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Doctor of Philosophy
Psychology and Social Intervention

The Psychology and Social Intervention (PSI) doctorate prepares action scientists for diverse roles in academia and social research. You will be prepared to understand, transform, and improve the contexts and systems in which humans develop across the lifespan.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

PhD in Psychology and Social Intervention

Start Date
Application Deadline

Information Session

Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at 6:00 PM until 7:45 PM (Eastern Daylight Time) 



  • Please note that the GRE test is optional for Fall 2023 admissions cycle applications.


  • NYU Steinhardt offers a competitive funding package for PhD students who study full time. Learn more about Steinhardt's funding opportunities.
  • NYU's IES-PIRT Program is committed to strengthening the pipeline of skilled researchers prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research. We intend to recruit students from groups underrepresented in education sciences, including scholars of color, students from low-income families, immigrant origin students, and individuals with disabilities. Qualified incoming PhD students may apply for a 4-year fellowship that includes a generous stipend, tuition coverage, and other benefits. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. To be considered for the fellowship, IES-PIRT strongly recommends that applicants signal their interest in the IES-PIRT fellowship in their application and check the expression of interest box in Steinhardt's application portal. When reviewing applications, the IES-PIRT committee is looking for a) a clear record of interest and/or commitment to research on causal questions in education science relevant to the U.S. context, b) demonstrated aptitude for and interest in quantitative methods and data science, as demonstrated by high grades in advanced math, quantitative methods, or statistics coursework in college and/or graduate school, and c) clear evidence of interest in developing research skills and knowledge in areas of education science. Learn more about IES-PIRT or contact for more information. 

Application Guidelines: 

  • Please visit the How to Apply page for more information on application requirements 
  • Please review our FAQ page to find out more information about the PSI program and application process.


PSI is a research-intensive degree with a strong quantitative training component that places a strong emphasis on:

  • understanding and assessing social settings, systems, and policies;
  • creating/improving, implementing and evaluating prevention and intervention programs; and
  • understanding various forms of diversity and structural inequality among individuals, institutions, communities, and societies.

Students work collaboratively with faculty mentors on a range of activities, including study design, data collection and analysis, manuscript preparation, conference presentations, policy briefs, and evaluation activities.

Program faculty study a wide range of ecologies (e.g., families, schools, neighborhoods, policy contexts, programs) and preventive and policy interventions (e.g., psychological, social, educational and health programs) locally, nationally and internationally. Our faculty also conduct research on how cultural factors and identities influence and interact with experiences of these ecologies and interventions. Our New York City location provides an ideal urban setting for studying many kinds of communities, combined with gateways to the world at large.


In the PSI program, we focus on providing the framework to help you:

  • develop methodological skills that enable analysis of change over time and within and across levels of human ecology

  • acquire abilities to apply psychological and social science principles to the understanding of social settings, social/cultural contexts, and social and policy interventions

  • develop abilities to conceptualize, interpret, evaluate and disseminate evidence-based social and policy interventions; and develop the ethical, interpersonal, organizational, and technical capacities to undertake high-quality professional work in psychology and social intervention

The PSI doctorate trains social scientists to work in a variety of settings so they understand the experiences of people in the contexts and systems in which they develop across the lifespan, and can transform and improve these contexts and systems. 

Our degree prepares students for diverse roles in academia and applied research. In the academic arena, our students are well positioned for jobs in psychology, human development, education, public health, and public policy. In the area of applied research, you will be prepared to obtain positions in research organizations, policy institutes, social service agencies, community-based organizations, and advocacy. 

Our rigorous theoretical and empirical training will position you extremely well to respond to the ever-increasing demand for evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies in health, education, and social services.

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If you’re an international student, you may be able to work in the United States after graduation for an extended period of time. Most students studying on F-1 visas will be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) off-campus work authorization. F-1 students in our program may also be eligible for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) OPT extension, allowing you to extend your time in the United States to pursue degree-related work experience for a total of 36 months or 3 years. For more information on who can apply for this extension visit NYU’s Office of Global Services: STEM OPT.