Graduate Program Outline

The full list of SGS sessional dates can be found here.


July 17 Registration for fall session begins
August 7 Civic Holiday (University closed)
August 8 Psychology course enrolment opens (restricted to Psychology graduate students only)
September 4 Labour Day (University closed)
September 11 Fall session courses begin; fall session courses open for enrolment by non-Psychology graduate students
September 15 Registration deadline; final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS to avoid fee charges for 2023-24
September 20 Final date to add fall session and full-year courses
September 27 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for November convocation
October 9 Thanksgiving Day (University closed)
November 6 Final date to drop fall session courses without academic penalty
December 1 Fall session courses end
December 21-January 2 University closed
January 3 University re-opens
January 8 Winter session courses begin; winter session courses open for enrolment by non-Psychology graduate students
January 12 Registration deadline (if not registered in fall)
January 15 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS to avoid winter session fees
January 17 Fall session course marks available on ACORN
January 19 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for March graduation in absentia
January 22 Final date to add winter session courses
January 25-26 Recruitment event
February 19 Family Day (University closed)
February 20 Final date to drop winter session and full-year courses without academic penalty
March 29 Good Friday (University closed)
April 5 Winter session courses end
April 12 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for June convocation
May 3 Summer registration deadline (if not registered in winter)
May 15 Winter session course marks available on ACORN
May 20 Victoria Day (University closed)
July 1 Canada Day (University closed)
August 5 Civic Holiday (University closed)


The full list of SGS sessional dates can be found here.


July 15 Registration for fall session begins
August 5 Civic Holiday (University closed)
August 6 Psychology course enrolment opens (Restricted to Psychology graduate students only)
September 2 Labour Day (University closed)
September 3 Fall session courses begin; fall session courses open for enrolment by non-Psychology graduate students
September 13 Registration deadline
September 16 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS to avoid fee charges for 2024-25
September 18 Final date to add fall session and full-year courses
September 30 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for November convocation
October 14 Thanksgiving Day (University closed)
October 28 Final date to drop fall session courses without academic penalty
November 29 Fall session courses end
December 24-January 5 University closed
January 6 University re-opens; winter session courses begin; winter session courses open for enrolment by non-Psychology graduate students
January 15 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS to avoid winter session fees; fall session course marks available on ACORN
January 17 Registration deadline (if not registered in fall)
January 20 Final date to add winter session courses
January 23-24 Recruitment event
January 24 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for March graduation in absentia
February 17 Family Day (University closed)
February 28 Final date to drop winter session and full-year courses without academic penalty
April 4 Winter session courses end
April 11 Final date to submit final doctoral thesis to SGS for June convocation
April 18 Good Friday (University closed)
May 2 Summer registration deadline (if not registered in winter)
May 14 Winter session course marks available on ACORN
May 19 Victoria Day (University closed)
July 1 Canada Day (University closed)
August 4 Civic Holiday (University closed)

Graduate Chair

Professor Elizabeth Page-Gould -
Serves on tri-campus hiring, tenure, and promotion committees; represents tri-campus graduate program at Faculty of Arts & Science meetings (CPAD), School of Graduate Studies meetings (SGS), and University-wide meetings (PDAD&C); develops and revises program content and policy as required; oversees graduate program budget

Graduate Director

Professor Elizabeth Johnson -
Oversees admissions and recruitment; oversees course planning and scheduling; student counselling; coordinates student scholarship panels; represents graduate program at SGS-level scholarship panels; liaison to PGSA

Graduate Administrator

Jennifer McCallum -
Daily administration of the graduate program; handles queries from students and faculty; tracks student registration, course enrolment, and progress through the program; administers funding; processes scholarship and award applications; facilitates the admissions and recruitment process

Graduate TA Coordinator

Alicia Shirley - and
Assists in the daily administration of the graduate program; facilitate Final Oral Exams; handle queries from students and faculty; manage TA assignments for the St George Department of Psychology

Psychology Graduate Students Association (PGSA)
Graduate student liaison with the policy-making organization of the program and link to the Graduate Students Union (GSA)

Tri-Campus Administration

UTM Campus Administration: Gabriella Bohoczki
UTM TA Coordinator: Ammar Masud -

UTSC Campus Administration: Keely Hicks -
UTSC TA Coordinator: Nina Dhir -

St George Campus Administration: Shannon Halliwell-MacDonald and Suzanne Warren -
St George TA Coordinator: Alicia Shirley -

The Graduate Committee consists of the Graduate Chair, Graduate Director, Graduate Administrator, the tri-campus Psychology undergraduate Chairs, one representative from each of the tri-campus Psychology programs, one status-only or cross-appointed member of faculty, and two graduate students (one junior and one senior, appointed but the PGSA). A single faculty member may serve to cover more than one role.

Faculty member appointments will be broadly representative of discipline areas within the program. Members serve a three-year term and appointments are staggered.

The Graduate Committee is responsible for the formulation of policies and the recommendation of changes in rules and regulations concerning the graduate program, as well as the review of student progress (graduate student representatives are not present for graduate student progress reviews).

The 2024-25 Graduate Committee consists of:

  • Graduate Chair: Elizabeth Page-Gould
  • Graduate Director: Elizabeth Johnson
  • Graduate Administrator: Jennifer McCallum
  • UTM Chair: Craig Chambers
  • UTSC Chair: Jonathan Cant
  • St George Chair: Penelope Lockwood
  • UTM Representative: Joanne Chung
  • UTSC Representative: Robert Rozeske
  • St George Representative: TBC
  • Status-Only/Cross-Appointed Representative: Jed Meltzer
  • PGSA Representatives: Leif Anderson, TBC



The Code of Student Conduct can be found in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar, and it applies to all members of the academic community. The essence of these rules is that you are expected to complete all degree requirements and research activities with integrity, treat all members of the community fairly and respectfully, and respect the rules.  

Students are responsible for making themselves familiar with the Code of Student Conduct, as well as all of the School of Graduate Studies’ Policies and Guidelines, including, but not limited to, academic integrity, intellectual property, plagiarism, publishing, and termination of registration. A variety of SGS’s policies are also referenced in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, which with students are also required to comply.

The program abides by the regulations governing appeals as set out in the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. 

If you feel you have been unfairly treated by any member or group of the program such that some aspect of your academic life has been damaged or want to dispute a decision made by anyone regarding academic issues (e.g., you have not been allowed to count a course toward your degree), you may appeal the decision or conduct in question. The hierarchy of appeals is as follows:

  1. Speak to the instructor, faculty member, or group of members with whom you are disputing. If your problem is not resolved, then proceed to the next step.
  2. Speak to the Graduate Director. If your problem is not resolved, then proceed to the next step.
  3. You may make an appeal to the Graduate Committee, a subset of which acts as the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC). If your problem is not resolved, then proceed to the next step.
  4. You may file a formal notice of appeal to the Graduate Academic Appeals Board (GAAB), through the School of Graduate Studies. If your problem is still not resolved, then proceed to the next step.
  5. You may appeal the decision of the GAAB to the Governing Council's Academic Appeals Committee by filing a formal notice of appeal with the Secretary of the Board no later than 90 days after you have received written notice of the decision reached by the GAAB.

Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (2023-24):

  • George Cree (Chair)
  • Susanne Ferber
  • Norm Farb
  • Christina Starmans
  • Katie Wade Alonso (Student Representative)
  • Jed Meltzer (Alternate)
  • Melissa Holmes (Alternate)
  • Leif Anderson (Alternate Student Representative)

If you do not feel comfortable coming to the Graduate Department of Psychology with your issue (i.e., the first few steps listed above), then the University of Toronto’s School of Graduate Studies provides support to both students and faculty through the Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision. You can email them at to get help.

If you would like help with an issue regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion, then the University of Toronto’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office provides a service for connecting you with the most relevant resources or supports: .

Students and supervisors seeking resources or support for supervision, including workshops or advice, are encouraged to contact the Vice-Dean, Students at The School of Graduate Studies’ Graduate Supervision Guidelines may also be a helpful resource. The resources offered by the School of Graduate Studies have been expanded to include Strategies for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision at a Distance and a Guide to Working from Home for Graduate/Postdoctoral Researchers, as well as the newly-established Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision. The Division of Student Life also continues to grow co-curricular programs, events, resources, and engagement specifically for graduate students available through GradLife, a hub for graduate student support and community.  

Undoubtedly, the most important person in the program is your research supervisor. Your supervisor is responsible for directing, guiding, and supporting your research as well as your graduate career. The selection of your supervisor is probably the most critical decision you will make since it will determine the direction of your work, the type of training you receive, and many aspects of your life in the program. 

Although students are admitted to the program with a supervisor and typically keep the same supervisor throughout their graduate career, it is possible to change supervisors. The reasons for wanting to change supervisors are many, but the most common reasons are changes in the student's area of interest and personal or intellectual friction between student and supervisor. You can email the Graduate Director for consultation on potentially changing supervisors. On occasion, supervisors also request for the student to find a new supervisor, and they should also reach out to the Graduate Director for advice.

The supervisor and graduate student relationship is both critical and delicate. To work well, it requires sensitivity, care, and the attention of both partners. For advice on navigating this relationship or advice about specific situations, please feel free to reach out to the Graduate Director or the Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision

When you begin your relationship with your supervisor, you should expect to discuss the details of how it will work. You can expect to meet regularly, to have your responsibilities and duties described in detail, and to have some idea about issues like authorship of papers, types of work you are expected to do, and so on. It is important to note that supervisors have different styles of research supervision. Some supervisors are directive, expecting students to become involved in an ongoing research project and to work, at least at the beginning, largely on studies that are outlined by the supervisor. Others are less so, giving the student considerable leeway in the projects they select and in how they are carried out. And, of course, most fall in-between these two extremes. There is no right or best way of supervision, but you may feel that you work better under one type than another. It is usually helpful to discuss the type of research supervision at the start of your time in the graduate program, so that the expectations are clear.

If for whatever reason you are dissatisfied with the supervision you receive, need advice on a specific issue, or feel that the need for support in approaching your supervisor about an issue, then please contact the Graduate Director. Any discussions of this sort will be treated with the utmost discretion and will not appear in student records. As in any personal relationship, if things start to go wrong, it is best to bring matters out into the open and to do so before things go from bad to worse. Obviously, the further advanced you are in your program, the more likely it is that such a change will be disruptive.

Please also be advised that one of the criteria for maintaining good academic standing and ensure continued funding (see Graduate Student Funding), students must also have a research supervisor. Since progress in our program is dependent on having a supervisor, students who have been enrolled without a supervisor for 6 months or more may no longer be considered in good academic standing. 

Centre for Graduate Membership and Supervision

SGS Supervision Support

Search for Graduate Faculty Members

Graduate Department Statement of Values on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Graduate Department of Psychology acknowledges that our department operates on the ancestral land of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this land is still home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We respect Indigenous people and their ongoing relationships with this land, and we support the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada’s Call to Action.  The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation shared the history of the treaty surrounding the general area of modern-day Toronto (Treaty 13) on their website:

The Graduate Department of Psychology recognizes that racism and discrimination in the field of psychology, academia, and Canada has created systemic barriers for marginalized people to enter and thrive in academia. We seek to dismantle these barriers by actively reflecting on how our systems of operating may perpetuate barriers to entry or advancement in our field. The Graduate Department seeks to identify, collectively discuss, and then amend or replace any of our processes that contributes to these barriers.

We hold equity, diversity, inclusion, (EDI) and Indigeneity as core values. We seek to provide an inclusive and supportive graduate program where people and their science can thrive. We value diverse perspectives and different approaches to psychological science. We further commit to valuing and celebrating the identities of our community members including but not limited to those based on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender expressions, gender identity, indigeneity, neurodiversity, race, religion or creed, sexual orientation, social class, or socioeconomic status and intersecting identities.

As one of the leading graduate programs in psychology in the world, the Graduate Department understands it has a responsibility to cultivate a community in which our graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff are able to research, learn, teach, and work with their greatest creativity, dedication, and focus. In order to do that, every person has the right to do their work free from harassment and discrimination, particularly equity-seeking groups such as those based on race or ethnicity, indigeneity, gender identity, gender expression, religion, sexual orientation, identity, socioeconomic status or social class, neurodiversity, or disability and intersecting identities. All members of our department have the right to equitable treatment and a healthy, welcoming, supportive, and safe working environment.

Our work is ongoing, but we commit to protecting the dignity, equity, and safety of our community members. Our goal is to dismantle practices that uphold any form of discrimination or oppression, including but not limited to ableism, ageism, homophobia, misogyny, racism, religious persecution, sexism, transphobia, and xenophobia by (a) regularly reviewing our policies and (b) educating our graduate community on the origins of systems of oppression, their impact on present-day academia, speech and behaviours that support or promote them, and how to combat bias.

In service of our commitments and goals, the Graduate Department leadership regularly attends EDI workshops that focus on program-level EDI and Indigeneity issues, as well as EDI-focused mentorship training. The Graduate Department provides an annual EDI report to the Graduate Committee and the Graduate Chair annually reports on EDI activities to the Dean of Arts & Sciences. The Graduate Department is also facilitating EDI workshops for faculty mentors. Our most active EDI work, however, occurs through our student-led Tri-Campus Psychology EDI Group.

The Tri-Campus Psychology EDI Group

The Graduate Department of Psychology provides the PhD Degree Program for the Psychology Departments at the University of Toronto Mississauga, University of Toronto Scarborough, and the University of Toronto St. George, in addition to affiliated Research Scientists at local research hospitals (e.g., Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital). Each campus of the tri-campus Psychology Department (i.e., Mississauga, Scarborough, St. George) has its own EDI Committee.

The Tri-Campus Psychology EDI group is a student-led EDI Group whose membership includes students, postdocs, and faculty from across all three campuses and affiliated research institutions. The large group is self-organized into a number of "initiatives," where community members who care about the same issue work towards a specific outcome. One faculty representative from each of the campus EDI Committees attends regular meetings of the Tri-Campus EDI Committee. Through this structure, we hope to allow for a dynamic, responsive, and collaborative approach to EDI in our large department community.

Our EDI efforts centre the support of Black and Indigenous psychological scientists in our department and the field, informed in part by the recommendations of the University of Toronto Anti-Black Racism Task Force and those of the Steering Committee for University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. However, members of the Tri-Campus Psychology EDI have further identified that we would like to prioritize Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), members of the transgender community, sexual minorities, people who grew up in a household with low income, first-generation university students, and people living with disability in our EDI initiatives. These groups are of personal relevance to members of our community and/or have strong allies in our community.

This group is compiling existing resources and developing new resources for an instructor-facing toolkit with recommendations for EDI best practices to be used in the classroom. Included in this toolkit is a template for an EDI-focused syllabus with example language and evidence in support of the recommendations.

This group aims to dismantle barriers to students, faculty, and staff for safely and effectively reporting incidents of harassment and/or discrimination and to increase the accessibility of supports currently existing at UofT. The group has worked collaboratively with people across the three campuses to develop a new document, “Pathways to Help”, which provides organized descriptions and contact information for tri-campus UofT resources supporting equity-seeking identities, conflict resolution, community safety, mental health, international students, and those seeking accessibility support.

The Summer Psychology Research Initiative (SPRINT) is a high-school outreach program that brings together BIPOC high school students from the Greater Toronto Area to get a 2-week series of introductory lectures to different research areas of psychology and receive guided mentorship through the development of a research proposal. At the end of the two weeks, SPRINT participants present their research proposal to the group and important people in their lives that they invited. SPRINT is entirely student-created and student-led. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students from all three campuses of the Psychology Department contribute to the program through creating and delivering guest lectures, helping administer the program, and providing direct research mentorship.

The Application Fee Waiver Program, instituted in 2021, was born out of the “diversify graduate admissions” initiative. This group was a collaborative effort between graduate students and faculty members who researched application fee waiver programs at other universities and within UofT. The group wrote a proposal for the Application Fee Waiver Program that was adopted by the Graduate Department of Psychology. The application fee waiver covers the $125 CAD application fee that is paid to the School of Graduate Studies for 100 applicants to our PhD program. The goal of the application fee waiver is to reduce financial barriers of entry for our applicants, prioritizing equity-seeking groups whom we encourage to apply to our graduate program in the distribution of the waivers.

The Canada Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is an 8-week research training internship program. The ultimate goal of the Canada SROP is to diversify faculty by providing undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds equitable access to graduate school preparation, planning, and admission. The primary component of the SROP is a small research project in the social sciences that the student researchers conduct over the course of 8 weeks. The remainder of the SROP is spent on other aspects of graduate admissions preparation and professional development. At the end of the programme, students present their work at a virtual conference. Students are supported with a living wage for the 8 weeks of the program and also receive a fee waiver for the graduate application to the school of graduate studies.

This group has two primary aims. First, the group works directly with undergraduates through the Psychology Undergraduate Research Club (PURC). To this end, PURC has offered regular meetings for over two years to learn more about research, present their own research, and gain skills for research (e.g., statistical skills, RStudio tutorials) to create greater access to research for students facing barriers getting lab experience. Recently, PURC has also begun hosting intensive writing workshops in which graduate mentors help undergraduates draft application materials for graduate school and other research opportunities. Second, the group works to assess department climate and understand the demographics of students who have access to research positions. To this end, the group is developing questionnaires to assess department demographics and hiring policies, as well as using this information to develop a toolkit of best practices to improve undergraduate experience applying for and working in lab positions.


Graduate Student Funding 

How Graduate Funding Works in Arts & Science

Graduate Funding Terms and Conditions

For 2023-24, funded-cohort graduate students in the Department of Psychology will receive a funding package of no less than $25,000 CAD plus tuition and fees. 

Students who remain in good academic standing receive at least this base funding package for the duration of their time in the funded cohort: five years for students in the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program, and four years for students in the 4-Year PhD program. To maintain good academic standing and ensure continued funding, students must maintain at least an A- average in their course work, apply for all scholarships and fellowships for which they are eligible, and have at least two committee meetings per year. Students must also have a research supervisor. Since progress in our program is dependent on having a supervisor, students who have been enrolled without a supervisor for 6 months or more may no longer be considered in good academic standing. 

Financial support will be in the form of some combination of University of Toronto Fellowships (UTF), payments from supervisors' grants (Research Assistantships), Teaching Assistantships, and potentially, external scholarships or awards. Around August of every year, funded-cohort students receive a funding letter that specifies the sources and amount of funding for the coming academic year.

Source Amount
University of Toronto Fellowship - Tuition Award $8,000*
University of Toronto Fellowship - Stipend Award $6,745
Department of Psychology Top-Up Award $500
Program-Level Fellowship $1,000
Research Assistantship (from supervisor) $9,000
Teaching Assistantship $7,755
Total $33,000*
Take-home (less tuition*) $25,000

*Amount will vary slightly based on real amount of tuition and incidental fees charged

University of Toronto Fellowships

University of Toronto Fellowship (UTF) funding is available for all students in the funded cohort and is paid through ACORN. The value of the UTF awarded to each student depends on the composition of their base funding package. UTF will be awarded to students in the form of tuition payments (twice per year, in September and January) and stipend payments (three times per year, in September, January, and May). No application is required for these awards.

If a student has received an external scholarship or award that is meant to cover tuition and fees (e.g., a tri-council doctoral scholarship), then the tuition and fees portion of the UTF may no longer be covered. However, the stipend portion of the UTF usually increases by a certain amount, depending on the award (e.g., $1500 for OGS).

Research Assistantships

The RA stipend comprises up to $9,000 of the base funding package and is paid in equal monthly instalments via payroll. If a student has received an external scholarship or award, the supervisor’s portion of the RA stipend frequently decreases. 

Teaching Assistantships

The program provides opportunities for all graduate students to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs). In Psychology, TAs normally engage in grading, office-hour contact with students, invigilation, leading tutorials, and test review sessions. Occasionally, TAs may be asked to give a guest lecture.  
TA work is covered under the contract negotiated between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3902 Unit 1 and the University of Toronto. The CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Collective Agreement can be found here: Further information can be found on the CUPE 3902, Unit 1 website.

TAships are part of the funding package for students in the funded cohort. PhD students are guaranteed a certain number of TA hours year to year (known as the Subsequent Appointment). The number of guaranteed hours is determined in the first two years of your PhD.  Your first two appointments (your fall & winter TA positions in PhD1 and PhD2) set the floor for the minimum hours allotted to you in your 3rd through 6th appointments (up to a maximum of 280 hours). For example, if you worked a total of 205 hours in PhD1 and 180 hours in PhD2, we would guarantee you 205 TA hours of work in PhD 3, 4, 5 and 6. You can always apply for more work over and above your entitlement. 

Starting in PhD7, you will continue to receive subsequent appointments of 70 hours per year until you complete the program, as long as you are a registered student. 

Please note the following types of hours do not count towards subsequent appointments: WIT (Writing-Integrated Teaching) hours; TA training hours; hours worked during the summer terms; hours worked at a campus other than your primary campus or Department. For example: if your home campus is St. George, and you choose to do a TAship at UTSC, or UTM, the hours you work at UTSC or UTM will not count towards your subsequent appointment.

The maximum TA or course instructor (CI) income counted toward the base funding package in 2022-23 is $7,755, inclusive of 4% vacation pay. You are guaranteed to be offered sufficient TA hours to meet the number promised in your base funding package. You can work more hours as a CI or TA than the base funding package specifies, but that TA and CI income will not be reflected in funding letters. All the same, students will be paid for all contracted TA and CI hours worked. 

The program makes every effort to provide you with the kind and amount of TA experience you need or want. Periodically, during the year, all students are notified of the availability of TA positions on their respective campuses from Valerie Grieco at St. George, Jodie Stewart at UTM, and Nina Dhir at UTSC (contact info provided below). These are also the individuals whom you should contact at the respective campuses, if problems arise, such as scheduling conflicts or working arrangements. Students who are working with supervisors at research institutions or hospitals off campus will TA at the St. George campus. 

All new graduate students are required to attend the program’s orientation session in September, which includes 4 hours of mandatory TA training for which they are paid the TA hourly rate. The session deals with the responsibilities of the position and provides some guidance as to how to handle the tasks associated with being a TA.  

For TA related questions please contact:
Mississauga Campus: Jodie Stewart
Scarborough Campus: Nina Dhir
St. George Campus: Valerie Grieco


As a condition of funding, students are expected to apply to all awards for which they are eligible.  Awards valued at $10,000 or greater will affect the base funding package. The main awards are:

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (application due in early September)
    • Domestic or international students in Years 1 and 2
    • $50,000 per year for three years
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral (application due in mid-September)
    • Domestic students
    • $40,000 per year for three years, from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC (new amounts effective September 1, 2024)
    • Students who apply for this award are considered for both the CGS-D and the agency-specific doctoral level award:
      • CIHR Doctoral - $40,000 per year (new amount effective September 1, 2024)
      • NSERC PGS-D - $40,000 per year for three years (new amount effective September 1, 2024)
      • SSHRC Doctoral - $40,000 per year for up to four years (new amount effective September 1, 2024)
  • Canada Graduate Scholarships - Master's (application due December 1st)
    • Domestic students in Year 1
    • $27,000 for one year, from CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC (new amounts effective September 1, 2024)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (application due March 1st)
    • Domestic and international students
    • $15,000 for one year

Browse graduate award opportunities

Beyond the Funded Cohort

Doctoral candidates beyond the funded cohort (from Year 5 in the 4-Year PhD program; Year 6 in the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program) are eligible to continue employment as Teaching Assistants and are offered a TA Subsequent Appointment through Year 6.  They also continue to be eligible for certain awards.  In addition to these sources, supervisors may opt to continue making Research Assistantship payments.

Doctoral Completion Awards are available for candidates who have left the funded cohort but are still within the time limits for their degree (Years 5 and 6 in the 4-Year PhD program; Years 6 and 7 in the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program).  The amount awarded varies based on the departmental yearly allocation of funds and on the amount of other funded held by applicants.

Candidates who have left the funded cohort but who were registered in the doctoral program in the winter 2020 term may be eligible for the SGS Covid-19 Tuition Exemption.  The form can be submitted in fall and/or winter terms, and will remove that semester's tuition charge; the candidate is responsible for paying the remaining incidental fees.

SGS Online Financial Need Assessment

4 years, for students entering with a master’s degree

Program Requirements

4-Year PhD students are required to satisfy the following program requirements:

  1. PSY2002H: Statistics II, an advanced statistics course
  2. PSY3000H: External Research Project
  3. PSY3001H: Professional Psychology
  4. PSY4000H: Doctoral Research Project
  5. Two content courses in Psychology (1.0 FCE), normally completed in the first two years. Of this requirement, 0.5 FCE can be achieved through two 0.25 FCE Psychology module electives (PSY3100H: Psychological Science Skills)
  6. Successfully defend a PhD thesis

Students who did not take the equivalent of our PSY2001H: Statistics I as part of their master’s program will additionally be required to take this course.

Expected Progress through the 4-Year PhD Program:

  • Year 1: 
    • Complete first part of PSY3001H
    • Complete PSY2002H
    • Begin PSY3000H (External Research Project) or complete course in lieu (with approval of Graduate Director)
      • Submit External Project form by end of January
  • Year 2:
    • Complete outstanding elective courses
    • Complete PSY3000H (ideally by end of winter)
    • Form supervisory committee (in summer)
  • Year 3:
    • Complete second part of PSY3001H
    • Achieve candidacy (ABD)
    • Start meeting with supervisory committee
    • Complete thesis proposal (in summer)
  • Year 4: 
    • Complete reading list exam (end of fall term)
    • Write up and defend thesis

5 years, for students entering with an undergraduate degree

Program Requirements

5-Year Direct-Entry PhD students are required to satisfy the following program requirements:

  1. PSY1100H: Foundational Research Project
  2. PSY2001H: Statistics I, an introductory statistics course taken in Year 1.
  3. PSY2002H: Statistics II, an advanced statistics course usually taken in Year 1.
  4. PSY3000H: External Research Project
  5. PSY3001H: Professional Psychology
  6. PSY4000H: Doctoral Research Project
  7. Four content courses (2.0 FCE) in Psychology, normally completed in Years 2 and 3. Of this requirement, 0.5 FCE can be achieved through two 0.25 FCE Psychology module electives (PSY3100H: Psychological Science Skills)
  8. Successfully defend a PhD thesis

Expected Progress through the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD Program:

  • Year 1:
    • Complete first part of PSY3001H
    • Complete PSY2001H and PSY2002H
    • Begin PSY1100H (Foundational Research Project)
      • Submit Foundational Project committee form by end of January
      • Complete Foundational Project proposal by end of summer
  • Year 2:
    • Complete 2 elective courses
    • Complete Foundational Project by end of summer
      • Complete Foundational Project reading list by end of fall
    • Begin PSY3000H (External Research Project)
      • Submit External Project form by end of January
  • Year 3:
    • Complete second part of PSY3001H
    • Complete outstanding coursework
    • Complete PSY3000H (ideally by end of winter)
    • Form supervisory committee (in summer)
  • Year 4: 
    • Achieve candidacy (ABD)
    • Start meeting with supervisory committee
    • Complete thesis proposal (in summer)
  • Year 5: 
    • Complete reading list exam (end of fall term)
    • Write up and defend thesis

PSY1100H: Foundational Research Project

The foundational research project is supervised by the student’s supervisor plus two other faculty members, completed during Years 1 and 2 of the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program.

In Year 1, students form a 3-member faculty committee (their supervisor and 2 other graduate faculty members) and develop their proposal. Students defend the proposed project and complete a mini reading list exam in Year 1, then engage in data collection over the summer and through the fall of Year 2. They write up and defend their Foundational Research Project in Year 2. The Foundational Research Project gives students the time to develop the knowledge and skills they will need to complete a more ambitious research project that could eventually be part of their doctoral dissertation.

Proposal: The Foundational Research Project proposal should be in the form of a grant proposal to an agency that is in your field (SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR).

The first step is to go to the relevant tri-council agency’s instructions for their primary research grants (I.e., choose either CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC, depending on your research area) and read the section identified in this list:

The proposal is limited to 20 pages (double-spaced) excluding references, tables, figures etc. The proposal should review the literature, state the rationale for the proposal, outline a set of experiments, justify sample size and statistics, and consider possible outcomes and their implications. The purpose of having this type of proposal is to provide you with training in writing grant proposals. It also puts a reasonable limit on the size of the proposal.

Mini Reading List Exam: The goal is for students to experience a smaller version of the oral reading list exam that occurs in Year 4 that focuses on their knowledge of the literature relevant to their Foundational Research Project. To that end, the reading list should be no more than 30 articles and chapters that relate to the project.

Project Write-up: The final write-up of the Foundational Research Project should not be longer than 100 pages including references, tables, figures, etc.

Defense: One hour should be set aside for the defense, with the student presenting the findings for about 15 minutes followed by about 45 minutes of questions and discussion with the 3 committee members.

PSY3000H: External Research Project

The external research project can be completed in any lab outside the student’s own supervisor’s or co-supervisor's. The project could be on a topic related to the student’s own thesis project or on a topic far removed from it. It is completed during Years 1 and 2 (4-Year PhD) or Years 2 and 3 (5-Year Direct-Entry PhD).

Note that if students in the 4-Year PhD program completed a Master’s thesis that was substantially psychological in nature and included empirical work, the Graduate Program will consider requests for an exemption from the External Research Project. When exemptions are granted, another content course (0.5 FCE) will be needed to be taken in its place. To request an exemption, please email the Graduate Director with a description of the completed project.

Students should submit the completed External Research Project approval form (Appendix 4) to the Graduate Office by the end of January of Year 1 (4-Year PhD) or Year 2 (5-Year Direct-Entry PhD), which includes a brief description of the project and requires the signatures of the student, supervisor and outside project supervisor. A paper in the format of a journal article, but no longer than 50 pages (including tables, references, and figures) should be submitted. Please note that this paper can include an experiment with results that did not reach the significance level. The most important thing about PSY3000H is the learning experience. The deadline for submission is the last Monday in April of Year 2 (4-Year PhD) or Year 3 (5-Year Direct-Entry PhD).

The student’s primary supervisor and the outside project supervisory should meet together with the student to discuss the outside project and to ensure that it fulfill both the student’s educational needs and be practical (i.e. can be completed within the allotted time period and is not so demanding that it prevents the student from conducting their own principal research). The outside project should on average not take more than 8 to 10 hours per week.

PSY3001H: Professional Psychology

This course provides a practical overview of facets for a successful career in academic or non-academic psychology. Topics include research ethics, open science, writing skills, and publishing processes. Guest panelists will provide tips on topics such as navigating graduate school, academic and non-academic jobs, and applying for funding. The primary requirements are participating in class and panel discussions, with the occasional brief assignment. This course is evaluated as credit/no credit (CR/NCR). Half of the course covers topics relevant to a successful graduate student experience and must be completed in Year 1. The other half of the course prepares you for career trajectories and must be completed in Year 3. Students in Year 1 should intend to attend the first 6 lectures and Students in Year 3 should intend to attend the second 6 lectures.

PSY4000H: Doctoral Research Project

PhD Supervisory Committee: It is a good idea to establish your thesis committee by the end of Year 1 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 2 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD). This committee comprises your supervisor and two other graduate faculty members whose knowledge of your research area will be useful to you. If your supervisor does not have their primary appointment in the Department of Psychology (at St. George, UTM, or UTSC), it may be required that two other members of your thesis committee must be chosen from graduate faculty who do. If you are uncertain about this requirement, please ask the Graduate Administrator. You will work closely with your committee in determining the direction and nature of your research, and they will be largely responsible for evaluating the quality of your work, so choose them carefully. The signed committee membership form (Appendix 6) should be submitted to the Graduate Office in May of Year 1 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 2 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD). Your supervisory committee should meet no later than the last Friday in September of Year 2 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 3 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD).

Supervisory committees should then meet at least every six months to track and monitor your progress. Feedback should be provided to you, highlighting accomplishments, strengths, and areas where improvement may be needed. Each time your committee meets, you should complete a PhD Student Committee Meeting Report Form and submit it to the Graduate Office.

It is recommended that a final supervisory committee meeting is held between the PhD Reading List Exam and the Final Oral Examination. In this meeting, you would present your committee with the complete findings and the general outline of the thesis. The purpose of this meeting is to seek the committee members’ feedback to help finalize the writing of the thesis and prepare you for the Final Oral Examination. It is common to pair this meeting with the Reading List Defense (see below), in which case you should ideally reserve 2.5 hours to allow sufficient time for both the Reading List Defense and the PhD Supervisory Committee Meeting.

PhD Proposal: The PhD proposal is limited to 20 pages (double-spaced) excluding references, tables, figures etc. The proposal should review the literature, state the rationale for the proposal, outline a set of experiments, justify sample size and statistics, and consider possible outcomes and their implications. Preliminary data can be included in the proposal, but the proposal is meant to typically precede collection of the rest of the data for the PhD thesis, so that committee members’ feedback can be incorporated in study design. Students in the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program can incorporate their Foundational Research Program work into their proposal background. The proposal should also include a planned outline of the final thesis, separating major sections – usually different studies – as chapters.

The PhD Proposal should be in the form of a grant proposal to an agency that is in your field (SSHRC, NSERC, or CIHR). The purpose of having this type of proposal is to provide you with training in writing grant proposals.

You can find detailed instructions for the relevant section (identified in the following list) of the granting agency that you choose to target for your proposal:

The deadline to submit your proposal to your supervisory committee is the second Monday in January of Year 3 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 4 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD). The supervisory committee should meet to discuss the proposal no later than a month after it was submitted. The proposal can be accepted as is or modified. If the proposal needs to be modified, the modifications should be enumerated in a list for the student to complete. The proposal approval form should be submitted to the Graduate Office by the second Monday in May of Year 3 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 4 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD).

PhD Reading List Exam: You will be tested by your supervisory committee on your general knowledge of your area of specialization. The area is broader than your specific research area but not so broad that it includes an entire major area of psychology. The area could be defined as one that would be covered in a third-year undergraduate course. You should submit a reading list to your committee for approval. The list should consist of original research articles, reviews, and texts in the field. The committee can suggest changes to the list that are reasonable. A typical reading list contains 75-100 articles or the equivalent in chapters. The list can be submitted any time after the beginning of Year 3 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 4 (for 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD), but no later than the last Friday in September. The committee should give you feedback within two weeks after the list has been submitted. For students in the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program, items from their mini oral reading list exam as part of their Foundational Research Project can be included.

The Reading List Examination should be scheduled for 1.5 hours. The examination begins with a short presentation. If a PhD Supervisory Committee Meeting is also held in conjunction with the Reading List Examination, then a minimum of 2 hours should be reserved for the joint set of meetings; The recommended time for joint Reading List Examination and PhD Supervisory Committee Meeting is 2.5 hours for both meetings.

The approved reading list exam form should be submitted to the Graduate Office by the second Monday in January of Year 4 (for 4-Year PhD) or Year 5 (for 5-year Direct-Entry Ph.D.).

Graduate courses in the Program are scheduled in the Fall and Winter sessions, but not in the Summer session. However, the collaborative program with engineering, PsychEng, has one required course that is taken over the Summer. Courses are 0.5 FCE courses that occur, for the most part, in either the Fall or Winter sessions. All content courses are open to PhD students, and if prerequisites are required, it will be specified in the course description. The 4-Year PhD program requires the completion of two content courses by the end of Year 2; the 5-Year Direct-Entry PhD program requires the completion of four content courses by the end of Year 3. Courses are scheduled with area group meeting times and protected campus meeting times in mind.

Students enroll in courses (and can drop courses) through ACORN within the required deadlines, which are included in this Outline and will be communicated periodically by the Graduate Office. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to these deadlines. More information about course enrolment can be found here.

Doctoral students who entered the program after September 2002 are subject to the policy on Timely Completion of Graduate Program Requirements. The policy specifies that:

“To achieve candidacy, students in doctoral degree programs must:

  1. complete all requirements for the degree exclusive of thesis research and courses such as ongoing research seminars that run continuously through the program; and
  2. have an approved thesis topic, supervisor, and supervisory committee.

Candidacy must be achieved by the end of Year 3 for all doctoral programs, except for the five-year doctoral program… For those exceptions, candidacy must be achieved by the end of Year 4 of registration.”

In our program, to achieve candidacy, students need to have completed their course requirements (including the External Research Project) and have formed a supervisory committee. Students do not need to have completed PSY4000H (i.e., had their proposal approved and reading list exam completed) in order to achieve candidacy.

The Final Oral Examination (FOE) is the capstone experience of your doctoral studies. General information about the FOE is outlined in the SGS Calendar, and all candidates and supervisors should read SGS's information concerning Program Completion. The instructions and forms for scheduling an FOE are included among the departmental forms.

Committee Composition

The FOE committee should consist of four to six voting members. Because quorum is four voting members, SGS recommends including at least six voting members to ensure the exam proceeds as scheduled.

The committee must include:

  1. One to three members of the student’s supervisory committee (SGS recommends three)
  2. Two non-supervisory external examiners who have not been closely involved in the supervision of the thesis (these members must have a graduate faculty appointment at UofT)
  3. The External Appraiser (external to UofT)
  4. A non-voting Chair appointed by SGS (The Doctoral Examinations Office will inform the graduate unit when a Chair for the examination has been appointed)


At least 8 weeks prior to the FOE date:

  • The supervisor should find a suitable External Appraiser and contact them to confirm their participation in the FOE, including the date/time, their responsibilities as an External Appraiser, and how they will be attending. We offer a $100 CAD honorarium to the External Appraiser and will reimburse their eligible travel expenses, if they choose to attend the FOE. Regardless of whether they attend the FOE, the External Appraiser must submit a written report, usually in the form of a 2- to 3-page letter, to the department two weeks before the FOE date. The student should not have any contact with the External Appraiser until the exam begins.
  • Please note that SGS will reimburse the External Appraiser’s travel expenses up to $500 CAD. Expenses incurred above that are the responsibility of the supervisor. Supervisors should keep this in mind when relaying information about travel expense reimbursement to the External Appraiser. The student submits a request to the Graduate Office to schedule the FOE. The request must include:
  • The Graduate Chair approves the external appraiser. The Graduate Office will submit the External Appraiser and examination committee to SGS for the approval of the Vice-Dean and will schedule the exam date and location with the SGS Doctoral Exams Office.

6 weeks prior to the FOE date:

  • The student submits an electronic copy of the thesis to the Graduate Office. If the thesis is not available a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the exam date the exam may be cancelled.
  • The Graduate Office will send the examiners a confirmation of the exam (date, time and location and other details) and distribute the thesis. 

2 weeks prior to the FOE date:

  • The appraisal is due to the Graduate Office. The Graduate Office will forward the 1) program, 2) abstract and 3) appraisal to the exam committee. The Graduate Office will also send an FOE announcement to all members of the program, including the abstract.

2 days prior to the FOE date:

  • The Graduate Office will forward a final reminder to the exam committee.

After the FOE:

  • The student will have one week (as it stands/in its present form), one month (editorial corrections) or up to three months (minor revisions) to make any revisions to the dissertation. The student must submit their final, approved thesis online via ProQuest.
  • Once corrections have been reviewed, the supervisor (or convener of the exam subcommittee for minor modification) will confirm in writing to the SGS Doctoral Exams Office ( and the Graduate Office ( that corrections have been made.
  • The Graduate Office does not require a hard or electronic copy of the final dissertation.

*Please note that FOEs may be held remotely, in-person, or as a hybrid of the two.

Each year in early December and in late May, the Graduate Committee meets to evaluate graduate student progress. The December evaluation is only for students whom the faculty is concerned about, whereas the May evaluation considers each graduate student individually, regardless of standing.

At the end of each meeting, students will be allowed unrestricted continuation, allowed probationary continuation, or denied continuation. Continuation decisions are based on research proficiency and potential, performance in courses, and participation in the academic aspects of the department (e.g., area meetings, colloquium). Although the major emphasis is on research potential, the Graduate Committee also reviews students’ course work grades.

All students will be informed in the summer term of their progress as evaluated by the Graduate Committee. Likewise, students of concern will be informed in mid-December of their progress as evaluated by the Graduate Committee. Guidance will be provided as to the changes that need to be seen. Any shortcomings noted should be taken seriously and rectified as soon as possible. Failure to demonstrate satisfactory performance prior to the subsequent Graduate Committee student evaluation meeting, either in December or May, is sufficient reason to deny continuation. In other words, two consecutive negative evaluations (that is, failure to meet the goals set out in the first negative evaluation) could be grounds for dismissal from the program.

Students whose work is considered unsatisfactory may be placed on academic probation. Probation is a warning that unless performance improves, candidacy will be terminated. In such cases it is essential that the student be informed as to the reasons for this judgment and the grounds on which probation might be lifted. To ensure that this happens, within four weeks of being placed on probation, the student must discuss the terms of probation with the supervisory committee. The program will exercise the final judgment regarding the quality of the student’s work at the subsequent evaluation meeting and decide on the basis of this quality whether probation will be lifted. It is hoped that this procedure will help clarify, for the student and supervisory committee, the objectives that are to be aimed for by the student.

During the probationary period, the student must meet with the supervisory committee at least once every three months to discuss the progress being made. It is the joint responsibility of the supervisor and the student to ensure that this is done.

Students registered in other graduate programs at the University of Toronto may enrol in Psychology graduate courses if there is room in course and if their home unit approves their enrolment. Students outside Psychology may enrol in our content courses, PSY1200, PSY1210 and all PSY5000-level courses, but may not enrol in our required courses, PSY2001, PSY2002, and PSY3001. Please note that we do not require SGS' Add/Drop Course form. If your home unit requires SGS' Add/Drop Course form, please have the student and instructor sections completed before sending it to the Graduate Administrator for approval and signature.

Please follow these instructions for enrolment in both Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 courses:

  1. Students should obtain permission to enrol from the instructor of the course.
  2. Students should send a copy of this email approval to the Graduate Administrator.
  3. Students should add the course on ACORN as of the first day of classes (Monday, September 11, 2023, or Monday, January 8, 2024). If students add the course before this date, they will be removed from the course.
  4. Students should have their home unit approve their enrolment in the course (if the enrolment status is 'REQ' on ACORN, the home unit needs to approve the enrolment).
  5. After the home unit approves the enrolment, the enrolment status will be 'INT' on ACORN. Psychology will then approve the enrolment in the course.

Prospective auditors are advised to first obtain the approval of the instructor. If permission is granted, auditors are not allowed to submit any assignments for grading, however, auditors are expected to contribute to course discussions. In some cases, there may not be enough space in the classroom to accommodate auditors. Where classroom size is an issue, unfortunately instructors cannot take auditors. We do not provide any documentation of attendance for auditors.

Timetable subject to change: Course enrolment for Psychology graduate students opens August 6, 2024.

Term Area Instructor Course Code and Title Schedule Description
Fall Core Andre Wang PSY2001H: Statistics I Wed 14-16
SS 560A
This course will introduce students to foundational knowledge of and techniques for statistical analysis of quantitative psychological data. Students will (1) develop conceptual and practical understanding of the general linear model and its various iterations (e.g., t-tests, analyses of variance, multiple regressions), and (2) learn how to apply statistical techniques to their data and properly interpret the results.
Fall Module Katherine Duncan PSY3100H F1: Psychological Science Skills
Python and Experiment Building
Wed 10-12
SS 560A
Module worth 0.25 FCE
Fall BN Iva Zovkic PSY5111H: Advanced Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience II
Behavioral Epigenetics
Wed 12-14
Fall PCCN Gillian Einstein PSY5220H: Advanced Topics in Cognition I
Sex Differences in Brain and Behaviour
Thu 14-16
SS 560A
Fall SP Joanne Chung PSY5420H: Advanced Topics in Personality I
Mixed Methods
Thu 16-18
Hybrid; SS 560A
Fall SP Brett Ford PSY5430H: Advanced Topics in Social Psychology I
The Psychology of Emotion Regulation
Tue 10-12
SS 560A
This seminar reviews the recent scientific literature on how humans manage emotions. In a discussion-based format that is grounded in the methods and theories of emotion science, we will explore why people regulate emotions, how they regulate, the factors that influence emotion regulation, and what emotion regulation does – for better or worse – for our health, relationships, and societal well-being.
Fall SP Spike Lee PSY5421H: Advanced Topics in Social Personality II
Scientifically Impressive Studies: What Makes Them So? Can You Design and Implement One?
Tue 12-14
SS 560A
Students from all areas (not just social/personality) and all social sciences (not just psychology) are welcome to take this doctoral seminar. We will explore scientifically impressive studies from multiple areas, using multiple methods.
I used to care only about theoretical advances. While I still care deeply about that, over the past few years I have come to appreciate the intrinsic value of a really nicely designed and executed study. That is, some studies are so scientifically impressive that even if you are an outsider who doesn’t really care about the particular theoretical tradition they are couched in, you would still be impressed by their findings, because they are just so cool, so important. The goal of this course is to challenge you – to do (at least) one study like that.
To get there, we will start the course by asking everyone to come up with a first draft of the most scientifically impressive study they would like to run, based on their own research interest. Then, we will read some scientifically impressive studies, not just in social/personality psychology, but also in other areas of cognitive, affective, behavioural, social, and political sciences. We will organize the studies into themes that exemplify different aspects of impressiveness. As we read these thematically organized studies, you will refine your study design by constantly asking yourself, “Can I incorporate this impressive aspect into my study?” By the end of the course, everyone will present the finalized version of their study.
The bottom line is: I want this course to inspire you to design and implement a scientifically impressive study, one that you are proud of.
Winter Core Elizabeth Page-Gould PSY2002H: Statistics II Tue 10-12
Hybrid; SS 560A
Winter Core Elizabeth Johnson PSY3001H S1: Professional Psychology
First-Year Section
Tue 12-14
SS 560A
Winter Core Elizabeth Johnson PSY3001H S2: Professional Psychology
Third-Year Section
Tue 12-14
SS 560A
Winter Module Katherine Duncan PSY3100H S2: Psychological Science Skills
Working with Data in R
Tue 14-16
SS 560A
Module worth 0.25 FCE
Winter BN Laura Corbit PSY5110H: Advanced Topics in Behavioural Neuroscience I
Instrumental Learning: Associative and Neural Mechanisms
Mon 10-12
SS 560A
Winter DEV Amy Finn PSY5303H: Cognitive Development
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Mon 12-14
SS 560A
This course will ask how changes in the developing brain can influence theories of cognitive development. To answer this question, we will first briefly survey methods in (developmental) cognitive neuroscience and go over the process of human brain development. We will then review core concepts including the role of experience in brain development and the specialization of brain regions. Finally, we will cover specific topics including the development of sensory and motor systems and the development of multiple aspects of learning and memory. In all cases, we will ask whether neural measures inform our understanding of how cognitive processes change with age.
Winter DEV Meng-Chuan Lai PSY5310H: Advanced Topics in Development I
Neurocognitive Theories of Autism
Wed 14-16
Winter DEV Yang Wu PSY5311H: Advanced Topics in Development II
The Development of Affective Cognition
Tue 14-16
Humans’ abilities to reason and think about emotion (i.e., affective cognition) is highly sophisticated. Even with limited information, humans can predict whether someone will feel amused, excited, or moved, or whether they will feel embarrassed, disappointed, or furious. How do humans acquire these abilities? This course will delve into the development of affective cognition in infancy and childhood. Topics include infants’ and children’s abilities to infer, predict, and explain emotions, the influence of family and culture in these developmental processes, and atypical development of affective cognition.
Winter PCCN Mary Pat McAndrews PSY5205H: Memory
Memory Networks in the Brain: Discovery, Development and Disruption
Mon 14-16
Research in cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, and neuropsychology has been converging over the past decade to study brain networks that support memory rather than focusing on single structures. In this course, we will review literature on the emergence of this line of thinking, the current data regarding ‘canonical’ episodic memory networks in the healthy adult, changes in early development and later life, disruption to canonical networks in neurological diseases and disorders, and research on perturbing these networks for purposes of enhancement. Although we will focus largely on episodic memory, there is emerging understanding of how this form of memory interacts with other knowledge structures and representations such as semantic memory and schemas, and this will be a common thread throughout the course.
Winter PCCN Adrian Nestor PSY5210H: Advanced Topics in Perception I
Pattern Analysis in Neuroimaging
Thu 14-16
The course explores computational approaches to the analysis and interpretation of neuroimaging and behavioural data. Particular emphasis will be placed on pattern analyses for electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as applied to the study of visual cognition. Specific topics will include pattern classification, information theory and image reconstruction. Various techniques will be discussed at a conceptual and technical level. Familiarity with basic EEG and/or fMRI analysis as well as upper-level statistics is encouraged.
Winter PCCN Björn Herrmann PSY5211H: Advanced Topics in Perception II
Neural Oscillations: Methods and Applications
Wed 10-12
SS 560A
Oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain. In this course, we will discuss theoretical, methodological, and empirical aspects of neural oscillations. This involves discussions about how neural oscillations are typically measured and analyzed, and the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with neural oscillations. We will discuss recent empirical work investigating neural oscillations in a variety of contexts (perception, cognition, health vs. disease, etc.). We will briefly cover background about the recording techniques typically used to measure neural oscillations in cognitive neuroscience research (EEG, MEG, electrophysiology). Students will have opportunities to hone their presentation and writing skills. At the end of the course, the successful student will have a detailed understanding of the common measures and methods associated with neural oscillations, be able to identify potential challenges in empirical papers, have knowledge about the most common associations between neural oscillations and perceptual/cognitive functions, and be able to use this knowledge to advance their own research.
Winter PCCN Donna Rose Addis PSY5221H: Advanced Topics in Cognition II
Imagination and the Brain
Mon 16-18
This course explores the cognitive neuroscience of imagination, arguably one of the most complex forms of cognition the human brain is capable of. Imagination is integral to many everyday functions, including remembering the past, planning for the future, and navigating our social world. We will consider many forms of imagination, ranging from applying imagination to solve complex problems (often creatively!) as well as imagination that unfolds spontaneously as our minds wander. The course will focus on imagination primarily from the perspective of neuroscience, examining the large-scale brain networks supporting imagination, as well as how imaginative abilities develop and change across the lifespan and break down in different neurological and mental health disorders. However, a fuller understanding of imagination draws on many disciplines including philosophy, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, the arts, and more.
Winter PCCN Rosanna Olsen PSY5222H: Advanced Topics in Cognition III
Functional Neuroanatomy of the Medial Temporal Lobe
Wed 12-14
SS 560A
The purpose of this course is to review current theories regarding the neuroanatomical organization of memory, with a specific focus on medial temporal lobe (MTL) function. There will be an emphasis on learning the neuroanatomy of the hippocampal subfields and surrounding MTL cortex subregions. The course will also review neuroimaging best practices for studying the MTL.
Winter SP Norman Farb PSY5432H: Advanced Topics in Social Psychology III
Interoceptive Basis of Emotion
Wed 14-16
SS 560A
Interoception, the representation of the body's internal state, is central to emotional experience, providing the visceral basis for emotion and informing appraisals of both health and motivation. Yet despite its importance, interoception is radically understudied compared to the external senses. In this course, we will review multiple cultural perspectives on interoception and emotion, explore current research that ranges from self-report to neural systems accounts, and develop novel questions for advancing research in this growing field.
Winter SP Oshin Vartanian PSY5433H: Advanced Topics in Social Psychology IV
Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity and Aesthetics
Wed 16-18
SS 560A
In tandem with theoretical and methodological developments in neuroimaging, the last two decades have been witness to considerable advances in our understanding of the neural bases of creativity and aesthetics. The objective of this course is to assess to extent to which our understanding of the psychology of creativity and aesthetics has improved as a function of notable recent contributions from the cognitive neurosciences in those domains. To set the stage, there will be an introduction to the psychological study of creativity and aesthetics, including a review of contemporary theories. This is necessary because typically neuroscientific approaches will have been motivated by specific theories and models from psychological studies of creativity and/or aesthetics. Core themes will include assessment, individual differences, domain specificity and generality, and associations with personality, memory and intelligence. The main content of the course (i.e., readings) will involve empirical and review articles as well as chapters on the neural bases of creativity and aesthetics. To facilitate an informed discussion of the neuroscientific findings in relation to creativity and aesthetics, the course will also include a brief review of the methodologies underpinning neuropsychological and neuroimaging approaches.