Social & Behavioral Health (M.A. or M.Ed.)

Degree snapshot

COST PER CREDIT $635* (financial aid & scholarships available)
COURSE FORMAT Evening and weekend classes
Track I: Social Emotional Learning
I want to enroll in... Please apply by...
Fall Term First week of August
Jan Term First week of December
Spring Term First week of January
Summer Term Third week of April
Track II (Behavioral Health) andIII (Substance Use Disorders)
Jan. 1 for early consideration. All other applications should be submitted by Feb. 1.

*for the 2017-18 academic year


  • Customize a schedule that fits your needs and costs for professional growth.
  • Keep your day schedule and attend class in the evening.
  • Complete the program in as little as two years.
  • Explore your passion in social and behavioral health with designated tracks in Social Emotional Learning, Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorders.
Explore Topics That Interest You

As part of our dedication to your success, Whitworth University offers three designated academic tracks within the Social & Behavioral Health degree that are designed to help you meet your career and professional goals. Throughout the program you’ll work with instructors who are skilled practitioners and are sensitive to the needs of working professionals.

While all students in the program will complete the same foundational coursework (15 credits of required coursework) in Social & Behavioral Health, you’ll be able to choose which concentration you would like to take more specialized courses in to meet the remainder of the degree requirements. Designated tracks for this degree include the following:

Track I: Social Emotional Learning (36 credits)

Do you work closely with children who exhibit an inability to manage their emotions or who have difficulty responding empathetically to others? Whitworth’s Social Emotional Learning Program will give you the foundation to promote learning in children that will enable them to be successful in school and in life. You’ll explore ways to help children develop healthy interpersonal skills and overcome difficulties (such as complex trauma and adverse childhood experiences) that can impede their motivation to learn, maximizing their social and emotional learning potential.

Social and emotional learning refers to the educational process through which individuals learn to manage their emotions and understand the emotional and social needs of those around them. Acquiring these skills plays a critical role in ensuring their emotional, social and behavioral success.

Whitworth’s M.Ed. in Social & Behavioral Health, Social Emotional Learning track, is a 36-credit program addressing cutting-edge strategies that help children develop social and self-awareness, and improve self-management and relational skills. You’ll become equipped to serve with compassion and gain an understanding of a broad range of areas that can affect a child’s ability to develop social and emotional learning skills.

Track II: Behavioral Health (39 credits)

The Behavioral Health track is offered to provide a specialized area of concentration for those who already have a background working in social services or with individuals with substance use disorders. Students learn how recognize the effects of physical, economic, social and mental factors on the quality of life a person experiences.

The M.A. in Social & Behavioral Health, Behavioral Health track, serves as an opportunity for individuals to refine their clinical counseling skills. Students in the program will learn how to assess clients and implement interventions. There is also a focus on assisting clients with finding other community agencies based on their needs.

A practicum is required for graduation from this program. Students may choose their preferred practicum site and work with a faculty member to complete the required number of hours.

Track III: Substance Use Disorders (43 credits)

Whitworth’s M.A. in Social & Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorders track, was developed for those who want to work primarily with individuals with substance use disorders and who may be interested in licensure in Substance Use Disorders in the State of Washington.

The program explores co-occurring disorders, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and legal and ethical considerations in counseling and case management. The goal of the program is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to work with clients from diverse backgrounds. Graduates of the program may choose to work for treatment facilities, residential detoxification and outpatient facilities, and in private practice.

A practicum is required for graduation from this program. Students may choose their preferred practicum site and work with a faculty member to complete the required number of hours.

Classes Scheduled for Busy People

Keep your daytime commitments and attend class full or part time in the evening. Each class meets just one night per week during the fall and spring, structured so that working professionals can attend. In the summer, courses meet two nights per week. Whitworth’s Social & Behavioral Health Program offers some online classes as well; enter the program at the beginning of any semester.

Required Core Courses (15 credits)

EDC 509 Research for Counselors - periodically offered online
3 Credits

Track I: Social Emotional Learning Courses (21 credits)

4 Credits
*Students without relevant background must complete a four-credit practicum.

Track II: Behavioral Health (24 credits)

2 Credits

Track III: Substance Use Disorders (28 credits)

Do I need to be a certified teacher to be admitted into the program?

No, teaching credentials are not required for an applicant to enter the program.

Can I work while going through the program?

The Social & Behavioral Health Program was structured to fit the schedules of working professionals. Classes are held in the late afternoon and evening hours so those with daytime commitments can attend.


Whitworth's mission is to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.

Next Steps

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