Welcome to the Social Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Kansas!

Social Program Brochure 2015 [PDF]

Who we are:

Social psychology has a long and distinguished history at the University of Kansas. In 1946, Roger Barker (Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from APA, 1964) became Chair. In that same year, Fritz Heider (founder of social cognition) joined the Department (Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1965). Since then, Kansas has been a world leader in research and training of graduate students. A recent article puts the KU program at the 92nd percentile of effective training programs in the USA for placing new faculty into Ph.D. training programs (Ferguson & Crandall, 2007).

What we are:

The Social Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Kansas is a research-intensive training program in which students develop skills in research methodology, statistics, and the substantive major content areas in the field. Social psychologists are interested in how individuals are affected by social situations; the faculty at KU have expertise in areas such as stereotyping, prejudice, intergroup relations, prosocial motivation, helping behavior, emotions, cross-cultural perspectives on the self and interpersonal relations, the development of social competence, social dominance, and applications of psychology to law. Most students train toward careers in academe, and some toward industry jobs that tap their research skills. The Ph.D. program includes 3-4 students in each entering class and operates under an apprentice-ship model. Continuous involvement in research is expected, and students develop their own contracts outlining work toward the Ph.D.

What sets us apart?

A unique feature of our program is that we encourage students to collaborate jointly or separately with multiple faculty researchers. One feature of our program that facilitates such collaboration is a concentration of expertise around four core themes. This concentration of expertise means that interested students not only find multiple course offerings associated with the core themes, but also find it easy to collaborate on research projects with multiple faculty members.


We thank you for your interest and invite you to explore the navigational panel above to learn more about our core themes, award-winning faculty, program requirements and graduate application process!

For general inquiries and questions related to the graduate application process, please contact:
Cathy O’Keefe, Graduate Officer
cokeefe@ku.edu            
785-864-4195

For questions related to the academic nature of this program, please contact:
Dr. Monica Biernat, Social Psychology Program Director
biernat@ku.edu              
785-864-9815


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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