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Behavioral Science Major

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Behavioral Science

3,284 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
327 Master's Degrees Annually
#101 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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 3,284
Associate’s Degree 770
Master’s Degree 327
Basic Certificate 35
Graduate Certificate 33
Doctor’s Degree 31
Undergraduate Certificate 22

What Behavioral Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to behavioral science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

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

When studying behavioral science, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with behavioral science:

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?

3,284 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
81% Percent Women
44% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 3,284 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science in 2018, making it rank #101 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 81% of the recent graduates in this field are 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 58
Black or African American 752
Hispanic or Latino 458
White 1,355
International Students 48
Other Races/Ethnicities 613

Geographic Diversity

Behavioral Science appeals to people across the globe. About 1.5% 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

The median early-career salary of behavioral science students with a bachelor’s degree is $29,800 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,800 (25th percentile) and $29,800 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in behavioral science, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Behavioral Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $46,050 to $89,150 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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

Find out what the typical degree level is for behavioral science careers below.

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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 2017-2018 academic year, 126 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) 7 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 2 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 19 7
Bachelor’s Degree 7 1
Post-Baccalaureate 7 0
Master’s Degree 29 13
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 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 34,540
Biological & Physical Science 27,751
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Nutrition Science 4,990
Natural Sciences 2,445
Cognitive Science 1,875
Sustainability Science 1,682
Gerontology 1,380
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,297
Human Computer Interaction 1,146
Human Biology 1,066
Science, Technology & Society 1,060
Mathematics & Computer Science 833
Museum Studies 778
Systems Theory 694
Computational Science 619
Dispute Resolution 583
Historic Preservation 446
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 416
Classical & Ancient Studies 315
Marine Science 243
Cultural Studies & Analysis 236
Biopsychology 158
Medieval Studies 119
Holocaust Studies 54
Accounting & Computer Science 45
Maritime Studies 15

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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