Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour >> Prospective Students

Introduction to Graduate Training in our Department at McMaster University

Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in Psychology at McMaster. There are 30 faculty in the Department of Psychology and approximately 87 graduate students. The department has a strong research base in the areas of Animal Behaviour , Systems and Behavioural Neuroscience, Cognition/Perception, Developmental Psychology and Evolution and Social Behaviour. The breadth of faculty research areas provides a rich environment for graduate training in the field of Experimental Psychology.

*NEW* - Research and Clinical Training Stream

Our graduate program is research-oriented and provides flexibility to optimize the program around the interests of the student. There is a strong collegial environment in the department that supports scientific interactions among faculty and students, and, as a consequence, students often undertake research projects with more than one faculty member. The graduate program introduces students to the issues and questions in the field of Experimental Psychology and trains them in the theoretical basis and research approaches used to study the problems.

If the information you're looking for pertains to the research of a particular faculty member, then we encourage you to contact them directly, by telephone or by e-mail, or visit their web pages which can be accessed from our faculty web page or by looking at the descriptions of the Research Areas.

Application Requirements

Graduate Application Requirements

  • Honours (or equivalent) bachelor's degree with at least a B+ average in your final year in all courses in your discipline.
  • Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (General Test)*
  • If English is not your native language, an official copy of your TOEFL score (minimum score=550)*.
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation from instructors available on-line.
  • Completed On-Line application. Paper copy is no longer accepted.
  • Original transcripts are required only when an offer is made to you to join our graduate program.
  • Statement of interest in pursuing graduate studies in the fields of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour (PNB fields of study: Animal Behaviour; Systems & Behavioral Neurosicence; Cognition/Perception; Developmental Psychology; Evolution & Social Behaviour).  Statement should be no longer than one page in length, single spaced 12 pt font. Please list any research, teaching, or work experience that is related to the fields in which you are interested in working.
  • Please list supervisors you wish to work with (no more than 3).
  • Applications must be accompanied by the required $100 application fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by means of a credit card payment or a cheque (or world money order) drawn on a Canadian bank made payable to McMaster University. Cheques (or world money order) drawn on Canadian banks should also include a $15 processing fee for a total of $115. If you pay the application fee by cheque or world money order, please send the cheque (or world money order) to the following address:

School of Graduate Studies
McMaster University
Gilmour Hall, Room 212
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8S 4L8


(deadline date for applications is *NEW* January 31, 2016, applications are still considered after this date, but you are advised that the sooner is better)

Click here to access the online application

Any questions are if you are having problems email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Nancy Riddell)

Additional Information

Applicants are urged to declare any disabilities, as well as to provide details concerning accommodations provided by their previous educational institutions, at the time of application. Such declaration is encouraged particularly in cases where it is felt that the disability may have affected past academic performance, and/or where accommodation may be required in order for the student to be successful in his/her graduate program. The School of Graduate Studies policy with regard to students with disabilities is to be found in section 6 of the School of Graduate Studies Calendar. The full policy and further information may be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies or the Centre for Student Development, ext. 24711, fax 905-528-3749.

A separate application for financial assistance is not required, as all applicants are automatically considered for financial support within the Department. Nevertheless, students are strongly encouraged to apply to external granting agencies in the autumn before they intend to apply to the Department. Financial support from these agencies is substantially greater than can be offered by the Department. Canadian citizens or landed immigrants may apply to the Federal agencies: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) or Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Ontario residents may also apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program. Details of these and other assistance programs are available from your own University Graduate Office or from the McMaster University School of Graduate Studies.

  • Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (General Test)*

The Department believes that successful graduate training requires close collaboration between student and research director on a research project that is of interest to both. Applicants are therefore encouraged (though not required) to correspond directly with individual members of the faculty in whose research they may be interested. Faculty members are happy to provide applicants with reprints of recent publications and to discuss the opportunities available for research in their laboratories.

Foreign students may enter Canada on student visas. Further information on how to obtain these visas may be requested from the nearest Canadian Consulate.

If you would like to contact our graduate secretary you can contact Nancy Riddell, (Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23298, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Again, thanks for your interest in our program, we look forward to hearing from you.

Fees and Financial Assistance

Fees and Financial Assistance

All graduate students are supported by stipends from a combinations of External scholarships, Departmental scholarships, research grants, training grants, and teaching assistantships. The minimum stipend for 2014-2015 is $20,810.00. Hamilton is very affordable for students and thus the stipend affords a comfortable lifestyle. Graduate students are also eligible to receive financial support to attend scientific conferences.

Psychology graduate students without external scholarship support receive a departmental scholarship; in 2014-2015 this is $12,364 for both M.Sc. students and Ph.D. students. In recent years, foreign students have been put on a similar financial footing with Canadian students, by virtue of their receiving either a supplementary departmental scholarship or a tuition differential waiver.

In the course of their graduate training, students assist in the Department teaching activities. The nature of each student's contribution depends upon his or her other interests and the needs of the Department. Teaching assistantships, paying $8,446 per year (2014-15) for a total of $20,810.00 (approx.) available to all graduate students in our Department.

Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are eligible to apply for scholarships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and other provincial and federal funding agencies. Both Canadian and foreign graduate students are eligible to apply for Ontario Graduate Scholarships. Students awarded such scholarships remain eligible for teaching assistantships, and typically enjoy an income substantially in excess of the figures quoted above.

To view the Fees required please click here.  A portion of the graduate stipend is subject to income tax. The tax payable will of course depend on circumstances. More information regarding tuition fees and income tax provisions may be obtained by writing to:

School of Graduate Studies
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L8

Facilities for Research

Facilities for Research

The Department maintains extensive facilities for research in a variety of experimental areas including: Animal Behaviour & Learning, Systems and Behavioural Neuroscience, Cognition & Perception, Developmental Psychology, and Social & Evolutionary Psychology.

The Department possesses extensive facilities for human and animal research. The 20,680 square foot state-of-the-art animal facility houses rats, mice, gerbils, fish, cats, insects; and a new bat colony. The procedure rooms include a physiological optical imaging laboratory, transgenic procedure suite, two animal surgery suites, electrophysiology and neurochemistry suites, and an automatic cage washing facility.

The recently renovated 19,700 square feet of human research facilities provide researchers and trainees with access to modern computing resources (Macintosh, Windows, and Linux environments), state-of-the-art eye-tracking systems (head mounted and remote), virtual reality systems, a transcranial magnetic stimulation system, and several electroencephalography (EEG) systems (the largest number of EEG systems in any single department in Canada). Human researchers also enjoy access to a 3T fMR system and an MR compatible EEG system at the Imaging Research Centre in nearby St. Joseph's Hospital through our ongoing collaborations with faculty in the Brain-Body Institute. As well, in conjunction with Brock University, we have created a mobile human electrophysiology and eye-tracking laboratory. This unique mobile facility is particularly useful in ongoing research with special populations, school-aged children, and seniors participants for whom access to our Department-based facilities may be difficult.

In addition to these facilities, the Department maintains a full-time technical staff of 3 persons, available to members of the faculty and their students as required. Departmental technicians are well equipped to construct specialized laboratory apparatus and maintain computers and instrumentation.

Detailed descriptions of the research interests of each member of our faculty and lists of representative publications are available on our graduate studies web site:

This web page provides an introduction to our program. After reading through this introduction, we hope that you will want to gather more information on the range of possibilities at McMaster that relate to your specific interest in our program.

Pat Bennettt, Chair,
Graduate Studies Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(905)525-9140, Ext. 23012
Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

If you have any questions about our graduate program please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wilson Daly Fund

Wilson Daly Fund

Information about the Wilson Daly Fund

Social Life

Our Department's Social Life

The Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour department at McMaster is home to various receptions, seasonal parties, club functions, and sporting events, which help to generate some camaraderie and informality.

Throughout the academic year, psychology graduate students attend a series of colloquia given by distinguished guest speakers. Graduate student preferences mainly dictate the list of invitees, and interested graduate students (but not faculty) are invited to dine out with the guest speaker at departmental expense. (Faculty and indeed all interested people are welcome at receptions held before and/or after supper.) The colloquium series is considered an important component (albeit an informal and unevaluated one) of graduate education, allowing students an opportunity to exchange ideas with leading researchers in their area of interest while also establishing social contacts that may be of importance to their postgraduate careers.

Softball is virtually the only game on campus during the summer months, so "What's your favourite position?" is often the first question an incoming PNB graduate student is asked. The department fields several teams in University leagues, ranging from the genuinely recreational to the humourlessly competitive. The department also sponsors a softball tournament and barbecue every July. Graduate students also organize other sporting events such as soccer, volleyball, and ice-hockey (for non-skaters), and squash and racquetball challenges. You don't have to be talented to participate and have fun.  If you would like to see some of past events that involve our students click here.

Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1
Canada