Behavioral Health Degrees by Degree Program Level
Get information on associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in behavioral health or a related field of study. Read about the curriculum for these programs and see what career opportunities are available.
Behavioral health is a broad social service field that presents many career opportunities to specialized therapists, counselors, and health aides. Depending on which occupation students wish to pursue, they must have an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in behavioral health or a related field. Associate's degrees generally prepare graduates for careers as aides or assistants, while a bachelor's degree opens the door to entry-level positions such as in social work. More advanced positions in health education or health services management may call for a master's degree.
Associate of Applied Science in Behavioral Health Sciences
The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Behavioral Health Sciences prepares students for basic and technical positions in the behavioral health field. They acquire the skills necessary to perform administrative and assistant roles in standard mental rehabilitation centers and behavioral health clinics. The associate's degree program requires no educational prerequisites and takes approximately two years to complete.
An A.A.S. in Behavioral Health Sciences program places a heavy emphasis on psychology and sociology courses. Course topics may include:
- Human relations
- Group dynamics
- Human dependency
- Communications skills
- Multicultural counseling
- Report writing
Popular Career Options
Positions held by those with associate's degrees in behavioral health science are typically supplemental to workers with higher degrees. Roles include:
- Behavioral health technician
- Case manager
- Parent aide
- Elderly aide
- Family advocate
- Respite care worker
- Paraprofessional counselor
Bachelor of Psychology and Mental Health
Those with a bachelor's degree have access to most entry-level jobs in the behavioral health field. In a Bachelor of Psychology and Mental Health program, students develop a comprehensive understanding of human analysis, therapy, and counseling. A high school diploma may be required to enter this program, and an experiential practicum may be needed to graduate.
A bachelor's degree program in psychology covers many areas of medical science, preparing students for the wide variety of job opportunities. Course topics may include:
- Medical sociology
- Medical ethics
- Health care management
- Health psychology
- Social psychology
Popular Career Options
Some entry-level positions in the behavioral health field do not require a bachelor's degree. However, as the health fields expand, more and more employers and clients prefer candidates to have higher degrees. Positions for graduates of this bachelor's degree include:
- Clinical psychologist
- Research sociologist
- School counselor
- Social worker
Master of Community and Behavioral Health
The Master of Community and Behavioral Health program focuses on the interplay between human communities and individual behavioral health. In order to enter this program, one must have already completed a bachelor's degree in a related field. The degree can take nearly four years to complete, or be completed in two years.
Curriculum provides a sociological perspective on mental health care. Many courses cover community-related subject matter. Examples of these topics are:
- Public health
- Environmental health
- Intervention design
- Social health theories
- Cultural competence
- Community communication
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Two potential positions for graduates earning a Master of Community and Behavioral Health are a community health educator or a community service manager. These career fields were projected to have faster-than-average job growth from 2010 to 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS reported that the median salaries for health educators and community service managers were $48,790 and $59,970, respectively, in May 2012.
Related to Behavioral Medicine Degrees
- Recently Updated
Behavioral health professionals provide counsel and advise to clients who are living with mental health or social behavioral...
Behavioral health explores how behavior affects health as well as how outside influences affect behavior. Education and...
The study of behavioral health involves analyzing and understanding the relationship between the body, the mind and human...
Behavioral health counselors assist the recovery of those suffering from behavioral problems, such as substance abuse problems...
- Behavioral Health Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Behavioral Health Nurse: Job & Career Info
- Schools with Health Psychology Programs: How to Choose
- What Can You Do With a Masters in Public Health?
- Aircraft Avionics Schools: How to Choose
- How to Choose an Endocrinology School
- Schools for Aspiring SQL Developers: How to Choose