Address: Department of Psychology 2136 West Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada, V6T 1Z4
Psychology was initially introduced as a single course and was offered by the Department of Philosophy in 1915. Over the years the number of courses and instructors grew until we officially became the Department of Psychology in 1958. The Kenny Building was specifically designed and built to house the Psychology Department during the time that Peter Suedfeld was Department Head. He would go on to become Dean of the Graduate Faculty, and the Department moved into the building in 1984. Our present home is named for Dr. Douglas T. Kenny, a developmental psychologist who was elected as the Head of the Department of Psychology in 1964, served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1970-1975, and was President of UBC from 1975-1983.
As of July 2010, the Department has 47 full-time faculty members representing eight sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Learning Enhancement, Psychometrics, and Social/Personality. There are 113 full-time graduate students (including 13 in the affiliated Neuroscience program, 3 in Zoology, and 1 in the Interdisciplinary program), 15 Sessional Lecturers, 11 Postdoctoral Research Fellows, 3 Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows, and 32 members of the administrative or research staff. The most popular undergraduate Major at UBC, Psychology currently has over 1700 students working toward their BA degree and over 120 studying for their BSc. During the 2009/2010 academic year, more than 13,500 UBC undergraduates took at least one of our 52 courses (comprising 180 sections).
Reflecting the impact of the Psychology Department on the university and community, several Department members contribute to other units and faculties on campus (e.g., the Brain Research Centre; Neuroscience Program; UBC Institute of Mental Health), to health and research institutions in Vancouver (e.g., Vancouver General Hospital), and to community organizations (e.g., the RCMP)
Undergraduate Program Description
BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY
The Department of Psychology offers programs of study that lead to the degrees of Ph.D., M.A., B.A., and B.Sc. However, this guide concerns itself with the B.A. and B.Sc. degrees only.
If you intend to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, you begin your program with a course entitled Introductory Psychology (Psyc 100), one of the most popular courses on campus. In second year, you would enrol in Psyc 217 and Psyc 218 by declaring your Major (specialization) on the Student Service Center. In third year, you begin to specialize by selecting courses in a number of topic areas. These include behaviour disorders, developmental psychology, social psychology, biopsychology, learning, memory, cognition and perception, environmental psychology, personality, psychometrics and testing. Other specialized courses available to undergraduates include computers and psychology, forensic psychology, gender differences, and clinical psychology. Many third and fourth year students enrol in laboratory courses where they acquire first-hand experience in psychological research.
The Honours program is a two-year program that is designed to provide advanced training in psychological research to outstanding students who intend to pursue PhD-level graduate studies in Psychology. Students admitted into the Honours program complete several advanced research-relevant courses during their third and fourth years, in addition to completing the regular BA degree requirements. Honours students are also required to conduct research projects under faculty supervision during their third and fourth years.
Admission to the Honours program is highly competitive. As a minimum requirement, admission to the Honours program requires at least a 76% average in the second year and at least 80% in PSYC 217 and 218. Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Honours program typically apply during the second half of their Second year.
The Bachelor of Science program is specifically intended for students whose interest in psychology is in the biological basis of behaviour. The Science program covers, among other topics: advanced research methods in the behavioural sciences, in sensation and perception, and in animal learning and cognition; hormones and behaviour; computers and psychology; and biopsychology. Faculty members who teach in the Science program perform research on topics such as the neurochemical basis of drug addiction, the hormonal regulation of sexual behaviour, the development of the brain, animal models of eating disorders, and the neural basis of learning and memory. The student with a major interest in the social, personality, developmental, clinical or general experimental areas of psychology should register for the B.A. degree.
The Honours program is a two-year program that is designed to provide advanced training in psychological research to outstanding students who intend to pursue Ph.D.-level graduate studies in Psychology. Students admitted into the Honours program complete several advanced research-relevant courses during their third and fourth years, in addition to completing the regular BSc degree requirements. Honours students are also required to conduct research projects under faculty supervision during their third and fourth years. Graduation requires an average of at least 80% in 12 credits of Psychology courses numbered 300 and above. In addition to meeting the specific department course requirements, Honours candidates are required to complete all courses attempted, including at least 30 credits in each winter session, and to maintain a minimum overall 68% average in each academic session.
Admission to the Honours program is highly competitive. As a minimum requirement, admission to the Honours program requires at least a 76% average in the second year and at least 80% in PSYC 260. Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Honours program typically apply during the second half of their Second year.
BSc MINOR IN PSYCHOLOGY
Graduate Program Description
The Department of Psychology offers graduate education leading to the MA and the PhD degrees. The detailed requirements for these degrees can be found in the Psychology Graduate Student Handbook, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and the UBC Calendar. Studies leading to both degrees must be on a full-time basis; part-time study is not offered.
Graduate students in Psychology receive financial support at levels comparable to those at other major universities. Support is in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.
Our Department adheres to an “apprenticeship” model of graduate training in which each graduate student initially works in close collaboration with a particular faculty member. The Department is strongly research oriented; students are expected to engage in research right from the start of their studies. The primary aim of the program is to provide students with the skills necessary to conduct psychological research that is publishable in first-rate journals. In addition, students enrolled in our CPA- and APA-accredited Clinical Program receive clinical training supervised by a faculty member. Accordingly, an important factor in an applicant’s admissibility is a matching of research and professional interests between student and faculty member.
All graduate students are expected to know fundamental concepts and methods in several areas of psychology; PhD students are expected to complete courses in areas outside their specialization. Students are encouraged to take courses offered by other departments in the social, biological, medical, and natural sciences. Because the Department believes that well-rounded preparation in psychology is furthered by some teaching experience, students are also encouraged to undertake some limited teaching responsibilities.
Although students are encouraged to complete their studies in 4 years, students sometimes take 5 or 6 years to complete both degrees. Clinical students complete a 1-year internship as part of the requirements for the PhD degree.
The following areas of the Department of Psychology offer graduate training: