Basic and Applied Social Psychology

The Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP) Ph.D. Program at the CUNY Graduate Center trains students in the theories, principles, and research methods relevant to the conduct of social psychological research. The primary goal of the training program is to produce rigorous, competent, and creative researchers who are well-versed in the traditional canon of social psychology, but can apply this knowledge to engage with innovative questions and pursuits.

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The CUNY BASP Program is designed to provide students with:

  • Knowledge and understanding of core concepts and theories in the field of social psychology;

  • Competence in a variety of research skills and methods;

  • Synthesis or application of research expertise in one or more specific areas of social psychology; and

  • Hands-on professional development opportunities, including both formal and informal training in manuscript preparation, revision, and review, oral presentation, grant writing, and teaching.

Our training philosophy combines formal coursework with an apprenticeship model of doctoral mentorship. Although students are expected to explore and develop their own lines of research, they will work closely with one or more faculty members in the first two years of their training to learn basic skills, gain facility with various stages of the research process, and receive exposure to particular approaches and methodologies. This apprenticeship model trains students in the empirical tools of social psychological research, allowing them to select from this toolbox in developing their own independent programs of research. Although the Graduate Center is the formal home of the BASP program, doctoral students complete the majority of their research training at the CUNY college where their primary advisor is appointed. View our full list of faculty members and their campus affiliations.

The BASP training area is one of 10 doctoral training areas within the PhD Program in Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center (GC).  Each training area has its own curriculum, requirements, and culture, but shares common core elements with the GC Psychology department as a whole. Many members of the BASP faculty are also affiliated with other doctoral programs, including Psychology and Law, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Health Psychology and Clinical Science. This structure allows faculty and students to collaborate more easily across training areas, and creates opportunities for interdisciplinary course offering and research opportunities.

The BASP program promotes this type of collaboration, while still maintaining an independent identity and culture. The BASP faculty is committed to training social psychologists with the breadth and depth to both be competitive in the job market and make a continuing contribution to the field and to our larger social world.

Founded in 1961, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) is devoted primarily to doctoral study and awards most of CUNY’s doctoral degrees. An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the Graduate Center offers over thirty doctoral programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, as well as a number of health sciences doctorates and master’s programs.

In addition to the resources of the BASP program and faculty, GC students have access to interdisciplinary research centers, including the newly created Advanced Research Collaborative, which promotes interdisciplinary research and partners with the Graduate Center’s forty research centers, institutes, interdisciplinary committees, and other academic initiatives. Click here for information about the Advanced Research Collaborative.

The Graduate Center is also a vibrant intellectual and cultural hub in the heart of Manhattan. Every week, the Graduate Center hosts a series of academic and cultural events ranging from seminars and academic conferences to readings, concerts, and film screenings. Graduate Center doctoral student have access to all these events under their own roof, as intellectuals, activists, and artists from all over the world are drawn to New York City as a venue in which to express themselves and explore their work. Click here to view the GC Events Calendar.

Our Faculty

Sarit Golub - Professor -  profile photo

Sarit Golub

Distinguished Professor

  • Psychology

Distinguished Professor

  • Social Welfare
Tracey Revenson - Professor -  profile photo

Tracey Revenson


  • Psychology


  • Women's and Gender Studies
Virginia Valian's portrait by Alex Irklievski, 04/25/2023, CUNY Graduate Center

Virginia Valian

Distinguished Professor

  • Psychology

Distinguished Professor

  • Linguistics

Distinguished Professor

  • Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

Contact Us

Kristin Sommer

Baruch College