Curriculum and Degree Information

The BASP curriculum is designed to provide the basic education required to function as an academic or applied research psychologist, but allows flexibility to build a course of study and research that meets each individual student’s needs and interests. Requirements for BASP students include 60 credits (split between required courses, core electives, and breadth electives), a first doctoral exam (i.e., master’s thesis), a second doctoral exam (either a grant proposal or review paper), a comprehensive assessment (professional activities such as manuscript and conference submissions) and a dissertation.

For more information, consult the BASP Student Handbook or click on the links below.

Overview of Program Requirements

The following are the formal requirements for successful completion of the BASP doctoral program:

1. Completion of 60 credits (including all required courses) with an overall average of B or better.

2. Successful completion of the First-Doctoral Examination

  • Completion of research project proposal (MA Proposal)

  • Completion of research project and paper

  • Oral presentation of completed research project

3. Successful completion of the Second-Doctoral Examination

  • Psychological Bulletin or Personality and Social Psychology (PSPR) style review paper OR a ready to submit NSF or NIMH grant proposal

4. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Doctoral Assessment

  • Submission of a first-authored manuscript to peer-reviewed journal

  • Present a paper or poster at a regional, national or international conference

  • Attend two different conferences (hosted by a differing organizations)

5. Successful completion of the Dissertation

  • Completion of the Dissertation proposal (Dissertation Proposal)

  • Completed Dissertation (full data collection and dissertation write-up)

  • Oral defense of completed Dissertation

Course Requirements

The following represents a suggested timeline for course of study and course requirements for the BASP program. This timeline does not include additional requirements and responsibilities (e.g., teaching, research, or grant appointments). Of course students may move faster or slower through the program as they complete BASP requirements and the timeline is meant to be used as a framework for planning students program of study.

The course curriculum is designed to provide the basic education required to function as an academic or applied research psychologist, but allows flexibility to build a course of study and research that meets each individual student’s needs and interests. The BASP program requires completion of 60 credits and the program is designed to be completed in 4-6 years, but students who enter with a Master’s degree may be able to complete all of the requirements in less time. Students with 30 transfer credits must complete all requirements within 7 years of entering the program.

Students are required to complete 60 course credits. Of the 60 course credits, 45 credits come from required courses, 9 from core-electives, and 6 from breadth-elective courses.

Students are expected to take 45 credits of required courses, which include courses such as, Social Psychology I and II, Research Design, Statistics I and II, Teaching of Psychology, an Advanced Statistics course, and ethics.

Students are expected to take three core-elective BASP courses. These are seminars directly relating to core concepts and/or theoretical perspectives within Social Psychology. These courses are usually (but not always) taught by and directly linked to the expertise of BASP faculty. A sample of typical core-elective courses from BASP faculty is listed in the accordion below.

Students are expected to take two breadth-elective courses. These are elective courses in psychology or related disciplines offered outside the BASP training program, designed to increase the breadth of knowledge of BASP students as well as expose them to upper level classes. A sample of breadth-elective courses from around CUNY is listed in the accordion below.

(Sample Course Sequence)

Social Psychology I1 Elective core course2
Research Design & Methods   Directed Research
Statistics I Statistics II
BASP Colloquium (1 credit)  BASP Colloquium (1 credit)
Social Psychology II1  Ethics4
Teaching of Psychology4 Elective-core course2
BASP Pro-seminar Breadth elective3
BASP Colloquium (1 credit) BASP Colloquium (1 credit)
Elective-core course2 General Elective
Professional Development    Independent research
Breadth elective3 Advanced Statistics Elective
BASP Colloquium (1 credit)   BASP Colloquium (1 credit)5


  1. Social Psychology I and II can be taken in Year 1 or Year 2, depending on when offered.
  2. One course in the listing of Elective-core courses within BASP training area.
  3. One Breadth-elective course (outside of BASP training area).
  4. Teaching of Psychology and Ethics should be taken based on availability can be taken in Year 1 or Year 2, depending on when offered.
  5. Students are required to take a total of 6 BASP colloquium credits. Although it is preferable that students fulfill these credits within the first three years, these credits can be taken at any point in their graduate training.

NOTE: The above course sequence represents a suggested curriculum in the first three years, but may differ for each student based on a variety of factors, such as course availability, in-state status (e.g., out of state or international student status), etc.

The BASP program requires completion of 60 credits and the program is designed to be completed in 4-6 years, but students who enter with an MA/MS degree may be able to complete all of the requirements in less time.















First Doc

Second Doc










There are two alternatives for the successful completion of the First Doctoral Exam.

Option 1

Completion of a research project proposal, project, and oral presentation. To fulfill this option, students must successfully complete a project proposal, complete a full manuscript write-up of their completed project, and orally present their research to the BASP faculty and students. The research project can be either work on an advisor’s pre-existing project or on the student’s own original research project. Students writing up research based on ongoing research in their advisor’s research lab should take significant responsibility in forging the research question. The level of responsibility will be as deemed appropriate by their faculty advisor. The First Doctoral Examination will be graded on a pass/fail basis by a two-member faculty committee.

  • First-doc research project proposal. The first requirement for successful completion of the first-doc is a research project proposal. The proposal should contain a review of the relevant literature, a thesis, hypotheses, a detailed explanation of methodology for the proposed research, and a data analysis plan. The proposal must be approved by both members of the first-doc committee.

  • Completed first-doc research project & manuscript. Once students have completed their research project, they will be required to complete a ready for submission manuscript of their research project. The completed manuscript should be approved by their two first-doc committee members.

  • Oral presentation of first-doc research project. After the manuscript is approved by the committee, the student will be required to complete an oral presentation of the paper to the BASP faculty and students. This presentation will typically occur within the BASP brown-bag series.

Option 2

Completion of a Master’s project from another program and Oral Presentation. A second option for fulfilling the requirements of the first-doctoral program is for those students that enter the program with a Master’s degree. To fulfill this First Doctoral Exam requirement, students will be required to submit their completed project manuscript to the Program for review. A completed thesis from another program will be accepted as fulfilling the First Doc requirement of the Program if the manuscript includes all elements of the first-doc requirements, including an original research project relevant to Social Psychology, full APA-style manuscript, and deemed appropriate to the level of scholarship of first-doctoral exams within the BASP Program. Students utilizing this alternative will be required to present their project to the BASP community (e.g., brown-bag series). Thus, for students utilizing this option, approval of the completed manuscript and an oral presentation to the BASP community will indicate successful completion of the first-doc exam.

The Second Doctoral Exam is designed such that students will gain competencies in their ability to engage a broad review of a given topic, their capacity to conceptually integrate theories from diverse areas of social psychology, and finally their proficiency to develop a rigorous program of research. The Second Doctoral Exam will consist of a written product which may take the form of a Psychological Bulletin or Personality and Social Psychology Review (PSPR) style paper OR a ready-to-submit National Science Foundation (NSF) or National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) grant proposal.

To complete the requirements of the Comprehensive Doctoral Activities, students must engage successfully in a number of professional activities that are intimately associated with the creation, communication, and dissemination of scholarship in social psychology.

To successfully complete the comprehensive doctoral activities milestone, students are required to complete each of the following activities:

  1. Submit a first-authored manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal and if necessary complete the revise and re-submit process. The manuscript could be based on the student’s first-doc research project, an alternative project with their advisor, or a project with a faculty member that is not their advisor (e.g., another BASP faculty member or non-CUNY or BASP faculty member). The journal to which the article is submitted should not only be peer-reviewed, but will be subject to the approval of the student’s advisor. It is expected, but not necessary that the process of publishing the manuscript will allow students to develop the skills of responding to editor and peer reviews (either directly via a revise & resubmit OR via submission to a new outlet).
  2. Present a poster or paper at a relevant regional, national or international conference. The student should be first author on the poster or presentation.
  3. Attend two conferences, with each conference being hosted by a different organization. Acceptable conferences include, but are not limited to SPSP, APA, SPSSI, ISPP, APS, AP-LS, SESP, and regional conferences such as EPA and MPA.

The Doctoral Dissertation is the culmination of the student’s research training in the BASP program. The scope of the research is more ambitious than that of the First Doctoral Exam research project, yet it should not be of such scope as to be incapable of completion in a reasonable period of time, within the eight year typical limit set by the GC for the completion of doctoral training. Students should realistically plan for completion long before the deadline is reached. The expectation is that the idea for the research and its plan will be developed by the student, in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor. Students may, but are not required to, use the research topic used in their Second Doctoral Exam as a basis for the dissertation. All dissertations must be based on original research, and must clearly demonstrate the candidate’s ability to work at the frontiers of the field.

Students are eligible to submit their Dissertation proposal once the following requirements are successfully completed:

  1. The First Doctoral Exam
  2. The Second Doctoral Exam

Students must be continuously enrolled at the GC until all degree requirements are fulfilled, including the filing of an approved dissertation in the library.