Have you ever wondered why people do what they do?
Do you want to use knowledge about human behavior to make a positive difference in the lives of others?
The Behavioral Sciences major provides you with the exciting study of the "person in environment." Through scientific education in Psychology and Sociology, you will be equipped to think critically about human behavior in different social contexts, and in response, you will be better able to:
- help individuals grow in psychological health
- use research to solve problems
- work for justice for all people
With a holistic understanding of human behavior, you will be well-prepared to enter a broad range careers in:
- non-profit organizations
- ministry settings
- as well as a variety of competitive graduate or professional school programs
The Behavioral Sciences major draws from the academic areas of psychology and sociology. Students in the major explore the effect of human actions on relationships and decision-making and develop functional, transferable skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and successful communication.
The strength of the Behavioral Sciences major lies in offering students understanding and abilities required in dealing with human behavior in many different situations. How does this benefit students? Graduates have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a variety of occupational areas, since a vast number of professional positions value this background. Students majoring in the Behavioral Sciences also have the chance to put their lessons into practice before they enter a career through internships with Austin-area human service agencies, non-profit organizations, or advocacy groups.
The Behavioral Sciences major provides preparation for entry into a broad spectrum of career choices in both the business world and the helping professions. Possible careers could include work as an anthropologist, criminal profiler, corporate coach, economic analyst, market researcher, mediator, or social work case manager. Those preparing for the pastoral ministry will gain valuable skills in understanding behavior and working with people. In addition, this major provides excellent preparation for graduate school or professional school, particularly for study in psychology, sociology, social work, or law.
You can participate in a semester-long internship, which gives you the chance to put your knowledge into practice in real world environments! You will earn 3 hours of college credit for an internship and may complete 2 internships.
- Austin-area human service agencies
- non-profit organizations
- advocacy groups
- and more!
Past internships were completed at:
- Lutheran Social Services
- Communities in Schools
- Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
- and many other sites
As a student, you'll work within a Christian environment as you explore and discover how the fields of Psychology and Sociology contribute to understanding the human experience of God's creation. Class sizes are small enough to:
- enable small group work,
- foster great opportunities to get to know fellow students, and
- give you greater direct access to professors who have a mixture of research and practical experience in their fields.
Through service and research opportunities, field assignments and travel courses, you'll also have the chance to go out into the world and then connect your experiences to theories and concepts you are learning about in your classes. For instance, you might spend an hour at McDonald's with other students in the class Sociology of Children and Childhood, observing and discussing how powerful corporations shape kinderculture (and have ice cream too!).
Recent graduates of the major have said:
- "I really enjoy the different styles that the professors offer in their teaching."
- "I loved the diversity of classes offered by the full-time faculty."
- "...the level of work expected of students is set high, but at an attainable level that motivated me to push myself."
- "I value the relationships that I've been able to form with my instructors as well as with other students."
- Ann Schwartz, Ph.D. (Professor of Sociology)
Director, Behavioral Sciences Major and Coordinator, Service-Learning Program
- Marchelle Scarnier, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Psychology)
Chair, Social Sciences Division
- Nickles Chittester, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Psychology)
Director, Psychology Major