Master’s in Personality Psychology Programs and Resources

Personality psychology uses the principles of psychology to study and compare individual human thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Research is used to show how individuals are different due to varying psychological factors. Most people who desire a career as a personality psychologist are interested in research and pursue a doctorate level degree. There are employers that would accept a terminal master’s degree, but a doctorate degree is generally preferred in the area of personality psychology research. Most research is done in a university, laboratory, or clinical environment. Other career paths may include the areas of private sector consulting, government or non-profit program design, marketing, technology design, and politics. Below is a list of affordability-ranked schools that offer graduate degrees in the area of personality psychology. 

Masters in Personality Psychology

Most Affordable Personality Psychology Master’s Programs

University of Nebraska Omaha (BACB) The UNO MA in Psychology has the following concentrations: Applied Behavior Analysis, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior, and Social/Personality Psychology. The UNO "Master of Science" in Psychology has two concentrations: Industrial/Organizational Psychology and School Psychology.
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Florida Atlantic University The FAU Master of Arts degree in Psychology provides graduate students with a solid foundation for doctoral studies. Graduates have pursued specialties in many areas of psychology, including developmental psychology, experimental psychology, behavioral neuroscience, neuroscience and neuropsychology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, social/personality psychology, organization/industrial psychology, as well as clinical psychology, and counseling psychology.
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Oakland University OU offers a MS in Social-Personality Psychology is a two-year terminal degree program in experimental methodology. The MS in Behavioral Health is a two-year terminal degree program in experimental methodology aimed at developing the research skills necessary to pursue doctoral training in health or applied areas. OU also offers a MS in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology.
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University of Oregon The UO MA or MS in Psychology is designed to provide advanced training for a small number of individuals who have a clearly focused research interest and an academic plan. The program includes the following research areas: Cognitive/Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Social and Personality Psychology, and Systems Neuroscience.
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University of Tennessee Knoxville The UTK Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology incorporates the following areas of research: Biological Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Industrial & Applied Psychology and Social & Personality Psychology. Experimental graduate students will acquire breadth of knowledge of these areas, but are expected to identify a particular area and conduct research primarily in that area.
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Most Affordable Personality Psychology Doctorate Programs (PhD)

Texas A&M University The TAMU PhD in Psychology offers four additional areas including: Behavioral and Cellular Neuroscience, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and Social and Personality Psychology. Additional cross-area research and training clusters include: Affective Science, Diversity Science, and Personality Processes. The student-faculty ratio is roughly 2:1, which allows individualized attention to develop research and professional skills.
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University of Texas at Austin The UTAUS Master's or PhD in Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences (HDCLS) represents the scientific and theoretical bases for research and practice within the field of Educational Psychology. We train students in theories of: human cognition, culture, development, language, learning, motivation, social psychology, and personality psychology.
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University of Texas at Austin UTAUS offers a PhD in Psychology with areas of study including: Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, Individual Differences and Evolutionary Psychology, Perception, Brain, and Behavior, and Social and Personality Psychology.
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Oklahoma State University The OSU PhD in Experimental Psychology adopts a broad approach to the science of psychology by examining the biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and personality factors that affect behavior across the full range of the individual’s lifespan. There are four concentrations to choose from: Cognitive Psychology, Comparative-Neurobiology, Developmental Psychology, and Social-Personality Psychology.
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University at Albany SUNY UAlbany offers a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience, a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, a PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology, and a PhD in Social-Personality Psychology. For these areas the Master of Arts degree is only available to those who have entered the PhD program.
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University at Buffalo SUNY UB offers a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience, a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, and a PhD in Social-Personality Psychology. Graduate training in our department emphasizes both extensive academic training in general psychology and intensive research training in the student's area of concentration. The department expects students to become creative independent scientists and to exhibit an early and sustained commitment to research and scholarship.
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University of Wisconsin Madison The UWM PhD in Social and Personality Psychology involves many levels of analysis including establishing biologically and physiological mechanisms of social behavior, psychological mechanisms of motivation and self-presentation, group-level processes as well as cultural and socio-ecological forces on emotion, thought, and behavior. The program is founded upon our commitment to cutting-edge scientific research.
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University of Missouri Columbia (APA,PCSAS,APCS) The UMC PhD in Psychology offers the following areas of emphasis: Clinical Psychology, Cognition and Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, Social/Personality Psychology, and a Dual Emphasis in Child Clinical and Developmental Psychology. The department also offers a graduate minor in Psychological Statistics and Methods. All emphasis areas offer broad empirical and theoretical training with a research emphasis.
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University of Illinois at Chicago (APA,APCS) The UIC PhD in Psychology has five areas of focus to choose from: Behavioral Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Community and Prevention Research (CPR), and Social and Personality Psychology. Our training goal is to produce scholars and researchers who will contribute to the growth of knowledge in Psychology and go on to work in academic, clinical or community settings.
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University of Georgia The UGA PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology exists to develop, research, and apply psychological principles to raise the quality of life for working individuals. The UGA PhD in Behavior and Brain Sciences has five areas of research options: Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology, Neuroscience, Social-Personality Psychology and Vision Sciences.
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University of Oregon The UO PhD in Social/Personality Psychology reflects an intellectually diverse approach to understanding intrapersonal and interpersonal processes and individual differences. Areas of particular focus include: emotion and motivation; self, identity, and social cognition; groups, networks, and organizations; culture, values and world views; personality structure and development; decision making and risk perception and more.
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University of California Irvine The UCI PhD in Psychological Science provides students with a strong foundation in theory, research methods and advanced statistics, as well as in the classic and contemporary issues. Students select one of four primary specializations: Affective Science, Developmental Psychology, Health Psychology, or Social Psychology and Personality Psychology. You may also pair a specialization with a concentration in Psychology & Law (includes legal courses).
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University of California Davis The UCDavis PhD in Psychology program is oriented toward training qualified students to pursue careers in the areas of research and teaching. The five areas of specialization include: Biological Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience; Quantitative Psychology and Social Psychology/Personality Psychology.
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University of Washington UW also offers a PhD in Psychology offers concentrations in: Animal Behavior, Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognition and Perception, Developmental Psychology, Social and Personality Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology. Students are offered a flexible program, designed to prepare them for careers at the cutting edge of research and scholarship.
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University of California Berkeley (APA,APCS,PCSAS) The UCB PhD in Psychology offers six areas of emphasis: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology and Social-Personality Psychology. The goal of the graduate program in Psychology at Berkeley is to produce scholar-researchers with sufficient breadth to retain perspective in the field of psychology and sufficient depth to permit successful independent and significant research.
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The UIUC PhD in Psychology has many specialty areas including: Behavioral Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, General Psychology, Quantitative Psychology, Social-Personality Psychology, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Attention & Perception. Graduate students in the department belong to one program area, and the different areas can have different curricula and requirements.
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Howard University (APA) The following PhD Programs are offered by Howard University: Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Neuropsychology, Personality Psychology, and Social Psychology. Minors are also offered in the areas above as well as quantitative and cognitive psychology. However, we do not accept students who only seek the master's degree.
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Michigan State University MSU offers a PhD in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience, a PhD in Community Psychology, a PhD in Organizational Psychology, and a PhD in Social/Personality Psychology. We also offer on-line graduate training in program evaluation. Many of our faculty members and students collaborate with others in the department outside of their primary program, as well as with scholars across campus and at other institutions across the world.
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Wayne State University (APA) WSU offers a PhD in Psychology in the following areas: Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Developmental Science, Social-Personality Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Our graduates are prepared to function effectively as research scientists, scholar-teachers at colleges or universities, and professionals in business and industry, health care, schools, and government agencies.
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University of Rochester (APA,APCS) UR offers a PhD in Clinical Psychology, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and a PhD in Social-Personality Psychology. The primary goal of our graduate program is to provide highly qualified applicants a broad range of coursework, research experience, and practical training that will equip them to make independent contributions to psychology. We also have a program in human motivation that cuts across the clinical and social areas.
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Yale University (APA,APCS) The Yale PhD in Psychology program annually enrolls about 15 new students. Each potential graduate student indicates one of five areas of concentration: clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, or social-personality psychology. The primary goal is the training of researchers, for academic and applied settings, who will broaden and deepen the knowledge base on which the science of psychology rests.
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Washington University in St. Louis The WUSL PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences areas of specialization include: Aging & Development; Behavior, Brain, & Cognition; and Social & Personality Psychology. Although you declare your primary interest in one of these areas when applying to the graduate program, you are exposed to all areas through your courses, research collaboration, and departmental colloquia.
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Personality Psychology Associations and Resources

Society for Personality and Social Psychology The Society for Personality and Social Psychology, founded in 1974, is the world’s largest organization of social and personality psychologists. With over 7,500 members, SPSP strives to advance the science, teaching, and application of social and personality psychology. The core focus of SPSP is to serve its members through educational events, networking opportunities, resources, science funding, publication and promotion of research, and mentoring the next generation of social and personality psychologists.
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Society of Experimental Social Psychology SESP is an international scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of social psychological research. Our typical members have a PhD in social psychology or a related field, and work in academic or other research settings. SESP’s mission is to provide opportunities for direct and personal scientific exchange and collaboration among social and personality psychological scientists through its annual meeting.
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Association for Research in Personality The ARP is a scientific organization devoted to bringing together scholars whose research contributes to the understanding of personality structure, development, and dynamics. Members do not have to define themselves as “personality psychologists.” In fact, many of those were trained in other specialties (e.g., clinical psychology, social psychology, psychiatry, human development, health psychology, Industrial Organizational psychology).
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World Association for Personality Psychology WAPP is the association for those interested in or working in the areas of personality, individuality, intelligence, and individual differences. The goal is the advancement and development of empirical and theoretical personality psychology worldwide. We organize scientific meetings, especially that of recurring world conferences on personality psychology, and a scientific journal is being published under the auspices of the association.
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Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology A quarterly peer-reviewed journal that emphasizes the publication of original research offering new knowledge to the fields of applied psychology, social psychology, work and organizational psychology, and personality psychology.
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APA Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts Committed to interdisciplinary scholarship, both theoretical and empirical, encompassing the visual, literary, and performing arts. We apply personality psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, perceptual, physiological, and cultural psychologies to diverse artists, styles, and epochs.
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Personality Psychology Related Podcasts

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