Comet Debate Institute

One-Week Session July 19-25

Two-Week Session July 19-August 1

Residential Registration Deadline: July 13, 2015

The Comet Debate Institute (CDI) is your opportunity to work with the faculty and debaters at The University of Texas at Dallas, one of the nation’s fastest-rising and most successful debate programs. The CDI offers outstanding instruction in preparation for the 2015 National Forensics League topic for 2 person cross-examination debate, Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum debate styles. New to CDI this year is our mock trial division.

The 2015 CDI offers both novice and advanced tracks allowing students Policy CX, LD, Public Forum and Mock Trail debate formats, allowing students to learn at a pace appropriate for any skill level. The CDI also offers overnight residential and meal plan options at UT Dallas’ state-of-the-art dormitory and dining facilities.

What to expect from the one-week CDI experience – July 19-25

The Comet Debate Institute (CDI) focuses on building effective speaking and strategic skills for debaters at any level.

  • In-depth lectures focused on building topic knowledge – the CDI staff break down the topic from every angle, covering the information you will need to know to have a head start for the 2015 season.
  • High-quality evidence package – You receive your 200+ page CDI evidence packet at registration so you are ready to begin debating and honing your skills—no time is wasted.
  • Practice debates with experienced judges – get one-on-one time with our exceptional staff in structured practice debates and rebuttal redos.
  • Small lab sizes for more contact with nationally recognized staff – get more direct feedback and interaction with CDI staff in smaller classroom settings.
  • Novice and advanced lab for students of all skill levels – Labs are tailored to your skills and debate background.

What to Expect from the Two-week CDI experience – July 19-August 1

The two- week session gives students an opportunity to dig even deeper into the upcoming debate topic with in depth research and practices directed by our award winning staff.

  • More debates and speaking skills practice – Two- week students have up to 10 debates in two different tournaments, all judged by CDI staff for on-to-one feedback and instruction.
  • More evidence and research time – Two- week students will work with CDI staff on core topic arguments in UT Dallas’ exceptional McDermott Library. Two-week students get all the evidence produced by CDI on a USB jump drive.
  • More instruction with the CDI staff – The two-week session gives students the chance to dissect the 2015 topic with additional lectures, strategy discussions and application of advanced debate techniques designed to give you everything you need to have a competitive and successful season.

Check out the Comet Debate Institute’s award-winning staff! Get answers to frequently asked questions on the FAQ.

CDI Tuition Options

Comet Debate Institute offers both one- and two-week sessions and for students outside the DFW area or seeking a more intense experience. CDI offers on-campus housing provided by the state-of-the-art Residence Hall at University Village. CDI labs are divided by skill level so students are placed in labs that best fit their background and experience. Our staff ensures there are no “bad labs” and that all students will receive the best in debate education.

Financial aid options are available for students via the UT Dallas Office of Community Engagement. Deadline for Financial Aid application are April 1, 2015. See the details and download the form – scholarship application.

Group rates are also available, please contact us at for details.

Separate pricing details available on individual section pages for Policy CX, LD and Public Forum.

Policy CX

The policy camp is designed to build the skills necessary to excel in policy debate. Where some camps prioritize evidence production the CDI instead focuses on building speaking and research skills while building a solid base of topic knowledge. Lectures and labs are designed to immerse students in the upcoming topic while at the same time emphasizing the importance of practice, strategy and process.

Flexible Pricing Options – All sessions include all evidence and CDI T-shirt and meal plan.

  • One-week commuter session: $700
  • One-week overnight residential session: $900
  • Two-week commuter session: $1,200
  • Two-week overnight residential session: $1,600

Lincoln – Douglas (LD)

Our curriculum is designed to help students of any skill level hone their skills in argument design, strategy, affirmative and negative case construction. 

Flexible Pricing Options – All sessions include all evidence and CDI T-shirt and meal plan.

  • One-week commuter session: $600
  • One-week overnight residential session: $800
  • Two-week commuter session: $1,100
  • Two-week overnight residential session: $1,400

Public Forum

Students will improve skills in advocacy, argument design, cross-fire and refutation skills. Our novice Public Forum section is perfect for students that want to improve public speaking and advocacy skills while learning the basic form of PF style argumentation. 

Flexible Pricing Options – All sessions include all evidence and CDI T-shirt and meal plan.

  • One-week commuter session: $600
  • One-week overnight residential session: $800
  • Two-week commuter session: $1,100
  • Two-week overnight residential session: $1,400

Mock Trial

We are pleased to announce that we will be adding a two, one week Mock Trial sessions to the
Comet Debate Institute for 2015.

The CDI Mock Trial Summer Camp will provide high school students with the opportunity to learn from local attorneys, high school mock trial coaches and collegiate mock trial competitors. We offer a dynamic program consisting of interactive lectures, trial advocacy skills drills, stop-and-go scrimmages and a competitive mock trial mini-tournament.

We believe that success in mock trial is acquired through a balance of proper pre-trial preparation and knowing how to think on your feet. Our program is designed to provide students the opportunity to hone both skill sets through participation in interactive lectures and practical drills. The program will conclude with a complete mock trial judged by local attorneys. We will be using a civil case packet to help students prepare for next year’s Texas High School Mock Trial competition.

  • One-week commuter session: $600
  • One-week overnight residential session: $800
Apply for the CDI

You can apply to the 2015 Comet Debate Institute in three quick steps.

First, the application process for the 2015 CDI is now open, click here to enter the UT Dallas Marketplace where you can pay your deposit and select the session of CDI you wish to attend.

We will be accepting residential applications for this summer’s session of CDI until July 13, 2015, though registrations made after July 1 are considered final.

Second, in addition to a student’s tuition, a deposit of  $150.00 per student, due no later than July 1, 2015, is required to hold your spot. The deposit will be refunded after the completion of your camp stay minus any room, board, campus and library fines that are accrued. The deposit is not deducted from the total tuition fee and can most easily be purchased in the Marketplace at the time of registration. Both the deposit and tuition are required to hold your place in the 2015 Comet Debate Institute.

Third, print and complete the medical release and indemnity forms. These forms must be completed in full and returned to the CDI staff no later than Sunday, July 19, 2015 (medical release forms can be turned in by hand at registration when you arrive). No student will be allowed to participate in any CDI activity without completion of the medical and indemnification forms. Failure to provide required release forms by July 19, 2015, is not a condition for refund. All entries are considered final as July 1, 2015. Contact us if you have any questions regarding the medical release or indemnity forms. Once all forms are completed, send them to the address below.

Payment Information

Both the deposit and tuition payments for students attending the residential session are due no later than July 5, 2014. If you are paying by check, please allow time for payment to arrive by July 1.

Credit card payments can be made at the UT Dallas Marketplace.

Checks should be made out to The University of Texas at Dallas and sent to the address below:

The University of Texas at Dallas
Debate Team, FO 56
Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

If you choose to mail a check you must also enter registration details at the UT Dallas Marketplace. Choose the option labeled CDI Check Payment Registration.

Refunds and Cancellations

Cancellations after July 1, 2015, forfeit CDI tuition.

CDI will not provide tuition refunds for cancellations or early departures.

If you have any questions please contact us at