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Behavioral Health Statewide Program

Associate of Arts


Behavioral Health

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, behavioral health is the study of “mental health and substance abuse, life stressors and crises, stress related physical symptoms and health behaviors.” It is a dynamic and growing field that focuses on promoting positive health behaviors while reducing or eliminating health risk behaviors.

The goal of this program is to foster resilience in an environment that supports students from diverse backgrounds and life experience. The program is designed to transfer to University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s baccalaureate social work program at the Universities at Shady Grove campus. The program also serves to train students for entry level positions as aides or technicians in various mental health disciplines.

The Behavioral Health AA is a designated statewide program. The Maryland Higher Education Commission designates some community college programs as statewide programs. A student may enroll in any of these programs at the same rates as in-county residents if the program is not offered by their local community college or if the student cannot enroll due to an enrollment limit. For more information on statewide programs, please see Curricula Informationnew windownew window.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in behavioral health promotion including: the determinants of mental health; stress; coping; anxiety, mood and personality disorders; substance abuse; and treatment.
  • Identify and model examples of ethical and professional behavior.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of group processes and behaviors including: identity, formation, structure, power, influence, leadership, and performance. 
  • Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Use critical thinking skills to solve problems relevant to the practice of behavioral health.

Program Advising

Available Fully Online
Complete this degree or certificate on your schedule, from anywhere with an internet connection, by taking all your classes online. Find out more about online learning.
Academic advising helps students reach their educational and career goals. Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer.  The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process.

Transfer Opportunities

The program is designed to transfer to University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s baccalaureate social work program at the Universities at Shady Grove campus.  MC has a long history of successfully preparing students for transfer to four-year institutions. See all transfer agreements.


For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required. Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. See links below chart for further guidance and/or connect with a Program Advisor to discuss career goals.

Some require a Bachelor’s degree. Careers include psychiatric aide, psychiatric technician, clinical psychologist, community health worker, and occupational therapy assistant. 
  • MC Student Employment Services: Speak with the Student Employment Specialist for help with resume writing, interviewing, setting up a College Central Network (CCN)new window account and other job search topics.
  • Career Coach: Explore Career Coach to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests! Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area.


Suggested Course Sequence

A suggested course sequence for students follows.

  • All students should review the advising guide and consult an advisor.
  • Find out about related programs and course in the Fields of Study section.
  • Most courses have either assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites (courses that must be taken first). Part-time students and those who need to meet assessment levels or take prerequisite courses will take longer to complete a degree. An advisor will help make sure you are taking your courses in the right order.
  • All degree-seeking students must take a central group of General Education courses in English, mathematics, arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and science. These courses are included in the suggested course sequence below.

Suggested Course Sequence

A suggested course sequence for full-time students follows. All students should review the Program Advising Guide (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) and consult an advisor.

First Semester

Second Semester

Third Semester

Fourth Semester

ENGL 101/ENGL 011, if needed for ENGL 102 or HLTH elective.

† World Language Electives: Choose a General Education language (SPAN, FREN, and CHIN) offering a 101, 102, and 201 sequence.

For students transferring to UMBC: students are required to complete one semester of a language at a 200 level. Students may be able to complete this requirement as part of the associate's degree if they test out of the 100 level class. If not, UMBC at Shady Grove will allow students to transfer up to six additional credits of language.

See the current academic catalog for complete degree information.


How To Apply and Register

Related Programs and Courses

General Studies Degree

Students who major in general studies explore personal, professional, and academic areas of interest within a flexible framework supporting transfer.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

MC offers a wide variety of noncredit classes. These courses are designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.