Psychology Research & Practice Track
Home to some of the world's most respected research hospitals, universities, and institutes, Boston is a leader in the study of the mind and behavior. For hundreds of years, the region has been a launching pad for advancing knowledge about the psychology and psychiatry of both groups and individuals. Boston's many labs and health and medical centers flourish with a wide range of clinical, educational, and research activities.
On this track you'll explore topics such as childhood development, neurodevelopment, cognition, and aging. Please note that if you are placed in a clinical environment during the Internship Phase, direct patient contact will be limited and, at some sites, may not be possible.
Applicants to this track must have completed at least three years of college by the start of the program.
Summer 1: The Academic Phase
You'll spend your first six weeks of the Summer Study Internship Program taking two 4-credit courses chosen from offerings in psychology and science.
CAS NE 101 Introduction to Neuroscience
An introduction to the biological basis of behavior and cognition. Includes theoretical and practical foundations rooted in psychology, biology, neuropharmacology, and clinical sciences (e.g., neurology and neuropsychiatry). Neuroethical dilemmas are highlighted and integrated when relevant to discussion topics. Carries natural sciences divisional credit without lab in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Lecture T, W, R 9:00 AM-11:30 AM Guayasamin KCB 104 SA1 Discussion T, R 12:00 PM-1:00 PM Guayasamin CAS 204A
CAS NE 594 The Neurobiology of Consciousness and Evolution of Language
Prereq: Any college-level neuroscience, psychology, or physiology course. Exploration of the neuroscience of imagination from neurons to memory to neurological control of novel conscious experiences. The course covers what makes the brain and human language unique as well as the selectional forces that shaped the brains of our ancestors. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS BI 325 or CAS NE 203.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Lecture T, W, R 4:00 PM-6:30 PM Vyshedskiy SCI 115 SA1 Discussion T, R 6:30 PM-7:30 PM Vyshedskiy SCI 115
CAS PS 211 Introduction to Experimental Design
Introduction to the logic and processes involved in descriptive and inferential statistics for psychology. Topics include statistical inference, significance, t-tests, ANOVAs, correlation, and statistical software analysis. This is a hybrid class: class time is reserved for hands on activities. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Wells PSY B51
CAS PS 234 Psychology of Learning
Survey of theory and techniques in learning and their applications in different settings. Topics include problem solving, memory, reward and punishment, and reinforcement schedules as studied in animals, normal classrooms, and remedial settings. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Dunne PSY B51
CAS PS 241 Developmental Psychology
Students may elect either CAS PS 241 or PS 243, but not both. Critical review of research and theories pertaining to intellectual and social development of infants and children. Role of early experiences and biological factors in later formation of personality, and intellectual and motivational behaviors; includes theories of Erikson, Piaget, and Freud. Term paper may be required. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Blake PSY B55
CAS PS 251 Psychology of Personality: Theories and Application
Emphasizes the historical development of personality theories and their application to social and clinical concerns. Classic theories of personality (e.g., psychoanalytical, behavioral, trait, humanistic, cognitive, and social roles) are explored and evaluated through lectures, readings, case materials, and films. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 5:00 PM-8:30 PM Shim KCB 106
CAS PS 325 Experimental Psychology: Personality
Prereq: ((CAS PS 211 or (CAS MA 115 & CAS MA 116)) and (CAS PS 251 or CAS PS 252)). Systematic approaches to the study of personality. Experimental and observational investigations of selected aspects of personality. Demonstration of experimental procedures and student participation in laboratory and field studies. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101; CAS PS 211 or CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116; CAS PS 251.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 2:00 PM-5:30 PM Mercurio PSY B53
CAS PS 333 Drugs and Behavior
Comprehensive survey of drug influences on behavior; introduces a neuroscience approach to behavior. Several classes of drugs are discussed, including abused and addictive substances and psychoactive and therapeutic agents. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101, and CAS PS 231 or CAS NE 101, and junior or senior standing; or consent of instructor.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Caine HAR 208
CAS PS 338 Neuropsychology
Survey of theoretical aspects and major empirical findings in human neuropsychology, including memory, language, spatial function, attention, emotion, and abstract thought. Emphasis is on the relation between brain disorders (resulting from head injury, stroke, degenerative disease, etc.) and abnormal behavior. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 231 or CAS BI 325.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 1:30 PM-5:00 PM Dunne PSY B51
CAS PS 371 Abnormal Psychology
Attention to the wide range of ways in which personality may become disordered, and emphasis on normal behavior development as highlighted by psychopathology. Evidence and theories concerning problems of treatment are also considered. 4 cr.
Prereq: CAS PS 101.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 9:30 AM-1:00 PM Pincus EPC 209
CAS SO 240 Sexuality and Social Life
Introduction to sociological perspectives on gender and sexuality. Historical comparative analysis of sexuality, with a focus on the social, cultural, political, and economic institutions and processes that shape sexuality in the contemporary social world. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Connell CAS B06B
SED CE 500 Introduction to Counseling
Emphasizes understanding of the theoretical basis of counseling. Introduces learning skills involved in helping relationships. Selected readings in counseling theory and practice are assigned. As part of the skill-building process, opportunities are provided for in-class practice and demonstrations. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent T, R 1:00 PM-4:30 PM Howard MCS B31
SED CE 630 Applied Positive Psychology
Focuses on the scientific study of psychological aspects of living a fulfilling and flourishing life. Topics include happiness, empathy, optimism, friendship, goal setting, achievement, emotion, creativity, humor, and mindfulness. Students become familiar with theory and research in this relatively new subfield and critically consider applications to their teaching, coaching, leadership, and/or counseling. 4 cr.
Section Type Days Times Instructor Location SA1 Independent M, W 4:00 PM-7:30 PM Baltzell KCB 104
Summer 2: The Internship Phase
For the second six weeks of the program, you'll be placed as an intern in a Boston-area organization or business that matches your interests and experience. You should expect to work five days a week for a minimum of 35 hours. Most internships are unpaid.
Psychology Research & Practice Internship Opportunities
Internship placement sites in past years have included counseling services and mental health centers, early childhood development programs, and labs and research departments in fields such as neurodevelopment, vision, cognition, education, socio-emotional intelligence, and degenerative diseases and disorders.
- Internship placement for 35 hours a week
- Internship matches are based on your interests, abilities, and experience, as well as employer and industry norms (Please note: Opportunities within research laboratories are dependent on student experience and lab requirements.)
- All internship sites are accessible by public transportation
- Visit our Placement Process page for additional information
Summer Study Internship Course
The Summer Study Internship Program's 2-credit Internship Course meets on Fridays throughout Summer 1 and two evenings in Summer 2. The course explores links between your academic track and your on-site professional experience, and provides support and guidance as you prepare for your placement.
Meet a Psychology Research & Practice Student
Student: Jada Alexander
Courses: Applied Positive Psychology; Drugs and Behavior
Internship Site: Boston Treatment Center
On the job: As a case manager intern, I completed biopsychosocial assessments of clients entering the detox program. I also worked with clients to figure out further treatment options and referred them accordingly. I facilitated group therapy sessions on topics such as trust, health and wellness, and HIV/Hepatitis C awareness and acceptance. The experience allowed me to apply the psychological concepts and theories I've learned in the classroom in a professional setting.
Perspectives: My internship provided me the clinical exposure I needed to gain better insight into what I might want to do in my career. The program is a rare opportunity to apply what is learned in the classroom to the workplace. I have never had a more productive, fulfilling, and personally rewarding summer!