Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Applied Social Psychology PhD


The Social Psychology PhD Track

Students admitted to the social psychology PhD training track are normally expected to carry at least three courses in both the fall and spring semesters. Those on assistantships are restricted to three courses per regular semester and normally register for one course during the summer term. The student must meet all of the requirements listed below in order to receive their degree:
  • Coursework—(60 semester hours, 39 required + 21 electives)
  • Master's thesis (including an oral presentation, if not already completed)
  • Internship—teaching or field research (4 courses teaching or 1000 hours research)
  • Doctoral Candidacy Exam (2 areas: Theory & Application, Methodology &, Statistics)
  • Dissertation proposal defense
  • Oral defense of the completed dissertation
Students must complete a minimum of 60 semester hours and must maintain a GPA of not less than 3.0. Transfer credit (advanced standing) for graduate courses taken at other universities may be earned with the approval of the Program Director, Department Chairperson and Dean of the Graduate School. Transfer credits cannot exceed 30 semester hours. Approval of transfer credit must be obtained during the student's first semester at Loyola. Required course areas include:
  • Core Courses: Research Methods (with a B or better), Social Psychology Theory, Applied Social, Statistics 482 and 491 (with a B or better), one General Experimental course (with a B or better grade), and one Developmental/Individual Differences course (with a B or better grade)
  • Methodology Courses (at least six)
  • Basic Social Psychology Courses (at least two)
  • Applied Social Topics Courses (at least two)
  • Electives (Seven or fewer, as needed to reach the minimum of 60 hours required for the degree)
  • Independent Study: Readings or Research Course
  • Seminars in Social Psychology
More information on our current graduate students can be found here.


PhD Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain how classic and contemporary social psychological theory and research applies to human behavior in social settings
  • Learn to conduct a literature review
  • Evaluate the scientific rigor of research presented in social psychological journals and books
  • Synthesize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent, scholarly work
  • Understand how to derive novel, previously untested hypotheses.
  • Design and conduct basic and applied social psychology research
  • Understand how to statistically analyze and interpret data collected in social psychology research
  • Understand how to write up an academic research article
  • Understand how to give a high quality professional presentation
  • Apply ethical standards to evaluate psychological science and practice
  • Apply knowledge of social psychology to scholarly and/or professional activities to promote positive social change
  • Apply psychological content and skills to career goals
  • Gain experience teaching undergraduate psychology classes
  • Acquisition of research and publication skills that will allow students to pursue either an academic job or an applied job after completing the program
For more information on the doctoral candidacy exam, the dissertation process, or internships, please see the Social Psychology Student Handbook‌.