University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology's home page.


Our goal in the graduate training program in social psychology is to prepare students to test, refine, and develop theory by means of rigorous empirical research, and to apply social-psychological constructs, findings, and theory to issues and problems of practical social import. Toward that end, we expose students to classic and contemporary knowledge in social psychology, and to the methodological skills to make significant contributions to both basic and applied social-psychological research.

Minnesota’s social psychology program offers research opportunities in many areas. The program focuses on a wide range of theory and research that address intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup phenomena. Faculty and students conduct research in a wide array of specialties, including social cognition, emotion, subjective well-being, personality and social behavior, attitude formation and change, culture, intergroup relations, social psychology and law, political psychology, decision-making and health behavior, stress and coping, dyadic social interaction and strategic social communication, prosocial action and citizen participation, and interpersonal relationships.

We emphasize the development of research skills through course work and research collaborations with faculty, and recommend supporting course work in measurement, statistics, and research methods. Through course work and research experience, students develop expertise in laboratory experimentation and in methods well suited to rigorous research outside the confines of the laboratory. Our faculty actively collaborates with other researchers in the Department of Psychology, in other academic departments in the university, and in other institutions in the Twin Cities area. These productive collaborations are institutionally supported by a number of interdisciplinary research centers, such as the Center for the Study of Political Psychology and the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society, and by a number of graduate minor programs, such as the Political Psychology minor and the Interpersonal Relationships minor, in which faculty from a number of disciplines are actively involved.

Moreover, because a number of social psychologists have academic homes elsewhere in the University of Minnesota, we encourage students to take advantage of course work and research opportunities in other academic units of the university, such as the Carlson School of Management, the School of Public Health, the Institute of Child Development, the Department of Educational Psychology, the Department of Family Social Science, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Political Science, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Law School.

In addition, the Twin Cities metropolitan area provides students access to many community agencies, foundations, and private enterprises that not only assist in research, but also provide employment opportunities at predoctoral and postdoctoral levels.

This extraordinary variety of resources in the Department of Psychology, the University of Minnesota, and the surrounding Twin Cities metropolitan area affords students the opportunity to shape their graduate training to meet their individual professional goals and interests. Whether students aspire to academic research and teaching careers at liberal arts colleges or at large research universities, or to careers in non-academic settings, our graduates find themselves equipped with the substantive and methodological expertise to participate meaningfully and productively in the generation and application of social-psychological knowledge.

Area Director

Christopher Federico
N385 Elliott Hall