Curriculum

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Social Psychology Doctoral Program Curriculum

The Social Psychology Doctoral Program maintains a light and flexible curriculum that allows students to develop their full potential as researchers and theorists. Students – in consultation with their primary research mentors – have the opportunity to design a course of study that will best suit their unique scholarly trajectory. It is expected that students will complete the Doctoral Program in 4-5 years. Requirements include:

     860 Directed Research Seminar in Social Psychology (Social Psychology ORG speaker series)

    This course must be taken every semester in the first two years, as well as in subsequent semesters only when students register for more than 3 credit hours

    863 Methods of Social Psychology

 This course must be taken by all Social Psychology doctoral students. It will be offered roughly every 4 semesters

Core Courses in Social Psychology

Students take a minimum of 2 of the following courses (consult with mentors to determine the best fit; additional courses may also be relevant, e.g., graduate courses offered at Duke may fulfill this requirement)

869 Advanced Social Cognition
870 Psychology of Emotions
864 Topics in Attitude Research
866 Interpersonal Processes and Close Relationships
873 Prejudice and Stereotyping
874 Social Judgment and Decision Making
875 Positive Psychology
8xx Moral Psychology
8xx Social and Affective Neuroscience
8xx Health Psychology
8xx Self-Regulation
8xx (other new courses developed by Social Psychology Program faculty)

Psychology Doctoral Program Curriculum

In addition to Social Psychology Doctoral requirements, students are required to fulfill the Psychology Doctoral requirements. It is expected that students will complete the Doctoral Program in 4-5 years. Requirements include:

830 Statistical Methods in Psychology I
831 Statistical Methods in Psychology II
790 History of Psychology
792 Professional Problems (Teaching Seminar, 1 credit hour)
3 additional out-of-area courses
*At least 30 credit hours are required for the M.A. (no specific additional hours for Ph.D.).

Social Psychology Competency Requirements

To pass to doctoral candidacy, the Social Psychology Doctoral Program requires that students show competency in terms of research breath and depth.  To pass to doctoral candidacy, students must complete the following requirements prior to the start of their 3rd year:

  1. An empirical Master’s thesis, written in the format of a “Research Article” for Psychological Science (up to 4000 words), the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (longer format) OR whatever format, in consultation with the student’s advisor, is deemed most relevant to the student’s area of focus
  2. A theoretical paper, written in the format of an article suitable for submission to Psychological Review, OR a complete grant proposal, e.g., the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31).
  3. Two 6-8 page (double spaced) “breadth essays” based on topics covered in PSYC 860. The goal of these essays is to take a contextualized stance on a contemporary research topic (e.g., trace the history of the scientific study of the contemporary research topic and discuss how the history informs current research, discuss how the selected contemporary research topic is related to relevant scholarship in other fields, link the selected contemporary research topic to another current topic in social psychology that was also highlighted in PSYC 860). For more details on the breadth essay requirements, see here.

Sample Graduate Curriculum in Social Psychology

Year 1: Fall
860 Directed Research Seminar in Social Psychology
863 Methods of Social Psychology
*** Core Course in Social Psychology
830 Statistical Methods in Psychology I
991 Advanced Research

Year 1: Spring
860 Directed Research Seminar in Social Psychology
*** Core Course in Social Psychology
792 Professional Problems (Teaching Seminar, 1 credit hour)
831 Statistical Methods in Psychology II
991 Advanced Research
Students give first year talk in PSYC 860

Year 2: Fall
860 Directed Research Seminar in Social Psychology
790 History of Psychology
*** Out-of-Area Course (Quant highly recommended)
*** Out-of-Area Course (Quant highly recommended)
993 Master’s Thesis

Year 2: Spring
860 Directed Research Seminar in Social Psychology
*** Out-of-Area Course (Quant highly recommended)
*** Additional Quant course (if pursuing Quantitative Certificate)
993 Master’s Thesis

Students give second year talk in PSYC 860
Submit and defend Master’s thesis

Year 3: Fall
994 Doctoral Dissertation (3 credit hours)
Submit theoretical paper competency requirement

Years 3-5: Each Semester
994 Doctoral Dissertation (3 credit hours)

Take any additional courses (consult with advisor) and fulfill any remaining Program or Departmental requirements. When registering for a formal course, also register for PSY 860. When not registering for any other formal courses, register for only 3 credit hours of PSY 993 or PSY 994. Note that a Doctoral Dissertation is defended before the Ph.D. is conferred.