The doctoral program in Social Psychology at New York University offers training in the scientific study of social psychology and social behavior. To this end, it offers training in the psychological theories, principles, and research methods relevant to understanding human behavior among individuals, groups, and organizations.
Social behavior is best understood from a multi-level perspective. The focal level of analysis often concerns the individual and the situation, with an emphasis on the cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes that drive behavior in social contexts. Our multi-level approach may examined how these processes are shaped by political, societal, and organizational factors, at a higher level, and supported by neural and physiological systems, at a lower level.
Our multi-level perspective is reflected in our methodologies. Students receive training in advanced quantitative methods and in a broad range of approaches such as behavioral experimentation, psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience, big data (e.g., from social media), experience sampling, online data collection, dyadic measurement, computational modeling, and field studies, to name a few. Members of the program have access to fMRI, EEG/ERP, eye-tracking, and peripheral psychophysiology facilities housed within the Psychology Department.
Finally, we are committed to connecting our research to the real world. Although our questions often focus on basic processes that drive social cognition and motivation, our broader goals are to understand real-life human behaviors and pressing societal issues and to contribute solid scientific knowledge to policy makers and human service providers.
Program Culture and Activities
The NYU social program has a history of a special communal, cooperative spirit, with very high morale among the students and faculty. Moreover, the program culture is constantly evolving, influenced by interactions among current students, postdocs, and faculty, by changes in the broader scientific field, and by events in the world. We hold weekly program meetings (our “brownbag” meeting) that emphasize new findings and lively discussions, and we feature multiple talk series featuring prominent outside speakers (e.g., Social Colloquium, Social Neuroscience Series, Distinguished Lecture Series). Members of the program also enjoy interactions with colleagues in Cognition & Perception, Development, Neuroscience, Applied Psychology, Linguistics, Politics, Philosophy, and the Stern School of Business. Our location in an exciting and central neighborhood in New York City makes it easy for students and faculty to come in early and/or stay late to meet with each other and distinguished visitors.
Graduate study in the Social Psychology program at NYU means being part of an unusually active research culture. We share well-equipped laboratories, and we promote 'open door' relationships between professors and students. Although students typically have a primary home in one professor's laboratory, we require that students work in at least one other laboratory to promote breadth of training in a variety of methodological approaches and research issues. Our goal is to prepare students to be highly competitive in the job market for the type of career they seek, and we are proud of the steady success of our students in obtaining academic positions at top research universities and teaching colleges.
All students accepted into our graduate program are fully funded through the Henry M. MacCracken Program. MacCracken funding is provided through a combination of teaching assistantship, research assistantship, and fellowship, in proportions to be determined. The award package typically includes a full tuition scholarship, comprehensive health insurance and a stipend. Funding is typically guaranteed for five years, although students with substantial graduate credits or a Master's degree may only be guaranteed four years of support.
There is a very limited supply of subsidized housing available for graduate students which is generally used for a subset of each entering class to provide them the opportunity to get settled in New York City during their first year of residence.
NYU Abu Dhabi PhD Program
The Program in Social Psychology maintains a relationship with the Social Psychology faculty at NYU Abu Dhabi. This relationship supports opportunities for collaboration between students and faculty across the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses. Students accepted for the NYU Abu Dhabi Ph.D. program will typically spend two years primarily in New York with multiple visits to Abu Dhabi. During those two years, students complete all or most of their coursework as well as carrying out research in collaboration with an NYU Abu Dhabi advisor and a co-mentor in New York. The subsequent three years are spent in Abu Dhabi completing the dissertation research and any remaining course requirements.