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Behavioral Science Masters Degree Programs with Career Info

Behavioral science master's programs often explore topics like human behavior, abnormal psychology and social problems. To learn about the prerequisites and common courses for these programs, as well as employment prospects and possible earnings after graduation, keep reading.

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Essential Information

Behavioral science master's degree programs typically encompass several disciplines. Programs that award the Master of Science in Behavioral Science are designed to provide an interdisciplinary education that incorporates concepts of psychology, counseling and social work. Research is a critical component of most programs, and students learn to understand and analyze human behavior across the life span. Graduates of master's degree programs may need to seek certification before being able to practice as behavioral science professionals.

Education Prerequisites

A bachelor's degree in any field is required for application to a master's degree program in the behavioral sciences, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, many programs require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and a designated minimum grade point average.

Program Coursework

Many programs can be customized to specialize in a specific area of behavioral science, such as adolescence, gerontology or the criminal population. Students are trained in experimental and qualitative research methods. Course topics include:

  • Social problems
  • Developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Cultural development
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Group dynamics
  • Consumer behavior

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates usually work in government or community service agencies, independent practices or corporations. Some behavioral science positions are expected to grow faster than average between the years of 2010-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salary ranges are highly variable due to the numerous career options available. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Services (BLS), the median salary for mental health and substance abuse social workers was $39,980 as of May 2012, and the median salary for clinical, counseling and school psychologists was $67,650. Other careers where the master's degree in behavioral science may be utilized include:

  • Human resources generalist
  • Market researcher
  • Criminologist

Continuing Education Information

Depending upon career path, licensure may be required in some states. Additionally, doctoral degrees are available in behavioral sciences or in specific fields such as psychology.

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