The Best Bachelor's Degrees in Behavior Psychology

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Published June 14, 2024

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A behavioral psychology degree offers exciting career and educational opportunities. Learn about the best programs in this discipline and how you might choose between them.

Psychology.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Behavioral psychologist speaking to young girl Credit: Mikolette / E+ / Getty Images

As one of the most popular major choices for college students, psychology programs can be easy to find but difficult to choose between. Finding the right option for you requires comparing important factors, such as tuition costs, coursework options, and learning formats. With this guide, that process becomes a little easier.

Find out what the best programs in this field offer, what you should look for, and what you can expect from a behavioral psychology degree.

Popular Online Psychology Bachelor's Programs

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

Best Bachelor's in Behavioral Psychology Degrees

#1 The Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Behavior Psychology

Briar Cliff University

  • Sioux City, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Briar Cliff University offers a bachelor's degree in behavioral analysis. The program prepares graduates to help clients with special needs and behavioral challenges. The curriculum aligns with the requirements for board certification and Iowa licensure as an assistant behavior analyst. Students wishing to practice in other states should check with their jurisdictional requirements. 

The curriculum emphasizes hands-on practicum experience at Sioux City-area clinics and schools, with supervision from professors and behavioral analysis professionals. Learners gain experience working with individuals experiencing addictions, autism, and social disabilities. The program features small class sizes, with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$32,526
Out-of-state
$32,526
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,450
Out-of-state
$9,450
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,000
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 The Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Behavior Psychology

Midland University

  • Fremont, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Midland University's bachelor's in applied behavior analysis focuses on evidence-based analysis and treatment to help clients learn effective ways to live and work in society. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, learners complete practicums working with children diagnosed with autism, feeding disorders, and severe behavioral issues. Students complete the requirements for their registered behavior technician credentials and national certification as assistant behavior analysts.

Coursework includes behavioral assessment, development psychology, introduction to special education, and social sciences statistics and research methods. Undergraduate admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and official transcripts. Applicants to this behavior psychology degree are encouraged to submit ACT or SAT scores. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$35,996
Out-of-state
$35,996
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,473
Out-of-state
$13,473
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
1,671
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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Psychology.org reserves the right to exclude any schools that lack significant data from the rankings to ensure accurate calculations. For more about how Psychology.org evaluates and ranks education programs, read more about our full ranking methodology.

What to Look for in a Behavioral Psychology Degree

The best behavioral psychology program for you depends on your unique situation, interests, and goals. However, there are some considerations all students should keep in mind, such as accreditation. Without institutional accreditation, schools may not offer federal financial aid or widely accepted transfer credits.

Here are some more considerations to factor into your decision.

Behavioral Psychology Degree Curriculum

The program curriculum should offer the classes and concentrations that provide you with the most relevant skills and expertise. Some specializations related to behavioral psychology include behavioral neuroscience, behavioral science, and organizational psychology.

A program that offers a variety of electives or the opportunity to choose a minor can still help you reach your career goals if there is no specialization option. Internships and practicums can also help bolster your area of interest and create a niche specialization.

In-Person, Hybrid, and Online Options

Program format can impact when and how you study. For example, in-person programs offer the most interactive and traditional learning experience, but class times might interfere with your work schedule or home life. You can fit online studies into your schedule more easily, but you may find this method less engaging and structured.

Think about what experience you need in the classroom to learn best. Hybrid programs offer an appealing blend of formats, but you still have location and scheduling limitations to consider. It's important to note that no matter the format you choose, most internships require in-person attendance, though many online programs allow you to complete these at a site near you.

Cost of a Behavioral Psychology Degree

Tuition prices can vary by school type, location, and program delivery method. For example, public schools typically charge lower tuition rates than private schools, and in-state students pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. However, private schools rarely charge out-of-state tuition rates, and many public schools offer in-state rates to out-of-state online students.

Regardless of your choice, tuition prices can be steep. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average annual undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year was $14,688. When choosing a school and program, consider the financial aid options available, as only some schools offer guaranteed scholarships.

What Can I Do With a Behavioral Psychology Degree?

A bachelor's degree in behavioral psychology can lead to various entry-level careers or prepare you for an advanced degree in several disciplines. You can pursue work directly after school in areas like case management and social services, or you can continue your education to pursue counseling or psychology licensure.

Behavioral psychology has applications in many industries, even allowing you to pursue alternative psychology careers, such as business or education. Below are some of the postgraduate options available to you.

Behavioral Psychology Degree Careers
Job Average Salary Education Required
Behavioral Health Technician $39,000 Postsecondary Certificate
Case Manager $47,430 Bachelor's
Human Resources Specialist $57,300 Bachelor's
Behavioral Counselor $59,490 Master's
Source: Payscale (May 2024)

Frequently Asked Questions About Behavioral Psychology Degrees

How long does it take to study behavioral psychology?

A behavioral psychology degree at the bachelor's level typically takes four years to complete, but you may fast-track that with advanced standing, heavy course loads, and condensed schedules. If you wish to pursue a master's degree as well, expect to spend 5-6 years in total on your studies.

You can use a behavioral psychology degree to pursue careers in human resources, business, and social services. You can also continue your education with a master's degree, which can lead to behavioral counseling licensure.

Behavioral and social psychology have common interests. However, social psychology focuses on how social influences affect individuals, whereas behavioral psychology focuses on how various elements impact behaviors.

You can earn a behavioral psychology degree online, but there may be in-person components, such as a practicum or internship. Some online behavioral psychology programs use live lectures and virtual class meetings to simulate the classroom experience, whereas others try to make the studies as flexible and accessible as possible to accommodate busy schedules.

Page last reviewed May 24, 2024. This page's information — not including school descriptions — was reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Psychology.org.

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