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. 

Click here for the 2021-2022 Academic Bulletins and stay up to date on BSS activities. View the 2021-22 degree plans. Follow us on Facebook

Faculty, deans and staff at St. Edward’s are frequently praised for the expertise and contributions they bring to their fields and teaching. In 2019 alone, they’ve received prestigious awards, written viewpoints for the media on current events, and shared research and perspectives with the public on topics they’re passionate about. Read about four members of the BSS team and their contributions to our school and the community.

About the School



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. 

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Mission Statement

The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences seeks to accomplish the university's mission by educating students to understand and think critically about human behavior, social institutions, world cultures, and social justice, enabling them to better relate to and serve their community and the world. 

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. 


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

Equity 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, Equity 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 Equity Hall one of the most environmentally-conscious buildings on campus. 

Teacher Education

We offer two pathways for students who seek a career in education. With the current shortage of classroom teachers reaching a critical point, seeking a career path in as a certified teacher will guarantee employment,  great benefits, savings for retirement, and a competitive salary. 

Teacher Education policies and procedures

General information and policies related to the teacher education program.

Minor in Teacher Education

If you are interested in becoming a certified teacher in Texas, then our Minor in Teacher Education is the right choice. We offer certification routes for secondary certification (7-12) in English, History, Life Science, Chemistry, and Mathematics. 

Minor in Education Studies

If you'd like to work as an educator, but prefer to work outside of the K-12 classroom, then our Minor in Education Studies is the best pathway. Students who graduate with this minor seek education-related work like becoming an outdoor educator, industry trainer, museum docent. 

Unique Programs

We have two distinct experiences for our students:

BSS Interdisciplinary Scholars Minor

The BSS Interdisciplinary Scholars Minor 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. 

Research Awards Open to Students and Faculty

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. 

Dr. Emma Lou Linn Endowed Student/Faculty Research Grants

The Dr. Emma Lou Linn research grants provide funding to current students and stipends to faculty who oversee the students’ work. The fund was initiated by the Psychology Department to honor their senior colleague. It is open to all BSS faculty to reflect the diversity of interests that Dr. Emma Lou Linn has embraced over her long career and it recognizes the sizable and significant research output for which faculty in BSS are known. In doing so, it fosters the student-faculty research collaborations that are the hallmark and one of the finest traditions of a St. Edward's education.

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.

Oct 30, 2019 Camila Rojas' 19, an Environmental Science and Policy alumna, recently had her research published about tourism management, Protected area entry fee and governance quality, which resulted from her study abroad experience in Panama. Camila is currently working at a research station in Costa Rica and partnering with local non-profit organizations. To find out more about her research and career path, Office of Sustainability Digital Media Intern Lorna Probasco '20 caught up with Camila. Read the article here.

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​

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