Academic Departments

Department of Social Sciences

Lori Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Chair of Social Sciences; Associate Professor of Psychology

Office: Plummer House

Tel: 617-243-2074


The Social Sciences Department offers majors in Psychology and Sociology. The department also offers minors in Child and Adolescent Studies, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s Studies; two minors are offered in conjunction with the Justice Studies Department – Forensic Studies and Youth and Crime. The Human Resources minor is offered in cooperation with the Marketing and Management Department.

Social science courses are anchored in a liberal arts approach to education with the goal of helping students apply critical thinking skills to social and psychological questions. Students learn intervention techniques ranging from counseling skills appropriate for individuals to the implementation of action strategies designed to change social conditions and improve human systems. Equally important, Lasell’s Social Science major emphasizes humane and ethical practice through a curriculum designed to increase appreciation of the diversity of human experience and sensitivity to the dynamics of social oppression and the consequences of social change.

All three majors share the service-learning feature of the curriculum. In their first year, all students take an introductory course in human service theory and participate in at least one service-learning project coordinated through the Center for Community Based Learning. During their first one-semester internship, students spend 150 hours in a community agency that provides services or a therapeutic environment for its clients. A concurrent seminar provides the academic groundwork for this internship, and a required course in basic counseling skills gives students an introduction to valuable interviewing and intervention techniques. Finally, as the capstone experience in their senior year, students are engaged in a two-semester, 125 hours per semester, intensive internship placement, also accompanied by concurrent seminars each semester. Through their internship experiences and their academic course work, students develop and practice professional skills and master the writing styles for the discipline and the profession.

Our program prepares students to work in administration, education, public affairs, advocacy agencies, government agencies, child welfare settings, therapeutic environments, research and human service agencies that meet needs of clients of all ages or deal with the range of activities occupying social science professionals. These experiences in the field fulfill one of our major curricular goals which is to enable students to have significant professional experiences providing services to individuals in a social service setting.