Content | Navigation |

Graduate School



Department Chair

Dr. James Council

Department Location

232 B2 Minard Hall

Telephone Number

(701) 231-7065

Degree Offered


Application Deadline

February 15

Test Requirements


English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 79

Program Description

The Department of Psychology at North Dakota State University grants both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. We have three doctoral programs that prepare students for research and academic careers: Psychological Clinical Science, Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, and Health/Social Psychology.

Doctoral Programs

Students enter one of three Ph.D. programs: Psychological Clinical Science, Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, or Health/Social Psychology. These areas represent the strengths of the department's faculty in experimental research, as well as three of the most active and cutting-edge areas in the field of psychology. The program accommodates approximately 20 students, with approximately 4 new Ph.D. degrees awarded each year. Training in the program includes course work in the student's area of emphasis, as well as methods courses, breadth requirements, and research experience under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Training and experience in college-level teaching is an important part of all three programs. Student support is available through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and teaching stipends.

Admission Requirements

The Department of Psychology graduate programs are open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. Applications must be received by February 15 in order to receive full consideration for admission in the upcoming academic year. However, applications will be considered after this date to the extent that space in the program is still available.

Financial Assistance

Students are routinely supported through research and teaching assistantships. Applicants are considered on the basis of scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. All students who submit complete applications to the program by the appropriate deadlines are considered for assistantships. There is not a separate application for financial aid. Doctoral students are eligible for university fellowships that are awarded on a competitive basis.

Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology:


  1. Complete a master's degree in Psychology. This may be done at NDSU or elsewhere.
  2. Complete at least 90 hours of graduate credit, including those completed for the master's degree;
  3. 60 or more of these credits must be earned at NDSU. At least 30 credit hours must be in approved didactic courses, and at least 18 of these must be at the 700 level.
  4. Complete quantitative and research methods courses (Psyc 640 and 762, plus Psyc 761 for Health/Social).
  5. Complete core courses in the specific program area: Health & Social Psychology - four courses: Psyc 733, 771, 782, 787 Visual & Cognitive Neuroscience - three courses from Psyc 718, 720, 727, 731,760, 764 Psychological Clinical Science – Psyc 755, 756, 770, 672 or 673, 758, 794, 795.
  6. Complete three (for Psychological Clinical Science), two (for Health/Social students), or one (for Visual & Cognitive Neuroscience students) breadth courses at the graduate level from area outside specialty track (which can include approved courses from other departments).
  7. Complete Psyc 790 (graduate seminar and colloquium series) each semester.
  8. Participate in a continued program of research apprenticeship with at least one faculty member and, accordingly, enroll in Psyc 793 each semester for 1-5 credits.
  9. Teach one undergraduate course under the supervision of a faculty member, after completion of COMM 702, Introduction to College Teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences, BIOL/EDUC 705, Teaching College Science, or another approved pedagogy course.
  10. Complete a major area paper to serve as the comprehensive exam for Ph.D. candidacy. The area paper will be a comprehensive literature review of the student's area of research and will include an oral defense.
  11. Complete the dissertation. The student will defend a written proposal before a faculty committee, conduct an original research project, and complete a comprehensive written report on the project. The student will complete a final oral defense before the same committee.

Click here for course descriptions.


Benjamin J. Balas, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007
Field: Brain and Cognitive Sciences 

Barbara Blakeslee, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara, 1983
Field: Biopsychology, Vision Science 

Martin D. Coleman, Ph.D.
University of Sussex, 2005
Field: Emotion and Decision Making 

Erin Conwell, Ph.D.
Brown University, 2009
Field: Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences 

James R. Council, Ph.D.
University of Connecticut, 1984
Field: Clinical Psychology; Personality, Assessment, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 

Keith F. Donohue, Ph.D.
Florida State University, 2011
Field: Clinical Psychology; Alcohol, Research Methods, Teaching 

Robert D. Dvorak, Ph.D.
The University of South Dakota, 2012
Field: Clinical Psychology; Self-regulation, Health-Risk Behaviors, & Ecological Momentary Assessment 

Kathryn H. Gordon, Ph.D.
Florida State University, 2008
Field: Clinical Psychology, Eating Disorders, Suicidal Behavior 

Robert D. Gordon, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999
Field: Cognitive Neuroscience, Attention, Representation, Visual Information Processing 

Clayton J. Hilmert, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego, 2003
Field: Health and Social Psychology; Stress Psychophysiology, Cardiovascular Health, and Pregnancy 

Verlin B. Hinsz, Ph.D.
University of Illinois, 1983
Field: Social and Industrial/Organizational; Small Group Performance, Group Decision Making

Leah A. Irish, Ph.D.
Kent State University, 2011
Field: Experimental Health Psychology, Stress and Health, Sleep 

Jeffrey S. Johnson, Ph.D.
University of Iowa, 2008
Field: Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience 

Linda Langley, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 1998
Field: Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Aging, Attention 

Kevin D. McCaul, Ph.D.
University of Kansas, 1978
Field: Social Psychology; Health Behavior, Applied Social Psychology 

Mark E. McCourt, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara, 1982
Field: Biopsychology, Vision Science; Visual Psychophysics, Neuropsychology 

Mark Nawrot, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University, 1991
Field: Visual Neuroscience; Neural Mechanisms for Perception of Depth and Motion, Eye Movements, Alcohol 

Michael D. Robinson, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis, 1996
Field: Social/Personality, Affective Processes 

Paul D. Rokke, Ph.D.
University of Houston, 1985
Field: Clinical Psychology; Psychopathology 

Clay Routledge, Ph.D.
University of Missouri-Columbia, 2005
Field: Health and Social Psychology 

Laura E. Thomas, Ph. D.
University of Illinois, 2008
Field: Embodied cognition, Links between action, perception, and cognition

Wendy Troop-Gordon, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002
Field: Child Development, Social Development and Peer Relations  

David A. Wittrock, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Albany, 1990
Field: Clinical Psychology; Behavioral Medicine, Headache, Stress, Appraisal and Coping 


Terence W. Barrett, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 1989
Field: Counseling; Issues in Therapy, Forensic Psychology 

Scott G. Engel, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2003
Field: Health and Social Psychology; Obesity and Eating Disorders 

Holly Hegstad, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 1999
Field: Clinical Psychology; Anxiety and Mood Disorders 

Jessica T. Kaster, Ph.D.
University of South Dakota, 2004
Field: Clinical Psychology; Child Psychopathology, Assessment 

H. Katherine O'Neill, Ph.D.
University of North Dakota, 1991
Field: Clinical Psychology; Psychopathology, Addiction, Anxiety 

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM