The social group has both (1) an applied and (2) an experimental program.

The Masters in Applied Psychological Science (MAPS) is designed to meet the needs of both students and employers. Students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to ask appropriate questions and conduct research in such applied settings as business, government and health care. Successful students will be qualified for either employment or entrance into a doctoral program. Click on MAPS to obtain more details on this co-operative program.

The experimental program in social psychology emphasizes training in health psychology, forensic psychology, social cognition, attitudes, social rationality, and program evaluation. There is a strong emphasis on research design, methodology, and statistical analyses. Students gain knowledge through conducting scientific research that forms the basis of a thesis. Thesis topics can investigate a wide range of research questions related to social determinants of health, social cognition, attitudes, decision-making, social influence, and the study of human behavior as it relates to the law. Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Master of Science degree, and are qualified to continue academic training (e.g., doctoral studies), and to conduct research work in private industry, the public sector, and academic settings.


To gain admission, a student must hold an Honors Bachelor's degree (normally of high second class standing), or its equivalent. All applicants are required to submit results from the General section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In recent years, a combined score of 300 on GRE (verbal + quantitative) has been the cut-off for consideration.

Application forms can be filled out on-line. Students are asked to submit their applications as early as possible as files (including letters of reference) will be evaluated before February 1. Letters of reference should be submitted directly to the School of Graduate Studies on the appropriate forms. Admission decisions are normally made by March 1. Late applications may be considered if openings are available.

Financial Support

Students are automatically considered for financial support. It is a policy of the department to attempt to offer all students admitted some form of support. Such support usually consists of a combination of Graduate School Fellowships and graduate teaching assistantships. In addition to the standard University funding that is afforded to all students, the two paid work terms provide additional financial support. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek outside support as well (e.g., SSHRC CGS-M). If you decide to apply for Tri-Council funding (SSHRC), please consult with a faculty member in the department regarding a project and supervision.

Brief Profiles of the Social Psychology Faculty

Dr. Cathryn Button is the chair of the MAPS program. Her research interests are related to psychological methods, research design and program evaluation. She is interested in the application of sound research principles in applied research settings and the improvement of program evaluation methods. Her most recent research investigates the utility of various reliability indices to evaluate inter-rater agreement on judgments that are commonly made in forensic, clinical, medical and academic settings.

Dr. Martin Day’s research interests explore how people make sense of societal problems and societal arrangements, and how people’s psychological reactions to societal conditions can have downstream effects on individuals. His current research on societal cognition spans a variety of topics and issues such as social and economic inequality, social mobility, ideology, decision making, and well-being.

Dr. Ken Fowler’s research spans areas such as Employment, Industry and Health, Mental Health and Addictions, Child Protection Services, and Health System Policy and Service Delivery. In addition to his academic research, he also conducts policy evaluations and program reviews on behalf of various Public Service Agencies and Health Boards.

Dr. Brent Snook’s research pertains to the study of human behaviour within the criminal justice system. He examines factors related to the validity and reliability of various psychological-based investigative practices and decision making within the criminal justice system. His current research is focused on helping youths understand their interrogation rights, and testing the effectiveness of various interviewing techniques.

For more information about each faculty member, please click the links below.


Cathryn Button 
Stéphane Dandeneau
Martin Day 
Laura Fallon
Ken Fowler 
Chris Quinn-Nilas
Brent Snook