The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst is a national leader in many research areas within its departments, research centers, and institutes.

Some recent examples:

  • Long-time political science faculty member Sheldon Goldman is a top expert on the politics of judicial selection and confirmation. Recently the UMass Board of Trustees named him a Distinguished Professor for his outstanding research, service, and teaching.
  • Economist Nancy Folbre, who won a MacArthur "genius" grant a few years back, has a particular interest in caring labor and other forms of non-market work. She is routinely tapped by the national media to offer expert opinions on topics related to her research,and she writes a regularly for the New York Times Economix blog.
  • Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy, studies comparative political economy, race/gender/class, welfare states, methods & statistics. Widely published, she has won a number of awards, including the World Bank/Luxembourg Income Study Gender Research Award in (2009, with another UMass Amherst sociologist, Michelle Budig. In 2011 she was named editor of the journal Gender and Society.
  • Donal Carbaugh, who focuses on cultural philosophies of communication, and more specifically, the ways culturally distinctive practices get woven into international and intercultural interactions, is a recipient of the Conti Faculty Fellowship Award, the university's highest honor for research and scholarship. Carbaugh, who has also received a Hewlett Fellowship for Teaching, Fulbright Fellowships, an Advanced Institute of the Humanities Fellowship, several grants, and a consultant for the United States Congress, has enjoyed lecturing at the United Nations (in New York and Geneva), at various embassies and other places across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Research activity in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is becoming increasingly diverse and interdisciplinary. SBS is focused on developing larger networks and funding prospects within a model of institutional collaboration and research support. Currently, the College is focusing on several major areas of developmental research, including Computational Social Science Initiative and the Institute for Social Science Research to span not only the departments of the College, but to encourage collaborative efforts with researchers across the UMass Amherst campus and elsewhere.

Likewise, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences supports emerging research endeavors that build on the campus's academic strengths, including the Center for Heritage and Society and the Center for Latin America, Caribbean and Latino Studies.

SBS also is home to national research centers, including the National Center for Digital Government and the National Center for Information Technology & Dispute Resolution.