Program Requirements

Although the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto consists of three campuses (St. George, Mississauga, and Scarborough) and several affiliated institutions and hospitals, a single graduate program provides the common bond across the various research locations. The focus of the program is scientific and experimental.  

In keeping with the academic tradition of the University of Toronto (which consistently ranks in the top 20 in a global ranking of the top 100 research universities - the only Canadian university in the top 30), the goal of the Department of Psychology is primarily to educate scientific researchers. To accomplish this, the course load is kept light and the emphasis of the graduate program is on research.

The MA Program (1 year)

In the MA year, students must complete the following four courses:

  1. Directed Studies (first term, to prepare for the M.A. thesis research);
  2. Design of Experiments I (experimental design and statistics);
  3. Two graduate courses in the department

The only other requirement in the MA year is completion of the MA research project and submission of the MA thesis at the end of the MA year.

The PhD Program (4 years)

Assuming adequate performance, students normally proceed to the PhD program after their MA year.

In the four-year PhD program, students must complete the following courses:

  1. Professional Psychology (PhD1);
  2. Outside Project course (PhD1): This is a one-term research project course spread out over the full year. The project supervisor must be a faculty member other than the student’s PhD supervisor;
  3. PhD Proposal (PhD2) and PhD Reading List Defence (PhD4): These requirements relate directly to the PhD Thesis;
  4. Two additional graduate courses;
  5. One additional course in statistics

Students admitted with an MA from another university may be exempted from the Project course in PhD1. However, these students must replace this credit.

In addition to these course requirements, students will complete and defend a PhD Thesis, ideally by the end of May PhD3. Students are also encouraged to attend departmental talks and colloquia, as well as other laboratories meetings, reading groups, etc.