About our program

Our mission

Our interdisciplinary doctoral program is founded on a vision of social psychology as the core discipline of human affairs. It represents an integration of psychological and sociological scholarship with a bio-psycho-social foundation, grounded in culture and gender, to form an interdisciplinary, contextualized perspective for the investigation of personal and social life.

Our scholarship integrates the study of individuals, the small groups in which they interact, and the context of larger systems and organizations within which they exist.

The mission of our doctoral program is to advance scientific knowledge of social psychological structures and processes, and to do so through scholarly study, training of Ph.D. students, and dissemination of our knowledge in both scientific and applied communities.

We are deeply committed to the guidance and instruction of graduate students as both junior colleagues and advanced students.

About the program

The Interdisciplinary Social Psychology Ph.D. program has existed at the University of Nevada, Reno since the 1960s. 

The program is administered by a Ph.D. Committee comprised of 21 core faculty members with backgrounds in social psychology, psychology and sociology from the Departments of Psychology, Sociology, Human Development and Family Studies, Criminal Justice, Management, Communication Studies, the School of Community Health Sciences and the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Similar to all interdisciplinary graduate programs at the University of Nevada, Reno that involve faculty from more than one college, the program is an autonomous unit, located independently of its participating departments. The program also includes affiliate faculty members who work in research positions at universities and organizations, such as the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technology or the Nevada Center for Surveys, Evaluation and Statistics.

Our program has approximately 35 students actively pursuing their doctoral degrees. Our curriculum has a theory core and a methods core as well as a number of seminars. We emphasize early involvement in research through several mechanisms, including first year research proposal development and a second year research project.

A unique aspect of the program is its emphasis on an integration of the social psychology of health and law/justice. Our program also has links with the two national judicial education centers located at the University, as well as with the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies and the Sanford Center for Aging.