Masters in Applied Psychological Science (Co-op)
This program is designed to meet the needs of both students and employers. Students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to ask appropriate questions and conduct research in such applied settings as business, government and health care. Successful students will be qualified for either employment or entrance into a doctoral program.
The program meets students' and employers' needs by offering a combination of training in basic scientific methods and psychological theory with practical experience in a variety of work settings. The faculty will provide training in methods and theory through the academic component of the program and the practical experience will be provided by the co-operative, work-term component.
The program clearly has a more applied flavor than the regular M.Sc. program in psychology but this emphasis on application will not come at the expense of basic theory and methods. A student needs a firm grounding in these basics to deal with situations encountered in the work place in a flexible yet experienced manner.
To gain admission, a student must hold an honors bachelor's degree normally of high second class standing, or its equivalent. All applicants are required to submit results from the General section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Application forms can be filled out on-line. Students are asked to submit their applications as early as possible as files (including letters of reference) will be evaluated before February 1. 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.
|Fall||6000||Advanced Statistics in Psychology|
|6400||Theory and Methods in Social Psychology|
|Spring||601W||Work Term 1|
|6403||Program Evaluation and Applied Research|
|Winter||602W||Work Term 2|
|Spring||6404||Project in Applied Psychological Science|
During each work term the student works for a participating employer and earns a salary as if he or she were a regular employee. The Co-op co-ordinator organizes the competition for work term employment. (Students may also obtain their own work term jobs outside the competition but this must be approved.) The Co-op co-ordinator keeps a list of interested employers, available to all students in the program. Employers conduct interviews and select candidates. Placements are not guaranteed, but every effort is made to ensure that appropriate employment is made available.
The work term is evaluated in two ways:
- Student performance on the job is assessed.
- Each student has to write a work report for the work term. The report must contain original work related to the work term placement. The topic must be related to the work experience and will be chosen by the student in consultation with the employer.
All candidates shall complete four academic semesters and shall normally be required to complete two work terms. Courses in scientific methods and psychological theory are taken during the academic semesters. Experience in work settings is acquired during the two work terms. The entire program takes six consecutive semesters. Students take two courses in each of the fall and winter semesters. In the third semester they go on their first work term. After this, academic terms alternate with work terms. Graduates from the program will have skills necessary to carry out research and find solutions to employer's problems or to go on to a doctoral program.
Students in their last semester carry out an independent research project and will write a report in which they demonstrate the ability to integrate material such as methodological issues and previous research. The project is similar to the thesis in that it is an independent piece of research work. It is different in that it is usually in an applied setting, concerning a social problem or issue.
While on work-terms most students are involved in applications of material they have learned in their courses. This project will provide the "capstone" experience for students in the program. They will have the opportunity to produce a document integrating what they have learned in classes with what they have learned in their work terms.
Some reports may include a review, evaluation, and comparison of methods used on two disparate work-terms, e.g., one in education and one in health. Other reports may involve an analysis of data collected during a work term or the study of an applied problem from a psychological perspective. However, the research project must be separate from work term reports and cannot include material from the work term reports.
In all cases, the project involves the design of a study and the analysis of data. The data, which the student may collect, which may be part of a data archive, or collected on a work term, forms an essential part of the project.
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.