Career Paths

Women speaking together at table.

The interdisciplinary structure of each major – plus the emphasis on practical experience and applying social science research to the real world – gives students a unique foundation from which to pursue a wide range of careers. Many of our students enter the workforce directly after graduation, while others choose to further their education in graduate schools around the country.

Student Testimonial

“I would like to thank the department for allowing students the opportunity to have community internships and get credit for them. Sometimes it is not just the reading and testing of materials in a classroom that really tells what a person is capable of accomplishing. It is the hands-on experiences that can make a really big difference.”

Career Paths by Major

Cognitive Science

Students in Cognitive Science go on to graduate study in areas as diverse as psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer science, philosophy, and cognitive science. Cognitive Science majors who wish to pursue careers in industry, research, or education find that the major’s focus on analytical thinking, cognition, and human behavior provide an excellent skill set and knowledge base for a wide range of opportunities. Recent graduates can be found at places as varied as Moog, Inc., VOCAL Technologies, and Hamilton College.

Health and Human Services

Community Mental Health
Students in the Health and Human Services major with a concentration in Community Mental Health are prepared to work in such areas as mental health, developmental disabilities, addictions treatment, and community education, as well as in a broad array of social and human services organizations. Recent graduates have secured employment in private, nonprofit, and government agencies, including:

  • Gateway Longview
  • Victims Assistance Center
  • YWCA
  • Western New York Independent Living, Inc.
  • Queens District Attorney’s Office
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Child & Family Services
  • People, Inc.
  • DePaul 
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering

Many students also choose to pursue graduate study, often in social work, counseling, higher education administration, psychology, or public health. 

Early Childhood Studies
Students in the Health and Human Services major with a concentration in Early Childhood Studies are prepared to work in private, nonprofit, and government agencies focused on meeting the social, educational, physical, mental health, and/or advocacy needs of children and their families. Recent graduates have reported employment in a wide range of organizations, including:

  • Baker Victory Services
  • JCC of Greater Buffalo
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Teach for America
  • The Service Collaborative of Western NY
  • New Directions Youth & Family Services
  • Bright Horizons
  • Rochester General Health System
  • Just for Kids
  • Buffalo Board of Education

Many students also choose to pursue graduate study, often in early childhood/elementary education, special education, social work, school psychology, or counseling. 

Social Gerontology
Students in the Health and Human Services major with a concentration in Social Gerontology are prepared to work in private, nonprofit, and government agencies focused on meeting the physical, social, cognitive, services, and/or advocacy needs of older adults. Recent graduates can be found in a wide range of organizations, including:

  • DeGraff Memorial Hospital
  • GrandeVille Senior Living Community
  • Buffalo City Mission
  • Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Elderwood 
  • Jewish Association for the Aging
  • Health Association of Niagara County
  • Public Health Solutions

Many students also choose to pursue graduate study, often in social work, counseling, or healthcare administration.

BA/MSW Program
For information on alumni of the combined BA - Health and Human Services / MSW program, please visit the UB School of Social Work or contact swinfo@buffalo.edu.

International Studies

Students in the International Studies major develop skills, area knowledge, language and cultural competencies that can be applied to work spanning the globe. Some graduates choose to pursue careers with international businesses, foreign governments, or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), while others opt to work domestically, by for example, providing services or advocacy for immigrants or refugees. Recent graduates can be found in a wide range of organizations, including:

  • Embassy of Spain/Government of Madrid
  • École Internationale de New York
  • City of Rochester
  • Army National Guard
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Berlitz World Languages Institute
  • Via Evaluation
  • SUNY Cortland-Study Abroad Program

Other students also choose to pursue graduate study, often in international relations, political science, geography, or law school.

Legal Studies

Students in the Legal Studies major find that the program’s emphasis on understanding the role of the law, legal institutions, and legal processes in various social and political contexts is an excellent preparation for graduate school or work. While many alumni go on to law school or advanced study in related fields, others choose to apply their undergraduate degree to opportunities at law firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies. Recent graduates report employment at:

  • HoganWillig 
  • New York State Office of the Attorney General
  • Brown Brothers Harriman
  • U.S. District Court
  • New York Supreme Court
  • City of Buffalo
  • Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation
  • New York City Police Department
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • MetLife 
  • New York State Police

Urban and Public Policy Studies

Students in the Urban and Public Policy Studies major pursue a broad array of career opportunities in local and regional government work, urban planning and development, community/nonprofit work, real estate, research and advocacy, and business. Recent graduates can be found in organizations as varied as:

  • Syracuse Economic Development Corporation
  • Teach for America
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Hamister Group
  • Western New York Law Center
  • Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • HSBC Bank
  • Ellicott Development Co.

Many students also opt to pursue graduate study, often in urban planning, public administration, law, or the social sciences.