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Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Psychology are pleased to announce the creation of a new joint degree program in the field of social policy.  Students enrolled in the program will be awarded a doctoral degree in Psychology and Social Policy.  Conceived as a “discipline plus” degree, doctoral candidates are at once full members of the Psychology department and participants in an additional inter-disciplinary program that focuses on the causes, consequences, and remedies for inequality in the United States and abroad.  Experimental studies in the laboratory or the field focusing on social cognition, interpersonal perception, inter-group relations, prejudice, aggression, and social influence are essential to understanding how the structural conditions of inequality filter down to shape individual identity, social interactions, social motivation, and perceptions of fairness or justice.  This program is designed to appeal to students who want to pursue academic careers in traditional disciplinary departments, but at the same time, the JDP is intended to attract students who see themselves, now and in the future, as committed to the study of social issues of public importance. 

Program Structure

JDP-Psychology students devote their first year of study to required and elective courses in the Psychology department and to their laboratory work under the aegis of faculty mentors.  In their second year of study, students continue coursework in the department, and commence the inter-disciplinary core course on inequality and social policy, taught jointly by members of the Psychology, Economics, Sociology, and Politics departments.  JDP students complete an original research paper under the direction of faculty in the core seminar which then becomes the focus of their work in an advanced research workshop in the fall of their third year.  Distinguished faculty from outside Princeton are chosen based on student research paper topics to visit the advanced workshop and contribute additional feedback.  The core seminar and workshop contribute to JDP student preparation for dissertation planning. 

Students attend a colloquium series on social policy and have dinner together with faculty on a weekly basis.  In the fourth and fifth years, students work primarily with their departmental advisors on their dissertations.  In their final year (normally fifth year), JDP students participate in a dissertation seminar where they present parts of their theses to one another, to faculty, and to visitors in their fields. 

Applying to the JDP-Psychology Program

Already-enrolled graduate students may be admitted into this program only after their first year of study in the Psychology Department.  Prospective applicants are welcome to indicate an interest in the program in their initial Princeton University graduate studies application, which can be found here: http://gso.princeton.edu/admission/