Applications for admission in September 2014 are due December 15, 2013. See the How to Apply section of the Graduate Program Overview.
The Rutgers Social Psychology Ph.D. Program prepares students for research and teaching careers in both academic and nonacademic settings.
Students work closely with faculty members on research projects of mutual interest. Rutgers has a very favorable ratio of about two to three graduate students per professor. Social Psychology faculty members employ state of the art research methods including the latest computer based procedures for a ssessing implicit beliefs and attitudes, sophisticated algorithms for uncovering and displaying personal identity and other cognitive structures, and structural equation modeling of naturalistic and laboratory data.
The Rutgers Social Psychology Program includes nationally and internationally recognized scholars, many of whom have received prestigious awards and honors.
For example, the Program boasts two American Psychological Association Early Career Award recipients (Gretchen Chapman, 1999, for Scientific Contribution to Applied Psychology and Lee Jussim, 1996, for Scientific Contribution to Social Psychology); a Senior Member of the National Academy of Sciences (Howard Leventhal); and two recipients of the Gordon Allport Prize for Research on Intergroup Relations (Lee Jussim, and Laurie Rudman [twice]).
In addition, the Rutgers Social Psychology Program has a strong commitment to graduate and undergraduate teaching. In 2000, Richard Contrada received the Rutgers University Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. In 1998, Dan Ogilvie was named best undergraduate teacher at Rutgers by the 1998 Rutgers Students' Unofficial Guide to College. Laurie Rudman and Dan Ogilvie received Faculty of Arts and Sciences Teaching Awards in 2003.
The Program has strengths in two main areas:
Self, Interpersonal, and Intergroup Processes (Professors Aiello, Jussim, Ogilvie, Rudman, Sanchez, & Wilder). One focus of research at Rutgers involves relations among self, interpersonal relations, and intergroup processes. Faculty interests include lay conceptions of personality; cognitive organization of multiple identities and social problems; development and use of categories to define the self and stereotypes to define others; prejudice; gender roles and beliefs, the integration of ideographic and nomothetic methodologies; role of feedback in self evaluation; the role of identity in intergroup perception and conflict; self-fulfilling prophecies; the role of nonverbal communication in the regulation of interpersonal interactions; managing workplace diversity; computer monitoring, telecommuting, and organizational change. Several members of the social faculty are associated with the Rutgers Center for Race and Ethnicity.
Health Psychology: (Professors Chapman, Contrada, Leventhal, Tomiyama). Faculty interests include effects of emotions and personality on cardiovascular and immune systems; coping with environmental threats; the perception of health risk; health promotion and preventive health behavior; management of chronic disease; effect of chronic illness on emotional reactions and the self concept; common sense reasoning and the representation of disease threats; judgment and decision making in medical and health domains, physician reasoning, and patient utility assessment. Social and Health students are part of a larger multidisciplinary group that draws upon members of the Clinical, Cognitive, and Behavioral Neuroscience Areas. Current research projects involve collaborative work with faculty in Medical Sociology, History of Medicine, Medical Economics, Medical Anthropology; the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research; The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and the New Jersey Cancer Institute.
Course of Study
The program is designed to be completed in 4 to 5 years by which time a student is an accomplished research social psychologist. Students finish a Masters thesis by the end of their second year, pass a Qualifying Exam in year 3, and defend their dissertation research in year 4 or 5. Course work includes statistics, research methodology (laboratory and field designs, implicit methods, psychophysiology and content analysis of dyadic interactions), core courses in social psychology and health, and seminars reflecting faculty expertise. It is expected that students will be actively involved in research throughout these years.
Application and Selection Procedures
Applications are strongly encouraged to be submitted no later than January 1. Although applications submitted after that time may be considered, those submitted by 1/1 will be given highest priority.
Students are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1. Potential for becoming excellent researchers and scholars.
2. Availability of faculty advisors.
The typical class includes three to six students.
Students admitted in 2010 and 2011 had an average GPA of 3.6 and 3.8, respectively; average GRE Verbal scores of 560 and 610; and average Quantitative scores of 650 and 750.
We encourage women and minorities to apply.