Psychology and Neuroscience (Experimental)

The graduate programs in Psychology and Neuroscience emphasize training for research. They are best described as “apprenticeship” programs in which students work closely with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student's research. Compared with many other graduate programs, the Department places less emphasis on course work and greater emphasis on research, scholarship and independent thinking.

Master of Science (MSc) in Psychology and Neuroscience (Experimental stream)

In addition to the Master's thesis (PSYO 9000.00), which is the major requirement of this program, the Master's student must complete the following courses:

  • PSYO 6001.03: Fundamentals of Statistics and Experimental Design
  • PSYO 7501.03: Proseminar: Methods of Psychological Inquiry I
  • PSYO 7502.03: Proseminar: Methods of Psychological Inquiry II
  • Six credit hours of electives 

During each residency year Master’s students must register for and attend both semesters of the colloquium series (PSYO 8001.03 and PSYO 8002.03) and are required to do some teaching in the undergraduate program. The amount of teaching is presently the equivalent of no more than 10 hours/week for one term. This consists of working as a laboratory instructor, seminar leader, or teaching assistant. Some students elect to take PSYO 7100.03 : Seminar in Teaching Effectiveness at the MSc level. Taking this class does not count towards the required six credit hours of electives. Master's students must also register for PSYO 9000.00 (Thesis). 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology and Neuroscience (Experimental stream)

Students are expected to conduct research leading to empirical, methodological and/or theoretical advances in their field of study, some or all of which will be included in their dissertation and defended publicly. In addition to the dissertation (PSYO 9530.00), which is the major requirement of this program, students in the PhD program must complete the following courses (unless they were completed as part of the Master’s program):

  • PSYO 6001.03: Fundamentals of Statistics and Experimental Design, and three additional credit hours in the quantitative/analytic area
  • PSYO 7100.03: Seminar in Teaching Effectiveness
  • PSYO 7501.03: Proseminar: Methods of Psychological Inquiry I
  • PSYO 7502.03: Proseminar: Methods of Psychological Inquiry II
  • Six additional credit hours of electives (with approval, this may be taken outside the department) in addition to any that were completed as part of the Master’s program.

During each year in the PhD program students are required to register for Dissertation Research (PSYO 9530.00) and are encouraged to enrol in graduate seminars. During each residency year students must register for and attend both semesters of the colloquium series (PSYO 8001.03 and PSYO 8002.03) and do some teaching in the undergraduate program (see Master’s program description). At least one year before submission of the dissertation students must also satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement. This requirement entails completing up to three comprehensive 'projects'. 

Students who are entering the PhD as direct admissions without a Masters are required to complete 3 comprehensive exams (i.e. an ATC exam + 2 comprehensive projects). A student who enters the PhD with a previous Masters may have this reduced to 2 comprehensive projects with approval of their supervising committee and graduate coordinator.