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Graduate Information

The graduate program in social psychology is designed to provide students with a comprehensive background in the theoretical, empirical, and methodological foundations of basic and applied social psychology. The emphasis is on the development of research skills for eventual professional productivity.

The general program of graduate study in the Department of Psychology is broad-based and flexible, which permits considerable freedom in planning a personalized program of study. Departmental requirements include a graduate-level statistics sequence and a selection of survey courses in the areas of Biopsychology and Comparative Psychology, the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Cognition and Sensation, History and Systems of Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Social Psychology. Students must take the survey course in their own area plus at least 3 of the 5 remaining survey courses. These core requirements are designed to provide the necessary breadth of training in psychology from which students can draw in their subsequent specializations.

Beyond these departmental requirements, students in the Social Psychology Program are required to take at least three additional courses dealing with quantitative and methodological foundations. This requirement is designed to provide students with a strong methodological background that can be used throughout their research careers. Examples of types of courses that would fulfill this requirement include: research methods, program evaluation techniques, multivariate analysis of variance, regression, factor analysis, subjective measurement, and scaling. The specific courses that go toward meeting this requirement can be selected based in part on the student’s career objectives. In addition, students can select from a variety of advanced courses and seminars to provide the core for their specialization in social psychology. Graduate courses are available on such topics as social cognition; attitudes and attitude change; the self; impression management and self-presentation; stigma and prejudice; social psychology and health; the psychology of accountability; small group behavior; human conflict; and population psychology. Additional course work, inside and outside of psychology, is designed to facilitate the achievement of students’ unique goals and interests. Programs of study are jointly constructed by the student and the members of his or her committee.

Course work provides a foundation of knowledge about the discipline. However, the objective of advanced graduate work is to go beyond what is already known and to be on the cutting edge of knowledge in a discipline. As such, the student’s research apprenticeship occupies the dominant role in his or her training. Beginning in their first semester, students are expected to work closely with faculty on research. The apprenticeship process provides the opportunity for first-hand research involvement, the development of skills, the generation of joint projects, the writing and publication of research findings, and the completion of thesis and dissertation work.

More information about the graduate program in social psychology, our expectations for students, requirements during the program, etc., is available at the following website: How To Be A Graduate Student 2018.pdf.

Graduate Courses

SOP 6099 Survey of Social Psychology — Empirical and conceptual foundations of social psychology; part of the graduate proseminar package.

SOP 6219C Advanced Research Techniques in Social-Personality Psychology — Advanced laboratory and field research techniques.

SOP 6409 Seminar: Current Topics in Social-Personality Psychology — Advanced study of selected topics in the areas of social psychology and personality, including prejudice, social motivation, self-presentation, health psychology, population psychology, and others. Can be repeated with a change in content.

SOP 6419 Seminar: Attitudes and Social Cognition — Examines theory and research in a subarea of social cognition and attitude formation and change; can be repeated with a change in specific topic.

SOP 6509 Seminar: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes — Examines theory and research in a subarea of small group behavior and interpersonal relations; can be repeated with a change in specific topic.

SOP 6929 Colloquium in Research in Social-Personality Psychology — On-going colloquium series intended for graduate students in the area; provides the opportunity for the presentation and discussion of research initiatives.