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Behavioral Science Major

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Behavioral Science

2,421 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
612 Master's Degrees Annually
#122 in Popularity
$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Behavioral Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many behavioral science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,433
Master’s Degree 612
Associate’s Degree 531
Graduate Certificate 59
Doctor’s Degree 53
Basic Certificate 32
Undergraduate Certificate 11

What Behavioral Science Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to behavioral science were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Behavioral Science Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Behavioral Science Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to behavioral science:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Behavioral Science Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a behavioral science student include the following:

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  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Behavioral Science Major?

People with a behavioral science degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Community and Social Service Specialists 13.2% $42,620
Life Scientists 9.0% $78,190
Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists 10.3% $100,770
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science?

2,433 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
81% Percent Women
43% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,421 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science in 2019, making it rank #122 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 81% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of behavioral science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Behavioral Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 52
Black or African American 481
Hispanic or Latino 386
White 1,028
International Students 27
Other Races/Ethnicities 459

Geographic Diversity

Behavioral Science appeals to people across the globe. About 1.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Canada
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • China
  • South Korea

How Much Do Behavioral Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science have a median salary of $29,800 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,800 (25th percentile) and $29,800 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to behavioral science so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $46,050 to $89,150 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to behavioral science. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Behavioral Science Major  ( 46050 to 89150 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with behavioral science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to behavioral science have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 36.2%
Master’s Degree 12.1%
Doctoral Degree 4.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 48.2%

Online Behavioral Science Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 115 schools offered some type of behavioral science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 6 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 2 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 20 7
Bachelor’s Degree 8 2
Post-Baccalaureate 6 0
Master’s Degree 22 1
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Behavioral Science Worth It?

The median salary for a behavioral science grad is $85,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 115% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $917,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to behavioral science.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 37,392
Biological & Physical Science 29,278
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Nutrition Science 4,794
Natural Sciences 2,571
Cognitive Science 2,275
Sustainability Science 2,194
Human Biology 1,460
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,310
Gerontology 1,281
Human Computer Interaction 1,272
Science, Technology & Society 1,171
Mathematics & Computer Science 1,105
Computational Science 927
Systems Theory 917
Museum Studies 801
Dispute Resolution 668
Historic Preservation 433
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 424
Classical & Ancient Studies 303
Marine Science 275
Cultural Studies & Analysis 227
Biopsychology 165
Medieval Studies 108
Accounting & Computer Science 71
Maritime Studies 45
Holocaust Studies 40

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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