Program Descriptions and Timeline

Experimental Program

Description

In the Experimental Program, students wishing to pursue a PhD are admitted into a Master’s program and either complete the Master’s degree, or are allowed to fast-track to a PhD after undergoing a formal evaluation and admission process.

McGill students are involved in research from the time they start the program. Student research is conducted in collaboration with the research supervisor, often with input from other staff members. At the end of the first year of study, standing in the program is determined by research progress and by evaluations in the required courses. Of these, research is weighted most heavily.

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Timeline

Below is a timeline of what you can expect to be doing over the course of your five years in the program.

The First Year

All entering students register either in MA/MSc 1 or in PhD 1 (depending on their GPA) and must complete courses in Psychological Theory (PSYC 660) and Statistics (PSYC 650, PSYC 651), as well as the General Comprehensive (PSYC 601). The latter normally consists of a written paper related to the student's area of research interest.

Students entering the program with a Master's degree must complete the courses in Psychological Theory (PSYC 660) and Statistics (PSYC 650, PSYC 651), but exemptions from statistics may be granted if equivalent courses have already been completed. A student who has obtained a Master's degree in Psychology at McGill or at another approved institution and who is proceeding to a PhD in the same subject may, on the recommendation of the department, be permitted to count the work done for the Master's as the first year of resident study for the PhD.

Students entering with a Master’s degree who have a background in psychology may also be exempt from the general comprehensive (PSYC 601).

The Second Year

In the second year of study, students register for MA/MSc 2 and continue to work on their research. On April 1 of their second year in the program students may submit a fast track paper (written in the style of a journal article) describing their research project. Submitted papers are evaluated and, if judged satisfactory, the student is permitted to proceed directly to PhD 2. Research described in this paper can form part of the student's PhD Thesis. Students who choose not to submit papers on April 1 of their second year in the program, or whose papers are judged unsatisfactory, are required to submit Master's Theses. Research described in a Master’s Thesis cannot form part of a PhD Thesis.

The Third Year

In the third year (normally when the student is in PhD 2), students usually begin taking the four required area seminars. At the end of the PhD 3 year all students must submit the Special Comprehensive Examination (PSYC 701). This is normally an in-depth review paper on a topic outside of the student's thesis research area, but within their specialty.

PhD candidates must complete at least three years of resident study at the University although most students take four or more years to complete the program.

PhD candidates must complete at least three years of resident study at the University although most students take four or more years to complete the program.

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Additional Program Opportunities

Language Acquisition Program

This unique interdisciplinary program focuses on the scientific exploration of language acquisition by different kinds of learners in diverse contexts. Students in the Language Acquisition Program are introduced to theoretical and methodological issues on language acquisition from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience, theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, education, communication sciences and disorders, and neuropsychology.

Integrated Program in Neuroscience-Psychology (IPN-Psychology)

Students interested in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience (IPN) can work with an IPN supervisor from the Department of Psychology and would become graduate students in the IPN-Psychology Program. Information about this program is available from the Department and at http://www.mcgill.ca/ipn

 

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