Apply For Program

Program Details

  • Prepare for a career in psychology
  • Complete a B.S., B.A., or a minor
  • Go directly into the field or continue your path with graduate programs


UMBC’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology provides students the analytic and interpersonal skills needed to claim their future in a wide range of fields, including psychology, social services, education, and business in both the public and private sectors. Students will learn practical application of research, including treatments, interventions, and policies that improve the quality of life. Traditionally, upper-level (300- and 400-level) psychology courses are offered on a convenient schedule during the weekdays (generally between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.) for students planning to complete a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, research opportunities and internships are available for UMBC-Shady Grove psychology students to expand beyond the classroom and help prepare them for a successful future.

Students enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts program in Psychology at UMBC-Shady Grove will complete approximately two years of full-time study prior to entry and complete the remainder of their upper-level credits with UMBC-Shady Grove. Students may transfer a maximum of 60 credits from a community college and 90 credits from a four-year school to UMBC.


Complete the recommended prerequisites in psychology, English, and statistics
Contact UMBC-Shady Grove for advising requirements, check your transfer credits, and the major requirements
Complete your major requirements, and total 120 credits including 45 upper level credits and graduate

More About the Program

Suggested Transfer Pathway

UMBC-Shady Grove has developed Suggested Transfer Pathways (STPs) for students at Montgomery College (updated version coming soon) and Frederick Community College (updated version coming soon) who may be interested in transferring into any one of our undergraduate programs. In the meantime, please make use of our General Suggested Transfer Pathway. Our STPs provide an academic plan of action for transfer and an outline of the recommended transfer coursework specific to each of our academic programs.

Please note that the Suggested Transfer Pathway is not intended to serve as an official articulation agreement.

Recommended Prerequisites

UMBC-Shady Grove provides upper-level coursework for transfer students who have completed or are near completion of lower-level course requirements. As such, only upper-level courses are offered at UMBC-Shady Grove specific to each of our undergraduate programs. Most students transferring into UMBC-Shady Grove have completed at least 45-50 credits prior to transferring and many students have earned their associate degree. The Psychology Department strongly encourages you to complete the following courses prior to transfer:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • English Composition
  • Statistics

In addition to the above courses, the following courses must be completed prior to graduation from UMBC. Ideally, a student will complete as many of the courses below as possible prior to transferring to UMBC-Shady Grove. Given that these courses are lower-level, they must be taken at an institution other than UMBC-Shady Grove:

  • 3 Arts and Humanities courses (from at least two different disciplines)
  • 3 Social Science courses (from at least two different disciplines; Introduction to Psychology counts as 1 of 3 courses)
  • College Algebra or Statistics
  • 2 Science courses (at least one must have a lab component)
  • World Language Intermediate-Level (consult advisor about exceptions)

Questions about the Psychology Program? Please contact Dr. Diane Alonso, Program Director, at or 301-738-6318. Watch the short video below to meet Dr. Alonso.

Major Requirements

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree must complete university requirements. Progress toward completion of university requirements is evaluated by means of the Transfer Credit Report (TCR) which is available online to students via myUMBC once admitted to the university. Progress toward major completion is evaluated in the academic departments. University requirements include:

General Requirements:
  • Minimum of 120 academic credits
  • Minimum of 2.0 grade point average
  • 45 Upper Level Credits
Major Requirements
Additional Advising Resources

View additional Shady Grove Advising Resources. For more information on degree requirements, please contact the UMBC-Shady Grove Coordinator of Undergraduate Recruitment and Advising at 301-738-6281.

Minor Requirements

In addition to completing a major, UMBC students also have the option of completing a minor to supplement their coursework. The minors listed below are available to all students at UMBC-Shady Grove. Please note that all social work majors are required to complete a minor of their choosing. 

Please click on the links below for University requirements specific to minors requiring coursework available at UMBC-Shady Grove. Other minor options may be explored as well. You should meet with your academic advisor to discuss how your minor of interest may best fit your degree plan.

Minor Requirements:

Psychology Minor


Smiling woman in redDiane Alonso, Ph.D.
Program Director
Department: Psychology
Phone: 301-738-6318
Office: Bldg III, Room 4145

Diane Alonso, Ph.D., serves as the UMBC Psychology Department’s Program Director at the Universities at Shady Grove. She started the undergraduate program at the Center in 2004 and the Graduate I/O Psychology program in 2007. Diane is a lifetime Maryland resident and received her undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Computer Science and her graduate degrees (M.S. and Ph.D.) in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). With a background in Cognitive Psychology and Human Factors/Usability, Diane has over 10 years experience working in the industry both for IBM’s Federal Systems Division and for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)’s Health and Human Services Division. While employed at CSC, Diane performed usability work for clients such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Education, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She also created and led a successful training program for new software implemented for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (MMCS).

In addition to her vocation, Diane’s avocation is musical theater. For over 15 years she performed locally in community and professional theaters in the D.C. and surrounding metro areas. In 1992, during a production of an original version of the “Phantom of the Opera” at Toby’s Dinner Theater in Columbia, Maryland, Diane met her future husband, Tom Alonso, the very talented composer of the commissioned production. They were married a year later and now have two beautiful daughters.

Banks, Dr. David
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 387 (Community Psychology)
Research Areas: Family and community violence, personalized health, and public health.

Goldstein, Dr. Robin
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 304 (Adolescent Psychology), PSYC 308 (Child Maltreatment), PSYC 382 (Child and Adolescent Psychopathology), PSYC 407 (Advanced Child Psychology), PSYC 409 (Development and Education)
Research Areas: Child and Adolescent Development

Knight, Dr. Donald
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 211 (The Science and Profession of Psychology), PSYC 309 (Psychology: Exploration of the Discipline and Careers), PSYC 320 (Psychological Assessments), PSYC 345 (Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy)

LaFontaine, Dr. Sue Ellen
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 305 (Exceptional Child)

Lichvar, Dr. Emily
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 211 (The Science and Profession of Psychology) and PSYC 307 (The Psychology of Aging)
Research Areas: Addiction and substance abuse in the areas of prevention, treatment, and integrating systems of care for adolescents and families; Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adolescence

Lynch, Dr. Minda
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 375 (Neuroanatomy),  PSYC 390 (Neuropsychopharmacology) and a Special Topics Course entitled “The Neuroscience of Resilience”
Research Areas: Multidisciplinary Neurosciences, Neuropsychopharmacology

Rudow, Edward
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 320 (Assessment), PSYC 324 (Interviewing), PSYC 346 (Industrial/Organizational), PSYC 360 (Motivation), PSYC 380 (Personality), PSYC 393 (Diversity in the Workplace), PSYC 393 (Consumer Behavior)
Research Areas:Employee Attitude Assessment

Tarner, Dr. Nina L.
Undergraduate Courses: PSYC 210 (Psychology of Learning), PSYC 335 (Physiological Psychology), PSYC 357 (Psychology of Women), PSYC 370 (Sensation & Perception), PSYC 385 (Health,Psychology), PSYC 393 (Abnormal Psychology in Film), PSYC 463 (Eating: Normal and Abnormal)
Research Areas: Forensic Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Animal Learning

Watkins-Lewis, Dr. Karen
Phone: 301-738-6075
Office: Bldg III, Room 4149

Karen Watkins-Lewis, Ph.D., serves as a full-time Instructor in the UMBC Psychology Department at the Universities at Shady Grove. Karen received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and her doctorate degree in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC. Her research areas of interest are socio-cultural child development and the processes of parenting as it relates to the mental health and academic success of children in underserved communities. While pursuing her graduate degree, Karen worked as a research associate with the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (currently known as CAPSTONE) at Howard University. She has completed post doctoral fellowships with the Child Development Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park and the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia. She has co-authored several peer reviewed publications and book chapters in the areas of socio-cultural child development and education. Karen has over 5 years of experience as a lecturer in psychology and human development, and has served as an Instructor and mentor for two student scholars programs: the Child Advocacy Scholars program at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Meyerhoff Scholars program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Karen currently resides in the Washington, DC metro area. She lives with her husband of 23 years, Gilbert Lewis, Jr., and has three beautiful daughters: Morgan, Maya, and Michelle “Kai.”