Related Coursework

You should review the course offerings in "neighboring" departments that can provide added depth and perspective to what you cover in psychology courses. Check whether a course is cross-listed in psychology (has a PSYC number), in which case it might count as an elective course towards your major requirements. Remember: Even if a course does not fulfill a major requirement, it may still be worthwhile for your education in psychology.

A partial list of related fields includes the following:

 

Arts and Sciences students can typically count up to 6 courses from other divisions within the University towards the 38 courses needed for an A&S degree. (Check with your Dean if you have transfer credits.)

In cooperation with the School of Social Work, the Psychology Department offers a joint five-year Master's Degree program for those students who have decided upon a career in social work. This program is open only to Psychology B.A. majors.

Students in this program complete their undergraduate requirements including those for the Psychology Major during their first four years. In addition, during their junior year students begin to take Social Work courses. Upon successful completion of all undergraduate requirements during their senior year, students receive the B.A., at which time they are formally enrolled in the Graduate School of Social Work. Upon successful completion of all graduate requirements at the end of the fifth year students are awarded the M.S.W.

Students apply for admission to the five-year program during their sophomore year. For further information about this program, contact the program faculty advisor for the Psychology Department, Michael Moore.

Program Requirements

Psychology majors fulfill all requirements for the major. The School of Social Work lists additional requirements and a recommended schedule of courses.

Psychology Faculty Advisor: Karen Rosen

The Undergraduate Clinical Concentration is designed for Psychology B.A. majors with a particular interest in careers in clinical or counseling psychology or clinical social work. The concentration lays a solid foundation in coursework, research, and field experiences to help students decide whether they wish to apply to a graduate program and obtain licensure to practice in a clinical field.

Students must apply to participate in the Undergraduate Clinical Concentration during the junior year. The application may be accessed here and needs to be completed and submitted (as a hard copy with a copy of your degree audit and the typed statement attached) to Dr. Karen Rosen, Director of the Undergraduate Clinical Concentration, by March 15th. Students who are studying abroad during the spring semester of their junior year may submit an electronic version of this application. Your application will be reviewed and decisions will be emailed to applicants by April 1st in time for registration for fall semester courses.

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Course Requirements

To complete the Clinical Concentration, students need to satisfy the Psychology B.A. major requirements and some additional course requirements (see below). We recommend completing the required 1000- and 2000-level courses early because some are prerequisites to later courses required for the concentration.

  • PSYC1110 Introduction to Psychology as a Natural Science
  • PSYC1111 Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science
  • PSYC1120 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research I
  • Either PSYC1121 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research II or a Research Practicum

DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS

  • PSYC2234 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC2260 Developmental Psychology
  • Two courses, each from a different one of the following clusters
    • Biological (PSYC2285 or PSYC2289)
    • Cognitive (PSYC2272 or PSYC2274)
    • Social and Personality (PSYC2241 or PSYC2242)

SELECTION OF ELECTIVE COURSES

  • Three 3000-level elective courses, at least two of which come from the following list of clinical electives. We recommend taking more than two, since each of these courses provides a foundation for understanding psychopathology or focuses on a topic or issue in Clinical Psychology.
    • PSYC3328 Aggression, Anxiety, and ADHD
    • PSYC3329 Psychophysiology of Stress
    • PSYC3331 Developmental Psychopathology
    • PSYC3332 Topics in Developmental Psychopathology
    • PSYC3334 Interpersonal Violence
    • PSYC3337 Culture and Mental Health
    • PSYC3338 Topics in Abnormal Psychology
    • PSYC3339 Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • PSYC3366 Social and Emotional Development
    • PSYC3379 Disorders of Language and Communication
    • PSYC3380 Neuroscience of Psychopathology
    • PSYC3386 Psychopharmacology
    • PSYC3388 Neurobiology of Eating and Eating Disorders
    • PSYC4431 Seminar in Positive Psychology
    • PSYC4433 Addiction, Choice, and Motivation
    • PSYC4434 Psychology of Immigration
    • PSYC4435 Images of Mental Illness in Film and Literature
    • PSYC4437 Stress and Behavior
    • PSYC4439 Research Practicum in Clinical Psychology
    • PSYC5581 Neurobiology of Mental Illness

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COURSES

Finally, students must also take the following courses:

  • PSYC3336 Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC4436 Clinical Fieldwork in Psychology

Thus, students in the Clinical Concentration will take 13 courses (39 credits) to complete both the B.A. major and the Clinical Concentration requirements.

This concentration is normally not open to psychology B.S. majors. We are concerned that the heavier load of the B.S. requirements along with the added requirements of the Clinical Concentration will interfere with students becoming involved in research early in their studies and their undertaking an independent research project in their senior year. However, B.S. majors may petition the Department for permission to pursue the Clinical Concentration by contacting Michael Moore, the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, as early as possible.

Additional Information

RESEARCH

At least two semesters of research, by arrangement with a faculty member in the Psychology Department, are strongly recommended. This research activity is essential for students who are planning to apply to graduate programs in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. Students are encouraged to work as a volunteer in a research lab as soon as they identify a research area of interest to them. They may also enroll in:

  • PSYC2205 Undergraduate Research
  • PSYC2206 Independent Study
  • PSYC4490 and 4491 Senior Thesis I and II
  • PSYC4495 and 4496 Senior Honors Thesis I and II (as part of the Psychology Honors Program)
  • Scholar of the College Project

Note that one semester of a research course may count towards the requirements described above.

COMPLETION OF THE CONCENTRATION

Seniors will be contacted during the spring semester by the Clinical Concentration advisor, Karen Rosen, to verify that all requirements for the concentration have been fulfilled. Seniors will then bring their transcript to the Clinical Concentration advisor for review. Completion of the Clinical Concentration is noted on the student’s final transcript.

 

Many students find that their interests are well served by one of the many interdisciplinary minors available in the College of Arts and Sciences. For example, students with interests in the psychology of women or feminism may pursue a Women's Studies Minor by taking approved courses in the Psychology, Sociology, and English departments. Interdisciplinary minors are described briefly in the Boston College Undergraduate Catalog. Additional information about a minor can be obtained by contacting its director.

Many students contemplate completing a second major. Doing so can be highly valuable educationally, but it is up to you to make sure that it is. For example, there may be some courses required for a second major that are not relevant to your educational goals. You should consider whether you would be better off creating your own unofficial minor by taking only the most significant courses and omitting some of the required courses for the second major. You would not have the second major appear on your transcript, but the individual courses will appear and, what is most important, you will have gotten the educational benefit of taking those courses. In other words, a double major is something of a luxury; do it if it makes sense but be aware of what you are sacrificing. You might be better off taking more advanced courses in your primary major or, alternatively, you might gain more by exploring a number of different fields.

Students are allowed to co-count a maximum of one course across two majors or a major and a minor.

Students applying to M.D. and D.O. programs in the United States file their applications through AMCAS (M.D.-American Medical College Application Service) or AACOMAS (D.O.-American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine). These services calculate a science GPA that includes all BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math) orientated courses.

Many of the courses offered within the Psychology department predominantly discuss the use of Neuroscience or Statistical methods to elucidate Psychological processes. According to AMCAS, Neuroscience courses (a subset of Biology) and Statistics courses (a subset of Math) should be included within the BCPM GPA, and it is the belief of the Psychology faculty that, in accordance with the guidelines outlined by AMCAS, the courses listed below should be reported in your “BCPM” GPA when applying through AMCAS.

Nevertheless, when filing an application Premedical students should read the instructions on the AMCAS or AACOMAS application carefully, as policies may change.

PS courses in the BCPM GPA Math-Statistics subset

  • PSYC1120 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research I
  • PSYC1121 Introduction to Behavioral Statistics and Research II
  • PSYC1124 Statistics (Honors)
  • PSYC1126 Behavioral Statistics & Research Methods II (Honors)
  • PSYC3301 Statistics in Everyday Life
  • PSYC5501 Experimental Design and Statistics
  • PSYC5502 Multiple Regression
  • PSYC6601 Structural Equation Modeling
  • PSYC6605 Multivariate Statistics

PS courses in the BCPM GPA Biology-Neuroscience subset

  • PSYC2285 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC2289 Comparative Psychology: Study of Animal Behavior
  • PSYC3338 Topics in Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC3341 Psychology of Morality
  • PSYC3371 Cognitive Neuroscience: Exploring Mind and Brain
  • PSYC3372 Affective Neuroscience
  • PSYC3373 Learning and Motivation
  • PSYC3375 Psychology and Neuroscience of Human Memory
  • PSYC3378 Vision
  • PSYC3379 Disorders of Language and Communication
  • PSYC3380 Neuroscience of Psychopathology
  • PSYC3382 Neurobiology of Stress
  • PSYC3383 Neurobiological Basis of Learning
  • PSYC3384 Neurophysiology
  • PSYC3385 Neurobiology of Motivation and Emotion
  • PSYC3386 Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC3387 Developmental Neuroscience and Behavior
  • PSYC3388 Neurobiology of Eating and Eating Disorders
  • PSYC3391 Ethical Controversies in Psychology and Neuroscience
  • PSYC4470 Research Practicum in Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC4473 Event-related Potentials
  • PSYC4474 Research Practicum in Sensory Psychology
  • PSYC4481 Research Practicum in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC5570 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC5571 Controversies in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSYC5574 Neuroscience of Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC5575 Advanced Affective Neuroscience
  • PSYC5576 Methods in Human Brain Mapping
  • PSYC5580 Neural Systems and Stress
  • PSYC5581 Neurobiology of Mental Illness
  • PSYC5582 Advanced Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC5583 Molecular Basis of Learning and Memory
  • PSYC5585 Brain Systems: Motivation and Emotion

Neuroscience Courses for Predental, Preveterinary, and Other Health Careers

A number of other graduate health professions, including dental and veterinary schools, have centralized application services, AADSAS (Associated American Dental Schools Application Service) and VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Service). While many schools may include neuroscience and statistics in their science GPA calculations, it is important to carefully research the application instructions for each profession, as policies may change.