Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018


Behavioral Healthcare (BHC) with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 44.0000

College of Behavioral & Community Sciences


Major Description

Behavioral health problems, such as mental illness and substance abuse, are among the greatest public health challenges facing our communities. New, scientifically-based approaches are available to treat and prevent many behavioral health problems. Students will be exposed to treatment approaches as well as to issues in the organization, financing, delivery, and outcomes of behavioral health services. The emphasis of the curricula is on practices that have been scientifically validated and the delivery of services within the context of current funding, policies and trends.

Students must also demonstrate behaviors that are congruent with the professional standards and values of the profession. Students desiring a career in this field should be aware that fingerprinting, a background check, and drug screen may be required to work in this field. Failure to pass one of these checks would be cause to terminate a student from the major. Students may be responsible for any associated costs.

Concentration Description

Service delivery to individuals with developmental disabilities, Autism spectrum disorders, and other behaviors that may limit functioning is addressed with very specific behavioral techniques. This concentration is appropriate for individuals desiring certification in the field or as a complement to other service delivery strategies.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • PSY X012 Introduction to Psychological Science
  • STA XXXX Any level Statistics course or PSY X204 Psychological Statistics
  • SYG X000 Introduction to Sociology or SYG X010 Contemporary Social Problems

Total Major Hours: 37 Hours

Major Core

The B.S. in Behavioral Healthcare prepares students for entry-level positions in agencies that provide a variety of treatment services for individuals with diagnosed mental health, substance use and/or behavioral issues. Other students may be preparing for graduate programs in human services and/or research. The program provides students with six options for specialization in (1) Adult Community Services, (2) Children’s Mental Health, (3) Applied Behavior Analysis, (4) Addictions and Behavioral Healthcare, (5) Aging and Behavioral Health, and (6) Behavioral Health Research. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practices utilizing a recovery-focused, holistic and strength-based approach to behavioral healthcare.

Major Core Courses - 19 Hours

  • MHS 3411 Multidisciplinary Behavioral Healthcare Services*
  • MHS 4002 Behavioral Health Systems Delivery
  • MHS 4408 Exemplary Practices in Behavioral Healthcare Treatment
  • MHS 4452 Co-Occurring Disorders
  • MHS 4703 Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in BHC
  • PSY 3213 Research Methods in Psychology

*MHS 3411 should be taken during the student's first semester of major coursework; a minimum grade of "B-" is required.

Concentration Core Courses - 18 Hours

  • MHS 3204 Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis or CLP 4414 Behavior Modification
  • MHS 4202 Behavior Assessment and Intervention Planning
  • MHS 4206 Applied Behavior Analysis in Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • MHS 4412 Research Methods and Ethical Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • MHS 4490 Behavioral Healthcare Issues for Children
  • MHS 4943 Practicum Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis

Additional Major Information

Major Advising

For questions related to advising please contact BHC Advising at bhc_advise@usf.edu.

Major Faculty

Chairperson: H. Hills; Associate Chair: R. Otto; Professors: R. Boothroyd, M. Dow, R. Peters, L. Schonfeld; Associate Professors: T. Boaz, A. Christy, J. Epps, A. Gum, H. Hills, K. Jenkins-Hall, R. Otto, P. Stiles, G. Teague; Assistant Professors: K. Conner, K. Rigg, C. Stover; Research Associate Professors: K. Moore, C. Lescano, J. Robst; Research Assistant Professors: C. Clark, K. Kuehnle, B. Lee, S. Young; Research Associates: M. Engelhardt, J. Winarski; Emeritus Professors: M. Dertke, N. Poythress, J. Ward, Jr.; Distinguished Professor: M. Knox.

Major Other Information

A concentration in Behavioral Healthcare is offered through the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS) degree program for Florida A.S. transfers as well as the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) for returning students. Both majors are offered through Undergraduate Studies.

A concentration in Multidisciplinary Behavioral Sciences is available through the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ISS) major, which is offered by the College of Arts & Sciences.

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