Experimental Psychology

Program of Study
Theses: M.Sc. & Ph.D.
Financial Support


Our Department offers exciting opportunities for graduate study in many areas of experimental Psychology. Faculty from all areas supervise students in both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Experimental Psychology. There are research concentrations in the following areas:

Behavioural Neuroscience



Developmental Psychology

Health and Wellness

Social Psychology

Students interested in either Animal Behaviour or Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology can choose to pursue either an M.Sc. in experimental psychology or an M.Sc. in the interdisciplinary CABE graduate program.

Students interested in clinical psychology should apply to the Psy.D program, which is the only graduate program in clinical psychology that we offer.

We also have a handbook for graduate students that helps to outline what is expected of them and their supervisor.


To gain admission, a student must hold an honours bachelor's degree normally of high second class standing, or its equivalent.

Application forms can be filled out on-line.  Students are asked to submit their applications by February 1st, keeping in mind that files (including letters of reference) will also need to be evaluated at that time. Letters of reference should be submitted directly to the School of Graduate Studies on the appropriate forms. Admission decisions are normally made by April 1. Late applications may be considered if openings are available.

General admission inquiries should be addressed to the School of Graduate Studies. Specific queries about programs can be sent to the appropriate faculty members, or to the Chair of the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee, Dr. Brent Snook or the Department Secretary, Marilyn Simms.

Program of Study

Programs are tailored to suit the needs of individual backgrounds. At the beginning of the program, the student will normally be required to take Advanced Statistics in Psychology (Psychology 6000) unless (s)he has already passed an equivalent honors or graduate course. The remaining courses will be chosen to best suit the area of specialization. In addition, all students using animals in their research are required to attend a series of animal care seminars, usually during the winter semester of the first year.

Theses: M.Sc. and Ph.D.

Each candidate shall submit an original thesis based on an approved experimental research topic. At the time of admission, a student often requests a specific supervisor. When a specific supervisor is not requested, the interests of the student are matched with a supervisor in the student's area of interest. The supervisor assists the student in selecting a program of studies and a thesis topic, and, early in the program, in establishing a committee which will help in the planning and implementation of thesis research. The committee later certifies that a completed thesis is ready for examination. Examination for Master's theses is done through correspondence with one examiner internal to the university and another examiner external to the university. For Doctoral theses, a formal public Oral Defense is examined by two internal and one external examiners.

Doctoral students must also pass a Comprehensive Examination in the first year of their doctoral program. An examination committee sets a topic in consultation with the student in an area of research that is different from the area of thesis research. The student has several weeks to prepare a written paper on the topic which serves as the basis for an oral examination.

Please view a list of past thesis topics to gather some further insight into our experimental graduate programme.

Financial Support

Students are automatically considered for financial support. It is a policy of the department to attempt to offer all students admitted some form of support, but it is done so on a competitive basis. Such support usually consists of a combination of Graduate School Fellowships, departmental support and/or graduate assistantships. Faculty members may also offer grant- supported research assistantships. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek outside support as well. Students with NSERC Fellowships are encouraged to apply.

Primary Faculty

Animal Behaviour (CABE)
Pierre-Paul Bitton
Bill Montevecchi
Carolyn Walsh
Dave Wilson

Behavioural Neuroscience
Francis Bambico
Jacqueline Blundell
Darlene Skinner
Ashlyn Swift-Gallant
Christina Thorpe
Susan Walling

Health and Wellness\Clinical
Jacqueline Carter, R. Psych.
Emily Fawcett, R. Psych.
Sheila Garland, R. Psych.
Kellie Hadden, R. Psych.
Nick Harris, R. Psych.
Josh Rash, R. Psych.

Blair DubeJonathan Fawcett
Kathleen Hourihan 
Heath Matheson

Russell Adams
James Drover
Darcy Hallett
Carole Peterson

Stephane Dandeneau 
Martin Day
Ken Fowler 
Chris Quinn-Nilas
Brent Snook