Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs In Behavioral Psychology

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Behavioral psychology provides evidence to explain why humans think and act the way they do. Behavioral psychologists strive to predict behavior, creating an opportunity to limit undesirable behavior and establish better habits. Students who want to help others might consider an online behavioral psychology degree at the bachelor’s level, in which students explore foundational psychology theories and gain hands-on experience for entry-level positions. This page covers tips for selecting a program, common coursework, potential career paths, accreditation, and scholarships.

A bachelor’s degree in behavioral psychology qualifies graduates to work for organizations across all sectors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors can anticipate a 23% increase in job outlook through 2026.

How Much Can You Make in a Behavioral Psychology Career?

Job growth projections can help prospective students develop an academic and professional action plan. Learners pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in behavioral psychology qualify for a variety of in-demand careers. According to the BLS, job roles in behavioral psychology should experience growth at average to above-average rates.

Job growth and salary projections may help learners choose a career, but students must also understand that a degree does not guarantee job placement or a specific salary. A degree provides students with pertinent skills and knowledge to adequately perform job duties. The table below covers salary, job outlook, and position descriptions for students with behavioral psychology bachelor’s degrees.


  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $43,300

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 23.2%

    Job Description
    These counselors assist patients suffering from one or more disorders. Duties include developing treatment plans, which may require collaborating with other health care professionals who work with the client. Counselors also communicate treatment plans to family members, so care can continue at home. Other responsibilities include teaching clients coping strategies and managing outreach programs. Most employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree.


  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

    Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $51,410

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 5.7%

    Job Description
    As social service experts, these specialists strive to rehabilitate law offenders. Professional responsibilities include interviewing parolees and their known associates, inspecting parolee residences, and determining rehabilitation plans. At times, specialists might test clients for drug usage. Other responsibilities include researching for pre-hearing trials, testifying, and composing reports for the parolee’s file. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree.


  • Social and Community Service Managers

    Social and Community Service Managers

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $64,100

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 18%

    Job Description
    These managers supervise civic programs and organizations. This role requires exemplary communication and collaboration skills. Professionals engage stakeholders to identify what programs or services they need. Other duties include managing outreach initiatives and advocating for awareness. Managers often write proposals for fund acquisition. Employers favor candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.


  • Social Workers

    Social Workers

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $47,980

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 16%

    Job Description
    Social workers help clients who struggle with a variety of everyday problems. Professional duties include creating awareness about at-risk communities, assessing clients, and creating strategies that help clients adjust and thrive. Other responsibilities include researching resources to improve a client’s quality of life or developing solutions for crisis situations. Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree.


  • Training and Development Specialists

    Training and Development Specialists

    MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $60,360

    JOB GROWTH 2016-2026: 11.5%

    Job Description
    Training and development specialists create and administer programs that prepare incumbents for job roles. These specialists also provide ongoing programming to foster incumbents’ knowledge and skills. Responsibilities includes administering surveys, interviewing employees, and meeting with managers to discover training needs. At times, this role may require conflict resolution when employees display undesirable behavior or productivity levels.


As indicated above, projected job growth varies by career path, and behavioral psychology graduates can choose from a wide variety of potential careers. However, other factors influence earning potential. Earning potential for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors varies by state and industry. The top-paying jobs exist in Utah, Alaska, and Oregon, while Vermont offers the highest concentration of jobs. From an industry perspective, outpatient care centers offer the highest levels of employment, while insurance-related roles offer the most money.


  • Alabama
    Median Annual Salary: $41,670

    Number Currently Employed: 1,140

    Projected Job Growth: +16 percent


  • Alaska
    Median Annual Salary: $62,030

    Number Currently Employed: 430

    Projected Job Growth: +14.4 percent


  • Arizona
    Median Annual Salary: $42,100

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Arkansas
    Median Annual Salary: $47,290

    Number Currently Employed: 850

    Projected Job Growth: +28.7 percent


  • California
    Median Annual Salary: $47,840

    Number Currently Employed: 16,900

    Projected Job Growth: +18.3 percent


  • Colorado
    Median Annual Salary: $48,590

    Number Currently Employed: 5,710

    Projected Job Growth: +33.5 percent


  • District of Columbia (DC)
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 950

    Projected Job Growth: +19.7 percent


  • Connecticut
    Median Annual Salary: $50,030

    Number Currently Employed: 2,670

    Projected Job Growth: +18.4 percent


  • Delaware
    Median Annual Salary: $41,510

    Number Currently Employed: 650

    Projected Job Growth: +21.8 percent


  • Florida
    Median Annual Salary: $44,740

    Number Currently Employed: 4,440

    Projected Job Growth: +28.8 percent


  • Georgia
    Median Annual Salary: $44,700

    Number Currently Employed: 2,840

    Projected Job Growth: +23.1 percent


  • Hawaii
    Median Annual Salary: $50,330

    Number Currently Employed: 310

    Projected Job Growth: +23.9 percent


  • Idaho
    Median Annual Salary: $49,670

    Number Currently Employed: 830

    Projected Job Growth: +18.6 percent


  • Illinois
    Median Annual Salary: $42,810

    Number Currently Employed: 5,520

    Projected Job Growth: +7.9 percent


  • Indiana
    Median Annual Salary: $41,300

    Number Currently Employed: 2,420

    Projected Job Growth: +23.7 percent


  • Iowa
    Median Annual Salary: $44,270

    Number Currently Employed: 900

    Projected Job Growth: +23.3 percent


  • Kansas
    Median Annual Salary: $42,380

    Number Currently Employed: 720

    Projected Job Growth: +7.9 percent


  • Kentucky
    Median Annual Salary: $41,990

    Number Currently Employed: 2,350

    Projected Job Growth: +24.5 percent


  • Lousiana
    Median Annual Salary: $38,710

    Number Currently Employed: 2,530

    Projected Job Growth: +15.9 percent


  • Maine
    Median Annual Salary: N/A

    Number Currently Employed: 330

    Projected Job Growth: +6.9 percent


  • Maryland
    Median Annual Salary: $43,870

    Number Currently Employed: 2,740

    Projected Job Growth: +20.7 percent


  • Massachusuetts
    Median Annual Salary: $46,310

    Number Currently Employed: 7,370

    Projected Job Growth: +15.1 percent


  • Michigan
    Median Annual Salary: $45,860

    Number Currently Employed: 3,160

    Projected Job Growth: +22.2 percent


  • Minnesota
    Median Annual Salary: $48,570

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Mississippi
    Median Annual Salary: $38,630

    Number Currently Employed: 950

    Projected Job Growth: +10.9 percent


  • Missouri
    Median Annual Salary: $39,250

    Number Currently Employed: 3,680

    Projected Job Growth: +22.7 percent


  • Montana
    Median Annual Salary: $44,380

    Number Currently Employed: 1,330

    Projected Job Growth: +20.1 percent


  • Nebraska
    Median Annual Salary: $49,610

    Number Currently Employed: 1,110

    Projected Job Growth: +20.8 percent


  • Nevada
    Median Annual Salary: $48,850

    Number Currently Employed: 920

    Projected Job Growth: +17.4 percent


  • New Hampsire
    Median Annual Salary: $42,840

    Number Currently Employed: 1,030

    Projected Job Growth: +22 percent


  • New Jersey
    Median Annual Salary: $57,200

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • New Mexico
    Median Annual Salary: $50,370

    Number Currently Employed: 1,240

    Projected Job Growth: +17.5 percent


  • New York
    Median Annual Salary: $47,640

    Number Currently Employed: 8,300

    Projected Job Growth: +24.8 percent


  • North Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $48,050

    Number Currently Employed: 4,400

    Projected Job Growth: +25.3 percent


  • North Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $55,570

    Number Currently Employed: 90

    Projected Job Growth: +25.8 percent


  • Ohio
    Median Annual Salary: $45,960

    Number Currently Employed: 5,200

    Projected Job Growth: +21.7 percent


  • Oklahoma
    Median Annual Salary: $47,710

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Oregon
    Median Annual Salary: $57,420

    Number Currently Employed: 3,040

    Projected Job Growth: +17.6 percent


  • Pennsylvania
    Median Annual Salary: $44,270

    Number Currently Employed: 14,710

    Projected Job Growth: +14.3 percent


  • Rhode Island
    Median Annual Salary: $50,020

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • South Carolina
    Median Annual Salary: $39,910

    Number Currently Employed: 900

    Projected Job Growth: +26.1 percent


  • South Dakota
    Median Annual Salary: $41,980

    Number Currently Employed: 500

    Projected Job Growth: +15 percent


  • Tennessee
    Median Annual Salary: $39,180

    Number Currently Employed: 2,730

    Projected Job Growth: +26.5 percent


  • Texas
    Median Annual Salary: $45,790

    Number Currently Employed: N/A

    Projected Job Growth: N/A


  • Utah
    Median Annual Salary: $67,160

    Number Currently Employed: 1,350

    Projected Job Growth: +39.7 percent


  • Vermont
    Median Annual Salary: $47,450

    Number Currently Employed: 850

    Projected Job Growth: +15.4 percent


  • Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $48,990

    Number Currently Employed: 9,680

    Projected Job Growth: +34.5 percent


  • Washington
    Median Annual Salary: $45,850

    Number Currently Employed: 3,900

    Projected Job Growth: +25.8 percent


  • West Virginia
    Median Annual Salary: $37,460

    Number Currently Employed: 620

    Projected Job Growth: +21.3 percent


  • Wisconsin
    Median Annual Salary: $45,290

    Number Currently Employed: 2,720

    Projected Job Growth: +19.7 percent


  • Wyoming
    Median Annual Salary: $56,850

    Number Currently Employed: 350

    Projected Job Growth: +22 percent


What Courses Can be Taken for an Online Behavioral Psychology Degree?

All accredited programs cover general education requirements. Behavioral psychology core coursework varies by school, as each school has its own curriculum, and some programs are more developed than others. Schools with more resources often offer additional electives or concentrations. Below is a list of common courses offered for an online behavioral psychology degree. Contact an admissions specialist if you have program specific questions.

Research and Statistics

Students learn how to apply statistical analysis to research ideas. Other course objectives include drawing conclusions from data and communicating quantitative information.

Lifespan Development

This course examines growth through the lifespan, using pertinent developmental theories and milestones. Students also learn research method strategies, examine case studies, and discuss current issues in behavioral psychology.

Personality Theory

Personality theory covers major theories and research methods. Students employ critical evaluation to identify influences in personality development. This course also examines theorists from a socio-historical context.

Abnormal Psychology

This introductory course examines mental disorders. Students explore the development of abnormal behavior patterns and diagnostic methods used to study disorders. This course emphasizes theoretical treatment perspectives, epidemiology, and etiology.

Interpersonal Communication and Group Dynamics

Students in this course develop awareness regarding processes, issues, and possibilities of communication. Students develop an understanding of relationship complexities, collaboration, and group decision-making. Other topics include conflict resolution and facilitation.

How to Choose the Best Online Behavioral Psychology Program

Multiple factors, including accreditation and overall reputation, can influence the marketability of online behavioral psychology degree holders. Graduation and retention rates can help prospective students gauge their potential success, and digital resources tell students what kind of university support they can expect. Faculty credentials, accessibility, and student-to-teacher ratios reflect school culture and environment. Below are five common questions about online behavioral psychology degrees.

How long does it usually take to complete an online behavioral psychology degree?

Most students complete this program in 4-5 years, if they attend school full time through a traditional program. Many online schools offer accelerated programs, which could shorten time commitments. Self-paced programs allow students to move as quickly or as slowly as they want. Students may also attend school part time, which doubles standard four-year program lengths.

Will I have to take a license exam?

At the bachelor’s level, behavioral psychology students do not have to take a licensure exam for most job roles. Clinical mental health, behavioral disorder, and marriage and family counselors must usually complete an advanced degree and pass a license exam.

What accreditation agencies should I consider for an online behavioral psychology degree?

No specific programmatic accrediting agency exists for a behavioral psychology bachelor’s, but students should consider advanced degrees that meet American Psychology Association (APA) standards. Students may visit the APA website to compare coursework with APA standards. They should also check for regional accreditation. More than 85% of U.S. universities hold regional accreditation, which implements a higher standard for educational quality.

How much does a behavioral psychology bachelor’s degree online cost?

Degree cost varies. Influential factors include school residency and geographical location. Students who have state residency pay less than their out-of-state counterparts. Average in-state costs hover around $50,000, while out-of-state programs can cost more than $80,000. Additionally, schools with brick-and-mortar locations often charge online students on-campus tuition, while their fully online competitors often offer much lower prices.

What sort of professional organizations can behavioral psychology students join?

The International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD) offers a student membership that includes career support and networking opportunities. The Association for Behavioral Analysis International has been around since 1974 and offers discounted student memberships. Also, the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists strives to help CBT professionals develop their skills. Students have access to national conferences and mentorships.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Behavioral Psychology Programs

Prospective behavioral psychology students often consider financial aid to pay for their bachelor’s degrees. Federal aid provides grants, loans, and work study to students who qualify. Grants and work-study programs do not require repayment, but students must begin repaying loans shortly after graduation. Unsubsidized loans begin accruing interest immediately. Therefore, students should consider scholarship funds set aside by organizations and foundations to support specific student populations. The table below highlights five scholarships for behavioral psychology undergraduate students.

Psi Chi Undergraduate Scholarships

Geico Insurance and Psi Chi partners offer undergraduate students financial support as they earn their psychology degrees. Qualifying candidates must be in good academic standing at an accredited university. Psi Chi requires transcripts, financial information, and a personal essay demonstrating financial need. Students should also highlight any relevant activities outside the classroom. Psi Chi awards eight students $3,000 each year. Students must use their awards for tuition, school fees, or textbooks.

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The National Institutes of Health provides competitive scholarships to students with financial need. Students must be enrolled at an accredited university with a 3.3 GPA at minimum. Winners can receive a maximum of $20,000 per year, and students may renew their scholarship for a maximum of four years. Winners also receive a paid research training internship, plus guaranteed employment and training upon earning their degree.

Future Counselors of America Scholarship

Undergraduates who are majoring in an area of psychology and intend to become counselors qualify for the Future Counselors of America Scholarship. Applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA. Students must submit official transcript copies and a 900-word essay examining psychological challenges facing single people. The essay should also address the impact of digital dating. Winners may receive a maximum award of $4,000.

Learn.org Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship in Social Sciences

Learn.org supports students earning a social science bachelor’s degree, which includes psychology students. This organization chooses one student per year to receive a $500 award. Applications are due by April 1. Students must submit proof of good academic standing, discuss their experiences outside of the classroom, and submit a 100-word explanation about how a social science related degree can push them toward their ideal career.

Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarship Program

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation offers this scholarship to first-year students earning a mental health-related bachelor’s degree. Candidates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA at an accredited university. Students must prove that they participate in community service activities outside of school. Applicants who contribute to the diabetes community have an advantage. Winners may receive a maximum of $1,000.

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