About Us


With a history dating back to 1919, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland is a premier institution of academics, instruction, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

A Message from the Dean

Susan RiveraWelcome! Thank you for visiting the online home of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) at the University of Maryland. Whether you visit us in person on the beautiful College Park campus or connect with us online, we encourage you to engage with our extraordinary community, and we are eager to share exciting news and updates from throughout the College.

BSOS is one of the largest and most academically challenging colleges at UMD, and is home to several of the University’s most popular undergraduate majors. Our renowned departments push the boundaries of fields across the full range of the behavioral and social sciences. We educate and inspire the next generation of economists, politicians, cultural thought leaders, law enforcement officers, scientists, social innovators, and many more.

The College also is home to the Maryland Population Research Center, the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and many more groundbreaking research centers. These centers produce data, findings and recommendations that guide the public, the government and the global community toward effective solutions that improve the quality of human life.

From African American Studies to Hearing and Speech Sciences to Sociology, ours is a diverse and far-reaching portfolio, which reflects the needs of and challenges facing our local, national and global societies. With students and faculty focusing on so many unique areas of study, what unites us? The answer is that each individual in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences makes a commitment to Be the Solution to some of the world’s greatest challenges. We do so by investigating the social and behavioral angles of major problems, and by encouraging the development of practical applications and policies to bring about lasting change.

We design instruments that closely monitor forest change and carbon emissions. We examine how online social networks affect interpersonal relationships. We pioneer ways to incentivize savings programs to encourage asset building. We bring together interdisciplinary luminaries to discuss the root causes of racism and intolerance. We reveal the changing landscape of American voting demographics. We are curious, we are passionate, and we are fearless.

We are committed to making a difference in our classrooms and laboratories, through the work and lives of our engaged and impressive alumni, and through the partnerships we have forged in the state of Maryland, with the federal government, and indeed with institutions and entities around the world.

At the heart of our mission is excellence in teaching and a commitment to providing an engaging, inclusive and unparalleled student experience. Our staff members work with each student to tailor his or her path from academics to internships to study abroad experiences to the career search. Our faculty is committed not only to the highest standard of teaching in the classroom, but also to providing challenging opportunities in laboratories, in the field, and in surprising places in the United States and around the world. I am exceedingly proud of our graduates, who become part of an alumni community committed to staying connected, engaging in social and networking events, and investing their time, talents and gifts in the future of their College.

I invite you to explore our website, watch our videos, visit our campus, and talk with the faculty, staff, and leadership who are eager to connect with you. Thank you for your interest in BSOS. I hope that our research, our teaching, and our mission inspire you to Be the Solution.

- Dean Susan Rivera


Our Community

The College of Behavioral & Social Sciences is home to 9 diverse, interdisciplinary departments and many programs, all committed to investigating and improving the human condition. Many of our departments and programs are highly ranked by leading publications and institutions of excellence. Learn more.

The mission and impact of the College are also enhanced by our cutting-edge research centers, which provide invaluable data and findings that affect domestic and international conversations and policies.

Be the Solution


The College of Behavioral & Social Sciences (BSOS) is home to 9diverse, interdisciplinary departments and many programs, all committed to investigating and improving the human condition. Our faculty, students and alumni explore and inform the full range of fields in the behavioral and social sciences. While pursuing dramatically different projects and areas of research, each individual in BSOS seeks to Be the Solution to the world’s grand challenges.