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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences - The University of Texas at Dallas

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Students can major in developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, or social/personality psychology. The University requires a minimum of 75 hours of coursework. The specific program requirements include: six credit hours of a doctoral proseminar, nine hours of core research methods courses, 12 hours of core psychological sciences courses, six hours of advanced electives, and independent study research hours each semester enrolled. For more information, see the degree plan.


The graduate catalog provides an overview of course descriptions.




LabA major component of doctoral study is active involvement in research that is assessed by completion of a series of research projects: a qualifying thesis, which is completed during the first two years of graduate study, and a dissertation, which students complete in the subsequent 2 to 3 years.


Please see the Guidelines for the Completion of Qualifying Theses and Dissertations for more information about program deadlines and student responsibilities for meeting these deadlines.  The BBS Graduate Student Guide also provides detailed information on dissertation proposal and defense procedures.


Students are responsible for keeping track of the deadlines for the various research projects, downloading and completing forms and reports, acquiring necessary signatures and submitting the appropriate forms to the BBS Graduate Studies Office and Research Committee.


Please remember that all documents should be submitted to committee members at least two weeks before meeting with your committee. Committees should be convened prior to these dates to meet these deadlines. These dates reflect when completed paperwork should be submitted to the psychological sciences program office.

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Each September 15, students should submit the appropriate report or project detailed in the Guidelines for the Completion of Qualifying Theses and Dissertations OR a progress report to the Graduate Studies Office and the faculty committee. If a student is unable to meet the goal specified for the specific September 15 date (e.g. complete the qualifying thesis, hold the first dissertation committee meeting), then the student must submit a progress report with an overview of progress and status on the project, a request for an extension, and the length of the extension and proposed deadline.


Please note that these deadlines are adjusted for part-time students, students who begin the program in spring semester, and students who complete Qualifying Plan 2. Please see the Psychological Sciences program office and the BBS PhD student guide for this information.

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Research LabBBS Annual Report

Each March 5th, students should submit the BBS Annual Report detailing scholarly activities and accomplishments for the previous year. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor to review their annual report in advance of the due date. The final version should be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office as well as to the student’s advisor.


During March or April of each year, faculty review the annual reports and each student is evaluated and determined to be making satisfactory progress or unsatisfactory progress.  Each student will receive a letter by early summer summarizing the student’s evaluation, including discussion of strengths and weaknesses in the program. These evaluation decisions determine whether student funding is continued for the following academic year and also affect opportunities for summer teaching assignments that are sometimes available. The BBS Graduate Student Guide has additional information about the consequences for failing to maintain satisfactory progress.


UTD Graduate Studies Office Annual Report

Each March 15th, students should submit the UTD Graduate Studies Office Student Progress Report to the BBS Graduate Program/Studies Office.

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If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed within the linked documents, please contact the program head, the associate dean or the administrative assistant.


Program Head

Shayla Holub, PhD


Program Assistant, BBS Graduate Studies Office

Adrienne Gidley



For Additional Program Information
Psychological Sciences Doctoral Program

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd, GR41
Richardson, TX 75080


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BBS and Program Guides

BBS Graduate Student Guide
Psychological Sciences PhD Degree Plan


Qualifying Thesis Forms

Qualifying Thesis Committee Membership
Qualifying Thesis Proposal Approval
Qualifying Thesis Final Approval
Public Presentation of Research Project


Dissertation Forms

Dissertation Committee Membership
Dissertation Proposal Approval
Dissertation Proposal Public Presentation
Request Final Oral Exam


Contracts and Progress Reports

Independent Study Contract - Guidelines for the Completion of Qualifying Theses and Dissertations
UTD Graduate Studies Office Student Progress Report - BBS Annual Report Template


Other Forms

In Absentia Registration
PhD Research Small Grants Program
Request for Extension
Request for Travel Funds



18 Characteristics of BBS Doctoral Programs

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