the community. Faculty possess expertise in areas including behavior analysis, counseling, social psychology, behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, and Social Psychology. Students can choose to undertake an approved course sequence to become board certified associate behavior analysts.
- Tuition: $6,830
- Acceptance rate: 39%
8. University of Houston — Clear Lake
The University of Houston — Clear Lake offers a bachelor of science in behavioral sciences. The interdisciplinary program includes coursework in anthropology, psychology, sociology, criminology, social work, and geography, which can be combined according to your academic goals and interests. Students learn from faculty members who cross multiple disciplines and are leaders in their respective fields. Concentrations are available in anthropology, criminology, geography, psychology, sociology, and social work.
- Tuition: $7,961
- Acceptance rate: 69%
9. Southern Illinois University — Carbondale
The Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University — Carbondale offers a bachelor of science program in behavior analysis and therapy. This comprehensive degree program is designed to train students to become registered behavioral technicians or advance toward graduate training to eventually become board certified behavior analysts. The undergraduate program is compromised of a wide variety of coursework and real-life field experiences, where students will be able to practice the behavioral techniques learned in the classroom in actual clinical settings.
- Tuition: $9,638
- Acceptance rate: 72%
10. Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest offers a bachelor of arts in behavioral sciences. The behavioral sciences major is a multidisciplinary program that includes studies in sociology, psychology, and anthropology. Students of the behavioral sciences degree will gain a diverse skill set suited for career goals in public service and academics. The program provides students with an understanding of multiple perspectives on human behavior, culture, and society, and is a strong foundation for employment as well as graduate work.
- Tuition: $7,164
- Acceptance rate: 31%
11. Colorado State University
The Department of Psychology at Colorado State University offers a bachelor of science with concentrations in general psychology, mind, brain, and behavior, industrial and organizational psychology, addictions counseling, and clinical and counseling psychology. The mind, brain, and behavior concentration focuses on the cognitive, cognitive neuroscience, sensation and perception, and biological areas of psychology. Students on this concentration take coursework specifically focused on these areas of learning. The curriculum also incorporates additional math and science components. Undergraduate research and getting involved with faculty labs is strongly encouraged on this concentration
- Tuition: $12,260
- Acceptance rate: 84%
12. Central Methodist University
Central Methodist University offers a bachelor of science in applied behavior analysis. The program teaches students how to work successfully with children who have autism, developmental delays, behavioral challenges, and other related conditions. Majors become familiar with contemporary research findings in the field and learn to develop, implement, and monitor behavioral programs to treat various behavior issues. Upon competition of the course sequence and supervision hours, students will be eligible to sit for the board certified assistant behavior analyst exam.
- Tuition: $25,000
- Acceptance rate: 93%
13. Mercy College
Mercy College offers a multidisciplinary major in behavioral science that includes coursework in psychology and sociology. Specializations are also available in community health, gerontology, and health services management. The program provides a combination of structure and flexibility with 4 required courses and 8 elective courses, as well as the option to study fully online. The behavioral sciences degree offers many opportunities for career development through credit-earning internships at a variety of New York City worksites.
- Tuition: $18,400
- Acceptance rate: 79%
14. Felician University of New Jersey
The School of Arts and Sciences at the Felician University of New Jersey offers a degree in social and behavioral sciences. This interdisciplinary major encompasses a broad range of fields and disciplines including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, history, business, political science, and criminal justice. The major is intentionally flexible so that students can design a program that serves their interests. Students acquire a strong knowledge base in a focus area and develop skills in research, communication, critical thinking, analysis, and interpersonal skills.
- Tuition: $32,550
- Acceptance rate: 81%
15. Carnegie Mellon University
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University offers undergraduate majors in policy and management, decision science, and behavioral economics, policy and organizations. Students build skills in decision analysis, empirical research, organizations, policy analysis, and applied psychology. Undergraduates have opportunities to work with faculty on research projects and internships. The college’s emphasis on the theory and practice of individual and social decision-making, and high-quality, multidisciplinary social science faculty, provides a solid foundation from which graduates can embrace a variety of future paths.
- Tuition: $57,560
- Acceptance rate: 17%
16. Cornell University
Cornell University offers a unique bachelor of arts in information science with a concentration in behavior science. This concentration provides students with an in-depth understanding of the behavioral and social aspects of interacting with and through information technology. Courses cover various aspects of how technology affects and is being affected by human behavior and social interactions. Possible career paths for graduates include professional careers in user experience research and design and academic careers related to human-computer interaction and social aspects of technology.
- Tuition: $58,586
- Acceptance rate: 11%
Still not sure which behavioral sciences degree is right for you? Use our Degree Finder tool to help you decide.
Our Ranking Methodology
To determine how to rank each college, we researched and evaluated each school’s estimated annual cost of tuition and undergraduate acceptance rate. We used in-state tuition rates where available. We took annual tuition rates directly from each school’s website and acceptance data from Google. We sorted each school first by the cost of tuition (lower is better) and then by acceptance rate (higher is better), letting each value make up equal portions (50%) of the final rankings. Where schools were tied in the rankings, we gave additional weight to the cost of tuition.
If you work for one of the schools we ranked and you notice an error in the information we used to rank you, please feel free to contact us and let us know so we can make a correction.