Program Coordinator: Dr. Michael Dodd

Welcome to the Social and Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln! With a long history of distinguished accomplishments, we are proud to be an excellent training program for basic and applied social psychology and cognitive psychology. Our faculty members are renowned experts in core areas of social psychology (such as prejudice, motivation, emotion, and social cognition) and cognitive psychology (such as perception, attention, memory, and decision making).

We offer three distinct tracks of study: Social, Cognitive, and Social-Cognitive. Each specialization offers a great deal of flexibility so that all coursework and research training experiences can be adapted to each student's interests and career goals. Although our work encompasses diverse theoretical orientations and methodologies, we share a commitment to training graduate students to be highly competent researchers who are qualified to work in a number of contexts, including research universities, liberal arts colleges, and applied settings.

Our training program includes research, coursework, teaching, and applied experience (when appropriate). Beginning in their first semester, students work closely on research with their faculty mentors; over time, these projects turn into full collaborations. As students' research progresses, they are encouraged to develop professional skills by presenting their work at conferences and co-authoring research publications.

Course requirements help students obtain expertise in theoretical, methodological, and applied areas. Students take graduate proseminars in their core area of study and related fields to acquire a solid grounding in the theoretical foundations of the discipline. They also take seminars that are more specialized. In addition, students take several courses in research methodology and data analysis. Beyond the core program, students have considerable latitude in selecting coursework, in both psychology and related departments (e.g., educational psychology, statistics, law), enabling them to tailor the program to their individual interests and needs.

Because teaching is an important part of many psychologists' careers, our program enables students to obtain substantial teaching experience. Most of our students are teaching assistants at some point during their first two years in the program. After that, students are encouraged to teach courses, either on their own or with another graduate student. All graduate students take a seminar on teaching methods, and a faculty mentor supervises their teaching. Students who are not funded as teaching assistants or instructors are often funded as research assistants.

Finally, students can take advantage of connections with several university and community organizations, such as the Gallup Organization, the Public Policy Center, the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior (CB3), and the Center for Children, Families, and the Law. As a result, our students have substantial opportunities in areas of applied psychology, such as survey methodology, program evaluation, and public policy.

The three tracks:
1) Social Track 2) Cognitive Track 3) Social and Cognitive Track

Some of the students in the Social and Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. programs take courses and gain experience in legal psychology, and there is overlap between the Social and Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. program and the Law-Psychology program in terms of faculty. Social and Cognitive students often take courses at the Law School or conduct research in areas such as jury decision making (Wiener, Willis-Esqueda), discrimination (Brank, Gervais, Wiener, Willis-Esqueda), immigration (Willis-Esqueda), suspect rights (Brank), sexual harassment (Gervais, Wiener), sexual assault (Gervais), Negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution (Votruba) and Public perception of law and policy (Votruba) in addition to their work in social and cognitive psychology. Students who are interested in earning a law degree (M.L.S. or J.D.) as a way to integrate legal training with their graduate training should apply to the joint degree program in Law-Psychology.

The Social and Cognitive Psychology program has a long history recognizing the importance of motivation in explaining cognition and social behavior including seminal contributions to the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation dating back to 1953.

For graduate admissions information, please visit the Student Info link above and select the Prospective Student page for more info.  If you have additional questions you can contact:

Jamie Longwell
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
238 Burnett Hall