Department of Psychology
About the department
The Department of Psychology is part of the Faculty of Arts. We have two Undergraduate Programs - a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. The Graduate Program is split into two areas: Clinical Psychology and Psychology. Both areas offer both a Masters and Ph.D. In addition to academic pursuits, the Department is a very active research environment, with department members being involved in over 20 laboratories.
Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: We empower people through fair treatment, and strive to ensure individuals feel respected, accepted, and valued for what makes them unique.
Integrity: We behave ethically, and with honesty and transparency.
Discovery & Innovation: We engage in meaningful and impactful research, teaching, and learning
Health & Well-Being: We foster physical and psychological well-being within and beyond our community
Community: We promote a sense of belonging and collaboration
Welcome message from the Head
The University of Calgary is ranked as one of Canada’s top universities. More than 30,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs, including medicine, law, and veterinary medicine.
The Department of Psychology is one of the largest academic units at the university, with 40 full-time faculty, nearly 100 graduate students in our Master of Science (MSc) and PhD programs, and over 900 undergraduate students in our Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree programs. The Department offers a B.A./B.Sc. Honours program for select undergraduates, who complete a research thesis in their final year of studies. We collaborate with other academic units on campus to support degree programs in Health Sciences, Mind Sciences, and Neuroscience. We have two student organizations, one for undergraduate students (PSYCHS) and the other for graduate students (PGSA). Undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved in the research activities of our professors, and there are many opportunities to do so, including courses (PSYC 499, 503, 504) and volunteering. Many of our professors have received teaching awards, and the Psychology program has a reputation for teaching excellence. If you have questions about our undergraduate programs, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Our graduate programs offer specializations in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Social and Theoretical Psychology. We also have a Clinical Psychology program that is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association. Our graduate student funding is among the best in the country, with guaranteed levels of financial support (see the Graduate Program section of our website). We provide graduate students with excellent mentorship, professional development, and research support. Teaching assistantships are available, and senior PhD students can apply to teach an undergraduate course. Our graduate students are very successful winning national and provincial scholarships. Our professors commit a great deal of their time to graduate student supervision and research training, and this is the foundation of our program’s success. If you have questions about our graduate programs, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.
Our department is one of the most research-intensive Psychology departments in the country. Our research activities are very diverse, and include research programs on children’s language and cognition, cannabis use, depression and anxiety, pediatric concussion, childhood pain, personality assessment, eating behaviors, addictions, gambling, romantic relationships, leadership, and team work. In addition to our research with children and younger and older adults, the department supports a group of neuroscience researchers who use animal models to study the neural basis of circadian rhythms, cortical development and neuroplasticity, and neural mechanisms of learning and motivation. There are currently over 30 separate laboratories in our department (for a complete list of labs, see the Research section of our webpage). The department’s research programs are supported by millions of dollars of external grant funding. One measure of our success and impact is the media attention our research attracts regularly. You can follow us on Facebook to learn about our media appearances, student success, and our latest publications.
Our department is also committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) as a central value. Our mission is to strive for a departmental community that is equitable, diverse and inclusive of all members. We strive to promote leadership from diverse populations, as well as to equip all departmental members with the skills to respectfully engage with and support diverse populations in research, teaching, student success, and community engagement. For more information on our EDI initiatives, see our web page.
If you have any questions about our department, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Keith Yeates, PhD
Professor and Department Head
Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes
The Department of Psychology’s award-winning 2016 curriculum review established the following set of Program Learning Outcomes for our undergraduate programs. These outcomes represent the Department’s vision of the knowledge and skills that Psychology majors should be well positioned to achieve by graduation. Our Department has committed to a 5-year Action Plan to implement program-level changes and course-level changes designed to foster student achievement of these important outcomes.
1. Demonstrate knowledge of psychological sciences
- convey key concepts and theoretical approaches in several areas of psychological science
- describe biological, psychological, and social foundations of typical and atypical behaviour and mental processes within a cultural and decolonizing context
- critically identify historical trends, recent advances, and the limits of psychological knowledge
- describe the cultural origins and boundaries of psychological science, as well as the role of scientific racism in psychology’s history
2. Think critically and solve problems
- assess and critically evaluate information, ideas, and assumptions comprehensively and from diverse perspectives
- use relevant sources of scientific knowledge to identify, frame, and generate novel solutions to problems or issues
- contribute to knowledge and problem solving using integrative and creative approaches
3. Conduct research and analyze data
- understand the advantages and limitations of different research methods, including decolonizing methodologies
- generate research questions and implement appropriate research methods to answer them, including analysis of individual differences
- draw appropriate inferences from obtained findings, within the context of historical inequities
- identify and apply appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis techniques
- use statistical software to analyze data and solve data analysis problems
- communicate research findings effectively using figures, graphs, and tables
4. Communicate effectively
- write correct, clear, concise, and convincing research reports and papers using bias-free language
- convey Western and Non-Western psychological theories and findings to both scientific and non-scientific audiences
- describe, compare and contrast, and synthesize Western and Non-Western psychological theories, ideas, and research findings
- give presentations to increase knowledge, foster understanding, and impact the target audience
- use technology and graphics to facilitate the transmission of information and ideas
- articulate and explain key messages and concepts clearly and credibly
Teamwork and interactions with others
- communicate and contribute in group activities and in discussions to facilitate goals
- demonstrate accountability and integrity in professional and peer relationships
- work inclusively to co-create an environment that encourages a diversity of perspectives to progress toward common goals
- interact respectfully and appropriately in a variety of cultural contexts
5. Demonstrate information literacy
- locate, interpret, evaluate, and communicate psychological information and findings
- assess the relevance, reliability, validity, and utility of different sources of information
- operate as an informed consumer, generator, and disseminator of research findings
6. Understand and implement ethical principles in a diverse world
- critically identify ethical issues and ramifications of actions and policies in research and other professional domains, which occur in multicultural and otherwise diverse settings
- adhere to and apply ethical principles and demonstrate social responsibility
- Recognize social justice issues in society and how psychology can advance social change
- recognize different perspectives that can be applied to ethical dilemma.
7. Apply psychological knowledge and skills
- use psychological principles to generate solutions to personal, social, organizational, and societal problems
- understand the practical importance and uses of the concepts and methods of psychology
- transfer learning and psychological knowledge to novel contexts and situations
8. Demonstrate multicultural competence and awareness of issues related to equity, diversity,* and inclusion
- recognize and critically reflect upon one’s own biases, attitudes, and values as culturally constructed phenomena through continual self-reflection
- describe how psychological constructs vary in meaning, importance, and/or frequency across cultures
- seek out sources of learning from diverse voices
- understand and apply different ways of knowing in the advancement of psychological science
*Diversity refers to the multitude of dimensions along which individuals differ, and that influence their experiences, worldviews, and values. These factors include race, ethnicity, migration history, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic status, among others (Hussain & Murthy, 2013; Makhdoomi & Nika, 2017; Ragins & Gonzales, 2003; Van Knippenberg & Schippers, 2007).