Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to the Department of Social and Decision Sciences

The Department of Social and Decision Sciences (SDS) is an interdisciplinary department that offers undergraduate and graduate programs that combine studies in the social sciences with the practical skills needed to excel in key decision making roles in the public and private sectors.

Students learn how to combine intellectual ideals with the realities of human and organizational behavior and to apply these lessons across a wide variety of endeavors, ranging from government service to leadership positions in the information economy.


The mission of the Department of Social and Decision Sciences is to provide intellectual leadership in the social sciences, brought about by the power of a transdisciplinary environment for research and learning, for teaching and training, and for solving social problems.

In the News

Attendees of the senior dinner
The SDS Senior Dinner was held on Wednesday, May 10 celebrating our student accomplishments in BEPO, Decision Science, and Policy & Management. Congratulations graduates!
Cleotilde Gonzalez
Coty Gonzalez appointed co-director of the new Center for AI and Societal Decision Making at CMU, funded by NSF
Danny Oppenheimer
Danny Oppenheimer won the Dietrich College Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service

Students are afforded the opportunity to engage in world-class hands-on research through three departmental research centers:

Data-Driven Diversity Lab
Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory
The Center for Behavioral Decision Research

SDS offers an array of undergraduate majors, including:

  • BS in Behavioral Economics
  • BS in Decision Science
  • BS in Policy & Management

The majors leverage SDS’s departmental core that includes courses in decision analysis, empirical research, organizations, policy analysis and applied psychology .

SDS also offers four minors in Behavioral Economics, Decision Science, Policy & Management and Sociology

Graduate study within SDS offers seven areas of focus:

  • Behavioral Decision Research
  • Cognitive Decision Science
  • Social and Decision Sciences
  • Behavioral Marketing and Decision Research (Joint with the Tepper School of Business)
  • Behavioral Economics (Joint with the Tepper School of Business)
  • Psychology and Behavioral Decision Research (Joint with the Department of Psychology)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program MD-PhD (Joint with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)

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