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Social Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Understanding the texture of our social fabric

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. program integrates psychological and sociological scholarship in the study of the processes, structures, and contexts that relate to personal and social experiences. The program emphasizes training in theoretical foundations, as well as qualitative and quantitative methodologies in basic or applied research. Several areas of emphasis are available, including psychology and law, personal and social relationships, social psychology and health, and organizational behavior. Attention to contextual issues (such as those related to gender, culture and development) are integrated.

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology has existed at the University of Nevada, Reno for almost forty years. The interdisciplinary committee, which operates this program, awards a Regents-approved Ph.D. degree in Social Psychology. Similar to all interdisciplinary graduate programs at the University of Nevada, the Social Psychology Program is an autonomous unit, located independent of its participating departments. The Program is administered by a committee comprised of representatives from across the University's various departments and colleges, including the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Business and Health Sciences. 

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Faculty Research Interests

Research interests of the faculty range widely, and include the study of:

  • Bureaucracies
  • Health & health policy
  • Gender
  • Socialization
  • Religion
  • Attitudes
  • Collective behavior
  • Law & juvenile studies

The Social Psychology Program also has links with the two judicial education centers at Nevada and with the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies. The Program has special international ties in Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, and Australia. Program faculty are also on the editorial boards of a variety of international scholarly journals.

Program Features

Interdisciplinary Focus

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno is one of the oldest social psychology programs in the country. The interdisciplinary focus allows students to experience wide range of perspectives in the field of social psychology. This holistic approach equips students with knowledge and understanding that prepares them for engaging and rewarding work in both academic and applied settings upon completion of the program.

Financial Commitment to Students

The Program’s goal to find full-time (20 hours/week) support and tuition assistance for all of the students in the program. Through research assistantships, teaching assistantships and participation in research grants, the program has been successful in funding first year students. In addition, virtually all students in their second year and beyond have maintained funding throughout completion of degrees.

Mentoring Program

By the end of the first year, students develop a mentoring relationship with a faculty member of the Program. The faculty mentor can be the student's research supervisor, but need not be; and mentors can be changed.

Encouragement of Professional Involvement and Achievement

\Students are encouraged to engage in scholarly research, often in collaboration with faculty, to present research at professional meetings, and to publish in reviewed journals and volumes. The Ph.D. Program and the Graduate Student Association of the University facilitate professional development through financial support of student travel and research.

Brown Bags

The Department also holds brown bags throughout each semester, in which students and faculty from the program present informally in front of their peers, often in preparation for conferences or to elicit ideas on how to improve their research. You can find the current brown bag schedule here and an archive of past brown bags.



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Contact College of Liberal Arts

Phone (775) 784-6155
Fax (775) 784-1478
Location Ansari Business Building
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

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