The Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) major is an interdisciplinary program integrating perspectives and critical analyses from Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology along with theory from multiple disciplines including law, public policy, public health, education, and leadership. The major provides an excellent foundation for careers in social services, mental health, education, child and youth services, public health, public policy, and law.
Community engagement is embedded throughout the SBS major. Several SBS courses build short-term community engagement opportunities into the course design, allowing students to experience community agencies and professionals first hand. Given SBS requires an internship course, we have built strong partnerships with many community sites, placing students each semester in a variety of settings. Many SBS students are offered employment after completion of the internship and continue to help us uphold these strong relationships.
SBS has talented faculty who are, individually and collectively, skilled teachers, caring and knowledgeable advisors, established scholars, active university citizens, and engaged community partners. Several remain licensed practitioners bringing current, applicable, and relevant knowledge to classroom discussions.
Just as important to SBS degree study are service learning and field experience opportunities, which enable students to apply classroom learning in the field. The required internship gives students opportunities to develop relevant skills while exploring professional opportunities firsthand – and often helps launch them in successful careers!
Ambitious SBS students have the option of declaring an accelerated graduate pathway. This allows the student to start taking graduate-level courses during the final semesters of undergraduate studies, potentially saving time and money.
USM offers SBS students four graduate pathways: Master of Science in Counseling, Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Social Work, and Juris Doctor of Law.
Participation in the accelerated pathway option DOES NOT guarantee admission to the graduate program. Each applicant joins the overall applicant pool for consideration for admission.
Our Program Philosophy
Designed to enhance students’ understanding of the psychosocial and cultural influences shaping individual lives and social institutions, the curriculum interweaves interdisciplinary courses in liberal arts with foundational SBS courses and a variety of courses providing more specific tools of the trade. Required courses such as Toward a Global Ethics, Deviance and Social Control, and Applied Social and Public Policy reinforce appreciation of the impact of societal influences. Students expand upon this knowledge through choices made from an extensive array of elective courses. Many students focus their choice of electives thematically, pursuing a concentration in Counseling or Public Health, or a minor or certificate in Public Health or Regulatory Ethics.