Labs & Resources
In addition to providing the highest-quality classroom education, SSPS offers many resources, including cutting edge research lab opportunities, to help ensure a rewarding and positive experience for every student.
SSPS Minors & Minor Forms
- Global Public Health
- Science & Engineering for Development
- Environmental & Sustainability Studies
- System Dynamics
*Students can’t minor in the same subject as their major or specialization. E.g., a student majoring in Psychological Science cannot also minor in Psychology.
Minor Declaration Form: PDF
SSPS Minor Completion Form: PDF
SSPS Double Majors
WPI's most ambitious and talented students often complete two majors. Any SSPS major can be combined with any other major offered at WPI.
Get Advice from Advisors of Each Major: Completing such a demanding program of study requires careful planning, so students interested in double majors should seek the advice of faculty in both major departments as soon as possible.
Degree Requirements & Double Counting: To obtain a double major, students must satisfy all degree requirements of both majors. Because all WPI students take some social science, and all social science majors take foundation courses in math and science, some double counting of courses can reduce the overall course load.
Qualifying Projects: Students will have to complete a Major Qualifying Project (MQP) in both majors. However, students who double major in SSPS and complete an MQP in social science are not required to complete a separate Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) as a university requirement. Unlike other double majors, the double major in SSPS does not require three qualifying projects (i.e., two MQPs and an IQP). However, the social science MQP must meet the goals of both the IQP and MQP. It must be interactive in nature, involving an aspect of technology as well as in the application of social science knowledge and analytical techniques.
For more information on the rules governing double majors at WPI, see the Undergraduate Course Catalog.
WPI Social Science Requirement & SSPS Prefixes
WPI requires all undergraduate students to complete 2 social science courses to complete their degree(s). To satisfy this requirement, students can take any of the social science courses offered by SSPS, which includes courses with the prefixes:
ECON – Economics
DEV – International Development
ENV – Environment & Sustainability Studies
GOV – Society, Technology, & Policy / Political Science / Government
PSY – Psychology
SD – System Dynamics
SOC – Sociology
SS – General Social Science
STS – Science, Technology, & Society
Course Catalogs & Academic Calendars
Transfer Credit Authorization
To transfer social science courses from other colleges and universities to WPI, students must complete a WPI transfer credit authorization form.
1.) Fill out everything above the “WPI Course Equivalent” section, including the name of the off-campus school, the name and number of the course you want to take at the off-campus school, and the term and year that the course will be completed at the off-campus school.
2.) Obtain a copy of the course syllabus and the title and author of the textbook(s) used.
3.) Contact Gbetonmasse Somasse to be assigned to the appropriate program directors and faculty for the approval of the course content, determination of WPI equivalent, and transfer grade requirement.
4.) If approved, the program director will complete the appropriate paperwork and forward the transfer credit form to the department head for their signature. No transfer credit will be granted without the department head’s signature. The student will be informed by the Registrar’s Office when credit transfer has been granted.
Undergraduate Transfer Credit Authorization Form: PDF
*Courses of fewer than 5 weeks duration are generally not accepted for transfer credit.
**Courses taken at a foreign university, or taught in a language other than English, will normally not be accepted unless the level and content of the course and the accreditation status of the university can be verified and accepted by the department.
The role of research and teaching facilities is to inspire students to not only acquire knowledge, but also to gain an awareness of how to apply that knowledge to real-world challenges. SSPS benefits from sharing top-notch facilities with several other academic departments and programs.
Creativity, Education, Affect, and Reasoning (CEDAR) Lab
The CEDAR Lab conducts research on creative and flexible thinking in mathematics, reasoning of complex concepts, and how student experiences shape thinking and learning in mathematics and statistics education. Our lab relies on experimental methods, observational data, learning analytics, and qualitative methodologies to better understand teaching and learning in STEM subjects.
For more information about the CEDAR Lab, reach out to Prof. Stacy Shaw.
2018 PhD Global Research Experience Award
Located within WPI’s Salisbury Laboratories, the Experimental Economics Lab is designed for conducting computerized economics experiments. This space remains available for use by faculty members and students from all disciplines.
For more information about the Experimental Economics Lab, reach out to Prof. Alex Smith.
Development Design Lab
The Development Design Lab deploys our values of inclusion and improving the human condition through transformative and transdisciplinary research, application, social change and supportive policy development. With our partners, we aim to push development design beyond its current framing by drawing on new design thinking, cross-cultural co-creation, and project-based learning, in ways that will re-conceptualize the relationship between so-called “western” experts and the communities they hope to serve. We see technological innovation and intervention beyond simply transferring from “North to South” but rather as the material manifestation ideas and action that has been mobilized in a collaborative milieu. Our team understands the dynamic of co-creation that leads to self-sufficiency, sustainable, and socially just outcomes.
For more information about the Development Design Lab, reach out to Prof. Robert Krueger.
2018 Department of Physics Outstanding Mentor Award
Teaching and learning mathematics is a highly complex social, exploratory, and creative process. In the MAPLE Lab, we design novel dynamic technologies that make “math come alive” (Graspable Math, From Here to There!) and use eye tracking, mouse gestures, and log files to explore the coordination of attention, cognition, gestures, and strategies when solving mathematical equations.
We also use a variety of applied multilevel quantitative methods, observational measures, and assessments to examine the efficacy of instructional, social, and emotional classroom interventions that can improve K-12 math teaching, learning, and engagement.
For more information about the MAPLE Lab, reach out to Prof. Erin Ottmar.
Internal grant support from the Women’s Impact Network at WPI
The SEED Lab studies health and health behaviors from a biopsychosocial perspective. Our work explores the intersection of psychological factors (like stress and health behaviors), biological factors (like cortisol and inflammation), and social factors (like weight stigma), and the bidirectional—and even cyclical—relationships among these factors.
For more information about the SEED Lab, reach out to Prof. Angela Rodriguez.
NFPA Student Scholarship
The SPI Lab supports a variety of methodologies for conducting human participant research—particularly social psychological experiments. The emphasis is on research that examines how environmental factors influence attitudes, decisions, interactions, and cultural understanding.
For more information about the SPI Lab, reach out to Prof. Jeanine Skorinko.
Social Sciences Participant Pool
About the Social Sciences Participant Pool
At WPI, students actively participate in ongoing research. Our participant pool provides an opportunity to show social science methodology in action, instill excitement about the discipline, provide an occasion to imagine life as a social science major or professional, and teach something about current research and the practice of social science. In addition, it provides researchers at WPI an opportunity to post studies and collect data quickly and efficiently.
All studies submitted through the participant pool are reviewed by the Internal Review Board (IRB) and clearly define how it is related to social science to ensure the studies meet the educational goals for the participants.
Resources for Using the Participant Pool and SONA
Psychological science is unique among the sciences in its ability to engage students in active, cutting-edge research. Physics, chemistry, and biology do have laboratory components to their work, but it is rare that students in those courses experience novel research as it happens. WPI students can participate in this cutting-edge research in two ways: as participants and as researchers.
All students in psychological sciences classes participate in a research participation assignment. This assignment is designed to enhance the education of students in courses that focus on social science methodology and human-subjects research by providing them with hands-on experience. It also serves to enable researchers using human subjects to collect data more efficiently. Participants will sign up for research studies using SONA Systems software an online experiment-scheduling program.
Students interested in being part of the design and running of psychological science studies at WPI are encouraged to contact the faculty members whose research interests them to get involved. Students work as research assistants in the labs helping out with current studies.
Students can also get involved in research through Independent Study Projects (ISPs), Capstones (for Minors), Interactive Qualifying Projects (IQPs), and Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs). For more information, please contact Jeanine Skorinko, the Director of the Psychological Science Program.
- Guidelines (PDF)
- Application to Access the Pool (PDF)
- Instructions for Using SONA (PDF)
- SONA Documentation (PDF)
- Debriefing (PDF)