The Social Psychology Ph.D. program is designed as a five-year doctoral program (with instructional language in English) to prepare students for scholarly careers in academic and other research settings. It is a research-intensive doctoral program with the goal of training the next generation of social scientists. Formal course requirements are minimized and collaborative research with one or more faculty is emphasized. Coursework in the major may consist of a diverse array of classes, including independent study, selected by the student with the approval of the student's major advisor. Developing a strong record of peer-reviewed publications is expected and extensive training experience in this aspect is provided.

There are currently 5 core faculty in the social psychology program. There are also a variety of faculty both in Psychology (e.g., Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience) and other departments (e.g., Family Studies and Human Development, Communications, Management, Marketing, Public Health) with strong backgrounds and interests in social psychology and related areas.

Program Highlights

Some of the unique features of our program include:

A robust, dedicated, and active program leading to successful students. With five core faculty and a core, rotating group of approximately 10 grad students/post docs, the social program is relatively small by national standards. This allows for faculty and graduate students to develop deeply collaborative and productive working relationships. Seminars are also small and highly productive. We are selective with graduate student admissions, and our students develop strong bonds with their mentors and cohort. By graduation, our students are well-prepared for the academic job market, as shown by the fact that most currently have a permanent or visiting faculty position.  Some recent examples include:

  • Uri Lifhsin, Ph.D. (2017) Visiting Assistant Professor, Skidmore College
  • Colin Zestcott, Ph.D., (2017) Assistant Professor at SUNY Geneseo
  • Peter Leavitt, Ph.D., (2016) Visiting Assistant Professor, Dickinson College
  • Elizabeth Focella, Ph.D., (2012) Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • Rebecca Covarrubias, Ph.D., (2012) Assistant Professor at U.C. Santa Cruz
  • Melissa Soenke, Ph.D., (2012) Assistant Professor at Cal State Channel Islands
  • Megan Robbins, Ph.D., (2011) Assistant Professor at U.C. Riverside
  • Dave Weise, Ph.D., (2011) Lecturer and Psych Advisor, Texas Christian University
  • Daniel "Spee" Kosloff, Ph.D., (2009) Assistant Professor at Cal State Fresno
  • Chad Forbes, Ph.D., (2009) Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware
  • Mark Landau, Ph.D., (2006) Associate Professor at the University of Kansas

Although our program is relatively young, we also take great pride in the accomplishments of our more established previous graduate students, three of whom have garnered early career awards: APA (Mark Landau, PhD. in 2007), International Society for Self and Identity (Jamie Arndt, Ph.D. in1999; Mark Landau), the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (Eddie Harmon-Jones, Ph.D. in 1995) and the Society for Psychophysiological Research (Eddie Harmon-Jones).

Collaboration across psychology programs. The University of Arizona is a highly interdisciplinary environment, and the social psychology students have a history of successful collaboration with students and faculty in the different psychology programs. Many clinical psychology graduate students collaborate with social program members and vice versa. Whether a social student is interested in psychophysiological/perception methods or applied clinical populations, there is a potential collaborative relationship in the department waiting to happen.

The health psychology minor. Our doctoral program offers an emphasis in Health Psychology (through a concentration/ minor in the Department’s Health Psychology track). Health psychology is one of the most popular areas of focus and funding for new faculty positions in social psychology. The emphasis in Health Psychology comprises a set of courses (e.g., Foundations in Health Psychology, Behavioral Medicine Interventions), attendance of the regular Health Psychology Brownbag Series, and mentored research in the area of Health Psychology.  For further information about our Department’s Health Psychology track, please check out this website: