Concordia University

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Psychology PhD

Specific Information about all Programs

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD degree requires a master's degree in psychology or its equivalent in a closely related discipline. Admission to the PhD degree (Research and Clinical Training Option) requires that applicants have completed specific Psychology undergraduate courses required by federal and provincial licensing bodies, including an empirically based undergraduate thesis or its equivalent, as well as master's-level courses in Psychology specified by the program.

Admission to the MA (Research Option) requires an undergraduate degree in psychology or a closely related discipline. Applications from students with non-psychology degrees are evaluated to assess whether they are sufficiently prepared for graduate studies in Psychology. Admission to the MA (Research and Clinical Training Option) requires an honours undergraduate degree in psychology or its equivalent. In addition, applicants must also have completed specific undergraduate courses required by federal and provincial licensing bodies, including an empirically based undergraduate thesis or its equivalent. Students who are lacking up to three of these courses may obtain the equivalency for the missing credits by taking appropriate undergraduate and/or graduate courses during their degree.

Enrolment in these programs is limited in part by the availability of research supervisors and, for the Research and Clinical Training Option, by space in that option.

Applicants are selected on the basis of past academic record, letters of recommendation, the results of the Graduate Record Examination (optional, but highly recommended), and the relevance of their proposed research to the research expertise of the faculty. Students successfully completing their master's program in psychology at Concordia University need submit only an application form and letters of recommendation when applying for the doctoral degree. Psychology graduate courses are not open to graduate-level independent students, except in specific circumstances as defined by the department.

Upon recommendation of their thesis supervisor, students enrolled in the Master of Arts (Psychology) program at Concordia University who have completed a minimum of 12 credits of graduate level course work and who have shown high academic performance and potential through performance in research may apply for accelerated admission to doctoral studies without submitting a master's thesis. Approval for accelerated admission must be obtained from the student's thesis committee and the graduate admissions subcommittee by August 15 to allow entry into the PhD program in the Fall term. Students in the Research Option who obtain accelerated admission are not required to take the elective course (chosen from PSYC 700, PSYC 716, PSYC 721, PSYC 724, PSYC 725, PSYC 726, PSYC 727or PSYC 734) as part of their MA coursework. Students in the Research and Clinical Training option may not obtain accelerated admission to the PhD program from MA Year I, but may apply for accelerated admission, upon recommendation of their thesis supervisor, from MA Year II.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Language Requirements. Although no formal language courses or examinations are required, students intending to work in Quebec are strongly encouraged to develop a working knowledge of French. Students who plan to seek admission to the Order of Quebec Psychologists (OPQ) are advised that Article 46 of the professional code of the Province of Quebec states that a working knowledge of French is required for professional certification.

Undergraduate Teaching. Students are encouraged to take opportunities to assist in undergraduate teaching. The department treats such teaching as part of the student's learning experience. Discussion of aims and techniques as well as advice and criticism are parts of the training that students obtain as teaching assistants.

Colloquia. All students are expected to attend departmental colloquia.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is two years (6 terms) of full-time study beyond the MA degree, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  2. Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 90 credits, including Core courses and elective Options.

  1. Core Courses:

    1. Students are required to complete PSYC 801 (3 credits), PSYC 802 (3 credits), PSYC 880 (0 credits); PSYC 890 (60 credits); and 6 credits chosen from PSYC 721, 722, 724, 725, 726 or 727 (6 credits).

    2. Comprehensive Examination. Students are required to write a comprehensive examination (PSYC 880) within 12 months of being admitted for the degree. The examination is in two parts, one dealing with general issues and the other with the candidate’s area of specialization.

    3. Thesis. The research is undertaken within one or more of the areas of research specialization of the department (Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical and Health Research, Human Development and Developmental Processes, and Cognitive Science) under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis is expected to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge. The content and form of the thesis must be approved by a departmental committee prior to submission to the School of Graduate Studies. For purposes of registration, this work is designated as PSYC 890 Research and Thesis (60 credits).
       

    Research Option (18 credits):

    In addition to the core courses, students select from the following sets of courses for a maximum of 18 credits:

    1. PSYC 844, 845, 846 or 847 (3 to12 credits). Each 3-credit seminar may be taken up to 4 times as an elective option provided the topic differs.

    2. PSYC 700, 701, 714, 716, 721, 722, 724, 725, 726,727, 734, 850, or 851 (6-15 credits). Special Topics seminars PSYC 721, 722, 724, 725, 726, and 727 may be taken multiple times as an elective option provided that the course content has changed.

    Research and Clinical Training Option (18 credits):

    In addition to the core courses, students select from the following sets of courses for a maximum of 18 credits:

    1. PSYC 823, 824, or 825 (3 credits); PSYC 834 (3 credits); PSYC 835, 836, or 837 (3 credits); PSYC 841, 842, or 843 (3 credits); PSYC 838, 839, or 840 (3 credits); and PSYC 885 (3 credits).

    2. At least one adult and one child client must be seen in the required practicum courses ((APC Practicum II or III, Extramural Practicum I). All students following the Research and Clinical Training Option are expected to attend case conferences at the Applied Psychology Centre training clinic.
       

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements. In the case of the Diploma in Clinical Psychology, the time limit is 9 terms (3 years) for full-time students; for part-time students the time limit is 15 terms (5 years).

  3. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
     

Courses

The following are 3-credit courses unless otherwise indicated.

PSYC 700 Psychopathology
Prerequisite: Undergraduate course in behaviour disorders or equivalent.
This seminar deals with historical and current approaches to the study of behaviour disorders and problems of life adjustment in both adults and children, including critical evaluation of empirical findings in selected areas. Classification systems, including the current revision of the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, are critically reviewed. Students with credit for PSYC 660 or 860 may not take this course for credit.

PSYC 701 Models of Assessment I
Prerequisite: PSYC 700; Co-requisite: PSYC 706 or permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
Focusing on cognitive and ability testing of children and adults, this course stresses the conceptual bases of ability testing, research results and their implications for test interpretation, and strengths and limitations of current test batteries for children and adults. Specific course content includes: a) measurement theory, including issues of test construction, reliability, validity, and evaluation; b) appropriate use and interpretation of specific cognitive assessment batteries (e.g. the Wechsler and Stanford-Binet scales for children and adults); and c) special assessment issues, including the testing of minorities and assessment-related ethical problems. A practicum in assessment techniques (PSYC 706) is typically taken in conjunction with this course.

PSYC 714 Central Topics in Psychology (6 credits)
This general seminar deals with basic theoretical and research issues in Psychology. Topics are drawn from a wide range of areas in Psychology including perceptual and cognitive processes, learning, motivation, and psycho-pathology. Issues are considered with respect to developmental, physiological and social approaches. Students who have received credit for PSYC 602 may not take this course for credit.

PSYC 716 Advanced Human Development
This seminar on theory and research focuses on human development and developmental processes. Subject matter will vary from term to term and from year to year. Students may re-register for this course, provided that the course content has changed. Change in content will be indicated by the letter following the course number.

PSYC 721 Special Topics Seminar
This seminar provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in an integrative or selected area of psychology outside the department’s major areas of specialization. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 722 Focused Topic Seminar (1.5 credits)
This seminar provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in a selected area of psychology. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 724 Special Topics in Clinical and Health Psychology
This course provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in an area of clinical and/or health psychology. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 725 Special Topics in Cognitive Science
This course provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in an area of cognitive science. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 726 Special Topics in Human Development
This course provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in an area of human development and developmental processes. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 727 Special Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience
This course provides an advanced treatment of specialized research literature in an area of behavioural neuroscience. It may be offered as a seminar, tutorial or directed reading course, or in any other format, subject to approval of the program director. Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course multiple times provided that the course content has changed.

PSYC 734 Multivariate Statistics
Prerequisite: PSYC 601.
Building upon material presented in PSYC 601, this course covers latent variable analyses and multivariate procedures, including factor analysis, structural equation modelling, multiple group models, and multilevel modelling.

PSYC 801 Research Seminar I 
A seminar attended by all doctoral students in which specific research proposals and related theoretical issues and methodological problems are presented for discussion by students and participating faculty.

PSYC 802 Research Seminar II
A continuation of PSYC 801.

PSYC 823 APC Practicum III: General
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713). Prerequisite or Co-requisite: PSYC 834, 835 (or 836 or 837), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
Advanced students are expected to begin to define clinical interests and treatment methods consonant with their career goals. They receive the appropriate clinical experience and supervision in this practicum (e.g., working with children, adolescents, adults, working with clients who present particular types of problems).

PSYC 824 APC Practicum III: Adult
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713). Prerequisite or Co-requisite: PSYC 834, 835 (or 836 or 837), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
Advanced students are expected to begin to define clinical interests and treatment methods consonant with their career goals. They receive the appropriate clinical experience and supervision in this practicum working with adult clients, e.g. working with a particular orientation and/or with particular types of problems.

PSYC 825 APC Practicum III: Child
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713). Prerequisite or Co-requisite: PSYC 834, 835 (or 836 or 837), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
Advanced students are expected to begin to define clinical interests and treatment methods consonant with their career goals. They receive the appropriate clinical experience and supervision in this practicum working with child clients and families, e.g. working with a particular orientation and/or with particular types of problems.

PSYC 826 APC Practicum IV: General
Prerequisite: PSYC 823 (or 824 or 825) and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a specialized practicum for advanced students involving clinical experience under supervision.

PSYC 827 APC Practicum IV: Adult
Prerequisite: PSYC 823 (or 824 or 825) and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a specialized practicum for advanced students involving clinical experience with adult clients under supervision.

PSYC 828 APC Practicum IV: Child
Prerequisite: PSYC 823 (or 824 or 825) and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a specialized practicum for advanced students involving clinical experience with child clients under supervision.

PSYC 834 Advanced Clinical Seminar I
Prerequisite: PSYC 711 (or 712 or 713), 708 (or 709 or 710), and permission of Director of Clinical Training.
This seminar provides an advanced treatment of issues in current psychological theory and research that are relevant to clinical practice, e.g., causal models and their assumptions, legal and ethical issues, classification by state, trait, and situational context; brain-behaviour relations. The aims are to foster in students a) regular review of clinically relevant literature; b) a critical perspective regarding current clinical practices; and c) guidelines and criteria for optimal assessment and treatment decisions tailored to the needs of clients.

PSYC 835 Advanced Clinical Seminar II: Adult
Prerequisite: PSYC 834.
The seminar provides an advanced analysis of issues in the assessment and treatment of behaviour disorders in adulthood. Prototype cases are presented for illustrative discussion of particular clinical issues, e.g. indicators of risk for suicide, homicide, and psychosis; imagery and dreams in psychological treatment; stress-related physical disorders; anxiety-spectrum disorders; treatment for couples, families, and groups. Assessment and treatment approaches to particular disorders are compared with reference to etiological assumptions and levels of inference.

PSYC 836 Advanced Clinical Seminar II: Child
Prerequisite: PSYC 834.
The seminar provides an advanced analysis of issues in the assessment and treatment of behaviour disorders in children in a developmental context. Prototype cases are presented for illustrative discussion of particular clinical issues, e.g. stress-related physical disorders; family therapy; child abuse; age-related symptom expression and variability; non-verbal therapies.

PSYC 837 Advanced Clinical Seminar II: General
Prerequisite: PSYC 834.
This seminar is a blend of issues examined in PSYC 835 and 836 (see above).

PSYC 838 Extramural Practicum II: General
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a senior extramural practicum, done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 839 Extramural Practicum II: Adult
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a senior extramural practicum with adult clients, done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 840 Extramural Practicum II: Child
Prerequisite: PSYC 708 (or 709 or 710), 711 (or 712 or 713), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
This course is a senior extramural practicum with child clients done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 841 Extramural Practicum III: General
This course is a senior extramural practicum, done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 842 Extramural Practicum III: Adult
This course is a senior extramural practicum with adult clients, done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 843 Extramural Practicum III: Child
This course is a senior extramural practicum with child clients, done under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s practicum committee, e.g. hospitals, clinics, schools, community and rehabilitation centres.

PSYC 844 Clinical and Health Research Area Seminar II 
This seminar provides the opportunity for faculty and students working in clinical and health psychology to present and discuss their current research.
Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course up to 4 times provided that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the letter following the course number, e.g. PSYC 844A, PSYC 844B.

PSYC 845 Cognitive Science Area Seminar II 
This seminar provides the opportunity for faculty and students working in cognitive science to present and discuss their current research.
Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course up to 4 times provided that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the letter following the course number, e.g. PSYC 845A, PSYC 845B.

PSYC 846 Human Development Area Seminar II 
This seminar provides the opportunity for faculty and students working on human development and developmental processes to present and discuss their current research.
Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course up to 4 times provided that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the letter following the course number, e.g. PSYC 846A, PSYC 846B.

PSYC 847 Behavioural Neuroscience Area Seminar II 
This seminar provides the opportunity for faculty and students working in behavioural neuroscience to present and discuss their current research.
Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may register for this course up to 4 times provided that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the letter following the course number, e.g. PSYC 847A, PSYC 847B.

PSYC 850 Practicum in Research Techniques (3 or 6 credits)
Prerequisite: Permission of the PhD Program Director.
This practicum is designed to give students the opportunity to develop their research skills by such activities as learning new experimental and technical approaches, developing instruments or computer programs to support research, developing expertise in advanced statistical methods, or other equivalent activities.

PSYC 851 Teaching of Research Techniques
Prerequisite: Permission of PhD Program Director.
This practicum is designed to train students in the teaching of research techniques. Under supervision, the student is responsible for training an apprentice in specialized experimental skills or research techniques that may include advanced statistical methods, or other equivalent activities. Prior to beginning the work, students submit a detailed outline of the planned teaching activities to be approved by the program director.

PSYC 880 PhD Comprehensive Examination (non-credit)

PSYC 885 Predoctoral Internship
Prerequisite: PSYC 835 (or 836 or 837), 823 (824 or 825), and permission of the Director of Clinical Training.
The pre-doctoral internship consists of the equivalent of 12 months full-time employment under qualified supervision in an applied setting approved by the department’s internship committee. The internship is usually done after completion of course requirements, and after data collection and analysis, and a draft of the doctoral thesis have been completed.

PSYC 890 Research and Thesis (60 credits)

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