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.
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.