Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

MA in Applied Social Psychology
PhD in Applied Social Psychology

The Applied Social Psychology program enables students to develop a social psychological perspective with which to study the behavior and experiences of people in a social context. Graduates are expected to contribute to and utilize social psychological knowledge for the improved welfare of individuals, groups, organizations, and society as a whole. The program seeks to train professionals who, through basic and applied research, will be able to identify significant issues, help design and implement changes which address those issues, and evaluate those changes. Students also are expected to become effective communicators of knowledge through presentations, publications, and teaching.

The program has been designed to provide students with a solid base of knowledge through in-depth study of the core theories, concepts, methods, findings, and principles of social psychology, while allowing them to pursue their specialized interests. Courses are available in traditional substantive social psychological topics (e.g., attitudes, social influence, social cognition, group dynamics), applications to social problems (in such areas as education , law, criminal justice, physical and mental health, organizational behavior, and community life), and a broad variety of statistical and methodological techniques (e.g., survey methods, program evaluation), as well as practical skills including effective communication and the design of interventions.

The applied social psychology program consists of eight faculty members and about forty students in the master's or doctoral programs. Faculty and students represent a diversity of racial and ethnic groups, ages, geographical origins, and genders. Students are encouraged to undertake their own research under the guidance of program faculty and to work with other faculty members and students in other psychology programs or other departments as they pursue their research interests. All students have a faculty advisor with whom they meet to review their progress and plans. The program's training model and methods are designed so that students and faculty work together as colleagues in an informal, friendly atmosphere.

Graduate degrees in social psychology have been offered at Loyola since the 1960s. Beginning in the mid-1970s, the program was among the first to provide an applied emphasis, and remains one of the few programs in the country with an applied research orientation. Students admitted to the program, aside from having strong credentials, typically possess prior research and/or applied experience and interests compatible with program and faculty goals. In recent years, there has been an average of over 70 applicants per year; approximately 20 percent of those applicants are accepted and, of those accepted, about one-third enroll at Loyola.