Focusing on observed behaviors rather than private thoughts, behavioral psychology professionals help millions of people transform their phobias and bad habits into healthy living. Some therapists use classical conditioning, and expose the patient to the thing they fear, but in a safe environment; over time, rather than associating fear with the phobia, the patient feels safe – and the phobia disappears. Other therapists use operant conditioning, whereby the patient is punished each time she engages in the undesired behavior; the bad habit disappears as it increasingly becomes associated with negative consequences.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
Focused students who seek a behavioral psychology bachelor’s degree can expect to graduate in four years. Typical behavioral psychology programs demand students complete a number of required courses in general education and psychology. The best behavioral psychology programs, however, leave students free for at least two years to pick and choose electives from the psychology program as well as the general course catalog. Graduates who obtain a behavioral psychology degree online can expect to find work as child protection and caseworkers, employment and substance abuse counselors, and even probation and parole officers.
Inside a Behavioral Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Program
Bachelor’s degree students in behavioral psychology should expect to spend at least two semesters taking general education courses; typical classes include mathematics, literature, general and natural sciences, and history. Most programs encourage their students to be well-rounded, so, generally, at least one semester’s worth of credits are available for students to explore classes in other programs across the university as electives.
Within the major, students are usually required to take two semesters of mandated course work in order to develop a solid psychological foundation; human development, behavior modification, abnormal psychology and a variety of courses for counseling different populations, like families, groups, and individuals, will generally be covered. Upper level students are given more freedom, and can expect to choose from a wide range of psychology electives, such as child development and abnormal psychology. Many programs require completion of an internship before graduation.
What’s Next for Behavioral Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral psychology can usually expect to find work right away. According to the BLS, demand for people trained in psychology is high, and the number of available jobs in the field is expected to grow more than 22% through 2024. Graduates who take jobs as counselors and caseworkers, can expect to earn an annual median wage of $39,270.