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Research training

Research training is a core component of our graduate program, including the Research Option and Research and Clinical Training Option. A unique aspect of our program is that students in either stream can conduct research supervised by any faculty member in the department. Research topics range from applied problems (e.g., bilingualism; child or adult psychopathology; high risk populations; adjustment in aging; health psychology), to theoretical questions with humans (e.g., cognitive, social, and developmental processes; information processing and social cognition), to animal models of behaviour (e.g., appetitive motivation; drugs, hormones, and behaviour; reproductive behaviour). Our program emphasizes independent research and scholarship, and prepares students for a variety of careers both inside and outside academia.  

Research programs are planned and initiated as soon as students enter the MA program, and constitute the major occupation of students during each year in both the master's and doctoral programs. The master's degree requires a minimum of one year of full-time study and involves - in addition to the thesis - course work in psychological theory and advanced statistics, seminars in the student's area of research specialization (Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical and Health Research, Cognitive Science, or Human Development and Developmental Processes), and directed teaching in our undergraduate program. The doctoral program involves similar advanced training: independent research; supervised reading, research and course work in subject matter and methods in the area of research specialization; program-wide research and methods seminars; and teaching experience. Doctoral studies require a minimum of two years of full-time study.

Students are provided the resources to conduct research throughout their graduate education. All new students are accepted into our program by a faculty member who is willing to provide supervision and financial support. Thus, each student is associated with a research team comprised of faculty and graduate students. Research teams within the department are organized around four areas of research specialization (Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical and Health Research, Cognitive Science, or Human Development and Developmental Processes) and pursue a variety of topics, including (but not limited to) appetitive motivation and drug dependence, problems in human development, cognitive and perceptual processes, and anxiety disorders.

Because entering students have often had previous research experience and participate in advanced research in our program, students who complete the Ph.D. degree achieve a high level of research specialization and expertise. As a result of the high quality of our students' research, most students have opportunities to present their research findings at national and/or international scientific conferences. There are several sources of funding within the Department for student travel to scientific conferences. Also, students are expected to publish articles on their research in scientific journals.

Because students are expected to devote a great deal of their time to their research, the amount of required course work is limited.  All students complete course courses covering Central Topics in Psychology, and Statistical Methods. Elective coursework is organized around the four areas of department research specialization (Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical and Health Research, Cognitive Science, and Human Development and Developmental Processes), in each of which research seminars and special topic seminars are offered yearly. Thus, students have ample opportunity to interact with their supervisor and other faculty and students of their research teams.

Detailed information on course requirements and program sequence can be found in the Concordia graduate calendar under the Psychology MA and Psychology PhD sections. An outline of the typical course sequence for the Research Training option is available below, and one for the Research and Clinical Training option is available here.

MA Research Option

  • Credit for Area Seminar I (PSYC 644-647, 3 credits) requires attendance at lab meetings and seminars.
  • The Elective may be taken at any time in the first or second year for the MA degree.
  • Accelerated Admission to the PhD is available after one or two years in the MA program.
Year 1 Central Topics (714), both terms  
Stat Analysis & Exp Design (601)  
Year 2
Elective: Special Topic Seminar
(721-727) OR Multivariate Stats (734)

PhD Research Option

  • Credit for Area Seminar II (PSYC 844-847, 12 credits over 4 years) requires attendance at lab meetings and seminars.
  • The two Special Topic Seminars (PSYC 721-727) can be taken at any time.
  • The electives can be taken at any time and can be chosen from Practicum in Experimental Techniques (PSYC 850, 3 to 6 credits), Teaching of Laboratory Techniques (PSYC 851, 3 credits), Special Topic Seminars (PSYC 724-727, 3 credits each), or Multivariate Statistics (PSYC 734, 3 credits).
Year 1
Research Seminar II (802) Research Seminar I (801) Comp Exams (880)
(Due in May and August)
Year 2
Special Topic Seminar (721-727) Special Topic Seminar (721-727)  
Years 3/4 Elective Elective  
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