The curriculum of the graduate program is structured to be flexible, such that the course of study and skill acquisition is tailored to each student's interests and background. There is no fixed sequence of courses that all students in the program must follow, although there is a general framework described below.
Each year all students in the Quantitative Methods area are expected to attend and present at the Quantitative Methods Forum. The Forum is a weekly meeting of all faculty and graduate students in the program, including faculty and students in related programs such as Mathematics and Statistics and Biostatistics under the School of Kinesiology. Meetings consist of research presentations and discussion of professional development issues such as seeking research funding, reviewing, statistical consulting, ethics, etc. Students are also expected to develop a dossier throughout their tenure in the program which is annually evaluated by the quantitative methods faculty as detailed in the student evaluation section.
MA and PhD students also have additional course and degree requirements which are specified in the annually updated Psychology Graduate Program Handbook located on the Graduate Program in Psychology website. The general course of study for each degree proceeds as follows:
Year 1: The first year curriculum is designed to provide foundational knowledge in quantitative methods and exposure to topics outside of the quantitative area. Students typically take several quantitative courses (e.g., ANOVA, Regression), and usually take one or two courses in Psychology outside of the quantitative program. In addition, students may begin their research or applied practicum, where focus is on the development or application of advanced methods for the analysis of psychological science data. With the help of their advisor, students should also have identified a topic for their Masters thesis at the end of the first year.
Year 2: Second-year students continue to complete required coursework, typically involving one or two courses in quantitative methods. These courses build upon their foundational knowledge and develop special methodological interests. Course requirements and the Masters thesis on a topic related to quantitative methods in psychology should be completed at the end of the second year. Upon completion of the MA degree, students may advance into the PhD program after obtaining approval from the faculty of the quantitative methods area.
Years 1-2: The first two years of the PhD course of study are designed to provide students with advanced knowledge in quantitative methods, some exposure to a chosen substantive area in psychology, and knowledge in the foundations of psychology. Students typically complete the majority of their quantitative methods coursework, complete a course in psychology out of the quantitative methods area of their interest, and complete a required course on the history and foundations of contemporary psychology. Students also typically complete one of two research or applied practica within the first two years of study, for example, by serving as consultants with the Statistical Consulting Service. Additionally, students are expected to be involved in research both on their own and in collaboration with their supervisors.
Year 3: Students typically take advanced courses in quantitative methods and complete all course requirements by the third year. The main activity during the third year is to complete a research or applied practicum where focus is on the development or application of advanced methods for the analysis of psychological science data. In addition, third-year students should identify and develop a minor area paper on a topic related to quantitative methods in psychology. By the end of their third year, students should have identified a dissertation topic.
Year 4: Students take a limited number of advanced courses in quantitative methods, and focus mainly on research. At this stage, students are typically involved in several research projects. Students should primarily be engaged in developing and completing their dissertation.