Connect to Your World
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst is home to departments and programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Journalism, Legal Studies, Political Science, Resource Economics, Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC), and Sociology. Through Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) students can receive the BS degree in Landscape Architecture or Environmental Design. Minors are available in many of these programs. In addition, numerous departments, programs and centers within the College offer graduate degrees and certificates. For details, go to Students.
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences focuses on behavior and organization from cultural, social, and biological perspectives. Undergraduates achieve an understanding of culture, society, individual and social interaction processes, as well as methodology to measure and analyze these processes. Students anchor their knowledge in at least one discipline, but are encouraged to expand their understanding through various enriching experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Graduates of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences have strong analytic and problem-solving abilities, good human relations skills, and confidence in their ability to learn and grow in new work situations. Careers include law, social work, economics, financial analysis, urban and regional planning, education, management, medicine, international relations, journalism, public relations, television and radio broadcasting, advertising, and more.
To prepare individuals to be intelligent and committed citizens of the world who understand contemporary society and themselves, the curriculum provides exposure to diverse cultural perspectives. The College’s Global Education Requirement provides a framework for students to learn about individuals, societies and cultures. Generally, study of a foreign language is combined with related cultural courses that focus on contemporary topics.
All majors within the College support departmental or interdisciplinary honors programs. Students can also enrich their educational experience by taking advantage of course offerings at Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke colleges. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to include internships and/or international study as part of their academic program. See below for more information.
The College offers many scholarships to assist students with the expenses of study abroad and internships. A number of scholarships based on academic achievement are available as well. For details, see scholarships.
Academic and Career Advising
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences encourages students to meet regularly with an academic advisor. Faculty and staff advisors in departments and the SBS Advising Center (128 Thompson Hall) are available to help students who have questions or concerns about course selection, requirements, career guidance, academic problems, and referrals.
Students should begin to explore the world beyond the UMass Amherst as early in their undergraduate experience as possible to help insure a smooth and successful transition to work or further study. The Campus Career Network helps students make informed career choices and provides undergraduates with opportunities to obtain experience through internships, cooperative education, and service learning programs.
Study Abroad and Internships
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences strongly encourages study abroad for one or two semesters. Experiencing another culture in all its complexity is a unique way to assimilate a different vantage point from one’s own heritage. Study abroad often develops a higher level of maturity which employers may seek. Go to the International Programs Office for details about study abroad opportunities around the world.
In addition, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences encourages students to acquire practical experience—as much as possible—related to their majors. Internships, or participating in Community Service Learning options can only help students prepare for employment or graduate study. See information in Career Services for potential opportunities and work closely with your academic advisor.