Serve Those Who Need It Most

Earn a behavioral and social sciences degree that lets you follow your passion for helping others.

The only program of its kind in the region, the fully online Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Social Science degree at Bethel University successfully prepares those working in this crucial sector to advance their careers. Whether you are currently employed in the field, or entering for the first time, our online bachelor’s of behavioral and social science equips you to increase your earning potential and advance in your place of employment.

Program Features

  • Online classes are offered in an accelerated format, allowing you to complete your degree quickly.
  • Through an online classroom, you’ll practice group facilitation, crisis intervention, interviewing and people-helping skills and gain insight into real-world experiences.
  • Participate in an internship and be exposed to skills or skill sets that are new to you in the world of human service work. The internship is 150 hours that will encompass 14–15 weeks on-site at an agency you have chosen.
  • All courses are taught by quality, licensed instructors dedicated to your academic and personal success.
  • With six start dates to choose from, complete in as little as two years full-time. A part-time study option is available.

Career Outcomes

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that community and social services occupations will grow 12 percent through 2030, which is much faster than the average for other occupations. Specifically, social workers and counselors will see many more available jobs.

  • Additional career outcomes include jobs in social service agencies, crisis centers, mental health agencies, religious and Christian organizations, extended care facilities and substance abuse centers.
  • Specific careers include substance abuse counselor, criminologist and social services manager.

Accreditation & Rankings

Bethel University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to grant bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole.

Bethel is one of 10 Indiana colleges to be recognized as a 2020 College of Distinction. This honor is given to colleges and universities that excel in the Four Distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

Bethel University is one of 63 schools in the nation to be named a 2020 Christian College of Distinction. Our behavioral and social sciences program is ideal for those seeking leadership positions in spiritual careers.

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Program Details

Next Start Date: 06/30/2024
Credit Hours: 120
Cost/Credit: 465
Transfer Credits: Up to 90
Est. Completion Time: 2-4 Years
Accreditation: HLC

Course Requirements

Bethel’s online Behavioral and Social Science degree program features a customizable curriculum grounded in Christian values. The degree requires 36 credit hours of general education classes, 36 elective credits and 48–49 credits in your behavioral and social sciences major. You’ll take innovative e-learning classes that immerse you in contemporary topics.

  • General Education (36 Credits)

    General education courses offer an introduction to the arts and sciences within a college setting. Through this comprehensive course of study, students will gain appreciation for a broad range of subjects and build the skills necessary to succeed in higher education. 36 credit hours are required of general education courses.

  • General Electives (36 Credits)

    Electives allow students to dive deeper into a wide range of subjects, and provide the opportunity to tailor a course of study based on interests and academic goals. Students are required to earn 36 credit hours of electives.

    • Students may transfer credit from other accredited institutions, provided the courses are equivalent to required Bethel courses and the student earned a grade of C or better.
    • CLEP testing is available for select courses.
  • Major Courses (48-49 Credits)

    • BSS 278: Introduction to the Human Service Profession (3)
    • BSS 279: Introduction to Research (3)
    • BSS 280: Introduction to Counseling Theories (3)
    • BSS 302: Casework Methods and Writing in the Human Services Profession (3)
    • BSS 371: Interviewing & People Helping Skills (3)
    • BSS 375: Crisis Intervention (3)
    • BSS 380: Group Facilitation in the Human Services Profession (3)
    • BSS 410: Administration of Human Service Agencies (3)
    • BSS 420: Research & Program Evaluation (3)
    • BSS 498: Internship in Human Services (3)
    • PSYC 288: Life Span Development (3)
    • SOC 202: Racial & Cultural Minorities (3)


    Select 12-13 hours from the courses below:

    • ADC 301: Principles of Addiction (3)
    • ADC 320: Motivational Intervention & Cognitive Behavior Therapy (3)
    • ADC 330: Theories of Addiction Treatment (3)
    • CRMJ 101: Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System (3)
    • CRMJ 201: Juvenile Justice System (3)
    • CRMJ 301: Criminal Law (3)
Program consists of:


Total Courses
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Admission Requirements

Undergraduate programs require:
  • Submit your official transcripts (directly from the institution to Bethel) from all undergraduate work. If you have completed less than 30 credit hours, also submit your official high school or GED transcript
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Show proficiency by either submitting your official SAT or ACT scores, completing a college-level English or math course or taking Bethel’s placement tests

Tuition and Fees

Bethel has long been touted for its value. We were ranked No. 2 on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest list, listed as one of the 50 Best Value Christian Colleges, and have made it to the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities-Midwest” list for fifteen consecutive years.

**Fees are charged per semester unless otherwise noted. This program takes an estimated three to ten semesters to complete, depending on transfer credits.

Payment Plan

The college has a monthly installment plan available through Nelnet Campus Commerce. Enrollment can be completed online by accessing the student billing link through MyBethel or by calling 800.609.8056. Students will be charged an enrollment fee of $40.

Total cost with max. transfer credits:


Total Courses
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Financial Aid

Bethel University is committed to ensuring that all our students receive an affordable education.
We offer financial aid based on need, and military benefits and are proud to offer extraordinarily competitive tuition rates.
FAFSA Information
To learn more about your financial aid options or submit a FAFSA, please see our Financial Aid page.
View Financial Aid

Transfer Credits

Bethel is committed to helping you make the most of your previous educational experiences. Visit our Transfer Credits page to learn more.
Transfer Your Credits

Career Outcomes

An online social science degree can prepare you to work in a host of exciting careers. In addition to the job titles listed below, your behavioral and social sciences major could lead to a rewarding career at a nonprofit, government, mental health or Christian organization.

Career information is taken from

  • Substance Abuse Counselor

    Substance abuse counselors are responsible for helping clients recover from drug and alcohol addiction. They may be responsible for providing one-on-one support, managing caseloads, evaluating patients, facilitating interventions and treatment plans, and other relevant duties. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $38,146.

  • Criminologist

    Criminologists are responsible for analyzing and researching criminal justice issues in order to learn about the causes of criminal behavior. Often working for law enforcement agencies, government agencies, or social psychology labs, these individuals conduct research and report their findings to policymakers. Those who work as criminologists earn a median annual salary of $41,992.

  • Social Services Manager

    Social services managers plan, coordinate, and direct outreach programs for their organizations. They are responsible for evaluating candidates in order to analyze their needs, building ways for clients to receive necessities such as food and shelter, overseeing program budgets, and other relevant duties. These individuals earn a median annual salary of $54,239.

Benefits of Learning Online

An online degree can open doors to your career while allowing you to study in a convenient, affordable format.
Learn More

Request Information

Learn more about this program and other online academic opportunities at Bethel. Once you complete this form, here’s what you can expect from us:
  • A friendly phone call. We’ll contact you within 24 hours, ready to answer all of your questions.
  • Personalized treatment. You’ll get immediate access to your own dedicated and knowledgeable enrollment counselor. They’ll ask you more about your goals at Bethel, and walk you through everything you need to know to apply.

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