Teaching Environmental Awareness
Peter Beck, associate professor of environmental science and policy, helps students develop an awareness and knowledge of environmental issues. Watch Video
Don’t Tell the Kids
Delia Kothmann Paskos knows that video games get a bad rap these days, often cited as a cause of aggressive behavior. But the associate professor of Psychology at St. Edward’s is conducting a study that suggests something more optimistic... Read More
Reading the Leaves
Assistant Professor Michael Wasserman’s research with primates may explain how human diets have evolved. Read More

The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) maintains programs that provide the knowledge, perspective, and practical skills needed to pursue excellence in the fields of human behavior, social science, government, and history.

Our curricula merge theory with practice to create high-impact programs with resonance. We support subject exploration through research, classroom activities, and community engagement. In addition, each major incorporates opportunities to study outside of the classroom such as internships and study abroad opportunities.

Our mission is to educate, inspire, and motivate students to become distinguished voices in their respective fields and communities. 

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About the School

Faculty

We are innovative thinkers and passionate teachers who drive the mission of St. Edward's University. Our scholarship and teaching are rich and diverse, mirroring both the multidisciplinary nature of the college and diversity found in global communities. Propelled by a love for discovery, we form an intellectual community dedicated to enriching students' lives.

Our goal is to give students the tools they need to thrive in their lives and careers. We create an environment that cultivates innovation and collaboration. Our belief is that a true education is not an indoctrination of concepts, but the ability to think creatively and freely. We strive to uphold this ideal through methodologies that allow our students to think critically and take ownership of their education. 

Maintaining High Academic Standards

St. Edward's University and the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences are committed to the pursuit of academic excellence.

All bachelor’s and master’s degrees given by St. Edward’s University are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Our BA in Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, a national association of educational and professional institutions, social welfare agencies, and private citizens.  The CSWE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the country. 

Facilities

Our facilities give students and faculty the opportunity to collaborate on a truly professional level of research. 

Doyle Hall is home to the most advanced psychology labs in the Austin area and is outfitted with the latest in biofeedback measurement, one-way observation rooms, and audiovisual technology. State-of-the-art psychology computer labs and technology-rich classrooms allow students and faculty to collaborate on a number of exciting research initiatives. 

Sustainable by design, Doyle Hall is a testament to St. Edward’s University's commitment to environmental stewardship. Energy-efficient lighting and passive heating, ventilation, and cooling systems make Doyle Hall one of the most environmentally-conscious buildings on campus. 

Unique Programs

We have three distinct experiences for our students:

BSS Research Award

The BSS Research Award recognizes current BSS students and faculty members for exceptional work in the area of BSS research and scholarship. Award recipients receive academic and financial support to further their advancements of the field.

BSS Interdisciplinary Scholars Program

The BSS Interdisciplinary Scholars Program challenges student to transcend conventional, disciplinary borders and investigate critical issues commonly addressed through research. Students work one-on-one with program advisors to set a course for exploration and discovery based on a theme topic of their choosing. 

The Washington Center Program

The Washington Center Program provides an opportunity for students to intern and study in Washington D.C.. Programs are available in the fall, spring, and summer semesters and are open to all qualifying BSS students. 

Life Beyond the Hilltop

BSS programs provide sound preparation for graduate school and a variety of careers that require a broad understanding of human behavior, social institutions, global trends and phenomena, and social justice.

Our graduates pursue careers based on their interests:
  • Working with other cultures, governments, and organizations
  • Influencing public policy
  • Practicing environmental law and sustainability 
  • Investigating crime scenes
  • Learning more about how we got where we are
  • Solving legal issues
  • Understanding what makes people tick
  • Helping others overcome obstacles
  • Serving their community​

Jeannetta G. Williams
For me, teaching is not about just giving students information; we build information together. As scientists, we need to be open to experimentation, new theories and new procedures. There’s never a “final answer.”