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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015


2148 Tydings Hall, 301-405-1697
Dean: John Townshend
Associate Dean(s): Wayne McIntosh, Carl Lejuez
Assistant Dean(s): Ann Holmes, Kim Nickerson, Deborah Rhebergen, Katherine Russell

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is comprised of a diverse group of disciplines and fields of study all of which emphasize a broad liberal arts education as the foundation for understanding the environmental, social, and cultural forces that shape our world. At the heart of the behavioral and social sciences is the attempt to understand human beings, both individually and in groups. Disciplines in the behavioral and social sciences use approaches that range from the scientific to the philosophical, from the experimental to the theoretical. Integral to all the disciplines, however, is the development and application of problem solving skills, which in combination with other academic skills, enable students to think analytically and to communicate clearly and persuasively. 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.
  • Beginning with students matriculating in Fall 2012, to be awarded a baccalaureate degree, students must have 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. Advisors are available to provide information concerning University requirements and regulations, transfer credit evaluations, and other general information about the University by appointment from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Undergraduate advisors for each undergraduate major are located in the department offices. These advisors are available to assist students in selecting courses and educational experiences in their major area of study consistent with major requirements and students' educational goals. For additional information please visit www.bsos.umd.edu or call 301-405-1697.

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.

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 Environemental 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


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.

About 130 diverse and energetic CIVICUS Associates take a common core of classes, live together in Somerset Hall, and participate in civic, community service, experiential, and other activities and projects on and off campus.

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.

Our courses and activities are intricately linked with each other and our communities. CIVICUS Associates enrich their academic work and explore career opportunities by volunteering with non-profit organizations and governmental agencies and programs, creating their own community service projects, and interacting with faculty and community leaders. They are among the most involved students at Maryland. CIVICUS Associates complete a Capstone internship on campus or in the DC metropolitan area as second semester sophomores.

Selected students from all majors are invited to participate in the CIVICUS Living and Learning Program when they apply to the university as first year students, based on their letters of recommendation, involvement in high school and the community, admissions essays, and academic transcripts.

CIVICUS looks to invite students who will continue to strengthen and broaden their leadership skills within the University and local communities.

For more information, please visit: www.CIVICUS.umd.edu .

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.

Global Communities is a selective, invitation-only program for entering freshmen. It aims to enroll a class of 60-75 students each year. The program seeks academically strong students who express interest in international affairs, have international or intercultural experience, or simply are open to the kind of experience we offer.

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.

The program provides a foundation for a variety of academic majors and an entry point to the Global Studies Minors. Through coursework, intercultural/international events, and an active intellectual and social environment, we aim to help students develop the global perspective that will enable students to navigate an ever more interdependent and diverse world.

For more information, please visit: www.globalcommunities.umd.edu

College Park Scholars, International Studies

1104 Centreville Hall, 301-405-9304
Faculty Director: Dr. James Glass

One of twelve College Park Scholars living-learning programs, 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.

The International Studies Program welcomes students who wish to live and learn together and who have an interest in exploring international political, economic, and cultural issues.  Our program offers an opportunity to build global understanding and global awareness through academic and experiential learning.

For more information, please visit:  www.scholars.umd.edu/programs/is/

College Park Scholars, Justice and Legal Thought
1121 Cumberland Hall, 301-405-3225
Faculty Director: Dr. Robert Koulish
One of twelve College Park Scholars living-learning programs, 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.

For more information, please visit:  www.scholars.umd.edu/programs/jlt


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. The following is a list of student organizations in the disciplines and fields of the Behavioral and Social Sciences:

  • Anthropology Student Association
  • Criminal Justice Student Association
  • Economics Association of Maryland
  • Geography Club
  • Maryland Neuroscience Society
  • National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Assoc.(NSSLHA), MD Chapter
  • Pre-Medical Society
  • Sociology Collective
  • The Society of African American Studies
  • The Minority Association of Psychology Students

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.

Financial Assistance

The college offers scholarship opportunities to current students on a competitive basis (see below). Each scholarship has eligibility criteria. Scholarship information and applications are made available each fall semester. Scholarship awards are granted for the following fall semester. The college scholarship awards include:

  • Murray E. Polakoff Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence
  • Irv & Micki Goldstein Scholarship Award for Commitment to Service
  • Katherine Pedro & Robert S. Beardsley Scholarship Award for Outstanding Leadership
  • Jean & Robert Steele Scholarship Award for First Generation Students
  • BSOS Alumni Scholarship Award for Financial Need (60 or more credits)
  • Montgomery Family Scholarship Award (Inner City/Rural Community)

For more information, please visit: www.bsos.umd.edu

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 centers include: The Center for Substance Abuse Research; The Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland; The Maryland Population Research Center; The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism; The Center for Safe Solutions; and The Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program. 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. Additionally, the college offers computing services through its Office of Academic Computing Services.

Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR)

4321 Hartwick Rd. Ste. 501, College Park, MD 20740
Director: Dr. Eric Wish

Established in 1990, CESAR is a research unit sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. CESAR staff 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. Faculty members from across campus are involved with CESAR-based research, creating a center in which substance abuse issues are analyzed from multidisciplinary perspectives. Students obtain advanced technical training and hands-on experience through their involvement in original surveys and research.

Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland (Inforum)

University of Maryland, Department of Economics, College Park, MD 20742
Executive Director: Dr. Jeffrey Werling

Inforum, or the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland, was founded over 45 years ago by Dr. Clopper Almon, now Professor Emeritus of the University.  The center 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.

Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC)

0124N Cole Student Activities Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Director: Dr. Michael S. Rendall

The Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC) is a multidisciplinary center dedicated to population-related research and housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Our primary goal is to draw together leading scholars from diverse disciplines to support, produce, and promote population-related research.

The cross-disciplinary research interests of our faculty allow the MPRC to continually grow and make a unique contribution to the field of population studies. 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.

National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)

8400 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 250, College Park, MD 20740
Director: Dr. Gary LaFree

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START) 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, based at the University of Maryland, College Park, aims to provide timely guidance on how to disrupt terrorist networks, reduce the incidence of terrorism, and enhance the resilience of U.S. society in the face of the terrorist threat.

Center for Safe Solutions (CSS)                                                  

9001 Edmonston Rd. Ste. 300, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Executive Director: Thomas H. Carr

Established in 1997, Center for Safe Solution's (formerly PSTTAP) mission is to partner with clients to solve their most important and complex problems. To accomplish this, CSS 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 funded entirely through research and development awards. The following grant projects illustrate the breadth and reach of CSS.


The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) funds the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (W/B HIDTA) Program designed to coordinate drug law enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts in Central Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Richmond areas.  This intelligence-led program relies on its Investigative Support Center to develop and share actionable, real-time intelligence to all participating members and the 27 other HIDTAs nationwide. Over 700 federal, state and local law enforcement agents and officers work together in W/B HIDTA task forces to implement HIDTA’s strategy for reducing drug trafficking by targeting drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and violent street gangs.  W/B HIDTA treatment services target hard-core drug abusers in the HIDTA region using a coerced treatment model. W/B HIDTA prevention resources focus on at-risk youth in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Richmond by offering afterschool and summer activities to the most disadvantaged youth.

Core Competencies

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) funds the Core Competencies Project designed to improve services provided by the DPSCS to its customers.  These improvements are being brought about through five major information technology (IT) projects currently underway in the Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD).  These IT projects are: Statewide Secure WAN and LAN; Offender Case Management System (OCMS); ID Maryland; Offender Case Management System Support Systems and Criminal Justice Information Sharing. Each of these projects requires that ITCD develop additional core competencies in order to develop, implement and support them.  Over the past ten years, the University of Maryland’s Center for Safe Solutions (CSS) has assigned researchers to assist with the design, development, implementation, and operational stabilization of portions of each of these projects. 

Prince George’s and Montgomery County Gang Initiative

The Prince George’s and Montgomery County Gang Initiative (PGMCGI) is funded by the Department of Justice.  The PGMCGI is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary, regional approach to combat gang crime.  An Executive Steering Committee composed of executives and subject matter experts from 11 agencies meet regularly to provide project oversight. Three subcommittees (Suppression, Intelligence and Information Sharing, and Intervention/Prevention) collect data to evaluate project performance.  The information and intelligence sharing component facilitates an intelligence-led approach for suppression and for gang prevention/intervention activities.

Technical Assistance in Grant Services (TAGS)

The Technical Assistance with Grants (TAGS) initiative provides public safety agencies and community organizations with opportunities to obtain grant and foundation funding they may not have the resources to pursue otherwise. TAGS avails its clients of the University’s exceptional applied research resources, expedited procurement procedures, strong fiscal management, and its principals’ extraordinary practical experience. TAGS personnel have the proven capability and expertise to handle all of the fiscal responsibilities related to grant implementation for their clients, so that they can do what they do best—deliver services that enhance public safety

Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center

Established in 2003, the Maryland Coordination Analysis Center (MCAC) expanded its mission in 2006 from an anti-terrorism approach to an all crimes approach and regionalized efforts by establishing three Regional Information Centers. Grant funding awarded to CSS is used to hire analysts who support law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and response services, public health and welfare, public safety and homeland security agencies in this all crimes, all hazards environment.

Office of Academic Computing Services (OACS)

0221 LeFrak Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Director: Dan Navarro

The College believes strongly that the study of behavioral and social sciences should incorporate both quantitative and computational skills. Consequently, curricula in most departments require some course work in statistics, quantitative research methods, and information technology. The BSOS Office of Academic Computing Services (OACS) provides undergraduate students in the College with facilities to satisfy a broad range of computer-related needs. OACS operates five 20-seat instructional computer labs that offer a wide variety of popular software, including statistical and GIS packages. The labs also offer color and black-and-white printing through the campus’ pay-for-print system.

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 and Matt Jones in the Dean's Office 301-405-1692 or  bsos-ugdean@umd.edu.

BSOS Peer Mentors

The Peer Mentor Program gives students an opportunity to serve the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The primary role of a Peer Mentor is to teach other students about their degree requirements during graduation planning workshops. Students gain public speaking, teaching, and leadership skills as well as 1-2 credits per semester of service.

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

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