Social Psychology Doctoral 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.

Program overview

The program emphasizes training in theoretical foundations, as well as qualitative and quantitative methods in basic and applied research. Though not all students choose one of these specializations, areas of emphasis include psychology and law, personal and social relationships, social psychology and health and organizational behavior. Gender, culture and development issues are integrated into the curriculum in each area of emphasis.

  • Attitudes
  • Collective behavior
  • Culture
  • Emotion expression and regulation
  • Gender
  • Health and health policy
  • Interpersonal communication and relationships
  • Intergroup relations
  • Law and juvenile studies
  • Life span and aging research
  • Political psychology
  • Religion
  • Social inequality
  • Social networks
  • Socialization

Incoming students develop a mentoring relationship with a faculty member of the program. Students are encouraged to engage in scholarly research, often in collaboration with faculty, to present findings at professional meetings and to publish in reviewed journals and volumes. In addition to the support offered by the University's Graduate Student Association, the social psychology Ph.D. program offers financial assistance for student travel and research.

The program's interdisciplinary focus allows students to experience a wide range of perspectives within the field of social psychology. This holistic approach prepares students for engaging and rewarding work in both academic and applied settings upon completion of the program.

Graduates of the program are today employed in a variety of capacities. Roughly one-third teach and conduct research at universities, typically in tenure-track positions. One-third have full-time research positions in the public sector (county, state or federal level positions, including nonprofit organizations). The final third of graduates work in the private sector, either for commercial organizations -- for example, Adobe or Hotwire -- or operate their own consulting business. In short, advanced graduate training in social psychology can lead to a wide range of career paths.


Program resources

External view of the Mackay Social Science building in the north Quad of campus.


The handbook provides the necessary information for students to understand the requirements, expectations and opportunities associated with this graduate program.

A group of students and faculty working in a classroom table with reading materials on a table.


The curriculum of the program extends over a minimum of four years and includes multiple requirements. Learn more on general and credit requirements, deficit coursework and more.

interior of the Knowledge Center from the ground floor looking up to the top floors.


View a semester-by-semester timeline of the degree program both with or without the optional master degree track. 


Funding opportunities


This program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), a tuition-savings program that makes out-of-state graduate studies more affordable for students. Through WRGP, you will receive a reduced tuition rate, giving you more educational options for your money.