The Social Psychology area of focus is an informal track within the M.A. Psychology Program that does not appear on students' transcripts.
If you are a prospective applicant interested in the Social Psychology area of focus, you should apply directly to the M.A. Psychology Program and indicate Social Psychology as your area of interest.
Social Psychology Description
Social psychology examines the situational influences on behavior in individuals and groups as well as identifies psychological processes to explain those behaviors. For example, are you interested in how prejudice and stereotypes evolve and impact behavior in diverse groups and cultures? Or why the values or beliefs people hold don’t seem logical considering facts provided? NYU’s distinguished social psychology faculty teach and conduct research in social cognition and implicit unconscious processes that offer underlying explanations for these behaviors. Are you curious about the way self-concept influences motivation, goal attainment, and perceptions of others? Social psychology faculty research the cognitive and perceptual factors involved. NYU is a premier leader in the field of social neuroscience, including the use of fMRI and eye-tracking methods to map brain localization and activity to specific social behaviors, decisions, and emotions. M.A. students begin by taking the program’s core courses and with a strong foundation, may request doctoral courses and have an opportunity to work in faculty research labs that investigate these topics. M.A. students are invited to attend weekly Psychology Department colloquia and brown bag lunch forums along with faculty and doctoral students.
Academic. M.A. students have been competitive in gaining admissions to Ph.D. programs in this area given high achievement in coursework in the most current approaches to the discipline and research when working in faculty labs. Alumni of the M.A. program have continued in doctoral programs at prestigious schools.
Note: The M.A. program is distinct from the NYU Ph.D. program in Social Psychology. Application to this Ph.D. program requires a separate application and is evaluated by a different committee. Applicants to Ph.D. program may request consideration for the MA program if not accepted to the Ph.D. program.
Employment. Graduates with a focus in social psychology, particularly with advanced quantitative skills have gained employment as lab managers and research assistants in academic institutions, as data scientists in business research firms, in roles related marketing insight analysis and branding, in research pertaining to consumer decision making, and most recently in social media companies where group dynamics driving internet “viral” behavior is studied.
Curriculum Pathway for Social Psychology
See Program Requirements link for required Foundation and Core Courses - 15 credits
Recommended Core Courses in Social Psychology (2 may count towards Core requirement, others taken as elective)
- Psychology of Social Behavior
- Affective Neuroscience
- Child Development
- Theories of Personality
Electives most relevant to Social Psychology
- Group Dynamics
- Psychology of Diversity
- Psychology of Market Diversity
- Psychology of Social Media
- Psychological Influence of Children’s TV & Media
- Culture, Thought and Emotion
- Cognitive Psychology (fulfills a Core A requirement)
- Cognitive Neuroscience (counts as elective if Affective Neuroscience is taken as a Core B)
- Emotion and its Development
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior & the Prison System
- Psychology of Violence
- Personality and Organizational Behavior
- Psychosis in Social Context
- Other, determined through advisement
- With permission, advanced Ph.D. courses offered in the Psychology Department
Electives in other departments and schools at NYU
As the largest private University in the country, NYU has multiple Schools, Centers, and Departments with psychology related courses. Cross registration requires advisor approval.