Is Psychology a Social Science?

Yes, for most schools, psychology is considered a social science. If you’re considering this major for your college education, here’s what you need to know about the major, career outlook, and more.

Is Psychology a Social Science?

Almost all colleges and universities consider psychology a social science. However, a few may list it as humanities.

What is a Social Science?

A social science is the study of how society works. Social scientists may also look at individuals, groups, government, economy, family, human behavior, and more. Some other examples of a social science include anthropology, political science, and sociology.

What Will You Learn in Psychology Classes?

Psychology classes and majors will study behavior and the human mind. Students can also expect to learn about:

  • Here are 7 in-demand psychology degree jobs you can explore.

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    Human development

  • Emotions
  • Social behaviors
  • Social science methods
  • Behavior determinants
  • Theories of psychology
  • Social change
  • History of psychology
  • Research ethics
  • Socio-cultural diversity
  • Social issues

College students who are pursuing a major in psychology can also develop invaluable skills:

  • Research methods
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical evaluation
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration

What Concentrations of Psychology Are There?

If you’re pursuing a degree in psychology, many colleges and universities offer concentrations for psychology. They can include:

  • Mental health
  • Forensic
  • Developmental
  • Neuroscience and behavior
  • Industrial-Organizational
  • School
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Child psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Animal behavior
  • and more

The availability of these programs will vary from school to school. Your concentration can also affect job options after graduation.

What Careers are Available to Psychology Majors?

There are a number of careers available to psychology majors, but many of them will require students to attend graduate school and earn at least a masters. Some examples of jobs in this field include:

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-Organizational psychologists use psychology in human resources, marketing, management, and sales. They help organizations with policies, employee training, development, and productivity. Some other facts:

  • The median wage is $105,310 with the 90th percentile receiving $168,300.
  • Expected growth between 2018 and 2028 is 14%.
  • Over 50% of industrial-organizational psychologists hold a doctorate or professional degree.


Neuropsychologists diagnose disorders of higher cerebral functioning, study the brain, human cognition, and behavior, and administer programs of treatment.

  • The median wage is $102,900.
  • Expected growth is 11% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Over 50% of neuropsychologists hold a doctorate or professional degree.

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists

Clinical and counseling psychologists work with mental and emotional disorders in individuals. Also, they assist with understanding and management of behaviors, development, and treatment.

  • The median wage in this career is $82,510.
  • Expected growth is 14% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Other common majors include counseling psychology, marriage counseling and family therapy, and social work.

Postsecondary Psychology Teachers

Postsecondary psychology teachers teach classes in psychology at institutions of higher education. Furthermore, they are likely to be involved in research at the college or university.

  • The median wage for psychology teachers is $77,860.
  • But employment is projected to grow 11% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Most have a master’s degree, doctorate, or professional degree.

A career in psychology can be extremely rewarding and engaging. This social science definitely has plenty of concentrations, too, where you can find an area that you love. Additionally, if you’re curious about colleges that have psychology majors, use our College Match tool to find the best options for you.