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Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling

Program

The Drexel Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling (BHC) prepares students for careers in mental health and addictions treatment. We offer a competency-based curriculum that addresses the growing need for skilled, direct service providers. BHC graduates are effective and caring professionals who contribute to the healing and well-being of people in recovery, families, and communities.

Our mission is rooted in the core values of service, compassion, initiative, respect, integrity, competence, and intellectual curiosity. The four-year program includes an optional six-month co-op, described in the curriculum section, and is designed for the full-time undergraduate student.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is located at Drexel University's Center City Health Sciences campus, home to the Clinical Learning Resource Center. This center features a state-of-the-art standardized patient lab which facilitates student acquisition of counseling skills through structured interactions with actors simulating people in need of mental health or addictions treatment.

What you’ll learn

The focus of student learning in this major is on how to do a broad range of evidence-based practices associated with individual and group counseling, person-centered assessment and treatment planning, psychiatric rehabilitation, recovery-oriented treatment of substance-use disorders, child and family-focused interventions and other essential clinical skills in demand by behavioral health care employers.

Students select courses that reflect individual interests and that meet a variety of pre-professional development needs. High achieving students earn Certificates of Advanced Study that signal specialized knowledge and skill in specific areas of behavioral health counseling.

This unique major offers opportunities for on-the-job learning experiences through selected co-op placements or community service arrangements. Co-op students in the Behavioral Health Counseling major have enjoyed work experiences in a variety of behavioral health settings such as psycho-social rehabilitation centers, addictions treatment clinics, inpatient and partial hospitalization settings, children’s treatment services and related facilities.

What makes the Drexel Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling program unique?

  • Our faculty members are known for their research and clinical practice experience in the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Skills-based co-operative employment experiences enhance the program with real-world knowledge application.
  • You are part of the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to stimulating learning environments and interdisciplinary health care scenarios.
  • Our advanced, skills-based curriculum and innovative hands-on training far exceeds that found at most other undergraduate colleges and universities.  

Career Opportunities

Students confidently enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or go on to graduate school, in areas such as social work, counseling, or psychology, knowing that the quality of their education is well-recognized by leading universities throughout the United States.

Graduates easily find employment in behavioral health settings because they are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared job applicants. This is particularly noteworthy given the increased employer demand for well-trained behavioral health care professionals.  Graduates typically find immediate employment in areas such as:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Family and child support services
  • Addictions counseling
  • Case management and services coordination
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Forensic mental health services
  • Crisis intervention

Starting salaries with a bachelor's degree range from $34,000 to $45,000 per year. 

The behavioral healthcare field is tremendously diverse and encompasses far more career opportunities than listed. Career choices exist at all levels of service—from direct care to administration and policy-making. Students will find tremendous benefit both in the employment listings and outreach offered by Drexel's Steinbright Career Development Center and in the diverse professional career experience our faculty brings to our students.

 

Admissions

For Entering Freshmen

To review admission prerequisites, visit the Admission Prerequisites page. 

To find admissions deadlines, apply online, check out financial aid information, and find the current schedule for open houses, visit the Undergraduate Admissions site.

For Transferring Students

Our transfer policies are specifically designed to accommodate students applying from other colleges. Transfer students may enter the program at any point and transfer a maximum of 90 semester credits (135 quarter credits). The courses and credit values show how many general education credits can be transferred in at the discretion of the program. (Please note: This program is offered in quarter credits, not semester credits. One semester credit is equal to 1.5 quarter credits; therefore, a bachelor's degree worth 120 semester credits is equal to 180 quarter credits.)

To review transfer instructions, visit the Transfer Instructions page.

For International Students

To review transfer instructions, visit the International Instructions page.

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Curriculum

Behavioral Health Counseling Co-op

Drexel University has long been known for its co-operative education programs, through which students mix periods of full-time, career-related employment with their studies. Co-op employment is a part of the Behavioral Health Counseling curriculum.

Co-operative employment experiences are directed toward activities that will expose students to the various work environments of behavioral health professionals. These work settings provide students with the opportunity to observe mental health and addictions professionals at work, while assessing their own potential and individualized interests in undertaking careers in behavioral health. In the past year Co-op students in the Behavioral Health Counseling major have been selected to work at a psycho-social rehabilitation center, a methadone clinic, and a psychiatric inpatient unit.

The Drexel co-op is paid and unpaid employment selected from a variety of clinical settings that match the interests, abilities, and aptitudes of the student.

For more information about the Drexel Co-op visit the Steinbright Career Development page at http://www.drexel.edu/scdc/

Accreditation

MSA: Accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools

Program Level Outcomes

At Drexel University we believe that a well-formulated set of Program Level Outcomes [PLO] that support and are consistent with the institutional mission and goals are the building blocks of an effective assessment program. 

Click here to view the College of Nursing and Health Professions department of Behavioral Health Counseling Program Level Outcomes.

Career Opportunities

Students confidently enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or go on to graduate school, in areas such as social work, counseling, or psychology, knowing that the quality of their education is well-recognized by leading universities throughout the United States.

Graduates easily find employment in behavioral health settings because they are widely acknowledged by the region's employers as being among the best prepared job applicants. This is particularly noteworthy given the increased employer demand for well-trained behavioral health care professionals.  Graduates typically find immediate employment in areas such as:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Family and child support services
  • Addictions counseling
  • Case management and services coordination
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Forensic mental health services
  • Crisis intervention
Starting salaries with a bachelor's degree range from $34,000 to $45,000 per year. 

The behavioral healthcare field is tremendously diverse and encompasses far more career opportunities than listed. Career choices exist at all levels of service—from direct care to administration and policy-making. Students will find tremendous benefit both in the employment listings and outreach offered by Drexel's Steinbright Career Development Center and in the diverse professional career experience our faculty brings to our students. 

News & Events

08/27/15

The primary goal of Drexel’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program is to develop graduates who are competent, caring physician assistants, possessing the skills of life-long learning needed to incorporate new knowledge and methods into their practices and to adapt to a changing medical environment. 

A key marker on the road to this profession is clinical training. At Drexel, the clinical training phase consists of six, five-credit, five-week clinical rotations in medicine, surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, emergency medicine and behavioral health, assigned in varying order in locations across the United States. The final portion of the clinical training phase curriculum consists of two, 10-credit, quarter-long, primary care practica (preceptorships). During these practica, each student is assigned to primary care sites for individualized clinical training with physician preceptors. 

Two students, Amina Wirjosemito and Julia Jackson, at two different stages in their Drexel PA education – one four months from graduating and one in her first year, respectively – share their perspectives on the clinical phase of the Program and how each has benefitted from Drexel PA’s long-standing mentorship program.

Amina has just completed clinical at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT, where she worked in the Emergency Department. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “At this stage in the game we are starting to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it almost feels surreal.  Job prospects are becoming a reality, and my clinical knowledge and skills are finally come together.  It is so rewarding to look back at all of the hard work that we've put in so far and see how it is coming to fruition!”

Comparatively, Julia is preparing for her first rotation. Her six rotations will all be in different locations, including surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center at Pomona, NJ; Adult Medicine at Mainland Cardiology Associates, Pomona, NJ; Behavioral Medicine at Wellington Retreat, Lantana, FL; Pediatrics at St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT; Emergency Medicine, Camden, NJ; and last but not least OB/GYN at Alafia OBGYN in Millville, NJ. She said, “My first rotation is surgery and for me it’s quite intimidating. I am eager to learn from hands on experience and develop relationships with my co-workers and patients alike.

Though the experience is completely new for her, Julia can lean on her mentor, Amina, to share her insight. She sees her mentor as a “personal life jacket” and said, “She helps to build up my confidence when I have doubt, and also helps to relieve anxiety by telling me tips and tricks on how to make the most out of my future rotations.”

Amina has armed Julia with sound advice, encouraging her to be open-minded. “She needs to be confident in her abilities as a student, realize that the preceptors are NOT expecting her to know everything, and be open minded to experiencing everything she can in the clinical setting,” said Amina.

Their open-communication and supportive peer-to-peer relationship has benefitted Amina as much as it has Julia. “Julia is the most determined, driven and compassionate person I've ever met, and she has taught me the value of perseverance, especially in this really challenging program.  She has also taught me to be humble, which is a quality that is hard to come by these days.”


07/30/15

If you were given a week to sample a desired major and connect with professionals in your field, all before coming to college, would you take it? The high school students who attended Drexel’s Exploration in Mental Health Careers hosted by the Behavioral Health Counseling Department certainly did. From June 22 – 26 and July 6 – 10 nearly 30 students made the journey to Drexel to get the inside scoop on all things mental health, and their experiences couldn’t have been more positive.

“I loved the counseling workshop where we practiced skills we learned during the week on one another,” said one student. The counseling skills workshop prepared the students for a more realistic counseling experience in the College’s Standardized Patient Lab that took place later in the week.  Students engaged in a simulated counseling session with Standardized Patient actors who served as clients in 15 minute, digitally recorded sessions. Standardized Patients, which are regularly used in College of Nursing and Health Professions programs, gave the students an authentic Drexel experience. “I was caught off guard by how real and challenging the actors were,” remarked another student.

In addition to counseling simulations, Summer Institute guests sampled creative arts therapies techniques and toured two outpatient facilities in Philadelphia: Horizon House and Sobriety Through Out Patient. The tours exposed students to real patients in actual treatment settings and gave insight to the dynamics of outpatient care. Students were also impressed when given the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Wilush, President and CEO of Horizon House, who spoke with them about the services offered at their locations.

The students found it beneficial to meet professionals and clients in actual treatment facilities, but two aspects they found to be the most exciting and innovative were sampling creative art therapies and simulated counseling sessions. “I had no idea what creative arts therapies were before Summer Institute,” recalled one student, “but could definitely see myself doing that in the future.” Another student revealed that learning and practicing basic counseling skills, then seeing those skills used by professionals in treatment settings, was extremely beneficial. “It was interesting to see such a wide variety of illnesses and people at different places [in their treatment]” she said.

At week's end, at the celebratory lunch in downtown Philadelphia, students’ faces were beaming with excitement. The group collectively felt like they learned a lot about the field of behavioral health, had a rewarding academic and professional experience and made many new friends. We hope to see Summer Institute students at Drexel full-time soon!

06/25/15

Since joining the Behavioral Health Counseling Department in 2006, Robert Chapman, PhD has endeared himself to students and to faculty throughout the College and University with his thought-provoking lectures on alcohol and other drugs and, more specifically, how to better understand the people who abuse these substances.  Among many important contributions to excellence in training the next generation of behavioral health care clinicians is his integration of the Standardized Patient labs in teaching cognitive-behavioral and motivational interviewing counseling skills. 

Chapman is also credited with initiating the Department’s Explorations in Behavioral Health Care Careers Summer Institute for high School students.  He is probably best known both locally and nationally for his written work and numerous conference presentations on best practices in addressing the problems among college students related to alcohol abuse. 

On June 15 at the Department’s Annual Alumni Dinner, Chapman was praised by both former and current students.  “They shared personal accounts of how he inspired them through his metaphorical sayings, his experiential learning activities and his mentorship, often conducted via an open invitation to visit his office to share a cup of tea and conversation,” said colleague, Ron Comer, DSW.  “Dr. Robert’s influence on the Drexel community will be felt for years to come.”


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