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Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall

As a healthcare professional with a focus in health psychology, you have the power to help shape the future of healthcare according to the role of behavioral factors in health promotion, disease prevention, treatment of illness, and health policy. 

In this program, one of only a few in the country, you’ll gain a range of knowledge in psychology, a strong preparation in the basic sciences and liberal arts, an informed sense of healthcare issues from other fields such as sociology, law, ethics, literature, history, and healthcare administration, and training in research methods and statistics. When you graduate, you’ll be well prepared to begin your career or continue your education at the graduate level.

Freshman applicants can view their admission requirements on the Undergraduate Applicants page.

Students are able to transfer into the first or second year of the program. Transfer courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better for transfer. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted. While there are no specific required courses for entry into the first or second year of our program, transfer credit will be reviewed and awarded for each applicant at the time of admission. For admission into the program, the admission committee will look for success in your prior college coursework.

COURSE TITLE SEMESTER HOURS

Year I–Fall

BIO 151 Biology I  3
ITM 101 Introduction to the Major  1
LIB 111 Expository Writing I  3
LIB 120 Introduction to Psychology  3
MAT XXX Determined by Placement 3
Semester Total  13

Year I–Spring

BEH 250 Health Psychology  3
BIO 152 Biology II (w/ Lab)  4
LIB 112 Expository Writing II   3
LIB 133 American Culture  3
MAT 197 Computer Applications  3
Semester Total  16

Year II–Fall

CHE XXX CHE 110, 113, 131 (w/ Lab)  4
MAT 261 Statistics  3
PBH 250 Introduction to Public Health  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  16

Year II–Spring

BEH 101 Health Psychology Seminar I  1
BEH 451 Research Methods in Health & Behavior  3
LIB 220 Interpersonal Communication  3
MAT 461 Biostatistics  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  16

Year III–Fall

BEH 456 Applications of Research Methods  3
LIB 512 Healthcare Ethics  3
Additional Required Course*  3

Additional Required Course* 3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  15

Year III–Spring

BEH 102 Health Psychology Seminar II  1
PSB 412 Medical Patients' Rights  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  16

Year IV–Fall

BEH 103 Health Psychology Seminar III  1
LIB 590 Field Placement I (Pass/Fail)  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  16

Year IV–Spring

LIB 592 Health Psychology Capstone  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
  Additional Required Course*  3
Semester Total  12
Total Degree Credits: 120

Additional Required Courses

  • BEH 260 Lifestyle Medicine
  • BEH 341 Biological Psychology
  • BEH 350 Abnormal Psychology
  • BEH 352 Human Development
  • Two Health-Specific BEH Courses**
  • Two HUM Elective Courses
  • Two SSC Elective Courses
  • Eight General Elective Courses

Health-Specific BEH Courses**

  • BEH 254 Death and Dying
  • BEH 353 Nutrition and Health
  • BEH 344 Integrative Therapies & Mental Health in Aging
  • BEH 405 Mind/Body Medicine
  • BEH 454 Stress and Illness
  • BEH 457 Drugs and Behavior

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of Health Psychology faculty

The following program goals were established in 2010:

  • To provide an opportunity for students to earn a BS in Health Psychology, with a strong knowledge base in the general principles of psychology as well as concepts and applications within health psychology.
  • To provide a comprehensive education that includes an understanding of healthcare delivery, healthcare ethics, and interprofessional healthcare teams.
  • To provide opportunities for the development and demonstration of communication, critical thinking, information literacy, and research design skills.
  • To provide curricular and experiential opportunities for students to explore the wide range of career options appropriate for individuals with a terminal bachelor’s degree in psychology.
  • To provide curricular and experiential opportunities for students to explore graduate training options within and related to psychology.
  • To provide individualized academic advising and career mentoring for all majors from the point of entry into the program through graduation.

The mission of the Health Psychology program is to produce graduates who can apply the knowledge and skills of psychological science to the ethical solution of real-world problems that include, but are not limited to, those related to health; to support the development of critical thinking, evidence-based problem solving, communication, collaboration, and informatics skills; to prepare students to provide quality, patient-centered care that promotes physical, mental, and emotional health in the rapidly changing healthcare environment; and to provide a system of mentoring that encourages the pursuit of individual interests and preparation for direct employment and graduate training. The Health Psychology program aims to provide an engaging learning environment that includes opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom and to work in interdisciplinary teams through service, field placement, and research.

The Health Psychology program supports the development of the knowledge and skills associated with psychological science among students in other programs through the introductory psychology course core curriculum requirement, the behavioral science general education requirement, and the Health Psychology minor. Through these mechanisms, the Health Psychology program teaches future healthcare professionals to recognize the biological, psychological, and social factors that are integral elements of each individual’s life and to integrate these factors to create a holistic understanding of human functioning. Behavioral science courses support interprofessional education by providing opportunities for students representing various healthcare professions to work together to solve health-related problems (e.g., adopting health-enhancing behaviors and eliminating health-compromising behaviors, addressing caregiver stress when treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease, creating a protocol to minimize a child’s anxiety in response to a medical procedure).