University of Nebraska Medical Center


The eligibility criteria state that I must have my master's degree to apply to the program, but I will not have my master's degree by the time I apply. Does that mean I am not eligible to apply?

You are still eligible. We recognize that many of our applicants are in the process of completing their master’s degree requirements when they apply to our PhD program. The Office of Graduate Studies must have an official transcript on file showing that your master’s degree was awarded within approximately four months of starting the PhD program (e.g., January 1 for fall admissions and a similar timeline for spring admissions). The exact date will be noted in your offer letter.

It is expected that all of your degree requirements (e.g., coursework, thesis if applicable) are completed by the time you start the PhD program. The grace period is designed to give the student’s master’s degree program ample time to send official transcripts.

What if I don't expect to have my BCBA by the time I would start the PhD program?

As long as you expect to have your BCBA by February 1 of the following year (within approximately five months of starting the PhD program), you should apply.

It is expected that all of your BCBA requirements (e.g., coursework, practicum hours) are completed by the time you start the PhD program in August. The February deadline is designed to give prospective students time to take the exam shortly after obtaining their master’s degree and to allow time to gather and submit the materials required to take the BCBA exam.

How do I know which faculty are planning on taking students?

Prior to submitting your application, you can inquire with the faculty you are interested in working with to get a general sense of whether they expect to take students. However, we usually determine which faculty are taking students and how many initial slots we have available shortly after the recommended application deadline. During the online application process, prospective students are asked to specify which faculty they are interested in working with and may select more than one faculty member.

Can I tour the facilities?

Yes, we encourage folks to tour our facilities. Please review the information under Program Information for more details about setting up a tour.

Can I take courses online for the PhD program?

No, we do not have online courses.

When do fall and spring application cycles open?

The online application system typically opens in October for the fall cycle and in June for the spring cycle.

Who should I contact about questions regarding the PhD program?

If you have general questions regarding the program, please contact the director of the ABA PhD program, Dr. Nicole Rodriguez. Applicants have the opportunity to learn more about the program and meet with faculty in an open forum-style Zoom Open House. Please review Program Information for sign up details.

We also encourage you to notify Dr. Rodriguez of any ambiguity or suspected errors on our webpage so that we can work swiftly to modify them. We want the process of learning about our program and applying to be straightforward.

We encourage prospective applicants to read the following paper published in The Behavior Analyst for additional information on our PhD program. For more information, take a look at our interview with Applied Behavior Analysis EDU.