Social psychology involves the study of small groups and interpersonal dynamics, mental health and human behavior. (see ref. 1) Earning a Bachelor of Science in social psychology may open the doors to a variety of interesting, challenging and rewarding career options. During your studies, you'll gain skills and acquire knowledge that can be applied to many different fields. Undergraduate psychology students who want to work in research or academia often continue their studies to pursue advanced degrees in social psychology. But it's also possible to directly enter the workforce after graduating with a bachelor's degree.
Studies in social interaction, human behavior and mental health may provide a number of benefits to positions in case management. Case managers work with diverse populations, such as substance abusers, the homeless and chronically mentally ill patients, in settings such as community services agencies, hospitals and substance abuse treatment clinics. They collaborate with licensed psychologists and other mental health professionals to provide comprehensive services to their clients. Case managers provide informal, supportive counseling, advocate for their clients with social services agencies and other service providers and help clients obtain concrete needs, such as housing, clothing and food. (see ref. 2)
A bachelor's degree in social psychology may also allow you to obtain a position in human resources. (see ref. 3) Human resources is a diverse field that generally involves recruiting, screening, interviewing and placing employees. This field requires candidates to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and a good understanding of social interaction. Human resources professionals hold different titles, such as human resources specialist or representative. They work for staffing agencies, large corporations and in other settings that focus on providing employment services.
The field of social services is a broad area that involves helping people in need and connecting them with basic public resources, such as housing, food, health care and government benefits. Candidates with bachelor's degrees in social psychology may be eligible to work in a variety of social services settings. For example, they may work as child protective specialists in government agencies like child protective services or as social services representatives with their state's department of social services. (see ref. 4 for example) Social services employees have diverse responsibilities. They might interview prospective clients, help them fill out required paperwork, connect clients with needed resources and provide referrals to other service agencies.
Although some of the more common career options for those with bachelor's degrees in social psychology include case management, human resources or social services, the options aren't limited to these areas. Social psychology majors can find work in many fields, including law, nonprofit administration, medicine and social work. (see ref. 3) A bachelor's degree in social psychology may also allow work in the mental health field in settings like crisis counseling centers, detention centers or halfway houses. Social psychology majors may also be drawn to business or government work in areas like sales, management and administration. (see ref. 5)
- UC San Diego: Department of Psychology: BS Areas of Concentration: Social Psychology
- Florida Tech University Online: Case Manager: Salary and Career Profile
- Grand Valley State University: Psychology Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (B.A., B.S.) Minor
- NC State University: Department of Psychology: College of Humanities & Social Sciences
- Old Dominion University: Department of Psychology: Careers with a B.S. in Psychology
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.