Education

Best Online Behavioral Health Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Behavioral Health programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Behavioral health is the study of the relationship between mental health and behavior. Behavioral health degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the field of mental health, including counseling, social work, and psychology.

Behavioral health degrees offer a broad overview of the field of mental health, covering topics such as psychology, sociology, and human development. Students in behavioral health degree programs learn about the different theories of mental health, and how to apply those theories to understand and treat mental illness.

How to Choose the Right Behavioral Health Program

When choosing a behavioral health degree program, there are many things to consider. The most important factor is accreditation. Make sure the program you choose is accredited by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) or the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

Other important factors to consider include the cost of the program, the length of the program, and the location of the program. Many programs offer scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of tuition. Some programs can be completed in as little as two years, while others may take up to four years. And, of course, you’ll want to consider the location of the program. Some students prefer to stay close to home, while others are more interested in attending a program in a different city or state.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the program that’s right for you.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Behavioral Health Programs

The best online programs for Behavioral Health ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida’s Bachelor of Science in Health Education degree program provides students with training on how to promote healthy lifestyle choices in individual and group settings, with special attention given to diversity and culturally appropriate health education methodologies.

The program enables students to focus their coursework on interest areas in health education and health promotion in community, clinical, or worksite settings, as well as in health studies, thus preparing them for related industry jobs or graduate programs.

Rank 2
Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA

The Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Health from Seton Hill University is a comprehensive program that prepares students for a career in the field of behavioral health. The program includes coursework in psychology, sociology, social work, and counseling, and provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through internships. The program also offers a unique joint degree with Westmoreland County Community College, which allows students to earn their degree in behavioral health in a shorter amount of time.

Rank 3
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University’s online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling program offers an innovative curriculum for those interested in helping people with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders. The competency-based curriculum addresses the growing need for skilled, direct service providers and features a broad range of evidence-based practices associated with individual and group counseling, person-centered assessment and treatment planning, psychiatric rehabilitation, and other essential clinical skills.

Rank 4
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Health Services, Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Health Services degree from Thomas Jefferson University is a flexible degree that provides the knowledge needed for careers that support individuals and communities in managing mental health and other health issues. Through coursework in psychology, counseling, rehabilitation and more, students gain valuable skills that can be applied both on the job and for continued study in graduate school. The degree requires the completion of 124 credits, including general education requirements, a creativity and leadership core, major requirements, and electives.

Rank 5
Ball State University
Muncie, IN

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University is a program designed to help students enter the field of ABA and earn their credentials. The program is offered online and is asynchronous, so students can complete their coursework on their own schedule.

Rank 6
Purdue University Global
West Lafayette, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis from Purdue University Global is designed to provide students with the foundational skills necessary to help individuals with behavior disorders. The program is accelerated, allowing students to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time than it would take to complete both programs separately.

Rank 7
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences: Public Health degree from Northern Arizona University is designed for students who want to pursue a career in public health. The program provides students with a broad knowledge of concepts and processes that can be applied to multiple health-related disciplines.

Rank 8
Southern Wesleyan University
Central, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree from Southern Wesleyan University prepares students for positions in the social services field. The program is accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Services Education and students can choose to specialize in Administration, Counseling, Criminal Justice, Marriage and Family Services, or a specialized concentration. The program is designed to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to help individuals and families live healthier lives.

Rank 9
Evangel University
Springfield, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health from Evangel University prepares students for a career in the field of behavioral health. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with individuals and families who are struggling with emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. The program also equips students to work as part of a team in order to provide the best possible care for patients.

Rank 10
East Central University
Ada, OK

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Behavioral Health from East Central University Online is a fully online program that provides students with the skills needed to understand human behavior and succeed in a profession that promotes human welfare. The curriculum is delivered through an interactive, digital classroom and experienced educators from ECU Online guide each course. Topics of study include child and adolescent psychology, professional communication, relationship-building techniques, personality disorders, psychology of seniors, abnormal psychology, clinical counseling methods, and mental health testing best practices.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Behavioral Health Program

Behavioral health is a relatively new field that focuses on the interactions between mental health and physical health. A behavioral health degree program prepares students for careers in counseling, social work, and psychology.

Most online bachelor’s in behavioral health programs require around 120 credits, including general education coursework, major classes, and electives. Core coursework covers topics like human development, psychopathology, and research methods. Students also complete practicum or internship experiences.

Behavioral health programs typically do not require any in-person attendance. However, some schools may require students to complete a practicum or internship in their local community. Behavioral health programs typically do not offer concentrations, but students may be able to choose electives that align with their specific interests.

Common Behavioral Health Courses

Behavioral health degree programs typically offer a combination of scientific and liberal arts courses. This curriculum provides students with a broad understanding of behavioral health issues and prepares them for work in the field. The courses below are representative of those offered in behavioral health degree programs.

Abnormal Psychology

This course covers the study of psychopathology and abnormal behavior. Emphasis is placed on etiology, symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment of various psychological disorders. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of various psychological disorders, their etiology, symptomatology, and treatment.

Crisis Intervention

This course introduces students to the theory and skills necessary to work with individuals in crisis. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the crisis intervention process, identifying personal reactions to crisis, and utilizing crisis intervention skills. Upon completion, students should be able to apply crisis intervention theory to a variety of crisis situations and utilize a variety of crisis intervention skills.

Psychopathology

This course covers the study of mental disorders from a scientific perspective. Emphasis is placed on current research on the etiology, course, and treatment of mental disorders. The major diagnostic categories of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will be reviewed. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the biopsychosocial model to the study of psychopathology and explain the major theories and research findings related to the etiology, course, and treatment of mental disorders.

Ethics in Behavioral Health

This course covers ethical issues in the field of behavioral health. Topics include the history of ethical thought, major ethical theories and their application to behavioral health, professional codes of ethics, and ethical decision-making. Upon completion, students should be able to apply major ethical theories to ethical dilemmas in behavioral health, analyze the implications of various professional codes of ethics, and develop ethical decision-making skills.

Human Development

This course covers the major theories and research in human development from conception to death. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences on physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Upon completion, students should be able to apply major theories and research findings to explain human development throughout the lifespan.

Career Options for Behavioral Health Graduates

Graduates of behavioral health programs work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, hospitals, and social service agencies. They may also work in fields such as education, research, and public policy.

Behavioral Health Counselor

Behavioral health counselors work with individuals, families, and groups who are dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse, or other behavioral problems. Counselors typically have a private practice, but they may also work in hospitals, clinics, schools, or other settings. They use a variety of techniques to help their clients make positive changes in their lives, including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Psychiatric Technician

Psychiatric technicians work with patients who have mental health conditions. They provide care and support under the supervision of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Psychiatric technicians typically work in hospitals, psychiatric units, or residential treatment facilities. They may also work in community mental health centers, private practices, or prisons. Psychiatric technicians typically have an associate’s degree in psychiatric technology, although some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors provide support and guidance to people who are struggling with addiction. They may work in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinics, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, and private practices. In some cases, they may also provide services in schools or the criminal justice system. Counselors typically work with patients one-on-one, in group settings, or in families to help them overcome addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Case Manager

Case managers work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, social service agencies, and insurance companies. In general, case managers are responsible for providing services and coordinating care for a specific group of people, such as the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, or people with disabilities. This can involve anything from helping them find housing or transportation to connecting them with social services or coordinating their medical care.

Public Policy Analyst

Public policy analysts conduct research, develop policy recommendations, and help shape the direction of public policy. They work in all levels of government, as well as in the private sector and nonprofit organizations. In their work, public policy analysts use both qualitative and quantitative methods to study the effects of policies and develop recommendations for change. They also work with policymakers to help them understand the implications of their decisions and to develop policies that are effective and efficient.

Insights From a Behavioral Health Graduate

Audrey Henry is a Mental Health Counselor at Weill Cornell Medicine. She has a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health from Fordham University. Audrey has over 7 years of experience in mental health counseling.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Behavioral Health degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Audrey Henry: I made the most of my Behavioral Health degree program by taking advantage of the internship opportunities that were available to me. I interned at a hospital, a school, and a mental health clinic. I also took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Spain. I think it is important to get as much real-world experience as possible.

In addition to internships, I also took advantage of the opportunity to participate in research projects with faculty members. I think it is important to get involved in research so that you can learn more about the field and develop your critical thinking skills.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Behavioral Health be good at?

Audrey Henry: Students interested in behavioral health should be good at problem solving, critical thinking, and have a strong interest in helping others. They should also be good at communicating with others, as they will be working with patients who have a wide range of mental health issues.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about a Behavioral Health degree, and what would you tell them?

Audrey Henry: I think the biggest misconception about behavioral health is that it’s only for people who are “crazy” or “unstable.” In reality, behavioral health is for everyone. We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. And just like physical health, mental health can be maintained and improved.

Behavioral health is about understanding how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect our overall well-being. It’s about learning how to cope with stress, manage our emotions, and make healthy choices. It’s also about understanding how our past experiences and relationships influence our present.

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