Applied Behavioral Sciences Major

College of Health Sciences and Education

B.S. in Applied Behavioral Sciences

Department Chair: Susan McDonald Ph.D


The Applied Behavioral Sciences major is an interdisciplinary social science program that equips graduates with a solid academic foundation to enter careers where the graduate’s unique knowledge of relationships, problem-solving, ethics, and conflict resolution provides a framework for effectively working with diverse populations of people. Professions that find this degree useful are first responders, security personnel, penal system in parole officers and guards as well as preparation for work in the human services arena and social services agencies both public and private. The curriculum is designed for students who are interested in providing direct service to individuals in need of assistance.

The BS-ABS degree is offered to traditional students as well as those already employed in the field to improve their educational background and skills, thereby increasing job mobility. BS-ABS is also offered in a part-time format for non-traditional learners under our Expressway Accelerated Degree Program. The traditional student will find the BS-ABS major flexible by accommodating study abroad, immersion programs and internships. In addition, the BS-ABS degree provides an excellent background for advanced degree pursuit in the fields of human services, criminal justice, psychology, counseling, and social work.

Program Delivery

The program, for other than expressway students, is delivered in the traditional format of classroom work with an advisor to assist students in maximizing their learning experience. It is a four year degree program for traditional students and can be combined with a higher degree in Physical Therapy or other Master's level programs such as the Master in Social Work which Temple University offers on the Misericordia Campus.

What will I be able to do with a degree in Applied Behavior Sciences (ABS)?

  • Enter the expanding social service workforce including public and private agencies including law enforcement
  • Take advantage of opportunities that exist in a variety of human service areas including community outreach, nursing homes, mental health, addictions, aging, children and families, veterans, working with individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities
  • Build on the solid MU academic foundation and continue to graduate study in counseling, psychology, and social work
  • Succeed in a wide range of challenging careers spanning the federal, state, local, and private sectors including work with profit and non-profit agencies

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to apply critical thinking and analystical skills in their professional practice.
  2. Students will be able to articulate the importance of the positive value of human diversity and knowldege of special populations who are at-risk of, and/or victims of prejudice and discriminiation resulting in oppression.
  3. Students will be able to illustrate through written and oral presentation a theoretical and applied understanding of the major functions involved in interactions between individuals, families, groups, and their environment.
  4. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use current technology in the processes of reseraching, problem-solving, and applying issues in the behavioral sciences.
  5. Students will be able to organize and communicate a functional understanding of professional ethics grounded in area of concentration.
  6. Students will be able to use communication skills differently, with consumer populations, peers, communities, professionals of other disciplines, and members of the behavioral sciences communities.
  7. Students will be able to demonstrate the use of professional self including the ability to write clearly, understand verbal and nonverbal communication, accept constructive criticism, and employ various mechanisms to develop self-awareness.
  8. Students will be able to adapt a global perspective in the evaluaton of the community of human needs and the different ways in which these needs are addressed.
  9. Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in computer applications required in this globally interconnected world.
  10. Students will be able to analyze and assess the impact of policy, programs, and services on vulnerable populations.
  11. Students will be able to use and evaluate a global persoective in articulating the intersection of human needs with the environment and social structures as well as the way needs are expressed and addressed.
  12. Students will be able to appraise evudence-based theoretical frameworkds employed to define interactions among individuals, between individuals and social systems, between individuals and their environment, and the global impact.
  13. Students will be able to assess and analyze the biological, psychological and social factors that influence human behavior and development through the life cycle as evidenced by written and oral presentations.