2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Feb 06, 2023  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Social, PhD

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Graduate Study in Social Psychology

This program focuses on basic social psychological processes that underlie pressing social and political issues–locally, nationally, and globally. At Clark, this includes primarily the study of intergroup relations, societal conflict and reconciliation, violence, health disparities, and commitment to social change, including political action and intervention. More generally, we examine the interaction of individual differences and social structures in producing and reflecting political attitudes, behavior, and health. We pay particular attention to how human experience–thought, behavior, feelings–is shaped by history and intersectionality of group memberships, and how social structure reinforces power relations. Students and faculty in the program use a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including lab and field experiments, surveys, interviews, focus groups, and archival research. The program encourages contextualized and interdisciplinary research, novel theoretical work, the use of multiple methods, and work with diverse community samples in different parts of the world.

For further information, contact Dr. Johanna Ray Vollhardt, head of the Social Psychology program.

Psychology Graduate Program General Requirements

Course Work

Students typically take four courses each semester for the first two years, including one semester of History, Theory and Method: Research Design (PSYC 301), and two consecutive semesters of Statistical Methods (PSYC 302). In subsequent semesters in residence, students take two or three content courses and research or reading courses. A total of 16 one-semester courses is required for the Ph.D.


Students demonstrate qualification to begin dissertation work by completing a portfolio of elements totaling 6 points during the first three years. Examples of elements include conference posters, papers, journal submissions, and grant proposals.

Independent Research Project

Each student must be actively involved in research from the beginning of their graduate training. At the end of their first year, students will present their work-in-progress in poster format at an annual Graduate Research Conference. At the end of their second year, they will present this work at the Conference as an oral paper. The project will be deemed complete when it is written up in the format of a journal article. Students wishing to obtain a formal M.A. should consult the University Web site for M.A. requirements.

Credit for Prior Graduate Work

Prior completion of a master’s degree in psychology at an institution requiring an empirical master’s thesis may, on rare occasions and at the student’s request, be recognized by waiver of up to six content courses because of equivalent (non-applied) graduate courses at the prior institution; Previous completion of graduate work in psychology or a related discipline that did not result in a master’s thesis may be recognized by waiver of some requirements at the discretion of the program chair.

Ph.D. Dissertation

The student demonstrates the ability to conduct research by the presentation of an acceptable dissertation. A dissertation committee of three faculty members is formed to supervise all phases of the research. A dissertation proposal is first written and defended at a meeting with the committee and other faculty who have read the proposal. Once completed and approved by the committee, the dissertation is presented publicly to the psychology faculty, graduate students, and appropriate guests, and is open to questions from the faculty. The format of this oral examination is that of a professional presentation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate the ability to address questions on their work and on related matters. This oral includes at least the committee and two additional faculty members.

Probationary Status Status

Probationary Status is assigned to any student who has not completed a program requirement on schedule. In such a situation, the student will be placed on Probationary Status for no longer than one semester. During this time, only Directed Study relating to the incomplete work can be pursued. Failure to complete requirements after one semester on Probationary Status will result in termination from the graduate program. Students can be placed on Probationary Status a maximum of two times throughout their time in the Ph.D. program. Thus, any student who has been on Probationary Status twice and then fails to complete a requirement that would normally place them on Probationary Status will be terminated from the program.

Psychology Faculty

Program Faculty

Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D. - Department Chair
Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Nancy Budwig, Ph.D.
James Córdova, Ph.D.
Alena Esposito, Ph.D.
Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.
Wendy S. Grolnick, Ph.D.
Amy Heberle, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.

Research Faculty

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Ph.D.
Rachel Joffe Falmagne, Ph.D.
Denise Hines, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.

Clinical Faculty

Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D. - Director of Clinical Training
Kathleen Palm Reed, Ph.D. - Associate Director of Clinical Training
Michael Addis, Ph.D.
Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D.
James Cordova, Ph.D.
Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D.
Amy Heberle, Ph.D.

Developmental Faculty

Nancy Budwig, Ph.D. - Head of Developmental Program
Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Alena Esposito, Ph.D.
Ana K. Marcelo, Ph.D.

Social Faculty

Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D. - Head of Social Program
Nicole Overstreet, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.

Professors Emeriti

Roger Bibace, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Rachel Joffe Falmagne, Ph.D.
James Laird, Ph.D.
David Stevens, Ph.D.
Nicholas Thompson, Ph.D.
Jaan Valsiner, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Cathleen Crider, Ph.D.
Ashley Hart, Ph.D
Christina Hatgis, Ph.D.
Phoebe Moore, Ph.D.
Johanna Sagarin, Ph.D.

Psychology Graduate Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

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