Stand out in a competitive economy with SMU’s Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology major



By SMU Digital Marketing Team

A Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology (PPS) major is a sought-after for many reasons; they can analyze human behavior and understand social interactions at different levels, while possessing in-depth knowledge of politics, international relations, human behavior and societal dynamics. These skills are essential across multiple industries, making a social science graduate a valuable asset in a wide range of organizations.

Additionally, social science graduates specializing in interdisciplinary PPS pathways are often viewed as confident and articulate individuals, demonstrating a strong ability to adapt and thrive in any situation. It is therefore not surprising that those who have specialized in PPS enjoy employability in several sectors with careers spanning both the public and private sectors, in organizations as diverse as government, technology startups and consulting firms.

Forrest Zhang, SMU SOSS Associate Professor of Sociology

The bachelor’s program in social sciences, offered by the SMU School of Social Sciences (SOSS), in particular, offers a generalized undergraduate education centered on the disciplines of the PPS. The combination of these disciplines provides a holistic, multidisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of social sciences and develops the tools and frameworks applicable to careers in social services, education, management and other professions. analytical and socially intensive.

“Our graduates are well prepared to become top professionals in this rapidly changing, globally connected and increasingly complex world,” says Forrest Zhang, Associate Professor of Sociology at SMU SOSS.

“They can apply their knowledge of cross-cultural communication when dealing with global partners; knowledge of socio-economic differentiation in the analysis of market segments; knowledge of cultural symbolism when designing and branding products; knowledge of international politics when preparing to enter new markets; and knowledge of personality types and cognitive and emotional processes when interacting with customers.

A force for good

Jerry Lewis Ong, an SMU Bachelor of Social Science (PPS) alumnus (Class of 2013), for example, had applied the skills learned through the program across careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. . Currently Assistant Vice President, Community Strategy and Impact Measurement at Temasek, he leads the introduction and implementation of the impact measurement framework in the investment firm’s philanthropic ecosystem.

Jerry Lewis Ong

Today, private philanthropic organizations are increasingly focusing their efforts on impact measurement to demonstrate whether their interventions or activities create positive social outcomes. Jerry’s role at Temasek is to analyze and manage the impact performance and results of community programs run by his nonprofit entities.

“I learned about the complex social world we live in through the Psychology, Political Science and Sociology curriculum,” says Jerry, who previously worked for the aid organization Save the Children as a field coordinator. principal in Thailand, supported the implementation of projects for vulnerable communities. department of Interpol and was Head of Global Community Impact at Johnson & Johnson.

“A big part of my upbringing was also about learning to navigate and make sense of an uncertain and disruptive world. It gave me an edge to stay ahead and relevant in a competitive economy.

Unleash unlimited potential

Indeed, Professor Zhang shares that the PPS program equips students with skills in critical thinking, information processing, conceptual analysis, and problem solving. These skills prepare them for a wide range of careers, ranging from public service to social sectors, academia, entrepreneurship and the corporate world. For example, its students have become commodity traders after learning about the global diet and agricultural commodity trading at SOSS, or have even found success as copywriters at international agencies.

Tara Kishin, who graduated in 2015, is another example of a student who has embarked on an interesting career. She is now a global regulatory escalation specialist at Meta (formerly Facebook), where she investigates and resolves reports from governments and non-governmental organizations. .

Tara Kishin

“I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but the PPS major gave me access to a career I didn’t envision,” says Tara.

“It wasn’t part of my original plan, but I’ve built a career that I think is really for me. The PPS major allowed me to keep my options open and explore different types of roles. I also think I am more sure of my opinions and my thoughts through the multiple seminars we have had on often difficult subjects.

As for Jerry, the decision to pursue the PPS major was born out of a community service trip to Cambodia before enrolling in college. There he had the privilege of interacting with communities in rural areas and supporting them in the construction of water wells, latrines and houses.

The experience brought to light the shocking difference in level of development between Cambodia and Singapore, and triggered an “emotional awareness” in him. After the trip, Jerry was determined to develop his skills and understanding in areas such as human rights, poverty and inequality, in order to lead and drive social change upon graduation.

“The PPS major was a perfect fit with my learning aspirations and was a natural fit for me,” adds Jerry.

Humanizing the digital revolution

Ultimately, the social sciences are an integral part of society and will remain so in the future. New technologies like AI, blockchain or digital transformation inevitably lead to changes in the way we interact with each other as well as within organizations. Thus, the application of social science expertise enables us to adapt and thrive in this rapidly changing world. Conversely, technology can also further unleash the potential of social science research and create better systems, policies and networks to ensure a better future.

“Rapid digitization in our current world is only increasing the demand for social science graduates.”

“Rapid digitalization in our current world is only increasing the demand for social science graduates,” Professor Zhang notes.

“My advice is to have a spirit of self-discovery. It means getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things without worrying about failure. Your career path may be in a place you never thought existed.

Ready to step out of your comfort zone with the SMU Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology major? Applications are now open!

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