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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


2141 Tydings Hall, 301-405-1679
Dean: Gregory Ball
Associate Dean(s): Katherine Russell, Wayne McIntosh
Assistant Dean(s): Ann Holmes, Mengxue Li, Kim Nickerson, Deborah Rhebergen

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland (BSOS) increases understanding of and pursues innovative solutions to the challenges facing our global community. BSOS draws on its Washington, D.C., and worldwide connections to enrich its teaching, research and service. The BSOS community works to enhance international relations, advance global sustainability, understand societies and cultures and improve the human condition.

In all that we do, BSOS aims to Be the Solution to the world’s great challenges.

Students interested in human behavior and in solving human and social problems will find many exciting opportunities through the programs and courses offered by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements/Degree Options

  • Each student must complete a minimum of 120 hours of credit with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Courses must include the credits required in the University's general education requirements and the specific major and supporting course and grade requirements of the programs in the academic departments offering bachelor's degrees.
  • Students must have a minimum “C” (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements.
  • Upon entering BSOS as a freshman, transfer, or by major change, students must complete and submit a graduation plan to the college advising office for review and approval.
  • In accordance with university policy, fundamental English and Math requirements must be attempted by 30 credits and successfully completed by 60 credits.
  • Students must complete 15 upper level credits in the student's final 30 credits.
  • All students are urged to speak with an academic advisor in their major and an advisor in the College Advising Office at least two semesters before graduation to review their academic progress and discuss final graduation requirements.


The BSOS Advising Center, located in 2148 Tydings Hall, coordinates undergraduate advising and maintains student records for behavioral and social science students. Advising services are designed to support students from the time they enter the college through graduation. Students may come to the advising center for information concerning University requirements and policies, transfer credit processes, orientation, academic planning, academic support, and career or other post-graduation questions. Appointments are made online ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/advising/contact-us ) or by calling the front desk.  Undergraduate advisors for each undergraduate major are located in the department offices. These advisors are available to assist students in selecting courses and guiding educational experiences in their major area of study consistent with major requirements and students' educational goals. For additional information please visit www.bsosundergrad.umd.edu  or call 301-405-1697.

Career Planning and Engagement

The University Career Center @ BSOS is a branch of the UMD University Career Center & The President's Promise.  UCC @ BSOS, located in 2148 Tydings Hall, is focused on providing customized services and resources for majors in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  UCC @ BSOS works to complement the Career Center’s existing resources and programs. Visit the University Career Center @ BSOS website http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/your-career/your-career ) to learn about the resources and upcoming events available for students.

Internships ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/engagement/internships ) and research experiences ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/opportunities/research ), education abroad ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/opportunities/education-abroad-and-international-opportunities ), service learning ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/engagement/service-learning ), and student leadership opportunities ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/engagement/student-leadership ) round out a student’s academic career and personal development beyond what the traditional academic classroom setting can offer. These important experiences allow students to integrate and apply their learning and to build life-long professional and personal networks of colleagues and friends. Follow the links provided to learn more about these out-of-classroom experiences or schedule an individual consultation with UCC @ BSOS ( http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/your-career/appointments ) to take full advantage of the out-of-classroom experiences available at UMD.

Departments and Centers

The college is composed of the following departments, each offering a major program that leads to the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree, as appropriate:

Department of African American Studies

Department of Anthropology

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department of Economics

Department of Geographical Sciences

Department of Government and Politics

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences

Department of Psychology

Department of Sociology

In addition, the college is a major contributor to the Environmental Science and Policy Program and sponsors several of its areas of concentration.

*The Department of African American Studies also offers an undergraduate certificate requiring 21 semester hours of course work.

Departments and Research Centers are linked from the College website homepage at www.bsos.umd.edu .


The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences offers the following minors.  See individual department or center websites for more information. 

  • Black Women's Studies (Departments of African American Studies and Women's Studies)
  • Geographic Information Science (Department of Geographical Sciences)
  • Global Studies (two tracks): International Development and Conflict Management or Global Terrorism
  • Hearing and Speech Sciences (Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences)
  • Law and Society (MLAW Programs)
  • International Development and Conflict Management (Department of Government and Politics)
  • Neuroscience (Departments of Psychology and Biology)
  • Remote Sensing of Environmental Change (Department of Geographical Sciences)
  • Survey Methodology (Joint Program in Survey Methodology)
  • Global Terrorism (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism)

Living-Learning Programs

Participating in one of Maryland’s living-learning communities is one great way for first and second year BSOS students to share their common interests with each other and with faculty in a small, academic, residential community.

Students who are not in a living-learning program are invited to enroll in a special BSOS one-semester course (UNIV100) in their first semester so that they can work closely with an academic advisor and be part of a small, personalized learning community during their first semester on campus.

BSOS students are members of all of the campus living-learning communities, including Honors College, College Park Scholars, CIVICUS, Global Communities, and Carillon Communities. The BSOS College is the academic home for four of these living-learning programs.

0107 Somerset Hall, 301-405-8759
Director: Dr. Sue Briggs

CIVICUS is a two-year living and learning program in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  This academic citation program is centered on five themes of civil society: citizenship, leadership, community service-learning, community building in a diverse society, and scholarship. CIVICUS was founded on the belief that to be engaged members of civil society, we have an obligation to be aware of the world outside of the classroom and to act upon issues that affect the world in which we live.

Global Communities
0119 Dorchester Hall, 301-314-7100
Faculty Director: Dr. Virginia Haufler

Global Communities is a two-year living-learning program sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). Students participate in a combination of courses, co-curricular opportunities, and residential living organized around the theme of globalization and its challenges and opportunities. The program enriches student understanding of the causes and consequences of the world’s interconnectedness, and provides academic and intercultural skills to help them address the issues it raises. We value diversity—cultural, intellectual, and ideological—and seek to provide a tolerant place where differences are celebrated. Participants in the program are part of a network of relationships beyond campus and outside the country.

College Park Scholars, International Studies
1104 Centreville Hall, 301-405-9304
Faculty Director: Dr. James Glass

The International Studies Program brings together undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines who share an interest in global issues, politics, and events.  Each entering class of approximately sixty-five students takes courses together during the freshman and sophomore years. The majority of International Studies Scholars reside in Centreville Hall. International Studies was one of the original four College Park Scholars programs launched in 1994, sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) and the Department of Government and Politics (GVPT). The Faculty Director and the Teaching Assistants all have their roots in the Department of Government and Politics.

College Park Scholars, Justice and Legal Thought
1121 Cumberland Hall, 301-405-3225
Faculty Director: Dr. Robert Koulish

The Justice and Legal Thought Program brings together undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines to share an interest in law and justice. Each entering class of approximately seventy-five students takes courses together during the freshman and sophomore years. The majority of Justice and Legal Thought Scholars reside in Cumberland Hall, which is also where the JLT office is located. Justice and Legal Thought is the most recent addition to the College Park Scholars Program and is sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS).  It features faculty from multiple disciplines, including the UMD Carey School of Law. The program is designed for each course to complement the one that preceded it, for example to address big questions in new and more advanced ways.  It is also designed to allow students to deepen their classroom learning through experiential projects, field trips and social activities.

College Honors Program

Departmental Honors Programs are offered in the departments of African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, Psychology, and Sociology. Students in a Departmental Honors Program are also members of the campus Honors College.

Dean's List. Any student who has passed at least 12 hours of academic work under the regular grading method in the preceding semester, without failure of any course, and with an overall average grade of at least 3.5, will be placed on the Dean's List. The Distinguished Dean's List consists of students who have completed successfully a minimum of 12 credit hours in a semester with a 4.0.

Honor Societies. Students who excel in their academic discipline may be selected for membership in an honorary society. Honoraries for which students in BSOS are chosen include:

  • Alpha Kappa Delta -- Sociology
  • Alpha Phi Sigma -- Criminal Justice
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon -- Geography
  • Pi Sigma Alpha -- The National Political Science Honor Society
  • Psi Chi -- Psychology

Approved Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Students who major in the Behavioral and Social Sciences have a wide range of interests. Students who are interested in student organizations in the disciplines and fields of the Behavioral and Social Sciences should consult with departmental websites for approved student organizations: http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu .

For more information about these student organizations or starting a new student group, please contact the Office of Campus Programs, Adele H. Stamp Student Union, 301-314-7174 or  http://orgsync.umd.edu .

Financial Assistance

The college offers scholarship opportunities to current students on a competitive basis. Each scholarship has eligibility criteria. Scholarship information and applications are available on the scholarships page on the BSOS website:  http://bsosundergrad.umd.edu/opportunities/scholarships .  

Scholarships are sometimes given at the department level. Check with your departmental advisor or your director of undergraduate programs for more information regarding scholarship opportunities that may be available to you.

The National Scholarship Office at the University of Maryland provides information on nationally competitive scholarships at the undergraduate (and graduate) level. For more information, please visit: www.scholarships.umd.edu .

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) administers offers all types of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other University offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For more information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Research Units

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences sponsors several special purpose, college-wide research centers. These interdisciplinary centers often offer internships and a selected number of undergraduate research assistant opportunities for interested students. These research experiences offer excellent preparation for future graduate study and/or job opportunities in the private and public sectors. These centers include: 

Center for the Study of Business, Ethics, Regulation & Crime (C-BERC) ( www.rhsmith.umd.edu/centers-excellence/cberc ) is a diverse unit aimed to generate new ideas and information at the intersection of theory, policy, and practice that will serve as a resource for business leaders, policymakers, and practitioners. The center embraces a unique interdisciplinary approach to the legal and ethical challenges of modern business operations by integrating and extending research in the fields of business ethics, regulation, and criminology. 

Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) ( www.cesar.umd.edu/ ) works to gather, analyze, and disseminate timely information on issues of substance abuse and monitor alcohol- and drug-use indicators throughout Maryland. CESAR aids state and local governments in responding to the problem of substance abuse by providing the above-stated information, as well as technical assistance and research. CESAR is located at 4321 Hartwick Rd., College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-9770. 

Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland (INFORUM) ( http://inforumweb.umd.edu/ ) is dedicated to improving business planning, government policy analysis, and the general understanding of the economic environment.  Inforum accomplishes this mission through: Building and using structural economic models of U.S. and other economies; working with government and private sector research sponsors to investigate a variety of issues; serving as a training crucible for University of Maryland graduate and undergraduate students who receive valuable training in empirical economics; and maintaining active and productive ties with a world-wide network of research associates, each of which uses Inforum modeling methods and software. INFORUM is located in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-4609. 

Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC) ( www.mnc.umd.edu/home ) is the home for neuroimaging research at the University of Maryland. The MNC is an initiative of the university's interdepartmental Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Program. MNC is located at 8077 Greenmead Dr., Avrum Gudelsky Bldg #795, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-2092.

Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) ( www.popcenter.umd.edu/ ) draws together leading scholars from diverse disciplines to support, produce, and promote population-related research.  The MPRC's members include faculty from the departments of African American Studies, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Anthropology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Family Studies, Geographical Sciences, Health Services Administration, Human Development, the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, the MD Institute for Applied Environmental Health, Psychology, Behavioral and Community Health, the School of Public Policy, Sociology, and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. MPRC is located in 0124N Cole Student Activities Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-6403.

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) ( www.start.umd.edu/ ) is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, tasked by the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate with using state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism. START is located on 8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 250, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-6600.

Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences Program (NACS) ( http://nacs.umd.edu/ ) offers research and training opportunities in neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience and computational neuroscience. These research activities are carried out in laboratories housed in six colleges and 17 different departments on the UMD campus. NACS is located in 2131 Biology-Psychology Bldg, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-8910. 

Center for Safe Solutions ( www.psttap.com/ ) provides the highest quality managerial, operational and technical support and training to combat drug trafficking and drug abuse; reduce violent crime; reduce gang activity; provide action-oriented criminal intelligence; support Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Service’s distributed database development; and offer internships and jobs to University students. CSS is located at 9001 Edmonston Rd. Ste. 300, Greenbelt, MD 20770. Phone: 301-489-1700. 

Office of International and Executive Programs (OIEP) ( http://oiep.umd.edu/ ) initiates, facilitates and coordinates research, teaching, training and associated activities undertaken jointly between departments of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland with partner universities, agencies and organizations in the United States and abroad. By providing strategic advice, programmatic guidance and administrative support, OIEP fosters innovative international collaborations in the form of degree programs, research projects, student and faculty visitor and exchange programs, short-term training courses and more. OIEP is located in 3106 Morrill Hall, College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-8443. 

The Law in Society Minor and Justice and Legal Thought ( MLAW)  ( http://mlaw.umd.edu/ ) interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to the study of law and its impact on society. MLAW has its academic home in the College of Behavioral & Social Sciences but partners closely with other departments, offices, programs and schools to offer a full range of rich educational experiences and opportunities for students. MLAW is located in 0101 Taliaferro Hall College Park, MD. Phone: 301-405-3179.

In addition to these college-wide research centers, BSOS hosts several departmental research centers ( http://bsos.umd.edu/academics-research/all-centers ).  Please contact individual departments for more information.

Student Engagement and Service Units

Dean's Student Advisory Council

The Dean's Student Advisory Council (DSAC) is charged with advising the dean on various topics affecting students and their educational and social experiences at the University of Maryland. Each academic year, the group recommends distribution for the college's portion of the approved student technology fees, hosts annual events for students, faculty, and alumni, initiates and implements independent and group projects, and hears ideas and concerns from constituent students.

This council consists of representatives from each department in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the living/learning programs, the Student Government Association, University Senate representatives for the college, and a peer advisor. DSAC members enroll in a credit-bearing course each semester in which they serve on the Council.

For more information, contact the Dean's Student Advisory Council: bsos-ugdean@umd.edu

BSOS Ambassadors

Ambassadors assist with the planning, coordination and execution of special events hosted by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, including all major recruiting events. Ambassadors build a strong knowledge base of the behavioral and social science academic disciplines as well as other programs offered by the college so that they may inform prospective students and the public during special events. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership, networking and communication skills. Ambassadors enroll in a credit-bearing course each semester they serve on the committee.

For more information contact Julianna Bynoe in the Dean's Office 301-405-1692 or  bsos-ugdean@umd.edu.

BSOS Peer Mentors

The Peer Mentor Program is a component of the student services offered by the BSOS Advising Center. The primary role of Peer Mentors is to teach the BSOS Graduation Planning workshops each semester and conduct various presentations in BSOS UNIV100 sections. Through the services they provide to fellow students, Peer Mentors gain leadership, presentation, and public speaking skills. In preparation for their required tasks, all Peer Mentors are expected to attend weekly class sessions and serve for at least two semesters. Students will earn 1 academic credit after successful completion of each semester.

For more information contact the College Advising Office 301-405-1697 or Brandon Clark bclark24@umd.edu .

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