Address: Psychology Department Dalhousie University Life Sciences Centre P.O. Box 15000 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Psychology is the study of the organization of behaviour. All behaviour is organized with respect to both external events, ranging from sensory stimulation to social communication, and internal conditions, such as mental and neural processes. As a science, Psychology studies human and animal behaviour under natural and controlled conditions using both observational and experimental approaches. As a profession, psychology promotes human welfare through personal counselling and the clinical treatment of behaviour problems.
Training in Psychology involves a broad exposure to psychological theories and knowledge. Having gained a solid background in general Psychology, students may specialize in a particular area such as behavioural neuroscience, clinical, cognitive or developmental psychology.
Undergraduate Program Description
The Department of Psychology offers undergraduate programs leading to the 15-credit Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees with a Concentration in Psychology, the 20-credit BA or BSc Major degrees in Psychology, and the 20-credit BA or BSc Honours degrees in Psychology. We also offer a 20-credit BA or BSc Major and BSc Honours degrees in Neuroscience.
Students completing the Major in either Psychology or Neuroscience may elect to complete a Combined Major with another subject. Students in the Honours program may elect to complete a Combined Honours degree with another subject.
Details of all of our Psychology and Neuroscience programs can be found by using the two links below.
Graduate Program Description
Detailed information on our Graduate Program can be found in our Graduate Student Handbook.
The Department of Psychology offers graduate training leading to MSc, and PhD degrees in Psychology, MSc and PhD degrees in Psychology/Neuroscience, and to a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Master’s level students in Psychology and Psychology/Neuroscience are expected to advance into the corresponding PhD programs. We do not have a “terminal” Master’s program nor do we offer a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
(Experimental) Psychology – The graduate programs in Psychology emphasize training for research. They are best described as “apprenticeship” programs in which students work closely with a faculty member who has agreed to supervise the student’s research. Compared with many other graduate programs, we place less emphasis on course work and greater emphasis on research, scholarship and independent thinking. Candidates for the Master’s program in Psychology must have an honours degree or equivalent in Psychology; candidates for the PhD program must have a Master’s degree in the area of graduate work.
Psychology/Neuroscience – The graduate programs in Psychology/Neuroscience are coordinated by the Psychology Department and an interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program Committee with representations from the Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Psychology. They are also designed as “apprenticeship” programs in which students work closely with a Neuroscience faculty member who has agreed to supervise their research. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary research, scholarship and independent thinking rather than on course work. Candidates for the MSc program in Psychology/Neuroscience must have an honours degree or equivalent in the area of graduate work; candidates for the PhD program must have a Master’s degree in the area of graduate work. A more detailed description of the Neuroscience program can be found on the Neuroscience Institute’s Website http://www.neuroscience.dal.ca/.
Clinical Psychology – The PhD program in Clinical Psychology is cooperatively administered by the Psychology Department and the Clinical Program Committee with representation from Acadia, Dalhousie, Mount Saint Vincent and Saint Mary’s universities, and professional psychologists from the teaching hospitals. It is a CPA accredited **(See below), structured, five-year program which follows the “scientist-practitioner” model. It considers clinical psychology as part of the science of psychology and therefore emphasizes research. Upon admission, students are assigned to a faculty member who will supervise their thesis and other research projects. During the first four years of the Clinical Psychology program, students complete required and elective courses, conduct supervised and thesis research, and gain clinical experience through field placements. Students are involved in research from the outset, and are expected to conduct research leading to empirical, methodological and/or theoretical advances in their field of study, some or all of which will be included in their dissertation and defended publicly. In the fifth year, students are placed in a full-year clinical internship. Candidates for the PhD program in Clinical Psychology must have an honours degree or equivalent in Psychology. Students who have completed additional degrees or work at the graduate level may be eligible for advanced standing within the program.
**The Program began in 1989 and has been accredited by both the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) since its first possible application, in 1995. Most recently (2008), our Program was re-accredited for another 5-year term by CPA.
Ending with 2007, our Program decided not to seek joint accreditation with APA, based on many years of deliberations with the CPA, the Council of Canadian Professional Psychology Programs (CCPPP), and finally, the APA’s announcement in February 2007 to cease accrediting Canadian clinical psychology programs after 2014. For background information on the CCPPP CPA-only accreditation movement, please visit the CCPPP website as well as the CPA and APA websites.