UMass Boston

Psychology BA

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The Psychology major is a 12 course major. The requirements of these 12 courses provide students with a foundation in each of five core areas of the discipline of psychology, upper level coursework in one or more areas and basic information about the research practices used in the field. The basic structure of the major is represented by four parts.

The description below provides an outline of the major. The phrase “major requirements” refers to the minimum number and distribution of psychology courses a student must complete successfully in order to graduate as a psychology major. We encourage students to take more than the minimum number of courses in psychology and allied disciplines. Only one of the 12 required classes may be taken pass/fail; the other 11 classes must be taken for a grade. Eight of the 12 courses for the major must be taken in residence at UMass Boston.


Students begin the major with an introductory survey course (Psych 100 or 101- Introductory Psychology) or its equivalent.  This course acts as a prerequisite for all other Psychology coursework.  Students also take a basic course focusing on the research methods (Psych 201 - Research Methods) used across Psychology.  While the Research Methods course does not have to be taken immediately after the introductory course we strongly encourage students to take the research methods course early in the major.


Following completion of the introductory course students begin taking intermediate level courses in each of five areas of psychology.  These areas include:  Personality/Clinical (Psych 210  - Personality Psych or Psych 215 - Abnormal Psych), Developmental (Psych 241- Infancy and Child Psych or Psych 242 - Adolescence), Social (Psych 230 - Social Psych), Cognitive (Psych 250 - Learning and Memory or Psych 255 - Perception) and Psychobiological (Psych 360 - Behavioral Neuroscience).  Each area has either one or two specific courses. Students complete the intermediate level course work by taking one course in each of these five areas.  These courses provide students with more in depth information about each of the main areas in which psychologists work.  There are no requirements regarding the order in which these courses are taken.


Each of the five areas represented by the intermediate coursework has a set of advanced courses that students can select to further their knowledge.  Advanced courses have at least one intermediate level course as a prerequisite as well as the Research Methods course.  Students can choose to concentrate their advanced course work within a single area or they can select from advanced courses in more than one area.  All majors must have at least three advanced level courses but many students choose to have more than that.

Among these three advanced courses at least two must be at the 400 level (Please see notes and clarifications at the bottom of this page).  Students who declared the major on or after September 1, 2003 will need to meet the capstone requirement. Capstone criteria include a grade of C- or better in a 400-level course taken in residence after completing at least 3 of the 5 intermediate core requirements.  The third advanced course could be at the 300 level (with the exception of Psych 360, Behavioral Neuroscience which is a required intermediate course).


Majors must also take at least 2 additional courses from anywhere in our curriculum. 

Notes and clarifications:

Eight of the 12 courses for the major must be taken in residence at UMass Boston.
Only one of the 12 courses counted toward the major may be taken pass/fail
Only one of the following courses can be counted as an advanced level course: Psych 430, 479, 486, 488, 489, 496-499. 
Six credit internship courses (Psych 430, 479) count as one advanced level course.

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student

Apply as a Transfer Student

Financing Your Education

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Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

Deadlines & Cost

For fall semester admission, applications submitted by the "priority deadline" of March 1 are given priority and will be notified of a decision by the end of April. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through July 1.

For spring semester admission, the application deadline is December 1. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis through December.

Cost & Aid
For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to


Complete at least 36 credits from twelve courses including two introductory courses, five intermediate courses, three advanced courses, and two electives.

Pass/fail: No more than one course taken pass/fail may be applied toward the major.
Residency: At least seven courses for the major must be completed at UMass Boston.

Introductory Courses (6 to 7 Credits)

Take two courses from the list below.

  • PSYCH 100 - Introductory Psychology 3 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 101 - Introductory Psychology 4 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 201 - Introduction to Behavioral Research 3 Credit(s)

Intermediate Courses (15 Credits)

Take one course from each category below.


  • PSYCH 210 - Personality 3 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 215 - Mental Health and Psychological Distress 3 Credit(s)

Social Psychology

PSYCH 230 - Social Psychology 3 Credit(s)


  • PSYCH 241 - Infancy and Childhood Development 3 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 242 - Adolescence 3 Credit(s)


  • PSYCH 250 - Learning and Memory 3 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 255 - Perception 3 Credit(s)


  • PSYCH 360 - Behavioral Neuroscience 3 Credit(s)

Advanced Courses (9 Credits)

Take three psychology courses at the 300-level or higher except for PSYCH 444, 487, 488, and 489. At least two courses must be at the 400-level.

One 400-level course will be used as the psychology capstone and must have a grade of C- or higher. No more than one psychology research apprenticeship may be applied toward this requirement.

Electives (6 Credits)

Take any two additional psychology courses except for first year seminar courses and PSYCH 230.


Location: McCormack Hall, Floor: 04, Room: 00206

Phone:  617-287-6350

Department Manager and Advising Coordinator: Michelle Browning 
Phone:  617-287-6351

Assistant to the Chair: Sangya Dhungana
Phone: 617-287-6352

Grants & Contracts Administrator: Annie McCluskey
Phone: 617-287-3276

Director of Labs: Eric Berry
Phone: 617-287-6399

Lab Technician:
Phone: 617-287-7917

Assistant Director, Clinical Psychology PhD Program: Brooke Craveiro
Phone: 617-287-6340

Graduate Program Coordinator, Developmental and Brain Sciences PhD Program: Rouzan Khachatourian
Phone: 617-287-6350