Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences

Students line up for a group photo at a conference

Offering a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (BSIOP), and a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies*, plus minors, the Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus helps students prepare to make the aviation world a safer place.

The undergraduate program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology trains students in the understanding of how people work, in group behavior, leadership, and other topics that will help them create safer workplaces and prevent accidents.

The undergraduate program in Forensic Psychology trains students in the biological, psychological and social factors at the intersection of people and civil/criminal behavior and norms. Students seek to understand, describe and predict human behavior and attitudes in a variety of situations, including those dealing with safety and security.

Studying social and the behavioral sciences are highly hands-on activities. The department has the largest laboratory at the University, an 8½-acre accident investigation lab, where students can investigate aircraft crashes, including several fixed-wing and rotor accidents. These are actual crashes that were donated and brought to the lab on trucks to be recreated for this purpose. Students are able to investigate the accident to determine its cause, just as they will when they enter their careers. The lab is also used by graduate students for research.

This is not the only lab. The Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences also has labs for industrial hygiene and ergonomics as well as cognition and behavior, so that students spend little time in the classroom and lots of time working with the equipment they will use in their careers. They also share laboratory space with forensic and intelligence specialists in the College of Security & Intelligence.

Safety doesn’t happen by magic. There is a science to understanding and creating it. The vast majority of accidents are due to human error and incorporate psychological considerations. Many of our graduates work for airlines doing safety analysis and accident investigation, understanding behaviors and rules that promote safety or security, for companies that insure aircraft or other equipment, and help develop safer and more secure processes in safety and more secure environments.

Learn More About our Department Degrees

* The B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies is a cross-departmental degree program.


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3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301