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

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). In 2022 the committee decided to award a Best Paper Award, and also recognize the runner-up.

  • Best Paper ($750): Opioid Addiction, Attributions, and Stigma: An Online Vignette Experimental Study by James Ragsdale
  • Runner up ($250): “Revisiting the Black-White Mental Health Paradox During the Coronavirus Pandemic” by Megan LaMotte

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 Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Ph.D. Program. The committee selected a winner and also recognized the runner-up. 

  • Best Research Proposal ($750): “The Impact of Attorney Language Abstraction on Juror Verdicts” by Justice Healy
  • Runner up ($250): “Towards a More Parsimonious Conception of Pride: A Pre-registered Experiment to Unravel the Nature of Attributions in eliciting Authentic and Hubristic Pride” by Kodai Kusano

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins GSA Scholarship

Sampada KarandikarDoctoral student Sampada Karandikar just won the Graduate Student Association's Outstanding International Graduate Student Scholarship!

Well done, Sampada!

Social psychology Ph.D. student wins PEO Scholar award

Sarah MoodyDoctoral student Sarah (Moody) Kruger has won another prestigious dissertation award – the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Scholar Award

Sarah is among the 100 women selected out of 775 nominees to receive a $20,000 PEO Scholar Award for the 2022-2023 academic year. Being selected as a PEO Scholar is a prestigious addition to Sarah’s outstanding record. Great job, Sarah!

Social psychology professor named APS Rising Star

Yuerang YangAssistant Professor Yueran Yang has been named an Association for Psychological Science Rising Star for 2022! Her research interests include interrogated confessions and eyewitness identification. 

Congratulations, Yueran. Well done!

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!

Our impact

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

From left to right is Kevin Dick, Health Officer, Northern Nevada Public Health, Amy Hyne-Sutherland, Public Health Coordinator, Nevada Association of Counties, Megan Comlossy, Associate Director, Center for Public Health Excellence, University of Nevada, Reno, School of Public Health, Julia Peek, Deputy Administrator, Division of Public and Behavioral Health, Jeanne Freeman, Deputy Director, Carson City Health and Human Services, (back row) Shawn Gerstenberger, Dean, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Public Health, Muge Akpinar-Elci, Dean, University of Nevada, Reno, School of Public Health, Allison Genco, Public Health Resource Officer, Office of Governor Joe Lombardo and Julia Ratti, Director of Programs and Projects, Northern Nevada Public Health

State leaders discuss future of public health in Nevada

Collaborations hosted by the School of Public Health create plans to strengthen public health infrastructure

Gregory Hayes and his survived wife Joan Wright smiling together.

New scholarship endowment continues support for future public health leaders

Hayes’ endowment will benefit School of Public Health graduate students

Participants from last year's NRAP 5k event smiling together for a picture.

Third annual Recovery Month R5K Run/Walk and Recovery Celebration hosted by NRAP

The School of Public Health's Nevada’s Recovery and Prevention Program (NRAP) run by the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) hosts their third annual R5K in honor of September’s National Recovery Month