Welcome! The Department of Psychology invites you to drop by for a visit and find our more about your home department. One good way to start is to meet with your assigned faculty advisor during their office hours. Faculty advisors can help you plan a program of study that is tailored to your specific interests. Advisors are listed on WISER and you can go to the Faculty list (menu on left) to find contact information for your advisor. If you are new to the major or just have some questions about our programs and extra-curricular activities, please visit our staff advisor, Michelle Browning. Ms. Browning can also help you find a faculty advisor who is right for your interests.
The Psychology Major
At UMass Boston, undergraduates who are Psychology majors can earn either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). The answer to the question of which degree a particular student should pursue depends on several things. This is especially true for students with interests in areas of Psychology that are more biologically oriented or who have future career plans that include science or health care. However, there are also students who enter those areas who don’t want all of the course work that is required by the BS degree but who take some of the math or science courses and earn a BA degree.
A Bachelor of Arts (BA): This degree is fulfilled by completing our 12 course major and the university’s general education requirements for a BA. At the university level the BA degree requires (among other things) coursework in Arts, Humanities, Social or Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences and World Culture, the demonstration of language proficiency in a language other than English, competency in verbal reasoning and expression and competency in quantitative reasoning. While many students who receive a BA have a strong science background the specific graduation requirement in areas of math and science are more modest in comparison to the BS.
A Bachelor of Science (BS): This degree is fulfilled by completing our 12 course major and the university’s requirements for a BS degree. Among the 12 courses for the major there are specific courses that must be taken. These include Statistics (Psych 270) as one of the two general psychology electives and one of five Advanced Experimental Methods courses as one of the three advanced level courses. With regard to the university general education requirements a BS student must complete coursework in Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences or Mathematics and World Culture, but does not have to demonstrate language proficiency in a language other than English. The quantitative reasoning competency requirement is met by completing one of three Calculus courses (Math 135 or higher). Finally, a BS student must complete additional science or math courses including a two semester biology sequence (Biology 111 and 112) and four additional courses within the College of Science and Math that would meet the requirements of a major in that college.
Major in Social Psychology
The Psychology and Sociology Departments offer a joint Major in Social Psychology. Students who elect this joint major complete a complementary sequence of psychology and sociology courses, and also have access to advising and counseling from both departments. Students selecting this major will earn a BA. There is not BS option for this major.
Minors and Interdisciplinary Programs
Psychology offers a Minor in Psychology and an interdisciplinary Minor in Cognitive Science, in collaboration with Computer Science. We also offer an interdisciplinary Program in Biobehavioral Studies (in collaboration with Biology), and an Organizational Behavior option (in collaboration with the College of Management).