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Behavioral Science Major

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Behavioral Science

612 Master's Degrees Annually
53 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#138 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Master’s Degree 612
Graduate Certificate 59
Doctor’s Degree 53

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

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in behavioral science should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

A major in behavioral science will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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 Master’s Degree in Behavioral Science?

612 Master's Degrees Annually
81% Percent Women
33% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 31
Black or African American 71
Hispanic or Latino 81
White 330
International Students 48
Other Races/Ethnicities 51

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Behavioral Science, too. About 7.8% 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?

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 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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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. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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