Behavioral Health (Clinical), DBH

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Meet the growing demand for integrated behavioral health clinicians in primary care. Practice evidence- and team-based care focused on quality, population health, technology and cost-effectiveness. Propel your career into the future as a behavioral health entrepreneur and thrive in the new culture of value-based care.

The DBH is a global, interdisciplinary degree program that offers an innovative curriculum, a hands-on internship in primary care, and an applied research project for domestic and international students.

Clinical concentration students learn how to create evidence-based practices that are tailored to fit the needs of the local community, patient population and health care system. Students are prepared to anticipate trends in health care policy and to leverage their expertise in clinical practice, quality of care, population health and health care costs to thrive in the evolving health care marketplace.

The curriculum addresses the problem of poor health outcomes, barriers to patient access, and rising costs by preparing students to achieve the Quadruple Aim in health care: improved patient experience of care, population health management, cost savings and improved team satisfaction. Students learn how to improve the patient experience of care with evidence-based behavioral interventions to address behavioral problems such as depression, anxiety and trauma; lifestyle habits such as smoking, risky alcohol and drug use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and medication non-adherence. Students master population health approaches in patient engagement, stratification, stepped care and treatment designed to target integrated health care outcomes. Students learn to demonstrate cost savings and return on investment by developing the business case for integrated care. The student learning experience includes easy access to online articles, videos and websites, weekly live webinars with faculty experienced in the field, live peer student webinars, and written assignments that parallel the writing used for clinical and business proposals in the real world.

In the culminating project, students use the quality improvement model to solve key problems in primary care. Examples include how to improve organizational processes and integrated care clinical outcomes, efficient use of resources, and how to decrease provider stress and burnout.

The internship program is hands-on in a local primary care clinic with in-person consultation by a licensed Doctor of Behavioral Health faculty member in small group webinar format. Students also have a site mentor focus on clinical performance metrics common in the patient-centered medical home and accountable care organization approaches to primary care.

Students may join special research projects or have the opportunity for a semester of study abroad. The faculty are seasoned professionals and content experts representing clinical practice, management and applied research in integrated care.

At A Glance

Behavioral Health (Clinical), DBH

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements. Students who wish to be considered for admission will need to submit an application for admission as well as the accompanying supplemental application.

Information for CLHM members

Arizona State University has partnered with the Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management to offer exclusive program benefits to its members. Learn More

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Degree requirements

Required Core (18 credit hours)
HCD 501 Biostatistics and Data Management (3)
IBC 586 Behavioral Health Professional Writing Style (3)
IBC 611 Population-Based Health Management (3)
IBC 614 Quality and Performance Measurement, Improvement, and Incentives (3)
IBC 718 Healthcare Systems: Organization, Delivery and Economics (3)
IBC 720 Behavioral Health Entrepreneurship (3)

Concentration (15 credit hours)
IBC 601 Models of Integreated Primary Care (3)
IBC 603 Brief Interventions in Primary Care (3)
IBC 604 Clinical Medicine/Pathchopharmacology for the Behavioral Care Provider (3)
IBC 609 Clinical Neuropathophysiology (3)

Electives or Research (39 credit hours)

Other Requirement (6 credit hours)
IBC 684 Internship (6)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
IBC 793 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
The program may allow up to 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree or other courses approved by the supervisory committee with Graduate College approval.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Health Solutions.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in the applicable master's degree.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. copy of the applicant's license or license eligibility
  5. one professional letter of recommendation
  6. updated curriculum vitae or resume
  7. program policies acknowledgements
  8. video or webcam admission interview (if indicated)
  9. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Applicants with master's degrees in counseling, family therapy, nursing, occupational health and social work, among others, are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be master's degree-level professionals who are either currently employed or aspire to be employed in a clinical capacity within integrated health care.

Licensed and license-eligible are terms defining a license to practice issued by a state licensing board (e.g., Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners, etc.). Examples include license-eligible master's degree-level behavioral clinician, licensed master's degree-level behavioral clinician, and master's degree-level licensed medical or ancillary health care provider (nurse, dietitian, occupational therapist).

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ASU Online offers programs like Behavioral Health (Clinical), DBH in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.

More information on the program is available directly from ASU Online.