Social psychology is the study of how thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are influenced by social norms or the presence or perceived presence of other people and how they’re behaving. In this field, human behavior is believed to be the result of the combination of social situations and the participants’ mental states.

This field is notably different than sociology. In sociology, the attitudes and behaviors of groups are studied, with each group being seen as one unit. Meanwhile, social psychology focuses on the individuals within the groups.

Doctors of social psychology are mostly interested in research, so doctorate degree programs focus on this aspect. Many hope that by bringing about a better understanding of how individuals interact and behave in group situations, improved policies and practices will come about.

Many social psychology PhDs go on to become university professors themselves, where along with teaching directly, they run labs and supervise students in their research projects. Others go into research, again typically working at universities. New discoveries may later affect the thought processes behind policy-making, so this research can have widespread effects.

Find out what your options are for online learning when it comes to doctorate degrees in social psychology with the information below.

What Will I Learn in an Online Social Psychology Doctorate Program?

Since this field is centered on research, academics, and public policy, the best doctorate degrees in social psychology are PhDs. You will find that getting this doctorate online is a more involved process than most other psychology doctorates, with plenty of lab time and research being mandatory. Because you’ll be enrolled in an online program, you’ll likely have the option to perform these lab hours within your own community, but it’s best to double-check before fully committing.

While this field is lab-heavy, there is still some classroom time involved. You may be required to take courses covering:

  • Social Identity
  • Attitudes
  • Well-Being
  • Personality Psychology
  • Psychology and Law
  • Social-cultural Psychology
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Social Health Psychology

Some schools also teach in unique or innovative ways. For example, at the University of Arizona’s Online College of Science Psychology Department, you will also be required to participate in lively “brown bag” seminars, complete a 9-credit minor, assist with teaching other classes, take part in meetings, and more.

What To Look For in an Online Social Psychology Doctorate Program?

When searching for an online doctorate program in social psychology, there are several crucial factors to consider. Accreditation is paramount, ensuring that the program meets rigorous academic standards and is recognized by reputable accrediting bodies. Look for programs accredited by recognized organizations in the field of psychology, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) or other relevant accrediting bodies.

The curriculum should be comprehensive, covering advanced topics in social psychology. Look for programs that offer courses on social cognition, attitudes and persuasion, group dynamics, intergroup relations, research methodologies in social psychology, applied social psychology, and advanced topics specific to social psychology. A well-rounded curriculum will equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand and analyze social behavior and interactions.

Evaluate the qualifications and expertise of the faculty members in the program. They should possess strong academic backgrounds in social psychology, with experience conducting research or working in applied social psychology settings. Faculty members who have published research or have expertise in specific areas of social psychology can greatly enhance the learning experience and provide valuable guidance for doctoral research or practical applications.

Access to resources is crucial for staying up-to-date with advancements in the field of social psychology. Ensure that the program provides access to online databases, scholarly journals, and other relevant resources in the field. Additionally, look for programs that offer interactive online platforms that foster collaboration and discussion among students. This can create a dynamic learning environment and facilitate meaningful interactions with peers and faculty members.

Practical experiences are invaluable in a social psychology program. Look for programs that provide opportunities for practical application, such as research projects, internships, or fieldwork in social psychology settings. These experiences allow students to apply social psychology principles, develop research skills, and gain practical insights into real-world social phenomena.

Consider the support services offered by the program, such as mentorship, career guidance, and networking opportunities within the social psychology community. Look for programs that provide access to experienced professionals who can offer mentorship and guidance throughout your doctoral journey. Networking opportunities can help you connect with professionals in the field, create potential collaborations, and enhance your career prospects in social psychology.

Admissions Requirements for a Doctorate in Social Psychology

While there are always differences between universities, there are some aspects that are almost identical across the board. This gives you the chance to prepare at least some of your admissions package ahead of time. You can expect an admissions office to require these basics:

  • Application
  • Official transcripts of prior college degree studies
  • A relevant master’s degree
  • A minimum GPA
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

Some online universities require GRE scores, but many do not. You may also have to have an interview with one or more faculty members in the psychology department. Certain programs have an application fee, too, but this is usually set at a reasonable cost.

Since there are variables like the ones mentioned, and possibly others, it is important to check with any universities of interest for specific details before applying. This will ensure that you can meet all of the requirements.

List of Social Psychology Doctorate Degree Programs

Find an online or campus-based doctorate program in social psychology today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

Jump to Your State Listings


PhD Programs
739 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0100
(205) 348-6010


PhD Programs
1401 E University
Tucson, AZ 85721-0066
(520) 621-2211


PhD Programs
150 E Tenth St
Claremont, CA 91711-6160
(909) 621-8000

PhD Programs
1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1011
(831) 459-0111


PhD Programs
352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000


PhD Programs
105 The Green, Wolf Hall 108
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2271


777 Glades Rd, Administration Bldg., Room 339
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000

PhD Programs
222 S. Copeland Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
(850) 644-2525


Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000


2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822-2217
(808) 956-8111


PhD Programs
601 S Morgan
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 996-7000


PhD Programs
1750 Beardshear Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2103
(515) 294-4111


PhD Programs
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
(785) 532-6011


PhD Programs
950 Main St
Worcester, MA 01610-1477
(508) 793-7711

PhD Programs
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1000


42 W. Warren Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-2424


PhD Programs
North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 784-1110

New York

365 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 817-7000

310 Administration Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-0701
(631) 632-6000

North Carolina

PhD Programs
1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000


PhD Programs
501 East High St
Oxford, OH 45056
(513) 529-1809

PhD Programs
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-6446


PhD Programs
660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK 73019-3072
(405) 325-0311


PhD Programs
724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 725-3000


PhD Programs
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
(215) 204-7000

PhD Programs
201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802-1503
(814) 865-4700

PhD Programs
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-4141


PhD Programs
527 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-1000


PhD Programs
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX 79409-5005
(806) 742-2011

PhD Programs
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 471-3434

500 W. University Ave
El Paso, TX 79968-0691
(915) 747-5000

212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX 77204-2018
(713) 743-1000


PhD Programs
201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 201
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9008
(801) 581-7200

PhD Programs
Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-1400
(435) 797-1000


PhD Programs
85 S Prospect St
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
(802) 656-3131


1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

PhD Programs
1827 University Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22903-2628
(434) 924-0311

PhD Programs
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23284-2512
(804) 828-0100

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Joel Gill
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