Top Graduate Schools for Social Psychology

Social psychologists study intergroup relations, values, attitudes and decision-making, and they bring this knowledge to fields ranging from human resources to public policy. Read more to find out about top graduate schools in social psychology. See what makes them unique, what programs are offered and what you'll learn. Schools offering Social Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Graduate School for Social Psychology?

Master's degrees in social psychology are available, but most top schools in the field will offer Ph.D. programs. When choosing a school, you might want to determine if the social psychology program offers elective or minor options in your specialization of interest. Also, look for opportunities to do significant research and publish before you graduate, which may lead to funding and employment opportunities. Top schools in this field usually have state-of-the art labs and other facilities for conducting research, and they offer a wide range of research topics. They also feature esteemed faculty mentors who also have been published or received awards.

What Are Three Top Social Psychology Graduate Schools?

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, OH

Ohio State University's program in social psychology was first in the 2013 rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

As part of a graduate social psychology program at OSU, you'll develop skills in data and conceptual analysis of social behavior and problems. Your coursework will include self and identity, group and social cognition and intergroup relations. You'll select two minors for your Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology and will be assigned to a faculty research project on the first day.

You'll be supported by 50 full-time faculty members with over 30 awards (from organizations like the National Institute of Mental Health), 20 professional society fellowships and presidencies of 12 professional associations. OSU also offers you extensive lab facilities, plus cubicles for data collection from individual subjects, larger rooms for group observations and one-way mirrors for coding of observations. Earn the following degree:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology - Social Psychology Specialization

University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

The school was ranked 24th in U.S. News & World Report's best national universities in 2016. It also tied for the 26th ranking for best psychology graduate schools in 2013 by the same publication.

The research-based social psychology program prepares you for a teaching or research career in academia, private industry or government. Your required coursework will include advanced statistics and research methodology, experimental psychopathology, ethics, social and cognitive psychology and personality development. You'll have flexible options for majors and minors, with access to 17 psychology centers and research laboratories. Candidates for the Ph.D. in Psychology are encouraged to publish.

Social psychology researchers at UVA are active in academic and popular media. During the first half of 2010, affiliates produced a dozen juried articles. Research was referenced in major media outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Discovery Channel and U.S. News & World Report. UVA offers the following degree:

  • Ph.D. in Social Psychology

University of Wisconsin - Madison in Madison, WI

In its 2013 rankings, U.S. News and World Report UW tied for ninth for its overall psychology programs. For the 2014-2015 school year, fewer than five percent of applicants to the Department of Psychology doctoral program were admitted. Students frequently win federal National Institutes of Health or National Science Foundation fellowships. You'll contribute to faculty research in a number of areas, including acculturation, attitudes, competition, culture and cognition, social perception, stereotypes and intergroup relations. Many Ph.D. candidates publish during their programs.

Psychology students have access to many laboratories, such as the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior. As a social psychology student, you'll also access specialized Motivation, Prejudice and Intergroup Relations and Culture and Cognition laboratories. Earn one of the following degrees with a social psychology specialty:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology

More Top Graduate Schools for Social Psychology

College/InstitutionInstitution TypeLocation
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI
Harvard University4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA
Princeton University4-year, PrivatePrinceton, NJ
Stanford University4-year, PrivateStanford, CA
University of California--Los Angeles4-year, PublicLos Angeles, CA
Yale University4-year, PrivateNew Haven, CT
University of California--Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA
New York University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY
University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign4-year, PublicChampaign, IL
University of Minnesota--Twin Cities4-year, PublicMinneapolis, MN

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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