Top Graduate Schools with Social Psychology Programs: List of Schools

Dec 20, 2019

Social psychology is the study of how the real or imagined presence of other people can affect human thoughts and behavior. Discover several highly regarded graduate schools where you can study this discipline. Get information on each school's ranking, degree offerings and areas of study within the social psychology field.

Some of the best graduate schools in the nation a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Psychology. Programs allow you to focus on a variety of topics related to this field. Options for interdisciplinary study and specialized research are also available.

School Overviews

Learn about three of the best graduate schools in the nation for social psychology. All of these schools are ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

School Highlight: Students accepted into the social psychology doctoral program at the University of Michigan receive a 5-year financial aid package that allows graduate students to work as both research fellows and graduate student instructors during their course of study.

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor's social psychology graduate program was ranked second on U.S. News & World Report's 2020 list of top social psychology programs in the United States. Michigan's psychology department offers a Ph.D. in Social Psychology that concentrates on themes including aggression, emotion, the self and social identity, ethnic psychology, evolution of social behavior, social cognition, and psychology and law. The psychology department also provides interdisciplinary programs for social psychology students, such as culture and cognition, decision, women's studies, and evolution and human adaptation programs.

Ohio State University in Columbus

School Highlight: According to the university, most students in the social psychology program receive comprehensive financial aid, a monthly stipend, and an office near faculty labs.

Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, ranked third on U.S. News & World Report's 2020 list of top social psychology schools in America. Ohio State's social psychology program is known for its focus on such topics as the psychology of persuasion, attribution, identity, social cognition, automacity, and non-conscious developments. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Social Psychology program are taught information analysis, teaching skills, research design, editorial reviewing, and communication proficiency. After two years of seminars, lectures, and laboratory classes, graduate students can be admitted for Ph.D. candidacy. The rest of the third year is devoted to personal career aspirations, such as specialized research.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Harvard tied for sixth on U.S. News & World Report's 2020 listing of best social psychology programs.

At Harvard, prospective graduate students apply to the general psychology program and then choose a focus in psychology. Most students in this field pursue the Common Curriculum track, but a Clinical Science track is also available. Over the course of the program, they take advanced courses, attend research seminars and conduct independent research under the supervision of an adviser with expertise in a particular aspect of social psychology. Possible research areas include development of social cognition, group and intergroup relations, and social and affective neuroscience.

Top Social Psychology Graduate Programs

Here are some more top-ranked universities that offer graduate-level social psychology programs:

  • Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, was ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of national universities for 2020.
  • Along with Harvard and three other schools, the University of California in Los Angeles was ranked fourth place on U.S. News & World Report's listing of best social psychology schools in 2020.
  • The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology prints more research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign than any other in the world.
  • At the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in Minneapolis, students have access to dozens of research labs and centers, including the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, the Health and Eating Laboratory, the Stress and Trauma Lab, and the Social Interaction Laboratory.
  • For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the psychology department at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill received $12.4 million in grant funding, 88% of it coming from the federal government.
  • In 2016, graduate students in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin were awarded prestigious research grants, including the American Psychological Association Dissertation Research grant and the Fikes Fellowship for Alzheimer's/Dementia Research.
  • At the University of Wisconsin - Madison, psychology students can take advantage of 14 research centers and institutes.

Prospective graduate students who want to earn a doctoral degree in social psychology can find top programs at some of the nation's most prestigious universities.

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