BS in Behavioral Health Science - Substance Use Disorders

Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Substance Use Disorders

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Substance Use Disorders - Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science Degree

Grand Canyon University's Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Substance Use Disorders program introduces students to behavioral health and substance abuse disorders and addiction. The substance use disorder curriculum offers a strong foundation for students who want to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, mental health, criminal justice, clinical or forensic psychology or human services.

Why Earn Your Behavioral Health Substance Use Disorder Degree at GCU?

Among GCU’s five critical competencies: effective communication, critical thinking, Christian worldview, leadership and global awareness, perspectives, and ethics. Additionally, this emphasis in substance use disorders covers six domains:

  • Concepts of behavioral health
  • Behavioral health skills
  • Cultural competency
  • Behavioral health information technology
  • Professional network
  • Substance use disorders

The emphasis in substance use disorders teaches students to determine substances that are abused and their respective effects. Students will also practice rapport building and interviewing skills, identify various assessment tools, learn documentation strategies for treatment plans. They will also examine ethical codes and organizational policies.

What is the Difference Between Behavioral Health and Counseling?

The Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse leads to licensure and includes fieldwork to help students put theories into practice. Students will have the opportunity to directly work with those affected by substance abuse. However, the BS in behavioral health science degree does not lead to licensure. In this degree program, students gain skills for a career as a behavioral health technician or other behavioral health-related professions. The counseling degree is specific to counseling and addiction, while a student receiving this behavioral health science degree may have added flexibility to pursue different pathways.

Behavioral Health Substance Use Disorder Degree Courses

Students in this Behavioral Health Science degree program take courses in:

  • Behavioral health
  • Counseling theories
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • The foundations of addiction and substance abuse
  • Cultural and social diversity
  • Human development
  • Spirituality and addiction
  • Report writing and researching in behavioral health
  • Understanding trauma, abuse, domestic violence and addiction, and family dynamics 

The substance use disorder emphasis degree program also includes a capstone project that is a culmination of the program’s learning experiences in which students prepare a written proposal community-based behavioral health organization.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Substance Use Disorder Degree?

Graduates of this behavioral health science degree program are equipped to pursue entry-level positions as a behavioral health technician, specialist or paraprofessional. Other potential career opportunities include mental health technician, social or community service manager or case manager.

Graduates have the knowledge to work in settings that specialize in treating and understanding substance use disorders. This includes behavioral health, health services management, health services, and other agencies including, but not limited to, government, private and public entities. Students can also continue their education at the graduate level to qualify for a career in clinical psychology, licensed therapy, or professional counseling.

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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $470 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
56 credits
Open Elective Credits:
24-30 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

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.

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • 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

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • 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

Requirements

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.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course provides foundational knowledge in theoretical approaches to counseling. Theoretical models studied include psychodynamic, existential, Gestalt, person-centered, cognitive and behavioral therapy, family systems, and narrative- and solution-focused therapies.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course provides a broad understanding of ethics, legal standards, and responsibilities in behavioral health. Students explore basic ethical concepts, legislation, and current trends in behavioral health ethics. This course pays special attention to technology and its effects on lawmaking and ethics in behavioral health. Important goals of this course are to help students develop a comprehensive understanding of the history and current application of ethics in the behavioral health field.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive foundation through exploring the content areas of cultural diversity, social justice, and religious and spiritual values. Examination of these areas strives to offer an overarching framework to guide students and gain perspectives for working with multicultural populations in the behavioral health field. This course assists students with developing knowledge and application of cultural diversity, cultural competency, and the importance of self-awareness, social justice, and advocacy. In addition, this course provides students a blended approach of the beliefs and values associated with religion and spirituality as a component of cultural competency.

Course Description

This course provides foundational knowledge regarding addiction and substance use disorders. Topics studied include biopsychosocial dynamics; stages, processes, and impact of addiction and substance use; and the role of the addiction professional in prevention, intervention, relapse prevention, and aftercare. In addition, the course provides overviews of the substance abuse counselor's code of ethics, HIPAA, and legal issues involved in counseling.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of group development stages, group dynamics, group counseling theories, and ethical standards pertaining to group work. In addition, this course explores theoretical approaches to group work. The course also addresses the growth and development of group members.

Course Description

This course focuses on the legal and ethical responsibilities involved when child abuse, abuse of the elderly, and domestic or family violence has been reported. Understanding the dynamics of working with cases of family violence and domestic partner abuse are explored.

Course Description

This course provides an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals across the life-span development. This course covers physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development across various points in human development. Additionally, students learn about the influence of spiritual and moral beliefs throughout the life span.

Course Description

This is a writing intensive foundation course in the science of abnormal behavior that offers students the opportunity to study the origin and development of abnormal patterns and disorders. This course is designed to assist students in recognizing and understanding mental illness through increased awareness of emotional, functional, and physiological factors influencing mental health. Specific topics include symptoms, diagnoses, etiology, epidemiology, and treatment of various psychological disorders and syndromes.

Course Description

This course is a study of elementary theories of probability, distribution, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the various documentation styles used in the behavioral health field. Students critically examine evidence-based research in the field of behavioral health. The course offers an introduction to conducting applied clinical research.

Course Description

This course introduces the historical and theoretical perspectives of family dynamics and systems. Topics include roles, communication styles, boundaries, generational patterns, cultural influences, and couples and parenting dynamics. Skills and modalities relevant to working with families in the behavioral health field are explored.

Course Description

This course focuses on the relationship between spirituality and the development and treatment of addictions. It also covers legal, ethical, and spiritual aspects of death, dying, and end of life issues. The course addresses grief and loss as it relates to addiction, death, and dying. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.

Course Description

This course offers an overview of various types of trauma, and effects of traumatic experiences within the physical, emotional, sociological, cognitive, and spiritual domains of a human being. It studies the dynamics of trauma throughout the human life-span development. It offers a brief overview of trauma, informed care assessment and treatment, and ethics associated with working with trauma victims.

Course Description

The capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences while a student is within the behavioral health science program at Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students prepare a written proposal for a community-based behavioral health organization related to the student’s specific area of focus. The proposal includes the name, geographical location, identified service gap, target populations, types of service/treatments, potential challenges, ethical considerations, and supervision/oversight considerations. The professional capstone project proposal needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisite: BHS-350.

Program Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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