Graduate programs

Our graduate programs provide intensive research training and develop students’ capacity for a critical and scholarly approach to issues in each of the three focus areas: Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience, Lifespan Development and Social/Personality.

The relatively small size of our programs affords our graduate students many opportunities to interact intensively with faculty, play an important role in faculty research laboratories and be mentored by their supervisors. 

We offer a highly collaborative environment, with ample opportunities for mentorship and training within and across research labs and areas of study.

Program Highlights

Our Department ranked in the Top 10 Psychology departments in Canada in research productivity and impact.

Programs

MA in Psychology

PhD in Psychology

Program features

Collaboration

The Psychology Department offers MA and PhD programs with specializations in Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience, Lifespan Development, or Social/Personality.

There are opportunities for collaboration across these areas as well.

Opportunities

The relatively small size of our program affords our graduate students many opportunities to interact intensively with faculty, play an important role in faculty research labs, and be mentored carefully by their supervisors and other faculty in the department.

Top Researchers

We have prominent, active researchers, including some of the top researchers in the world, and ensure a safe and collaborative research environment.

Teaching Assistantships

Many of our undergraduate courses have seminar components where graduate students have the opportunity to be paid teaching assistants, gaining valuable skills and experience.

Financial Support

We provide financial support (stipends and teaching assistant positions) for all of our full-time students during the standard residency (2 years for MA and 4 years for PhD) and many of our students are successful in obtaining external funding (NSERC, SSHRC, OGS) in support of their studies.

Part-Time Option

Our Psychology program offers a Part-Time option for both the MA and PhD programs for those who have the credentials and the desire for graduate training in Psychology. Part-time students must ensure that there is sufficient flexibility in their schedules to allow for attendance and research.

Focus Area Research Seminars (FARS)

Graduate students participate in FARS as part of the curriculum requirements (2 years for MA and 3 years for PhD) and are given the opportunity to present their research to their peers and faculty, allowing them to further develop their research and hone their professional and presentational skills.

Subject Pool

The Psychology Department has an excellent subject pool, critical for conducting research and training students. “Over the years I have conducted research in many universities in Canada, the US, and the UK. With no exaggeration, the Brock subject pool is the best pool I’ve ever worked with, allowing all students (even my undergraduates) to conduct very high-quality research (much of which has been published).

In my opinion, a healthy subject pool is one of the most critical elements of a graduate programme, and we can offer you access to this excellent resource.” – Dr. Gordon Hodson

PhD Apprenticeships

Our program provides our doctoral students with unique opportunities to individualize their graduate education through independent study projects/papers, and through apprenticeships in teaching, research and/or community settings. The acquisition of applied and job-related skills is facilitated through the completion of one of three apprenticeship credits:

Teaching: Students have the opportunity to work with professors, learning all aspects of being an instructor, such as lecture preparation, training teaching assistants, the plagiarism-detection process, etc.

Research: University programmes differ very much in whether or not they allow (or encourage) students to work with multiple faculty members. Some strongly discourage it, others are neutral on the topic. At Brock, we actively encourage and support such activities, recognizing the benefits for student development and CV advancement, and even allow students to earn credits for doing so. Students collaborate with a faculty member in a related field other than their supervisor. This unique approach to mentorship allows students to learn new techniques, network with a variety of researchers, and possibly publish.

Community: Very unique to Brock, students have the opportunity to work in a community setting (e.g. educational, hospital, police force, etc.) and they are supervised by someone in the community.

The purpose of the apprenticeship is to allow students to develop the skills necessary for their future endeavours while receiving constructive feedback from their supervisor.

Students are required to complete one of these apprenticeship options (e.g., teaching), but are also able to complete additional apprenticeships (e.g., research) as program electives. Our goal is to afford students as many opportunities to enhance their skills while offering course credit for doing so.

“As one of my graduate electives, I completed the teaching apprenticeship. I selected my mentor based on his record of consistently looking for ways to improve the quality of his courses and enhancing the outcomes for students. The feedback I gained from my mentor has proved invaluable. He really took the time to provide meaningful constructive feedback; by the end of the apprenticeship, I felt confident enough to run a full course. That being said, the teaching apprenticeship really opens your eyes to the challenges of teaching at the university level. If you’re thinking of an academic/teaching career, I highly recommend the teaching apprenticeship as a way to test yourself.”

—Kirk Stokes, PhD candidate (Teaching)

“The Research Apprenticeship I completed at Brock as part of my PhD can only be described as invaluable. It afforded me a unique opportunity to deepen my understanding of areas outside of my dissertation, thus expanding my research expertise, acquire additional research skills, and as an added bonus, I published my apprenticeship research in a first-author paper.”

—Becky Choma, PhD Brock University (Research)
SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Wilfrid Laurier University
Assistant Professor at Plymouth University (UK)
Assistant Professor at Ryerson University (Toronto)

“The community apprenticeship is a wonderful opportunity to meet other professionals in psychology and to gain valuable experience doing applied work. In my case, my on-site supervisor was friendly and helpful, patient as she taught me what I needed to know to do the job well, and she even offered me a position at her private practice which was great! If you desire a job outside of academia when you complete your degree, I strongly recommend that you arrange a community apprenticeship position in a setting where you would like to work.”

—Amanda Stoner, PhD candidate (Community)

Program information

Graduate Program Director
Michael Busseri, Associate Professor
Office: MC B316
905-688-5550 x4798
mbusseri@brocku.ca

Graduate Administrative Co-ordinator
Linda Pidduck
Office: MC B326
905-688-5550 x3543
lindap@brocku.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a Masters in Psychology?

The Brock M.A. in Psychology is primarily an experimentally based research program. Since our first graduating class in 1995, most of our graduates have either continued on in the PhD program here at Brock or have entered Ph.D. programs at other universities in preparation for clinical or academic positions. Projected large numbers of faculty retirements and expected continuing increases in the number of undergraduate students suggest a strong future need for professors in Canadian universities. An M.A. in psychology is also a good background for further professional education in fields such as law, social work and medicine. Students in the M.A. program gain skills in research design, statistical analysis, critical analysis and logical thinking, and written and oral communication, in addition to expertise in specific psychology content areas. These skills are useful in a variety of jobs, including the design and evaluation of community programs, behavioural and cognitive retraining, agency policy development and implementation, behavior management, and supervised direct services to clients. In many of these cases, a Ph.D. level psychologist would be overqualified and too expensive.
How many applicants apply and how many do you accept?

We receive approximately 70-80 applicants per year and normally accept 6 – 8 full-time M.A. students and 4 – 6 Ph.D. students. We do not always accept students into each of the three focal areas (lifespan, social/personality, behavioral neuroscience) in every year. In a given year, the distribution of acceptances among the focal areas depends on the number and quality of applicants to each area and the availability of faculty supervision.
What are most important criteria for acceptance?

We base our decision upon a number of factors, including undergraduate grades, reference letters, GRE scores, undergraduate research experience, and the existence of a “match” between applicant and a faculty member who is available to be an advisor and who shares research interests. Relevant job and volunteer experiences are also considered. Statistics courses and completion of an experimental research project such as a thesis or equivalent are very important requirements.
How will you calculate my GPA?

We calculate three grade averages – one based on your entire transcript, a second based only on your psychology courses, and a third based on the last 20 half credits. We do make note, however, of the general pattern of grade performance. If you have a transcript that shows an uneven pattern of achievement, it would be helpful to provide an explanation in your application.
If I don’t meet the minimum 75% average, will my years of experience in the field be taken into consideration?

The content and pace of our graduate courses require strong academic abilities for success. Although the University has established a minimum of 75% average for acceptance into a graduate program, most of the applicants we accept have averages of 80% or greater. Experience may provide relevant skills, but the best predictor of graduate performance tends to be previous university work. If your previous academic work is not at a B+ level, it would be unlikely that your application would be accepted unless you have shown improved academic skills through subsequent coursework.

If I don’t have a degree in psychology, what will I have to take to meet the requirements?

Normally, we expect applicants to have 10 credits in psychology or related subjects (e.g., courses from some areas of Family Studies, Biology, Mathematics), although there is some flexibility in this. We look for specific courses in statistics, third or fourth year level research design, and an independent honours research project or equivalent. Research experience is very important, as it demonstrates that you have some training in study design, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the results and conclusions.

Is there a “qualifying year” for applicants who completed a three-year degree in psychology?

At Brock, there is no admission to a qualifying year as such, but interested applicants are encouraged to contact the undergraduate officer or department administrator Kirsti VanDorsser (kvandorsser@brocku.ca) regarding remaining requirements for completing a four-year honours degree in psychology, if they wish to pursue graduate work.

I’m thinking of returning to university for a master’s degree, but having been in the workforce, have lost contact with my professors. Do I still need to provide academic references?

This situation is not uncommon. Academic references are still required from those professors who would be most familiar with your student work. Professors are often asked to provide references for former students. If you cannot obtain a second academic reference, one reference may be submitted directly from an employer who knows your work-related capacities.

I’m thinking of returning to university for a graduate degree, but my GREs (General and Psychology tests) were written more than 5 years ago. Do I need to re-write them in order to apply?

If you are applying to the PhD program, you may submit your GRE scores as long as it has been less than 10 years since you wrote the tests (the Psychology test score is only necessary if your Master’s degree is not in Psychology). If you are applying to the MA program you must re-write the GRE’s if your scores are more than 5 years old.

What is the institution code and department code for the GREs?
The institution code is 0895 and the department code for psychology is 2016.

Is there a “cut-off” score for the GREs?

No, we don’t have a minimum score for the GRE tests. The student’s application is considered as a whole. It is especially helpful to have average to high scores on the writing skills and analytical scores.
What kind of financial support can I expect should I decide to come to Brock?

Our policy is that all full-time students will be funded. In the past, financial support to students who do not have external support (e.g., Ontario Graduate Scholarship) has consisted of a research fellowship, and a teaching assistant stipend. Students who receive external support have received teaching assistant stipends, and a top-up fellowship, in addition to the amount of their scholarship. Applicants are strongly encouraged to investigate all funding sources available to them and to apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) programs as appropriate during the last year of their honours undergraduate degree. For sample estimates of financial support available for graduate students, please consult the Graduate Studies website at https://brocku.ca/gradstudies/current/.

How much will tuition cost?

For updated tuition and ancillary fees, please consult the website at: https://brocku.ca/gradstudies/current/.

Can I work on my MA or PhD as a part-time student?

Students may study on a part-time basis, although most of our courses are offered during the day or late afternoon. Part-time MA students are expected to complete their degrees in five years and take research methods and data analysis as their first course. Part-time PhD students are expected to complete their degrees in eight years. Part-time students do not receive funding available to full-time students, but they may be able to work as seminar leaders or markers.

Admissions information (from Faculty of Graduate Studies)

We encourage all interested students to review our admission requirements to determine eligibility for Graduate Studies at Brock University.

Our online application and accompanying instructions can be found on our website.

Please refer to your specific program of interest for application deadlines and additional application materials as they vary by program.

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact gradrecruit@brocku.ca.

Department of Psychology
Application Information

APPLICATION

Application instructions are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. If you have more specific questions concerning qualifications, policies and procedures within the Psychology Graduate program, please contact us by email psycgradinfo@brocku.ca or lgrifa@brocku.ca.

FUNDING

It is Department policy to provide some financial support to each full-time student if required and it is University policy to subsidize International Students where possible. Funding levels are indicated when an offer of admission is made.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS

The online application must be completed, including all supporting documents, by December 15th if you are applying to enter the program in September.  

M.A. APPLICATIONS

Admission Requirements

Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in Psychology or Neuroscience with a minimum B average. Note that while the University minimum average is B, our program typically does not accept students with less than an overall B+ average. An empirical Honours thesis, or evidence of similar research, is required.

To be included with your application:

  1. All official transcripts of academic work completed to date.
  2. Two confidential letters of recommendation, preferably academic, from instructors most familiar with your academic work. You will be entering the contact details of the referee, and they will be sent a link electronically for the purposes of completing their evaluation of the applicant. Hard copy (i.e., paper) reference letters will not be accepted.
  3. Include a Personal Statement of Interest in pursuing graduate studies. It should be no more than one page and provide some indication of your research experience (i.e. thesis research, RA work) as well as your intermediate and long term goals. Although not a requirement for your application package, an updated CV, listing any publications, presentations, research assistant work, etc. would be considered an asset. Statement (and optional CV) must be uploaded.
  4. Complete the Applicant Interest Form and upload. On this you will indicate, in order of preference, potential faculty members as supervisors in addition to indicating your interest in various research topics.
  5. 5. Official scores from the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Once you have received an email from ETS that your official scores are available, go to your GRE Account to view and print a copy of the scores.  You must then scan the report (Examinee Score Report), save it as a PDF, and then upload it to your Brock portal.  Please do not send hard copies of the scores to Brock.  Scores on the GRE subject (psychology) test are NOT required for those with backgrounds in psychology or neuroscience.
  6. If English is not your native language, please see the information on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for providing evidence of competency in English.

M.A. APPLICANTS WITH BACKGROUNDS OTHER THAN PSYCHOLOGY OR NEUROSCIENCE 

The Department will consider applications from applicants with backgrounds other than psychology or neuroscience. The applicant must have completed a Bachelor’s Thesis in another discipline that involved empirical research at a level comparable to a Psychology (or Neuroscience) Honours Thesis. Candidates must submit Graduate Record Examination Scores, both the General GREs and the Advanced Psychology (and/or Neuroscience) section. When applicants are unable to provide evidence of sufficient background preparation, they may be advised to take upper level Psychology undergraduate courses and reapply. Advising an applicant to upgrade does not obligate the Department to accept the candidate upon resubmission. If you have further questions please email psycgradinfo@brocku.ca.

Ph.D. APPLICATIONS

Ph.D. APPLICANTS WITH PSYCHOLOGY OR NEUROSCIENCE BACKGROUNDS

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires completion of an M.A., M.Sc., or M.A.Sc in Psychology or Neuroscience or its equivalent. Students must have achieved an A average for the previous two years of graduate study and evidence of research competence, normally demonstrated by an Empirical Master’s Thesis. Students are selected by the Psychology Graduate Admissions Committee in consultation with a core faculty member who is willing to act as the student’s supervisor.

Documents Required

See above MA document requirements

NOTE for PhD Applicants: Official scores from the General Section of the Graduate Record Examination must be scanned and uploaded. Test results can be photocopies and can have been written within the last ten years. NOTE: GRE Subject (Psychology) scores are not required for those with backgrounds in psychology or neuroscience.

Ph.D. APPLICANTS WITH BACKGROUNDS OTHER THAN PSYCHOLOGY OR NEUROSCIENCE:

In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of Psychology, the Admissions Committee will consider applications from students holding degrees in allied fields. To ensure that such applicants have a background in psychology adequate for successful completion of their graduate program, the following conditions for eligibility to the Ph.D. program have been established for candidates holding a non-psychology (or neuroscience) Master’s degree. In addition to the requirements above (i.e. for those with backgrounds in psychology or neuroscience):

  • Applicants must have completed a Master’s thesis in another discipline that involved empirical research of scope and complexity comparable to that of a Master’s Psychology thesis.
  • Applicants must present recent evidence of suitable background knowledge in the form of a score for the Advanced Psychology or Neuroscience section of the Graduate Record Examination (scanned and uploaded).

To download a listing of our 2017/2018 graduate course offerings click here.

The above course listings are for courses with scheduled class times. To view the listing for all our graduate courses please check the current graduate calendar.

The following is a list of faculty members in the Psychology Department who may be available to supervise M.A. and or Ph.D. students who will enter the program in September 2019. The application deadline is December 15, 2018 for September 2019 admission. Clicking on the faculty name will take you to individual pages with contact information, expanded research interests, and recent publications. We have also provided keywords for research interests to help you in your search to identify possible supervisors, and links to lab websites where available.

Core Psychology FacultyTaking students to start in Sept 2019Research interestsLab website
Karen ArnellYESattention; dual task; distraction; individual differences; emotion; EEG & ERPsVisit lab website
Michael AshtonNOpersonality structure and assessment; other individual differences
Angela BookYESforensic; psychopathy; victim selection
Michael BusseriYESsubjective well-being; temporal self-appraisals; dispositional optimismVisit lab website
Karen CampbellYESattention; memory; fMRI; EEG/ERPs; effective & functional connectivity; eye-trackingVisit lab website
Kimberly CoteYESsleep; performance and cognition; EEG and ERPsVisit lab website
Andrew DaneYESchildren & adolescents aggression; problem gambling; parenting; temperament
Veena DwivediYEScognitive neuroscience of language, sentence processing, ERPs, self-paced readingVisit lab website
Stephen EmrichYEScognitive neuroscience; visual working memory; attention; perception; ERPs; fMRIVisit lab website
Angela EvansYESdevelopment of deception behaviours; interviewing children; social-cognitive development; executive functioningVisit lab website
Dawn GoodYES - MA ONLYcognitive neuropsychology; physiological; traumatic brain injury; attention; memoryVisit lab website
Carolyn HaferNOsocial justice; belief in a just world; deservingness; human rightsVisit lab website
Gordon HodsonNOintergroup relations; prejudice; stereotyping; discrimination, personality, individual differences; intergroup contact, dehumanization; disgust; anxiety, empathyVisit lab website
Caitlin MahyYESdevelopment of prospective memory; children’s episodic future thinking; executive functioning;  theory of mind; lifespan developmentVisit lab website
Cheryl McCormickYESdevelopmental neuroendocrinology in rodents; sex hormones; stress hormones; aggressive behaviour; drugs of abuse; social behaviour; adolescent & pubertal development. Cheryl also accepts graduate students through the Biology program. Please contact her if you would like to be considered for acceptance in the Biology grad program or the Psychology program.Visit lab website
Catherine MondlochYESface recognition; emotional expressions; perceptual development; perceiving in- versus out-group faces; attentional mechanisms; lifespan development.Visit lab website
Cameron MuirYESbehavioural neuroendocrinology; reproductive and stress physiology
Tim MurphyYESsleep deprivation; ERPs; risk assessment; performance monitoringVisit lab website
Gary PickeringYESpsychophysics; taste, olfaction; genetics of chemosensory perception; wine
Linda Rose-KrasnorNOshyness; youth engagement, social developmentVisit lab website
Sid SegalowitzNOemotional and cognitive self-regulation/social-neuroscience issues using electrophysiology (EEG, ERP), especially in the context of developmentVisit lab website
Elizabeth ShulmanYESadolescent development; psychosocial maturation; reward sensitivity; risk-taking; decision-making; juvenile justiceVisit lab website
Sabrina ThaiYESsocial comparison; close relationships; experience sampling methodologyVisit lab website
Teena WilloughbyYESadolescent development; resilience; risk taking; academic underachievement; mental healthVisit lab website

Associate faculty

Note: psyc core faculty (listed above) have priority in accepting students.

Core Psychology FacultyTaking students to start in Sept 2019Research interestsLab website
Tony BogaertNOhuman sexuality
Gary LibbenYESpsycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, lexical processing, the mental lexicon, language processing across languages
Tony Volk (CHYS)YESevolutionary psychology, bullying, psychopathy, parenting, childhoodVisit lab website

Learn about our current graduate students here.

View some of our students’ completed MA & PhD thesis titles here.

“I continue to be impressed with the wealth of high-quality academic expertise available to graduate students at Brock University. But Brock is also an extremely supportive environment for graduate students. I always felt that everyone, from my advisor to the staff in the Graduate Studies department, was on my side, helping me to get the most out of my graduate career. With this support I was better able to take advantage of the great academic opportunities at Brock, to be a more creative and productive graduate student.”

—Mary MacLean
B.A. St. Thomas University
M.A, PhD. Brock University
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in lab of Dr. Barry Giesbrecht,
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara


“Brock has a very friendly atmosphere that the students, faculty, and staff are committed to maintaining. This helps to make the adjustment to graduate school go smoothly. Despite its relatively small size, there is a lot of great, cutting-edge research going on at Brock that new graduate students would benefit from being a part of. Brock’s seminar system also allows grad students to gain invaluable teaching experience that may not available at all institutions. Overall, I’m very glad I chose to attend Brock.”

—Cara MacInnis
B.A. Cape Breton University
M.A., PhD. Brock University
SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould, University of Toronto
Tenure track faculty position, University of Calgary


“I have found my experience as a Ph.D. student in psychology at Brock to be both rewarding and enjoyable, as I have received valuable training in both research and teaching in a very supportive and collaborative environment. For example, in addition to developing a program of published research in my focused area of adolescent development, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with the Brock Lab of Intergroup Processes (social psychology) on several exciting projects, and also have had numerous teaching experiences in a variety of courses. I would highly recommend Brock to all prospective graduate students!”

—Paul Adachi
B.A. University of Western Ontario
M.A., PhD. Brock University
SSHRC Banting Postdoc at the University of Rochester, NY


“William Tays is currently a fulltime research associate at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the regulatory body of all physicians practicing medicine in the province. Will uses his research expertise to design assessment programs to measure the quality of care provided by both family physicians and medical specialities as well as the factors that facilitate quality improvement in the provision of care. As part of a national project, he works with a team of scientists and other regulatory stakeholders to investigate the impact of aging on older physicians who continue to practice beyond age 70. As part of this initiative, Will works to identify the risk and protective factors that predict adverse patient outcomes as well as the ethical and equitable means of assessing the cognitive functioning of older physicians. Though working outside of the traditional academic environment, he relies heavily on the scientific experience gained while completing the Behavioural Neuroscience PhD program at Brock University and research fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute.”

—William Tays
B.A. University of Waterloo
MA,PhD. Brock University
Research Associate, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario


“I was very happy that I chose to attend Brock University for my graduate studies. The graduate program in psychology did an excellent job of preparing me for a future in academia. There was an excellent balance of course work, teaching, and research which provided for a well-rounded educational experience. The faculty at Brock University always went above and beyond to ensure that each student had the opportunity to succeed and thrive in a high-paced research and teaching environment.”

—Justin Carré
PhD Brock University
Assistant Professor at Nipissing University


“I chose to attend Brock for graduate school because it gave me the opportunity to work in a well-funded research lab that has access to cutting-edge technology, but is still small enough to allow me to form close friendships with my professors and fellow classmates. While at Brock, I have had the opportunity to collect data and live abroad in both China and Australia, which has been the highlight thus far of my experience.”

—Lindsey Short
PhD Brock University
BA Wittenberg University, Ohio
Assistant Professor at Redeemer College, Ontario


“The faculty members at Brock are very knowledgeable and well respected in their own research area. The state-of-art research facilities allow students to fully pursue their research interests. As an international student from China, I particularly enjoyed the friendly and collegial spirit in the department. Faculty members, in my opinion, care deeply about their students at both professional and personal levels. The administrative staff are always available to help students also. The psychology department at Brock University has truly made me feel at home!”

—Xin (Reno) Zheng
PhD Brock University
Postdoctoral fellow at York University

(November 2016)

Background

Roughly 60% of students graduating from the Psychology MA program join the PhD program. Of the remaining 40% of the MA graduates, roughly half enter the workforce into careers outside of academia. Such non-academic jobs include: financial aid coordinator, mental health counsellor, student development counsellor, technologist/programmer, distress centre work, well-being coordinator, patient educator, and neuropsychologist assistant. Furthermore, more than 80% of our PhD graduates find employment in ‘post-secondary education’, which encompasses teaching and/or research positions at a publically-funded institution. (Of these PhD graduates, 50% go on to post-doctoral fellowships and tenure-track professorship positions in Psychology.) And yet, like many of our MA students, some of our PhD students have also expressed interest in learning more about career options beyond academia. The following information has been compiled to aid such students in their exploration and pursuit of non-academic careers.

Resources

  1. Our Psychology Program
  • Our MA and PhD programs are designed to provide students with intensive training in academic research in Psychology. Yet many of the skills that our students learn as graduate students are highly transferrable, that is, relevant and marketable for careers outside of academia. These skills include: literature reviewing and synthesis, critical and analytic thinking, research design and implementation, data management and advanced statistical analysis, written communication and oral presentation, and teaching and evaluation.
  • MA and PhD students can take a course on Professional Issues in Psychology (PSYC 7P03). In this course students engage in a series of guided discussions concerning a wide range of practical issues relevant to careers in and outside of academic Psychology.
  • MA and PhD students can take a range of elective courses, including scheduled courses and independent study experiences in a variety of specialized areas. Electives are offered on a rotating basis year to year, and provide opportunities to further develop transferrable and market-ready skills, including in advanced data analysis and computer programming.
  • PhD students can engage in applied experiential learning through a Community Apprenticeship (PSYC 7P09). This course provides an opportunity to gain practical experience in a community setting (e.g., doing assessments, program evaluation) under the mentorship of a non-academic professional.
  1. Our University:

The Faculty of Graduate Studies provides several types of opportunities in support of graduate students’ non-academic career interest and goals, including:

  • Vitae Essential Skills program – an on-going series of practical workshops, skills-related training opportunities, networking opportunities, and on-line career-related resources. A wide range of events are held throughout the academic year, including the popular SHIFT conference.

The Brock Innovation office provides guidance to students interesting in developing partnerships with the commercial world (e.g., market ventures and consultancies).

Career Services provides opportunities (on-line resources, workshops) for non-academic career-relevant skills-based training in a variety of key areas, including: resume writing, job hunting, interviewing, and networking. This office also coordinates opportunities for mentorship by a relevant community professional through its Mentorship Plus program.

The Graduate Students Association (GSA) organizes and publicizes multiple career-relevant events throughout the year, including social media and in-person networking sessions with Brock alumni, volunteering (on and off-campus), trips to local and regional community events, and informal writing sessions.

The Student Life program provides multiple opportunities for leadership development through the year, including professional development.

  1. Beyond Brock:

The Conference Board of Canada released a report in November 2015 entitled, “Inside and outside the academy: Valuing and preparing PhDs for careers“.

  • This report discusses the value of a PhD to finding employment outside of academia. This document identifies several relevant issues, including; challenges faced by PhD students wishing to pursue non-academic careers; the unique types of (market-ready) knowledge and skills gained through PhD studies; suggestions for how PhD students with non-academic aspirations can fine-tune their academic training in order to maximize the utility of their graduate degree to their desired careers outside of academia.
  • This report also identifies skills development initiatives in which students can partake, including: MyGradSkills.ca; and the Mitacs-Accelerate program.

The Federal Government of Canada provides numerous career opportunities for MA and PhD graduates. (See also here.) Note that many of the skills and abilities that the Government seeks in its recruitment of employees closely parallel the transferrable skills developed by Psychology graduate students.

There are many opportunities for careers through the Province of Ontario.

On-line career-related resources abound (!). Here is a smattering of helpful information:

Research streams

Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience Stream

Lifespan Development Stream

Social/Personality Stream