Basic and Applied Social Psychology

The program in basic and applied social psychology provides a comprehensive and thorough grounding in social psychology. Small interactive seminar-style classes survey the foundations of social psychological theory and contemporary research, and explore the core areas of attitudes and persuasion, group processes and intergroup relations, interpersonal processes, and motivation, affect and cognition. These classes are supplemented by electives that focus on specific topics in social psychology. The program emphasizes the development of methodological and statistical skills early on, which quickly positions students to excel as researchers.

Research is a core activity of our social psychology faculty and students, much of it organized around faculty labs and faculty-led or mentored research groups. The emphasis is on basic, translational and applied theory and research, and their reciprocal relationship. Research activity is diverse – embracing attitudes, persuasion and social change; self, identity, culture, and community; group processes and intergroup relations; pro-social behavior; and interpersonal and close relationships.

An historic strength of the program is a focus on basic and applied research that has societal relevance, the ability to engage with important social issues, and the potential to inform or translate into social interventions and policy. Some of the group’s most significant social issue foci include health and adolescent substance abuse, leadership and social change, societal extremism, social conflict and discrimination, LGBT issues, and volunteerism.

Through training in social psychological theory and methods, the social psychology doctoral program prepares students to pursue successful careers in academia or in applied research settings, including federal, state, and local governments and the private sector.

CGU annually hosts the Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology, a conference that brings together experts from around the globe to address a societally relevant topic in social psychology. Recent conferences, each of which also has resulted in a widely read book, have focused on stereotyping and prejudice, mass media interventions to reduce drug abuse, the changing face of work and the family, the psychology of extremist behavior, and the intersection of social psychology and education. This series, now in its 28th year, offers students opportunities to learn about cutting edge research firsthand and to meet with leading figures in the field.

Advanced CGU graduate students and faculty would be happy to provide you with more information about the field and career opportunities in social psychology. To make a phone appointment or to arrange a visit to campus, please contact Kristen Ahn at or (909)-607-7151.

Click here to read about The Rise and Promise of Applied Psychology in the 21st Century.

Degree Options

We currently offer two degree options in Basic and Applied Social Psychology.  Follow the links below for program requirements:

Follow this link for more information on the M.A. Program in Psychology.

Financial Aid

Generous gifts to Claremont Graduate University have made it possible for us to realize our mission of making high-quality graduate education more accessible to our students. All social psychology students who request financial aid receive fellowships. Significant increases in faculty research funding have resulted in a substantial increase in the number of stipends and the amount of tuition remission support we are able to provide. DBOS also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.  The CGU Office of Student Financing assists students with finding work study positions, private scholarships, and government loans.  At the time a student is offered admission to one of our graduate programs, DBOS faculty contact students to discuss the details of their financial aid package.

Social Psychology Faculty & Resources

Click on the link to learn about the faculty and resources available to social psychology students at Claremont Graduate University.

Research in Social Psychology

A sample of the research being done in Basic and Applied Social Psychology at Claremont Graduate University may be seen at the following links: