What Is Behavioral Health Science?
Behavioral health science is the study of human behavior and interaction. Specifically, the GCU Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science (BHS) degree program includes the study of the approaches, techniques, current trends, history, research and best practices in behavioral health.
Students who pursue an education in behavioral health science can prepare for careers that center on helping clients improve their quality of life. Graduates of the BHS degree at GCU may go on to help people with: addiction and substance abuse disorders, family dynamics and trauma.
What You'll Learn With a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Degree
Students enrolled in this bachelor’s in behavioral science program will receive a general and broad perspective on each of the specific areas of this field. The goal of the behavioral science courses is to help students study human behavior within a Christian values-oriented environment, so that they may emphasize compassion and ethics in their own practice. This behavioral health science degree does not lead to licensure, but may meet requirements for more advanced degree programs in healthcare fields.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU designed this BS in Behavioral Health Sciences around the following core competencies:
- Concepts of Behavioral Health
Students in the behavioral health degree program learn to analyze behavioral health concepts such as history, current trends, theories, approaches, research and best practices.
- Behavioral Health Skills
Using tools such as the DSM manual and ICD codes, along with emerging brain technology, students understand the scope of practice, including assessment, diagnosis and treatment for clients. Clinical and documentation skills, and laws and rules are also a focus.
- Cultural Competency
The impact of culture, diversity and social justice on the behavioral health field helps students better understand future clients and patients.
- Behavioral Health Information Technology
Students understand and use diverse technology for behavioral health, such as electronic medical and health records and record keeping. The importance of privacy, security and confidentiality with patient records is emphasized.
- Professional Network
Behavioral science degree students understand the importance of a professional network in the behavioral health field. This ensures they will be active in their professional communities.
BS in Behavioral Health Degree Online
With a Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral health, students can go on to improve the quality of life for others who need help. In addition to the traditional on-campus format, this degree can be fully completed online or in the evenings. By taking online behavioral sciences courses, you can continue to work and make college fit around your schedule.
As you pursue your degree online, you’ll learn counseling theories, treatments for addiction and substance abuse disorders and gain a broad understanding of group dynamics and processes. As you move through the online BHS degree program, you will take courses in human development, abnormal psychology and probability and statistics.
A capstone project completes the program. This course requires you to prepare a proposal for a community-based behavioral health organization on your area of focus.
Behavioral science course topics include:
- Ethics of BHS
- Cultural and social diversity
- Research and information literacy
- Introduction to family dynamics
- Understanding trauma
What Can You Do With a Behavioral Science Degree?
Upon completion of this bachelor’s degree in behavioral health science, students may find work in the areas of counseling, behavioral health and health services management. Graduates can seek work as a behavioral health technician, specialist or paraprofessional, as well as:
- Mental health service technician
- Social and community service manager
- Case managers
These jobs may be found in government, private and public entities. Additionally, the BHS degree helps students prepare for master’s degree programs in areas such as clinical psychology, counseling, criminal justice and human sciences.
If your dream is to make a difference in people’s lives, it’s time to think about a behavioral health science career. Learn more about the BS in Behavioral Health Science degree program at GCU.
Behavioral Health Science FAQs
1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.