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Eight Careers You Can Have With an Applied Behavioral Science Degree

Mar 5, 2013 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

An Applied Behavioral Science degree combines courses from multiple disciplines, including psychology, political science, sociology, and sometimes biology. Students approaching this discipline may do so from a variety of viewpoints—including psychology, criminal justice, anthropology, social work, economics, politics, or sociology.

This is a very diverse major with many different practical applications—depending on the focus of your program and your own professional interests. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with an Applied Behavioral Science degree.

Law enforcement officer

Many behavioral science programs include a focus on understanding human behavior—and solving social problems. An understanding of psychology can be critically important in many law enforcement and corrections-oriented careers.

See: Online Criminal Justice Degrees

Social worker

Many applied behavioral sciences degrees are well focused toward a career as social workers. Social workers must play many roles with their clients, including assessing client needs, understanding community resources in order to identify ways for clients to get needed financial and other help; responding to crisis situations; and more. A program of study spanning community outreach and aid structures, human behavior, and other factors could serve an aspiring social worker well.

See: Online Social Work Degrees

Research assistant

Many applied behavioral science degrees include areas such as statistical analysis and research project design and implementation—all of which could serve you well in an academic research environment. In this position, you could assist a social science researcher in analyzing marriage rates, crime statistics, and other information among target demographics; prepare manuscripts for publication in journals; and conduct public opinion surveys.

Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists often help patients with limited abilities due to an illness or injury to work around their limitations to live a productive, fulfilled life. This position often involves serving as part of a patient’s medical team, and usually requires a Master-level degree in occupational therapy—for which a Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science can serve as strong preparation.


Most anthropologists study human behavior—although some focus on other specializations including evolution or linguistics. Most anthropology positions are academic positions that require a Ph.D.—but this field draws heavily on the understanding of human behavior, biological function, and scientific research and investigation presented in many behavioral science degrees.

See: Online Anthropology Degrees

Psychologist or psychiatrist

These fields also require advanced degrees such as a Ph.D. or Psy.D.—depending on your career focus. However, the study of human behavior involved in a behavioral science program can serve as a strong preparation for advanced study of psychology and psychiatry—and could lead to a fulfilling career counseling patients in either a hospital or private practice setting.

See: Online Psychology Degree Programs


The legal profession often requires a strong understanding of human behavior—especially if you’re going into litigation. In addition, the research, analysis, and writing skills you’ll learn in a behavioral science program will serve you well in law school—and demonstrate an ability to achieve in rigorous academic environments.

See: Online Law Degrees


Some behavioral science programs focus on the scientific and biological aspects of the field—in which case, a medical career may be ideal for some people with this degree.

Applied behavioral sciences is a broad and diverse field—that focuses on both scientific, research, and psychological aspects of human behavior. Depending on the interests of your program and your own career interests, your behavioral science degree could focus more on sociology and research, anthropology, psychological aspects of human behavior, biological factors, social work, politics and economics, or other areas. Be sure to talk to your traditional or accredited online college about the programs and options they offer—to be sure their degree program suits your career goals and interests.

See: Online Medical Degrees



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