Behavioral Health Bachelor of Arts Degree

behavioral health degree

Behavioral Health Degree Program

Earning a Behavioral Health degree from Alvernia University prepares graduates to be impactful leaders in the fields of addiction studies, mental health and child welfare.

Learn from accomplished instructors.
Our Behavioral Health program’s commitment to excellence is exemplified through Alvernia’s faculty selection. Our highly trained faculty provide an educationally rich and engaging classroom experience at any of our three locations -- Reading, Pottsville and Philadelphia.

Select from three Behavioral Health concentrations.
Our program provides both theoretical and practical training for professional roles in three major areas of concentration.

  • Addiction Studies
    Our Addiction Studies concentration is one of the first of its kind in the United States. This program recognizes the need for the chemical dependency professional to establish related competencies in other areas -- particularly that of mental health.

  • Mental Health
    Our Mental Health concentration provides a core of expertise and experience for students who wish to find employment in mental health clinics and centers immediately after graduation. Its addiction studies component increases graduates’ job readiness.

  • Child Welfare
    Our Child Welfare concentration provides students with the essential knowledge to address the problem of child maltreatment, abuse and neglect investigation, in-home services, out-of-home placement, adoption, and parenting education.


Find a job after graduation.
Our Behavioral Health program offered at Reading, Pottsville or Philadelphia campuses maintains an extremely high employment placement rate, and our Career Services Office can provide assistance to graduates with resume preparation, interview help and job search advice.

A Behavioral Health bachelor’s is highly valued by many fields:

  • Criminal justice
  • Mental health facilities
  • Children and youth agencies
  • Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers
  • Hospitals
  • Corporate employee-assistance programs
  • Prevention and intervention centers
  • Other social agencies


Behavioral Health courses are approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), the foremost drug and alcohol credentialing organization in Pennsylvania.

The Behavioral Health Bachelor of Arts degree can be used to fulfill Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) requirements for certification and re-certification of addiction counselors. Students from outside Pennsylvania should contact the CAC board in their state for information about requirements and the certification process.

Behavioral Health Degree Courses
Liberal Arts Core (54/55 credits)*
General Elective requirements (as needed) **

 Behavioral Health Major Requirements (Total 54 Credits)
BH 201 Foundations of Addictions
BH 202 Origins of Mental Illness
BH 204 Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
BH 230 Assessment and Evaluation
BH 303 Counseling Techniques I
BH 330 Crisis Intervention
BH 402 Mgmt. of Human Service Agencies
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
BH Practicums (12 credits)

Choose 12 credits within one concentration

Addictions Study Concentration
BH 203 Neuropharmacology
BH 220 Intervention and Prevention
BH 240 Addictive Behaviors
BH 304 Counseling Techniques II
BH 305 Group Counseling I
BH 306 Group Counseling II
BH 400 Marriage and Family Counseling
BH 411 Counseling Special Populations -OR-
BH 413 Special Issues Seminar
BH 414 Emotional and Behavioral Pathology

Mental Health Concentration
BH 203 Neuropharmacology
BH 240 Addictive Behaviors
BH 300 Case Management
BH 304 Counseling Techniques II
BH 306 Group Counseling II
BH 400 Marriage and Family Counseling
BH 411 Counseling Special Populations -OR-
BH 413 Special Issues Seminar
BH 414 Emotional Behavioral Pathology

Child Welfare Concentration
SW 201 Introduction to Social Work
SW 202 Social Services to Children
SW 301 Social Welfare
CJ 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CJ 175 Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation
CJ 272 Probation and Parole  -OR-
CJ 274 Corrections and Rehabilitation
BH 300 Case Management
BH 411 Counseling Special Populations -OR-
BH 413 Special Issues Seminar

Note: Advisors can tell you whether you can get credit for your life experience applied toward your degree.

*Students entering the program with 70+ credits or an associates degree must complete 30/31 Liberal Arts Core credits.

**A total of 123 credits including 3 credits in a human diversity course are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan Values, community service hours are also required. In addition, at least 30 credits at the 300/400 level must be taken at Alvernia University.

For more information about this exciting degree opportunity, contact the Adult Education Coordinator, at 1-888-ALVERNIA (1-888-258-3764, ext. 6) or

Contact Admissions


Alvernia locations in Reading, Pottsville, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A behavioral health degree, for professionals from Harrisburg, Lancaster, Allentown, Reading, Kutztown, Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, is available at the three Alvernia University locations.

Here’s what behavioral health majors need to know about the human brain

September 22, 2014 5:47:59 PM EDT
If you’re a Behavioral Health major, you might have an interest in the mysteries of the human brain, if only to figure out what motivates a person. Read more

Behavioral health treatment more accessible: Affordable Care Act

June 2, 2014 4:59:37 PM EDT
The Affordable Care Act ensures that behavioral health provider fees will be covered by insurance. This is great news for patients, students and practitioners. Read more

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