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The PhD in Applied Social Psychology trains you to conduct research that advances and applies scientific knowledge to address pressing societal issues that include social identity, group conflict, health behavior, and influence and social change.

CGU’s program in 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 the foundation of the PhD program, with much of it conducted in faculty labs and faculty-led or -mentored research groups.

Program Highlights
Colloquia and Conference Series

The social psychology program hosts several colloquia and conference series, including:

Program at a Glance

72 units

5-7 years

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

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 (20 units)
Directed Research: Social Psychology (4 units across fall and spring)
Overview of Social Psychology (4 units)
At least three courses (12 units) from the following:

  • Attitudes & Social Influence (4 units)
  • Group Processes & Intergroup Relations (4 units)
  • Interpersonal Processes (4 units)
  • Motivation, Cognition & Affect (4 units)

Social Psychology & Related Electives (28 units)
Students are encouraged to take elective courses in social psychology and across the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences. They also can take relevant elective courses that are offered by Claremont Graduate University’s other schools and departments.

Statistics & Methodology (16 units)
Research Methods (4 units)
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 Claremont Graduate University’s “TNDY” course sequence.

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

  • PhD qualifying exam
  • Dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation and oral defense

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
Extended Faculty

Mark Costanzo

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Death penalty, expert testimony, non-verbal communication, social psychology

Jennifer Feitosa

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Culture, Diversity, Organizational Psychology, Statistics, Teams, Teamwork, Workplace Issues and Trends

Steffanie Guillermo

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Racial/ethnic stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, Threat perceptions, Bias against immigrants, Racial/ethnic health disparities

Shana Levin

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Social psychology

Allen Omoto

Pitzer College

Research Interests

Social psychology; volunteerism and prosocial action; environmental concerns; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; sense of community; civic engagement and civil society

Adam Pearson

Pomona College

Research Interests

Social psychology of sustainability and climate change, social cognition, intergroup relations, disparities, stereotyping and prejudice

Piercarlo Valdesolo

Claremont McKenna College

Research Interests

Social psychology, moral judgment and behavior

Robin Vallacher

Florida Atlantic University

Research Interests

Dynamical social psychology, action identification, social judgment, self-concept, interpersonal dynamics, conflict and social justice

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Applied Social Psychology program

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Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9421