Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019


Behavioral Healthcare (BHC) with a concentration in Adult Community Services (ACS)

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

Students interested in direct employment or preparation for graduate training will find this concentration geared to the provision of evidence-based services with adults who are receiving services in the behavioral healthcare system. This concentration will assist students who desire to become certified as a 1) Certified Addictions Professional, 2) Certified Behavioral Health Technician, 3) Certified Mental Health Professional, 4) Certified Prevention Specialist, 5) Recovery Peer Specialist, or 6) Recovery Support Specialist.

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 - 15 Hours

  • MHS 3204 Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis or CLP 4414 Behavior Modification
  • MHS 4022 Adult Psychopathology in the Community
  • MHS 4023 Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Services
  • MHS 4425 Field Experience in Behavioral Healthcare
  • MHS 4723 Professional Seminar in Behavioral Healthcare

Students must apply to take MHS 4425 Field Experience in Behavioral Healthcare two semesters before taking the course. This course has four prerequisites: MHS 3411 with a B- or higher, MHS 4002, ​MHS 4723, and MHS 4408. MHS 4723 and MHS 4408 may be taken as a prerequisite or a co-requisite course.  The application, deadlines, and additional information about the course can be found on the Field Experience webpage: http://www.usf.edu/cbcs/mhlp/students/field-experience.aspx.

Concentration Elective Courses - 3 Hours

MHS 3XXX or 4XXX Behavioral Healthcare Elective (consult with an academic advisor) options include:

  • MHS 3062 Behavioral Healthcare Services for Older Adults
  • MHS 4434 Behavioral Health and the Family
  • MHS 4453 Applied Psychopharmacology in Drug Abuse and Dependency
  • MHS 4454 Alcohol Drugs and Crime
  • MHS 4455 Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment
  • MHS 4463 Suicide Issues in Behavioral Health
  • MHS 4731 Writing for Research and Publication in Behavioral and Community Sciences
  • MHS 4931 Selected Topics

Research Opportunities

All undergraduate students in any degree program can participate in undergraduate research. There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 2912 or IDS 4914 courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office for Undergraduate Research will assist students in understanding the various course options.

Additional Major Information

Major Advising

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

Major Faculty

Chairperson: H. Hills; Professors: R. Boothroyd, M. Dow, R. Peters; Associate Professors: K. Blair, T. Boaz, A. Christy, K. Crosland, J. Epps, A. Gum, H. Hills, R. Otto, P. Stiles, G. Teague; Research Associate Professors:  C. Lescano, K. Moore, J. Robst; Clinical Associate Professor: R. Weinberg; Assistant Professors: K. Conner, N. Jones, K. Rigg; Research Assistant Professors: N. Dollard, B. Lee, S. Young; Assistant in Research: S. Roggenbaum; Research Associate: M. Engelhardt,  Technical Assistance Associate: J. Winarski, Emeritus Professors: L. Branch, M. Dertke, N. Poythress, L. Schonfeld; 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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