Behavioral Sciences

The major in Behavioral Sciences is an interdisciplinary program encompassing the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. It is designed as a general preparation for a career in human services such as social work, counseling, criminology, or prevention/treatment programs in mental health.

The idea for combining the three fields is based on the belief that it is important for an individual who plans to work with people to understand human beings as individuals (psychologically) who function in groups (social psychologically) within a social context (sociologically) which varies across cultures (anthropologically).

It is also critical to have some exposure to the methods employed by behavioral scientists and some actual experience in the working world of the human services.

The Behavioral Sciences major requires the student to take three introductory-level behavioral sciences courses: Anthropology 101 or 202, Psychology 101, and Sociology 200. A minimum of 32 upper-division (300 and above) credits in the Behavioral Sciences, including at least two courses in psychology, two in sociology, and two in anthropology, is required.

The Behavioral Sciences major encourages specific vocational tracks shaped to the student’s career goals. Faculty members in Behavioral Sciences are available to advise the student on careers and appropriate course selection.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Prerequisites to the Major

The  major requires the student to take three  introductory courses, one in each of the primary disciplines:

ANTH 101Introduction to Anthropology3
or ANTH 202 World Cultures
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 170 or PSYC 171 prior to Fall 2014)3
SOC 200Understanding Society3
Total Credit Hours9

Major Requirements

The major also requires a minimum of 32 upper- level (300/400; 3000/4000 level) credits in the Behavioral Sciences as outlined below, including at least two courses in psychology (PSYC), two in sociology (SOC), and two in anthropology (ANTH).
Research Methods: Select one course from:4
Doing Anthropology: Ethnographic Methods and Applied Practice
Lab in Developmental Psych
Lab in Social Psychology
Personality Assessment Lab
Research Methods in Beh Med
Quantitative Research and Statistics
Qualitative Research
Health/Development: Select one course from:3-4
Anth of Health and Environment
The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Nutrition and Health
Medical Anthropology
Human Genetics
Intro to Health Policy
Perspectives in Women's Health
Life-Span Developmental Psych
Psych of Infant Development
Psych of Child Development
Personality Development
Psychology of Aging
Abnormal Psychology
Child Psychopathology
Human Sexual Behavior
Health Psychology
Race/Ethnic Health
Medical Sociology
Gender: Select one course from:3-4
Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies
Men and Masculinities
Gender and Globalization
LGBTQ+ Criminology
Gender Roles
Sexualities, Genders, & Bodies
LGBTQ Religious Experience
Feminist Theories and Practices
Immigrant Cultures and Gender
Race/Ethnicity: Select one course from:3-4
Biological Anthropology and Human Evolution
Beyond Race: Understanding Human Variation
Indians of North America
African Exper in the Americas
Anthropology of Middle East
Civil Rights Movement in Amer
Psychology of Prejudice
Diversity and the Workplace
Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
Race/Ethnic Health
Race, Ethnicity and Family
Immigrant Cultures and Gender
Race, Crime and Justice
Groups/Relationships: Select one course from:3-4
Kinship and Marriage
Family Diversity & Power
Social Psychology
Psyc of Interpersonal Relation
Applied Social Psychology
The Family
Marriage and Family Problems
Family Violence
Race, Ethnicity and Family
Immigrant Cultures and Gender
Social Issues: Select one course from:3-4
Power & Privilege in Southeast Michigan
Education and Culture
Immigrant Cultures and Gender
Moral and Political Dilemmas
Police and the Community
Social Psychology
Psychology of Prejudice
Diversity and the Workplace
Psychology of Adolescence
Psychology of Aging
Applied Social Psychology
Human Sexual Behavior
Poverty and Inequality
Urban Sociology
Religion in Society
Addiction, Crime and Society
Youth, Crime and Justice
Race, Crime and Justice
Social Construction of Mental Illness
Social Welfare
Internship: Select one from:3-4
Criminal Justice Internship
Psychology Internship
Select 4-11 credits of additional upper level courses in ANTH, PSYC, SOC to reach the minimum 32 total credits:4-11
Total credits required minimum 32


  1. PSYC 485 or CRJ 478 must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
  2. At least 24 of the 32 upper level hours in ANTH, PSYC, and SOC for the Behavioral Science major must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
  3. Many courses are cross listed between the ANTH, PSYC and SOC disciplines. Be sure to consult the Schedule of Classes for cross listed classes.
  4. Any one course may be used to satisfy only one requirement within the major.
  5. A maximum of 48 credit hours in any one discipline (ANTH, PSYC, SOC) is allowed toward degree.

Honors Program in Behavioral Sciences

Behavioral Science students are eligible for the Honors Program which provides special opportunities for outstanding students, including a research training seminar, followed by independent research conducted in collaboration with faculty members. Students are accepted into the Honors Program early in their junior year. Prospective students should plan on completing the statistics and methods requirements by their junior year. Requirements for entrance are 1) GPA of 3.2 or higher in behavioral science courses and overall UM-Dearborn courses, and 2) informal evidence of being a superior student, such as high motivation and ability to work independently. Requirements for graduation with honors in behavioral science are the successful completion of the following:

  • Fulfillment of all requirements for Behavioral Sciences major
  • PSYC 381 Principles of Statistics and Experimental Design
  • PSYC 481 Computers in Psychology, normally taken Fall term, senior year
  • PSYC 498 (Honors Seminars) normally taken Winter Term, junior year
  • PSYC 499 (Honors Research) normally completed during senior year
  • Research Proposal meeting, normally completed early in senior year
  • Final Oral Defense, completed at least one month prior to graduation

Learning Goals

1. Develop a knowledge base of human behavior

  • Be able to view and understand human behavior from multiple perspectives
  • Be able to use the language of the disciplines that comprise the major

2. Develop critical thinking skills

  • Use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to human behavior, from the three perspectives of psychology, study of the individual; sociology, study of groups; anthropology, study of culture

3. Foster integrative thinking across the three disciplines of psychology, sociology, and anthropology

  • Think holistically and comparatively to understand human behavior from multiple perspectives

4. Apply research methods and skills to problems in the study of human behavior

  • Understand and apply basic research methods and communication, writing, and research skills
  • Understand research design, data analysis, and interpretation in psychology, sociology, and anthropology

5. Value cultural and economic diversity

  • Recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural, economic, and international diversity as well as variation across space and time

6. Personal Development

  • Adhere to ethical standards of practice
  • Develop insight into own and others’ behavior
  • Apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement

7. Application

  • Understand and apply the principles of psychology, sociology, and anthropology to social and organizational issues
  • Emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement the knowledge, skills, and values of the study of the behavioral sciences in occupational pursuits
  • Strengthen interpersonal helping and communication skills such as attending, listening, empathizing, and supporting