2023-24 Catalogs

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Columbia, MO 65211
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PhD in Psychology with Emphasis in Social/Personality Psychology

Social/Personality psychology offers training in the traditional areas of social and personality psychology, as well as their relevance for several applied areas including health psychology. This Social/Personality area integrates the psychology of the person and the situation, with the goal of understanding the psychological processes that underlie people’s emotions, motivations, beliefs, actions, and decisions.

Training focuses on the multi-faceted view of social behavior from three levels:

  1. the individual level;
  2. the contextual level (or social level); and
  3. the interaction of the individual and the contextual levels.

All three levels are vital to fully understanding human psychology. Particular research foci in the area include the sources of motivation, both individual and social; the nature of meaning-making, both existential and interpersonal; the determinants of optimal and destructive functioning, both within and between groups and in relationships; and the causes and consequences of psychological well-being, growth, and defense.

Degree Requirements

  • 83 total hours of coursework
  • Distribution courses from four different content area, including abnormal psychology, biological foundations, cognition and learning, developmental psychology, motivation and personality, and social psychology (12 hours)
  • Training area courses (24 hours)
  • Statistics (9 hours)
  • Ethics and Professional Issues (1 hour)
  • Completion of Masters
  • Completion of comprehensive examination
  • A written doctoral dissertation
  • Oral examination on thesis research


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Psychology program and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program’s graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process. Before official admissions to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied.

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