Examining how psychological, biological, and social processes contribute to health and disease.

Health psychology integrates perspectives from multiple disciplines, such as psychology and medicine, and it utilizes a variety of research approaches, including experimental, repeated daily life assessments, survey and intervention methods. The primary aim of this graduate program is to train research scientists in the use of basic theories and methods in Health Psychology.

Students are expected to pursue the goals of research excellence, effective teaching, and scholarly breadth. Towards fulfilling these goals, graduate students engage in research from the outset of the program, first by working under the close supervision of an advisor and then by assuming a more independent role as specific research interests are formulated. This program does not provide clinical or practical training in health psychology; it is intended for students seeking careers in research and teaching only.

Students with a PhD in health psychology are in high demand for competitive positions in a number of disciplines and professions. Graduates of health psychology programs are often employed at universities and research institutions, in hospitals, clinics, and medical centres, and government and nonprofit organizations.

Program Overview

In addition to graduate courses in the area of health psychology, students are expected to take advantage of departmental courses and seminars in related interest areas in the department. In addition, students can take advantage of a number of courses in other departments, such as Health Care and Epidemiology, as relevant to their area of specialization within health psychology.

The MA program requires full-time resident study and should be completed within two years.

  • PSYC 501 – Health Psychology
  • 3 additional credits of Health core program courses
  • 3 credits of statistics
  • 3 credits of PSYC courses outside the Health area
  • Thesis (18 credits)

In addition, certain students may be required to complete additional courses or other undertakings because of deficiencies in their preparatory background; these requirements are specified by the program in coordination with the Graduate Student Progress Committee in writing during the first term of the student’s residence in the program.

Note: Students completing the MA program must apply for acceptance into the PhD program; acceptance depends upon the quality of the master’s-level work.

Full academic year residency is required for PhD students until the attainment of candidacy.

  • 6 credits of Health core program courses
  • 3 credits of statistics
  • 3 credits of PSYC courses outside the Health area
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation

Health students must take all four of the following (3-credit) courses during their graduate studies (MA and PhD). Not all courses are offered each year, and other courses may be substituted on a case-by-case basis with approval from the student’s supervisor, area, and Associate Head, Graduate Affairs.

PSYC 501 – Health Psychology
PSYC 502 – Research Methods in Health Psychology
PSYC 503 – Biological Basis of Health Psychology
PSYC 504 – Special Topics in Health Psychology

The GRE is optional for Fall 2023 graduate admissions for the Health area. Please visit the lab websites of the faculty members you are interested in working with, to familiarize yourself with their individual preferences and procedures for evaluating applications.

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