Building on over 50 years of interdisciplinary social science research

Learn more about our program

The Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Ph.D. program

The Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Ph.D. program applies rigorous psychological and sociological scholarship to better understand the processes, structures and contexts that impact social interactions. Learn more about the Ph.D. program, the admissions process and resources for student support.

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About us

Learn more about our interdisciplinary partners and our mission to create an exceptional academic environment. 

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Ph.D in Social Psychology

Admission requirements, deadlines, program timelines, funding information and more outlining the doctoral program.

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Student resources

Program handbook, career information, and a list of student organizations and campus resources. 

Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice

Social psychology, as an academic and a scientific endeavor, seeks to describe, understand, and enable change of social behavior and social processes. Our goal is to improve lives through our teaching and research, advance opportunities for our students and faculty, and ultimately contribute to a more free, just, and equitable society for all. In so doing, social psychology is dependent on a diversity of perspectives and experiences. We are committed to including students and faculty of all different backgrounds, especially members of groups whose perspect­ives have been underrepresented and marginalized in the social sciences. We actively oppose racism, discrimination, and prejudice of all kinds on campus and society at large—these injustices threaten social psychology as an empirical science and are incompatible with our goals.

Learn about the work we do and people behind it

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Research areas

Our faculty contribute to four thematic areas. As a student in our program, you may choose research projects that utilize one or more of these themes, or engage in social psychological scholarship in other aspects of the discipline.

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People of Social Psychology

From faculty to doctoral student and alumni, learn more about the people at the forefront of our impactful research.

Awards and Achievements

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins AP-LS travel award

Justice HealyDoctoral student Justice Healy recently won the very competitive American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) travel award.

Nice work, Justice!

Social psychology student wins GSA Research Grant

Evan MurphyDoctoral student Evan Murphy recently won the GSA Research, Travel and Materials Grant to support data collection for his dissertation, which will seek to better understand community sentiment around COVID policies in the justice system (e.g., early prisoner release). Congratulations, Evan!

Social psychology student wins SPSP Graduate Travel Award

Kodai KusanoDoctoral student Kodai Kusano recently won the SPSP Graduate Travel Award.

Best of luck on your travels, Kodai!

Winners announced for Founders' Best Paper Award

There are two Founders’ Awards. The Founders’ Best Paper Award recognizes the best research paper by a student in the Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Ph.D. program that was submitted for publication or published during the 12 months prior to the submission deadline (April 1).

  • Best Paper ($750): Development and Validation of a General Legal Moral Disengagement Scale by Jacqueline Kirshenbaum
  • Runner up ($250): “Psychopathy, antisocial behavior, and rule governance” by Shelby Curtis

Winners announced for Founders' Best Research Proposal Award

The Founders’ Best Research Proposal Award seeks to support student research by funding the best research proposal submitted by a student in the Social Psychology Ph.D. program.

  • Best Research Proposal ($750): “Effects of Direct and Indirect Emotional Manipulations on Mock Jurors’ Decision-Making” by Charles Edwards
  • Runner up ($250): “Status is a Double-Edged Sword” by Kodai Kusano

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins fellowship

Jean Cabell

Doctoral student Jean Cabell recently won a Bilinski Fellowship to fund the final year of her program.

Well done, Jean!

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins fellowship

Shelby CurtisDoctoral student Shelby Curtis recently won a Bilinski Fellowship to fund the final year of her program.

Nice work, Shelby!

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins research award

Sarah MoodyDoctoral student Sarah Moody recently won an award from the Graduate Student Association's Research, Travel and Materials Grant Program.

Congratulations, again, Sarah!

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins award

Janice BurkeDoctoral student Janice Burke recently won an award from the Graduate Student Association's Research, Travel and Materials Grant Program.

Congratulations, Janice!

Social psychology Ph.D. student places in Three Minute Thesis competition

Katie SniderDoctoral student Katie Snider recently won second place in the Graduate School's Three Minute Thesis competition for her presentation titled, "Coping with their Child's Incarceration: The Experiences of Parents in the Juvenile Justice System." Congratulations Katie!

Our impact

News stories from social psychology and the departments that contribute to the program.

Shawn Thomas

Faces of the Pack: Shawn Thomas is the 2021 Kenneth Lutterman Award recipient

Ph.D. candidate in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Health program with a focus on public health is identifying protective influences for substance use behaviors among populations at risk.

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University of Nevada, Reno students save the holidays for 19 children in need

Human Development and Family Studies faculty and students challenged each other to raise money for holiday giving tree

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NIH grant-funded research to look at how the brain processes visual stimuli

Researcher Jennifer Hoy hopes to better understand how the brain identifies stimuli as positive or negative, and the behaviors that follow.