Social-Personality Psychology

Program Description

The social-personality psychology program focuses on preparing graduate students as researchers, providing them with the theoretical and methodological tools that are needed for advanced scholarly work.

Program Requirements

During their first year, students take courses in general social-personality psychology, research methods, and quantitative methods. Students then take more advanced seminars in social-personality psychology and other areas of psychology while receiving training in a variety of advanced methodological and quantitative skills. In the third year, students take a comprehensive exam in social-personality psychology before starting their dissertation research.

In addition to coursework, students also contribute to the research of one or more faculty members. A student’s research gradually becomes more independent and leads to the master’s thesis, which is expected to be finished by the end of the second year.

For more information about program requirements see the Psychology Graduate Handbook (PDF).


The social-personality psychology faculty are active in diverse areas of research, including:

  • Emotion and emotion regulation
  • Achievement motivation
  • Emotion
  • Social interaction and close relationship processes
  • Social cognition
  • Health psychology
  • Psychology of religion

Our students find it easy to match their interests with those of one or more members of the faculty. There are also ample opportunities to collaborate with faculty from other areas in the department and other departments with overlapping interests (e.g., family medicine, psychiatry).

See our directory for a complete list of faculty.