In-depth academic training in Basic & Applied Social Psychology prepares you to conduct meaningful research that helps address pressing societal issues that include social identity, group influence, and inter-group conflict.

CGU’s program in Basic & Applied Social Psychology provides a comprehensive grounding in social psychology that surveys the field’s theoretical foundations within interactive seminar-style classes. Curriculum and research projects emphasize in-depth examination of the field’s core areas, including attitudes and persuasion, group processes/intergroup relations, interpersonal processes, and motivation, affect, and cognition. Research is an essential component of the PhD program, with much of it conducted in faculty labs and faculty-led or -mentored research groups.

Program Highlights
  • The program emphasizes the development of methodological and statistical skills early on, which quickly positions students to excel as researchers.
  • Research activity is diverse and includes attitudes, persuasion, and social change; self, social identity, culture, and community; group processes and intergroup relations; pro-social behavior; interpersonal and close relationships; and influence and persuasion.
  • Our graduate students are encouraged to gain practical experience through projects, internships, or jobs, often at CGU’s research centers and affiliates, such as the Claremont Evaluation Center or the Health Psychology and Prevention Science Institute.
  • All students who request financial aid receive fellowships. The Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences (DBOS) also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.


Program at a Glance

72 units

3–5 years

Cost Per Unit 2017–2018: $1,902

Fall | Spring

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

PhD in Psychology

Featured Courses

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations

Examines a broad range of topics in the social psychology of processes and phenomena that occur within and between social groups and categories.

Overview of Social Psychology

Offers broad introduction to the major themes that characterize the vibrant, active, and well-researched field of social psychology.

Attitudes & Social Influence

Provides a broad introduction to the theories and experimental, correlational, and quasi-experimental research that constitutes the literature of social influence.

Interpersonal Processes

Explores the study of close relationships through exploring a variety of conceptual issues.

PSYCH 354h
Motivation, Affect & Cognition

Explores classic and contemporary research on motivational systems and processes, the reciprocal influence of affect and cognition on motivation, and the role goals play in the motivational system.

PSYCH 352o
Self & Identity

Explores the nature of the self concept and its relationship to a person’s identity, as well as the associated social cognitive processes and the impact of self and identity on individual, group, and intergroup processes.


Social Psychology Core Courses (16 units)
Overview of Social Psychology (4 units)
Attitudes & Social Influence (4 units)
Interpersonal Processes (4 units)
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations (4 units)

Social Psychology & Related Electives (28 units)
Students are often encouraged to take elective courses in the School of Educational Studies, the Drucker School of Management, the Division of Politics & Economics, the Center for Information Systems & Technology, the School of Arts & Humanities, and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Statistics & Methodology (20 units)
Research Methods (4 units)
Directed Research Seminar: Applied Social Psychology (two 2-unit courses)
Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)
PSYCH 315 Sequence: 4 additional units of Advanced Methodology

Field/Teaching Experience (4 units)
Supervised Teaching Seminar (4 units)
Field Placement (4 units)

Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units)
All PhD students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from the “TNDY” course sequence during their first three semesters at Claremont Graduate University.

In addition to 72 units of coursework, all students must complete a portfolio that represents a cohesive set of experiences balancing training in their area of specialization.

PhD Completion

In the Field Opportunities
Under the supervision of professionals with expertise in your particular areas of interest, you can participate in fieldwork, research, and paid internships at a range of corporations and organizations, including:
• Southern California Edison Company
• Kaiser Permanente
• Orange County Rapid Transit District
• Riverside County Department of Mental Health
• Claremont Evaluation Center
• Institute for Research on Social Issues

Faculty & Research

  • Eusebio Alvaro profile image

    Eusebio Alvaro

    Research Professor, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences

    Research Interests

    Social influence processes ; Health promotion, disease prevention, and medicine; Minority relationship to health promotion; Mass media messages targeting health behavior change

  • William Crano profile image

    William Crano

    Oskamp Chair, Distinguished Professorship in Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social influence; Effects of persuasive information on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS; Minority and majority relationships to health information;
    Children and adolescent relationship to health information

  • Michael Hogg profile image

    Michael Hogg

    Professor of Social Psychology
    Chair, Social Psychology Programs

    Research Interests

    Social psychology, Identity and leadership processes, Group formation,
    Solidarity and cohesion, Group structure, Societal extremism

  • Allen M. Omoto profile image

    Allen M. Omoto

    Interim Dean, School of Educational Studies
    Professor of Education & Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social psychology; Volunteerism and prosocial action; Environmental concerns; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; Civil engagement and civil society

  • Jason T. Siegel profile image

    Jason T. Siegel

    Associate Professor of Social Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social psychology; Persuasion; Motivation; Social influence processes; Health behavior (primarily: depression, organ donation, substance abuse), Research Methodology

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

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Paige Piontkowsky

Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3240 (Direct)
T: 909-607-7811 (Central Admissions)