Behavioral Sciences

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Behavioral Sciences is to support institutional goals by providing students with the professional foundation of knowledge, values, and skills needed to understand human behavior and environmental influences. The majors within this department focus on enhancing human well-being and contributing to society by successfully supporting individuals, families, groups, and social institutions. Students majoring in this department are prepared for professional practice and/or graduate school.

The Department of Behavioral Sciences offers majors in Child and Family Studies, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Social Work. Minors within the department include: Child Studies, Criminal Justice, Family Studies, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology.


Why study here?

The Department of Behavioral Sciences prepares students who want to make a difference in the world around them by responding to people in need. It directly supports the university aim of "providing service to the individual, home, church, community, and the world." The department offers a range of classes that enhances the understanding of human behavior from diverse perspectives. These classes explore how individual and social problems develop and are maintained and emphasize the development of knowledge and skills necessary for successful interventive strategies to respond to those in need.

Students are provided opportunities beyond the classroom to build their knowledge and skills in these areas by participating in community-based learning experiences and by volunteering in a range of community outreach programs. They are also provided with the opportunity to think critically about their professional studies from a biblical perspective and to integrate their interest in helping others with their Christian faith. Opportunities are available for students to complete practicums and field work in Christian childcare and marriage and family counseling programs.

The Child and Family Studies major provides in-depth knowledge of the strengths and physical, psychological, economic, and social well-being of families. Career opportunities include: early childhood education, childcare, eldercare, gerontology, family life education, and other community-based programs for families. The Child and Family Studies program is certified by the National Council on Family Relations as meeting all standards and criteria for the Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Teacher licensure in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3) is also available through the Child and Family Studies program.

Though the Criminal Justice major is one of the newest majors on the campus of Freed-Hardeman, it is also one of the fastest growing. The Criminal Justice program prepares students to work in areas of law enforcement, correction, drug enforcement, probation, or parole. A criminal justice degree also provides the opportunity to work in many government agencies, including the FBI, Homeland Security, and the Secret Service. Students have the opportunity to learn outside the classroom by participating in field investigations and case simulations. The program is fortunate to have the support of a number of professionals in the criminal justice community who supervise students in their fieldwork. A major goal in the criminal justice major is to prepare students to integrate their study of criminal justice with their Christian faith.

The Psychology program provides a solid foundation for students to grow as mental health professionals by participating in internships, attending and presenting at psychological conferences, engaging in undergraduate research design, and preparing for graduate school. Students gain a significant understanding of the science of human behavior as well as the processes involved in normal and abnormal thoughts, feelings, and actions. Careers pursued by psychology graduates include work with counseling centers, criminal justice systems, drug or alcohol abuse programs, human services, mental health centers, and rehabilitation programs. Psychology majors are encouraged to participate in the Psychology Club, and students who meet the requirements are invited to join Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

The Social Work program is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, providing top-tier classes and opportunities for its students to participate in community outreach events. Graduates in social work are prepared for graduate school and positions in many diverse settings including: mental health agencies, child and family services, geriatric programs, rehabilitation programs, medical social work, and school social work. Social Work Students in Action (SWSA), the professional club for social work majors, allows students to participate in a wide range of community outreach projects and to meet and interact with social work professionals from a range of fields. Students with the required GPAs are invited into membership in Omicron Psi, the honors organization for Social Work majors.