Joint Programs and Minors

Advanced Quantitative Social Science Minor

The Advanced Quantitative Social Science Minor (AQSSM) provides doctoral students at Notre Dame advanced training in the application of psychometrics, social science data modeling, and state-of-the-art statistical and (big) data analysis techniques.  The minor capitalizes on the expertise of Notre Dame’s outstanding faculty who specialize in computing, data analytics, methodology, psychometrics, and statistics to provide graduate students with a thorough basis of advanced data analytical techniques and social science data modeling that will improve the quality of research in their substantive areas. AQSSM also equips students with the statistical credentials that facilitate favorable placements in academic or industrial positions upon graduation.  

AQSSM is housed in the Department of Psychology to capitalize on its strong faculty in quantitative psychology, statistics, and social science data analytics. AQSSM is open to all doctoral students at Notre Dame. We welcome all doctoral students at Notre Dame to take advantage of the AQSSM training opportunity. Graduate students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in the Quantitative Psychology program are not eligible for the minor.

For students who have taken comparable courses elsewhere, the minor requirements can be modified at the discretion of the faculty in the Quantitative Psychology program.

The minor will be granted to doctoral students who have met its requirements. AQSSM is a valuable credential, which is included on the student transcript if all requirements are met prior to the dissertation defense.

Minor Requirements

AQSSM requires both coursework and participation in the Quantitative Studies Group (QSG).  


Students in AQSSM need to take six courses on quantitative methods, statistics, or programming.  Example courses can be found here. Students must receive an overall GPA of 3.5 or above from the six courses. 

QSG Weekly Colloquia

Students must attend weekly colloquia of the Quantitative Studies Group (QSG, PSY 63199) for two semesters. PSY 63199 is listed for one-credit per semester and is graded S/U.

In summary, AQSSM requires a minimum of a total of 20 credit hours, with at least 18 hours of coursework and 2 credits participating in the QSG weekly colloquia.


AQSSM is administered by the faculty of the Quantitative Psychology area under the leadership of the area director. The area faculty have discretion to approve course substitutions or other minor requirements as appropriate.

Students declare their intention to pursue the minor by informing the area director of Quantitative Psychology in writing. Students should consult with the area director for course planning to ensure that the courses can be used to meet the course requirements. The students’ progress through the minor program is monitored by the area director. 

When all requirements are completed, students will submit a letter to the Quantitative Psychology area director outlining which courses were taken, when the courses were taken, and the course grades. A letter verifying the completion of the minor will be sent to the student, with copies to the Department and Graduate School.

Scott E. Maxwell Research Award for AQSSM 

Although doing a research project is not required for the minor, it is welcomed and encouraged for a student in AQSSM to work with a faculty mentor on a methodology project. The research can be a project that advances method development or that applies advanced data analytics to address novel and critical substantive research questions. 

Specifically, the student designs a project together with the faculty mentor and presents the project plan during QSG. The function of the presentation is to obtain feedback and suggestions to improve the project. After finishing the research, the student presents the research findings during another QSG and submits a brief report (about two pages) summarizing the goal, methods, results, and main conclusions. There should be at least two months between the project plan presentation and the final presentation.

AQSSM students who conduct a high-quality methodology-related project will be selected to receive the Scott E. Maxwell Research Award for AQSSM. The selection will be conducted based on the quality of the research project, the two QSG talks, and the summary report. The results will be announced in early May of each year.

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Doctoral minor in developmental science

Graduate students in other doctoral areas of the psychology department can also pursue a doctoral minor in developmental science, which increases opportunities for collaboration across doctoral areas of the Department.

Joint Ph.D. in Peace Studies and Psychology

The Kroc Peace Studies and Psychology Joint Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame is a dual-degree doctoral program that allows you to focus on your psychological research while integrating it into the broader discipline of peace studies.

As a joint Peace Studies and Psychology student, your dissertation work will be informed by both fields, fostering productive interdisciplinary dialogue between our ever-evolving understanding of peace studies and the psychology of issues such as trauma, development, and resilience.

The Peace Studies and Psychology joint Ph.D. trains scholar-teachers and embraces potential practitioners. It prepares you for careers in a wide range of areas including development, aid, and policy work, as well as academia.

Students in the joint program have an equal commitment to both disciplines, and you will take classes in both to inform your research trajectory. You will create your own research program in coordination with your advisers, designing and incorporating methodological elements that are appropriate to the methods in your specific research area.

How to apply

The application process for the joint Ph.D. in Kroc Peace Studies and Psychology is completely separate from the regular Psychology Ph.D. application process. If you are interested in the joint Peace Studies and Psychology program, you should contact professors in Psychology and Peace Studies before applying in order to gauge the fit of your intended program of study with the joint Ph.D. program. 

Application instructions for the joint Ph.D. in Peace Studies and Psychology can be found on Kroc Institute's website


Students accepted to this program must have an adviser who is both a Psychology faculty member and a Fellow at the Kroc Institute.

Ph.D. in Psychology and Computer Science and Engineering

The joint degree areas in Psychology (PSY) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) have two plans, one where PSY is the student’s primary department (Plan 1) and the other where CSE is the primary department (Plan 2).

Two basic principles govern the design of this degree.

The first is that it is a single, interdisciplinary degree rather than two separate degrees, one in psychology, the other in computer science.

The second is that, though being a single degree, it nonetheless calls for a distinction of emphasis between the two disciplines.

Each student will therefore designate one of the disciplines the primary emphasis and the other the secondary, with the curricular emphasis to be placed on the primary discipline.

This joint degree area requires more by way of training than the ordinary Ph.D. in either of the participating departments. Therefore, it is expected that it will take somewhat longer to complete than the ordinary Ph.D. in either department. Six to seven years is a reasonable estimate based on factors such as the extra requirements due to a qualifying exam in each department.

Thus one would expect funding to be extended to a sixth or seventh year beyond the five years of funding currently provided by the Psychology Department.