Psychology Graduate Program

Psychology Graduate Program

Information for Current Students

Travel Reimbursements
Advanced Study Courses
Independent Study & Research Techniques courses
Apprenticeship Courses
Progress Reports
Thesis and Defence Information
Forms for Graduate Students & Supervisors


Reimbursement for Travel to Conferences

The Department of Psychology will help cover the costs of travel to conferences, etc. Graduate students are allotted $150/year (maximum 2 years for MA students and 4 years for PhD students). The Faculty of Graduate Studies also administers some funds (up to $300/year) for full-time MA and full-time or part-time PhD students who present at conferences. Supervisors are also encouraged to assist students with the costs of conference travel if research funds are available for that purpose. Note that reimbursement for these expenses requires submission of original, relevant receipts and proof of exchange rate, if applicable.

Travel claim forms and instructions are available here:

Financial Services website for travel forms and instructions

Faculty of Graduate Studies Application for Travel Funds


As of Nov 1, 2013 graduate students are required to submit theses (the defence-ready copy that your committee deems ready to be sent to the external for the exam). Please email the Graduate Program Director when you've submitted your thesis to turnitin. If you are taking a course your instructor must also inform you at the start of the term, preferably in writing, what work must be submitted to Instructions

Students are asked to use this COVER PAGE for all turnitin submissions.


Advanced Study Courses

The Advanced Study in Psychology requirement consists of three essays of no fewer than 15 and no more than 20 pages each. The main goals of these essays are to assess the student's ability to summarize the literature on a relatively limited and well-defined topic; draw conclusions based on the literature; and write at a PhD level within specific time constraints. These essays are also intended to provide breadth and depth in areas tangentially related to the student's thesis.  Each essay has a specific deadline. 

When you and your committee have agreed on the topic for the paper, and the reader has agreed to do it, please complete the ADVANCED STUDY IN PSYCHOLOGY FORM (available as a link below), obtain required signatures, and hand it in to the Graduate Administrative Assistant. When you have written and submitted the paper to the reader, submit an electronic copy to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.

Guidelines for Advanced Study courses

Advanced Study Form


Independent Study & Techniques Courses

MA and PhD students have the option of completing an independent study course as an elective. Students must complete the Request for Directed Reading or Research Techniques Course Approval form and submit the form to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.  Note that approval is required before the student is permitted to register in the course so plan to submit this form at least two weeks in advance of registration.


Apprenticeship Courses (open only to PhD students)

One of the features of our PhD program is the opportunity for PhD students to do an apprenticeship.  We offer three types of apprenticeships:  teaching, research, and community.  Students are required to take one apprenticeship as part of their PhD program and can also do an additional apprenticeship as an elective.  Detailed instructions for each of the apprenticeships are available in the Policies and Procedures Manual.  Students must submit an Apprenticeship Approval Form (Teaching Apprenticeship Proposal; Research Apprenticeship Proposal; Community Apprenticeship Proposal) before commencing the apprenticeship.  The form is to be submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant at least two weeks prior to registration in the course. Once the proposal has been approved by the Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, and appropriate Area Representative, the student will be notified.


Progress Reports

MID-TERM PROGRESS REPORTS (for new students)

All new MA Psychology graduate students and PhD students new to Brock must complete the Mid-term Progress Report. The report is due January 15th and is to be submitted electronically to the student's supervisor with a copy to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.

Graduate Student Mid-term Progress Report (Word document)

Supervisors also complete a mid-term report on the student's progress, which they discuss with the student.  This report is to be submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant by January 31st.

Supervisor Report for Graduate Student Mid-term Progress (Word Document)



General Instructions for students

  1. The year-end progress reports should be developed near the end of the first year in the program and updated each year thereafter.
  2. All submissions are to be done electronically, NO HARD COPIES.  Students will send their progress reports by email to each member of their committee with a copy to  This is to be done in a single email - this way the Graduate Administrative Assistant can verify that each committee member has received the report.
  3. Student reports are due June 15th.
  4. Reports are to be compiled into one file, preferably in PDF format.  The name of the file should be "Progress(2015)-your last name", (i.e. Progress2015-pidduck).
  5. Progress reports consist of four parts: 

          Part I - Curriculum Vitae 

Follow this template for content and formatting details. 

Material added to the CV since the last progress report should be highlighted. 

Part II - Supplementary Information 

                    MA students will use this form. 

                    PhD students will use this form. 

Part III - Written report on goals and progress 

The body of the report is limited to 10 pages (12-point font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins), excluding tables and references. 

Page 1 - The Big Picture. 

Current thinking about long-term professional goals and an indication of strategy within the program with respect to courses and other activities that have been selected to achieve those goals, as well as immediate and future plans to continue progress, modify plans, or change course. 

Pages 2 - 10 - Research Activities.

What is expected is a description of the thesis research to date with respect to the general topic area, background, hypotheses, data gathering strategies, data analyses, main findings to date, implications, etc.

For new students, much of this will be in the planning stage, but for more senior students, these components will be increasingly filled in with work accomplished and plans for future studies (i.e., this can take the form of editing and revising last year’s report).  This section should also include research experiences other than the thesis research.  The progress report should conclude with a relatively detailed description of the next steps in the research plan. 

The purpose of this report is to keep your committee members up to date on your thesis plans and research progress.   

You can take much of this information from your proposal if it has been written already, or use it for your proposal if your proposal has not yet been written. 

Students who have submitted a full draft of their thesis to their committee only need to submit a current CV.

          Part IV - GTAship evaluations 

Submit a copy of the summary report for each of your GTAships for the past year.

General Instructions for Supervisors & Committee Members

  1. Once the student has electronically submitted his/her year-end report to the committee, the supervisor and committee members will review the student’s progress.
  2. The supervisor will complete the Supervisory Committee Report and email it to the rest of the supervisory committee.
  3. The committee members will review the supervisor’s report and include any additional comments or areas of disagreement and then email the report back to the supervisor.
  4. The supervisor will incorporate the committee members’ feedback into the final report and email it to the student, with copies to the committee members and the graduate administrative assistant.



Thesis and Defence Information


Suggested Timelines
Thesis Proposal
Preparing for Thesis Defence
Final Thesis Submission


MA - Year 1

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)


- Establish thesis committee

-Present proposal to committee 

MA - Year 2

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)

- data collection, analysis, write-up

- full first draft due mid-April for spring/summer tuition reduction

- submit thesis to committee (allow 6 - 8 weeks from submission of committee copy to submission of defence copy)

- for students continuing to PhD, submit to committee 1st week of June; defence copy due Aug. 1 for Sept. defence (allow 6 to 8 weeks from submission of defence copy to defence)


PhD - Year 1

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)



- Establish thesis committee

PhD - Year 2

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)



- Present proposal to committee

PhD - Year 3

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)




PhD - Year 4

Term 1 (fall)

Term 2 (winter)

Term 3 (spring/summer)


- full first draft due mid-April for spring/summer tuition reduction

- submit thesis to committee (allow 6 - 8 weeks from submission of committee copy to submission of defence copy)

-allow 6 to 8 weeks from submission of defence copy to defence


Graduate students completing a thesis must submit and have approved by their supervisory committee a proposal of research in accordance with the graduate program's procedures. The Supervisory Committee (which is composed of two other members in addition to the Thesis Supervisor) should be established by the Thesis Supervisor and the student as early in the program as possible (e.g., by January of the student's first year). An email should be sent to the Graduate Administrative Assistant when the committee has been formed.

Students can collect data prior to the meeting and bring it to the meeting. Ordinarily this data collection will represent pilot data, with the understanding that the committee will generally expect additional data collection for the main study (studies) following the initial meeting.

Students can deliver a verbal presentation (in FARS or separate meeting) with slides.

Although there is a written submission required, its format has NO predetermined shape (but rather is to be determined by the student, advisor, and committee). The written work would typically involve (a) a written proposal and/or (b) printed handouts of the sort accompanying a talk/presentation.

Committee members can request additional written post-hoc clarification.

Committee members, student, or advisor can require additional meetings for further clarification and/or updates.

Thesis progress meetings for MA degrees are held by the end of MA1 year (no later than the November of the start of the MA2 year). Two thesis progress meetings are required for PhD degrees; the first is held by the end of PhD1 year (no later than the November of the start of the PhD2 year); the second is held by the end of PhD3 year (no later than the November of the start of the PhD4 year). At each meeting, the Thesis Proposal/Progress Form is to be completed and signed by all parties and submitted to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.


Tip: Try to get your committee together as soon as possible (ask your supervisor about how to go about doing this). Be prepared for discussion and changes to your proposal following the thesis proposal meeting.


When you have finished writing your thesis, submit it to your supervisory committee for approval. Allow at least two weeks for the committee to read it, two to four weeks to make changes based on the committee feedback, and then two more weeks for the committee to read it again (total of six - eight week process).

The Graduate Program Director is responsible for scheduling the thesis defence. When your thesis is ready to submit to your committee to approve for the defence, complete the Request to Schedule Thesis Defence form available here and email it to the GPD.  Before any scheduling for the defence or contacting potential externals can take place, the list of potential external examiners must be approved (MA - Dean of Social Sciences; PhD - Dean of Graduate Studies).  This can take anywhere up to a week for an MA defence and up to a month for PhD defences. Therefore it is a good idea to get a headstart on the approval process.

Your committee members will have to sign the Thesis Approval Form (MA), or the Supervisory Committee Approval of Thesis for Oral Defence form (PhD), available for download on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website here. Submit the form to the Graduate Administrative Assistant.

Once your committee has approved the thesis for defence, submit an electronic PDF copy of your thesis to the GPD and the Graduate Administrative Assistant. The Graduate Administrative Assistant will arrange for printing and distributing copies of the thesis to the members of the Examining Committee, the supervisory committee, and the student.

Talk to your supervisor about possible external examiners early in the thesis process. 

Aim to submit your first draft by the mid April deadline for First Draft status.  There will be a substantial reduction in your tuition for the spring/summer term.

Try to arrange a practice defence.



In most cases, some revisions to the thesis will be specified by the examining committee following the oral defence. The supervisor or committee will provide a list of required changes, corrections, or additions. Once all corrections have been made and your supervisor has approved the thesis as a final document, the thesis will be ready for submission. Please note that the Department and University now accept only e-thesis submissions.  Specific instructions can be found at:

Make sure that you have applied to graduate. This includes completing and submitting the application and payment of the fee. We will not be able to process your graduate record form until you have done this.

When the final copy of the thesis is submitted, you must also submit original copies of the following:

Two copies of the "Thesis Non-Exclusive License" form


One copy of the "Partial Copyright License" form

Both forms are available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website:

TIP: The final stages of thesis preparation will take much longer than you think.  Try not to be too compulsive. Have a look at other students’ recently completed theses for formatting examples (they are available online or can be borrowed in hard copy (PSYC office).



Graduate Student Mid-term Progress Report (Word document)

Supervisor Report for Graduate Student Mid-term Progress (Word Document)

MA Year End Progress Report - Supplementary Information Form

PhD Year End Progress Report - Supplementary Information Form

Year End Supervisory Committee Report Form

Thesis Proposal/Progress Form

MA Thesis Approval Form (ready for defence)

Advanced Study Form

Request for Directed Reading or Research Techniques Course Approval

Teaching Apprenticeship Proposal Form

Research Apprenticeship Proposal Form

Community Apprenticeship Proposal Form

Transfer from MA to PhD form

Turnitin Cover Page

Request to Schedule Thesis Defence Form