Top 20 Masters in Behavioral Science Schools in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Top 20 Masters in Behavioral Science Schools in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Exploring the many ways humans think and act, behavioral science gives us insight into how our actions influence the world around us. Sometimes called social science, common careers in this field include psychologist, addiction counselor, and school counselor. Behavioral science careers are expected to grow in the next 10 years, with behavioral disorder counselors making an average of $46,240 per year.

What Types Of Behavioral Science Master’s Degrees Are There?

Behavioral science is a diverse field, so you’re likely to find many different programs related to the subject. Common master’s programs include psychology, human services, and school counseling. Many students use a master’s program as a launchpad into a Ph.D. Those with a specific career aspiration in mind will probably be able to find a program tailored to their goals.

How Long Is A Masters in Behavioral Science Program?

Typically 2 years, but factors such as full or part-time status and transferable credits can affect individual timelines. Prospective students will be expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field before entering a graduate program. Some colleges offer accelerated paths for undergrads aiming for a master’s or Ph.D. 

Interested in earning your master’s degree online? Use our degree-finding tools to find a program that fits your needs!

What Are The Best Value Behavioral Science Masters Programs?

We assembled a list of 20 schools offering this degree type and rated them on a 100-point scale. Factors in our rankings included tuition costs for residential and out-of-state students, as well as the average student-faculty ratio at the school. Check out the results below!

1. Jackson State University – Jackson, MS – 90 Points

Jackson State University has several departments that offer behavioral science-related programs. The Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Psychometric Services features three Master of Science programs in school counseling, clinical mental health, and rehabilitation services. The Department of Public Health offers a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Health Promotion and Education.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,223 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $4,723 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

2. Central Washington University – Ellensburg, WA – 81 Points

The Department of Psychology at Central Washington University offers three master’s degree programs. In Experimental Psychology, students conduct self-initiated research into the field usually with the aim of pursuing a Ph.D. after graduation. School Psychology leads students to obtain state and national certification as a K-12 school psychologist. The Mental Health Counseling degree prepares students to pursue careers counseling children, teens, and adults in the community and private practice settings.

  • In-State Tuition: $3,930 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $8,325 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

3. Eastern Illinois University – Charleston, IL – 78 Points

Eastern Illinois University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology through its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychology department. The college also features a Masters and Specialist degree in School Psychology. The Department of Counseling and Higher Education has a Master of Science in Counseling with emphasis areas in Clinical Mental Health Counseling or School Counseling.

  • In-State Tuition: $3,816 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $9,000 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

4. Southeast Missouri State University – Cape Girardeau, MO – 71 Points

SEMO’s Department of Psychology and Counseling provides 4 different master’s degree programs. I/O Psychology prepares students to help organizations become more efficient and responsible with their employees. Mental Health Counseling helps graduates serve the psychological needs of the local community. Applied Behavior Analysis is an online degree that prepares students to become certified behavior analysts. Finally, graduates of the School Counseling program are ready to be employed as counselors in the Missouri K-12 school system.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,080 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $7,188 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 19:1

5. San Francisco State University – San Francisco, CA – 70 Points

The Department of Counseling at SFSU offers six different master programs in the field. School Counseling, College Counseling, and Career Counseling all work with students of varying ages to provide personal, academic, and career counseling services. Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students to work in a variety of community-based environments. Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling provide assessment and intervention skills for couples and families. Gerontological Counseling works specifically to meet the psychological needs of older adults.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,247 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $5,039 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 22:1

6. University of New Orleans – New Orleans, LA – 68 Points

The University of New Orleans features a Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology. With this degree, students may find career opportunities as clinical assistants or mental health professionals. Students also have the opportunity to continue their higher education by pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,554 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $6,839 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

7. Morehead State University – Morehead, KY – 62 Points

Students at Morehead State University can choose from three behavioral science field master degrees. A Master of Science in Clinical Psychology is available from the Department of Psychology. The College of Education offers a Masters in School Counseling and an Ed.S. program with a concentration on Counseling.

  • In-State Tuition: $6,840 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $6,840 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1

8. Harding University – Searcy, AR – 60 Points

Harding University is a private institution associated with the Churches of Christ with graduate programs focusing on mental health and wellness from a Christian perspective. Master-level degree specialties include Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, and Professional School Counseling. The department also offers a Master of Science in Student Affairs.

  • In-State Tuition: $6,900 per semester 
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $6,900 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

9. California State University: Dominguez Hills – Carson, CA – 59 Points

CalState University – Dominguez Hills offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with two concentration areas. Clinical Psychology is designed for students who intend to work in community clinical mental health settings. Health Psychology is intended for students who wish to promote mental wellness and evaluate the needs of individuals and groups within organizations.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,192 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $8,944 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1

10. University of Houston: Clear Lake – Houston, TX – 53 Points

The Department of Clinical, Health and Applied Sciences at the University of Houston – Clear Lake offers 5 behavioral science master’s programs. These degrees are: Behavioral Analysis, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, and School Psychology. Students may pursue higher education opportunities through the school’s Psy.D. program in Health Service Psychology.

  • In-State Tuition: $4,921 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $9,628 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

11. Rowan University – Glassboro, NJ – 50 Points

There are 3 behavioral science master programs at Rowan University. Available through the College of Science & Mathematics, they include Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and School Psychology. Further graduate study is available through the Clinical Psychology with Health Emphasis Ph.D. program.

  • In-State Tuition: $7,968 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $7,968 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

12. Western Carolina University – Cullowhee, NC – 48 Points

Western Carolina University offers behavioral science degrees through its School of Psychology and School of Human Services. Human Services programs embody a M.A.Ed in School Counseling and an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Psychology programs include an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and a Specialist degree in School Counseling. 

  • In-State Tuition: $5,015 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $10,218 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

13. University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS – 43 Points

Behavioral science graduate programs are offered through the University of Kansas’ College of Children, Family, & Human Services. Students may choose to pursue a degree in Applied Behavioral Science or Psychology. The Psychology M.A. is only offered in conjunction with the Ph.D. program. The Applied Behavioral Science degree may be earned in person or online.

  • In-State Tuition: $5,094 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $12,215 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

13. National Louis University – Chicago, IL – 43 Points

National Louis University offers in-person and online options for earning master’s degrees in behavioral science fields. The M.S. in Counseling may be earned online or on campus. Other available degrees include Applied Behavior Analysis, Psychology, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

  • In-State Tuition: $9,108 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $9,108 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

15. University of Kentucky – Lexington, KY – 35 Points

Graduate programs at the University of Kentucky are available in classroom or online formats depending on the program. On-campus degrees consist of Applied Behavior Analysis, Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, and School Psychology. Counselor Education is a fully online program. 

  • In-State Tuition: $6,769 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $16,608 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1

16. University of Colorado: Denver – Denver, CO – 34 Points

The School of Education & Human Development at UC Denver offers a Counseling program with 3 Master of Arts in Counseling degree options. These areas of study comprise Couple and Family Counseling, Clinical Mental Health, and School Counseling. The School Counseling program also awards a license. Classes are held on-campus and online. 

  • In-State Tuition: $5,229 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $15,765 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

16. University of Baltimore – Baltimore, MD – 34 Points

The University of Baltimore features a Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology. There are two concentration areas available: Counseling Psychology or Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The school also offers graduate-level certificates in Global Industrial and Organizational Psychology, as well as Professional Counseling Studies. 

  • In-State Tuition: $10,166 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $14,402 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 12:1

18. Fitchburg State University – Fitchburg, MA – 33 Points

The Behavioral Sciences Department at Fitchburg State University offers 2 Master of Science degrees: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. There is also an interdisciplinary certificate of advanced graduate study in counseling/psychology. 

  • In-State Tuition: $10,903 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $13,948 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1

19. Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, MI – 25 Points

Master-level behavioral science degrees are offered through Eastern Michigan University’s departments of Psychology and Education. Psychology Department programs feature a Master of Science in Psychology with the following concentration areas: General Clinical, Clinical Behavioral, and General Experimental. The College of Education offers Master of Arts degrees in Educational Psychology and Counseling. 

  • In-State Tuition: $9,780 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $17,388 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

20. University of Washington – Seattle, WA – 13 Points

The University of Washington offers a Master of Public Health degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. This program teaches the relationships between behavior, physical health, and how society influences personal well-being. The university also offers a Master of Arts in Applied Child & Adolescent Psychology.

  • In-State Tuition: $9,842 per semester
  • Out-Of-State Tuition: $17,139 per semester
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

If you’re interested in pursuing a masters behavioral science degree online, use our degree finder tool to find the right program to reach your goals. 

Our Ranking Methodology

We acquired graduate school tuition data directly from each school’s website. Tuition costs are an estimate and did not include variable factors such as housing or personal expenditures. Student-to-faculty ratio data was obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics.

By sorting first by lowest tuition, then lowest student-faculty ratio, we assigned points to each school. 80% of the ranking consisted of tuition (40% in-state, 40% out-of-state), with the remaining 20% consisting of student-faculty ratio. The maximum possible score was 100 points.

We strive to be accurate with the data we collect. If you work for one of the schools listed and notice an error, please reach out to us so we can make a correction.

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