Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Sciences supports basic research on people and society. The SBE sciences focus on human behavior and social organizations and how social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental forces affect the lives of people from birth to old age and how people in turn shape those forces.

SBE scientists develop and employ rigorous methods to discover fundamental principles of human behavior at levels ranging from cells to society, from neurons to neighborhoods, and across space and time.

Such fundamental principles help us understand patterns of stability and change at the individual, group, organizational, and societal levels that can be applied to promote the progress of science and to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare.

Psychology is a social science that explores the connections between mental processes, environment, and behavior. A Bachelor’s degree in psychology is a liberal arts degree that is well-respected and can be applied to work in a variety of career fields including business, government, and human services. There are a number of subfields within psychology. They include, but are not limited to:

The curriculum for a general psychology major focus on the relational study of mind, behavior, and environment, and provides students with a well-rounded knowledge of psychology. During their undergraduate education, students in psychology will build both a theoretical and methodological understanding of the “how” and “why” of human behavior. To do this, students pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology may complete coursework that includes, but is not limited to, development, personality, social behavior, cognition, psychopathology, neuroscience, statistics, and research methods. Like other liberal arts degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology will prepare students for both entry-level positions, as well as various tracks in graduate programs.

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“There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it.” -Francis H.C. Crick

The “Brain Sciences,” or neuroscience, encompass a wide range of career paths centralized in the research and medical professions, and now permeating across multiple new fields in recent years. Through studying the brain and the nervous system, those who choose a career in neuroscience seek to understand how neurons interact and how these interactions impact behavior. Neuroscience intersects psychology, science, medicine, and impacts the legal system, education, and even marketing. Clearly, neuroscience presents multiple pathways for you to consider.

The interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience makes this field a natural fit for the liberal arts curricular structure. Students interested in neuroscience would do well to explore academic disciplines including biology and chemistry, psychology, physics, law, sociology, and computer science. Combining these disciplines as part of one’s undergraduate experience will serve as a valuable asset and prepare students for many career options in neuroscience.

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Explore Careers

When thinking about what kind of a job to pursue in the psychology and neuroscience field, keep in mind that this interdisciplinary field extends beyond the medical profession. A background in psychology and neuroscience can prepare a student for careers in business and advertising, pharmaceutical research, governmental research, the legal sector, and academia.

Most career paths in psychology and neuroscience require advanced degrees, many even requiring a doctorate-level education. If you do not intend to receive additional professional schooling, it’s recommended that you strategically pursue psychology and neuroscience-related research, internships, volunteer opportunities, and part-time opportunities to deepen your experience and specialization in the field of either psychology or neuroscience to increase candidacy for career options in the field.

Careers with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology

  1. Youth Development Professional
  2. Software Marketing Specialist (Strategic marketing, in this case translates to research and psychology)
  3. Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  4. Program Coordinator, Practice Research and Policy (interface with governance members and psychologists who participate in the development of APA policies and guidelines.)
  5. Intensive early Intervention Technician
  6. Behavior Technician


Career in Psychology with advanced degrees

  1. Forensic and Public Service Psychology
  2. Climate and Environmental Psychologists
  3. Sport and Performance Psychology

Careers with a degree in Neuroscience

i. Research and Education

  1. Research/Teaching: overall options to consider
    1. Basic/Clinical
    2. Academic/Biotech/Pharma (private sector) / NIH (public sector)
    3. Levels of analysis: molecular through cognitive
    4. System: theory and modeling, experimental animal, clinical, social
    5. Focus: development, function, disease
  2. Professor, Research lab head (principal investigator), running a lab of scientist, post-docs, technicians, and students (teach at undergraduate/graduate level); Medical school faculty (less teaching, more fundraising)
  3. Other research positions: research scientist, technician, lab manager, etc. [Note: research may be purely clinical working with patients, etc.]
ii. Health-Related Careers:
  1. Clinical psychologist (e.g., specialize in behavioral neuroscience)
  2. Nutritionist (a neuro background gives you a unique perspective on how nutrient and metabolism affect the nervous system)
  3. Social worker (a neuro background would help you to understand the specific issues affecting neurological patients upon re-entering their environment following hospitalizations)
iii. Business & Law:
  1. Neuroeconomist or economics consultant
  2. Chief-Scientific Officer (CSO), Executive Director or other high-level at private company, non-profit foundation, government institution, or academic program
  3. Marketing or advertising consultant (What is going on in the brain during decision making?)
  4. Equity consultant, analyst or broker for an equity firm, venture capitalist or hedge fund (Is a biotech or pharmaceutical company a good investment?)
  5. Spokesperson for a neuro-company; education public on research going on within the company
  6. Patent lawyer (e.g., draft a patent application to secure intellectual property rights for a neurobiological technique or product developed at Princeton)
  7. Lawyer (specialize in neurodegenerative disease cases, child development, etc.)

iv. Creative Sector:

  1. Graphic designer for any company/ organization on this list
  2. Design web-based scientific education material (NIH, University Science Centers, Startup companies)
  3. Science consultant for the media (TV, movies, books, etc)
  4. Artist specializing in how the brain perceives things
  5. Architect who specializes in how the brain perceives spaces, color, texture, emotion, etc
  6. Toy designer- use knowledge to make brain developing toys
  7. Musician/instructor (understanding hearing and the brain and its role in composition, performance)
  8. Write neurosci-fi screenplays




  1. Stay up to date with Industry Trends and for more information on the field, please visit the following websites:
    • National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
    • National Academy of Medicine (NAoM)
    • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)
    • American Psychological Association: Careers in Psychology (APA)
    • American Counseling Association (ACA)
    • Association for Psychological Science (AfPS)
    • Visit with faculty and staff from campus departments to learn more about research opportunities offered on campus during the summer session or academic year.
    • Research and internship opportunities are also offered through larger universities, independent laboratories, and private organizations. Below are samplings of neuroscience-specific internship and research opportunities.
  2. Join a club/ organization on campus
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Campus
      • NAMI on Campus works to end the stigma that makes it hard for students to talk about mental health and get the help they need. We hold creative meetings, innovative awareness events, and offer signature NAMI programs through partnership with NAMI Colorado Springs. Our goal is to educate the campus community and advocate for improved mental health services and policies on campus.
      • Neuro Club
    • Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team (START)
      • exists to provide survivors of intimate partner violence, rape, and sexual violence of any kind with advocacy support. By working closely with the Campus Advocate and Title IX team, Peer Advocates for Students hopes to improve the experiences of students involved in Title IX cases at Colorado College. Peer Advocates for Students complete over 40 hours of Trauma Informed Care Student Advocacy Training. We provide support for students regardless of gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, economic background, disability status, religion, or age. For more information about START, and to find out how to schedule a session, visit our page.
    • The Healing Project
      • is a peer-facilitated support group for survivors of sexual assault that addresses the dynamic and ongoing process of trauma and healing.
    • Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)
      • provides the space and tools to empower CC students to engage with the rest of the CC community and the larger Colorado Springs community through random acts of kindness.
    • Student Organization for Sexual Safety (SOSS)
      • is a student coalition of passionate allies, survivors, and advocates who are dedicated to creating a healthy and safe sexual climate, as well as shifting the culture on Colorado College's campus towards ending sexual violence. We tackle issues through varied and intersectional lenses such as rape culture, sexual assault, rape, intimate partner violence, and other forms of abuse and trauma, while also celebrating and promoting healthy, pleasurable, and consensual intimate experiences. SOSS provides students with a platform to question and understand the intricacies of these issues and the ways in which they influence our community.
    • Attend an event on campus
      • For more events and programs check out the CC Event Calendar as well as following Campus Activities on Facebook for event updates.


Additional Education

If you are considering graduate school in psychology, it is important to take the time to research the program that will best fit with your interests. You will also need to give yourself time to create a strong application and obtain the right background for the program that interests you. Taking a gap year before graduate school can be a good option if you use the time off to become involved in your specialty area and research the faculty at your desired institution.

There are many graduate degrees that a student interested in psychology can pursue. Within each degree, there are multiple concentrations and specializations. A Master’s Degree generally takes two years to complete, while Ed.D., Ph.D., Psy.D., M.D., or D.O. degrees can take up to a total of six to eight years.

Be sure to speak with professionals in the field before determining your field of study. There may be many programs that allow you to arrive at your intended goal. Resources such as the American Psychological Association’s website can be helpful in determining if graduate school is the best path to achieve your goals in psychology.

The American Psychological Association also provides information about what various subfields in psychology look like when applied in real world settings. This information can be beneficial when considering the subfields that interest you most.

In general, baccalaureate studies in the life sciences and psychology are highly recommended for a career in neuroscience. In addition to key coursework in the sciences, students need to perform exceedingly well for priority consideration by graduate and doctoral programs. Undergraduate research and internship experience are also strongly recommended. If a recent graduate does not have a psychology and/or life sciences background, a post-baccalaureate program in the sciences may be needed.

Report an issue - Last updated: 06/19/2023