Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3C5
Tel: (519)-884-1970 (Switchboard)
Tel: (519)-884-0710 (Auto) Ext. 3665
General Enquiries Email: email@example.com
Greetings from the Chair
On behalf of our whole Department, welcome to the Laurier Psychology web pages. Psychology is one of the largest departments at Laurier and this web site reflects that size and the resulting complexity. Our site is directed at three large groups of individuals, our undergraduate students, graduate students, and other visitors that might be interested in our department or our faculty.
Psychology is a discipline that has had many definitions. At the start of the last century, William James, one of psychology’s founders, called it the “science of mental life.” Donald Hebb, perhaps Canada’s most famous psychologist, who was my instructor for introductory psychology, defined psychology in 1966 as “the study of the more complex forms of integration or organization in behavior.” The authors of our current PS101 and PS102 text, Psychology 4th Canadian Edition, define psychology as “The discipline concerned with behaviour and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and external environment.” Clearly the definitions are getting longer and many might argue less clear. However these definitions suggest psychology is at the junction of terms like science, behaviour, brain, and mind. The complexity and breadth of psychology can also be seen in the research interests of our faculty which range from the neuroscience end of the discipline, through developmental and social issues, to applied work focusing on using psychological knowledge in a community context.
For our undergraduates, those who are majoring in psychology, simply taking a few psychology courses, or are coming to Laurier we hope that your psychology courses will be both challenging and academically exciting providing you with some insight into what fascinates us about this subject. While our administrative home is in the Faculty of Science we offer both B. A. and B. Sc. degrees in psychology with two honours programs in each: Research Specialist and Comprehensive. Additionally there are a number of joint undergraduate, honours programs with other departments. The link on the left labeled “Undergraduate Programs and Information” will lead you to parts of our site that are particularly relevant to your needs. Currently we have about 9500 enrollments in our undergraduate courses per year and over 1000 majors in psychology. Our faculty, both full-time (35) and part-time (many), are excellent teachers, getting good to great teaching evaluations. Two current full-time and 4 part-time faculty have won Laurier’s award for teaching excellence over the last 10 years. While our first and second year classes have become larger than we like, we have tried to work with our undergraduate students at a more individual, personal level in our smaller third and fourth year classes. Even in the larger classes faculty enjoy talking and working with their students individually about specific aspects of psychology that have come up in classes, so do not hesitate to talk with them.
For those of you who are interested in our graduate program, we offer MA or MSc and PhD degrees in a number of areas, including behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, developmental and social psychology and community psychology. The link on the left labeled “Graduate Programs and Information” will expand to show you how our programs are structured and the research interests of our faculty members. There are just over 90 graduate students at various stages in our programs. Our graduate program follows an apprenticeship model that provides individualized research opportunities with faculty at all levels of the program.
For those of you interested in knowing more about the research of our faculty members the Research link on the left provides a brief introduction to the research interests of our faculty (General documents – Faculty Research Interests) and this in turn links to the individual faculty web sites. There is more information about research directions in our department under the various graduate program areas. Our faculty members are strong researchers, many with international reputations. Drs. Mark Eys and Anne Wilson both hold Canada Research Chairs. Most of our faculty members have current external funding through both the federal agencies like NSERC, SSHRC, CFI, and CIHR as well as through provincial and other agencies. The total value of grants received by the faculty over the past seven years is over $25 million. In addition there are two centres in the department which provide the focus for narrower group research interests, the Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action and the Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. Both these centres are relatively new and we are excited about the potential for collaborative research that they represent.
In closing welcome to our department and its website, if you have any questions please contact us (see the contact link on the bottom left) and we will be happy to get back to you. It is probably also not necessary to tell you that this web page (like all web pages) is under constant revision so if you notice a problem please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will try to correct it.
On behalf of the Psychology Department enjoy our web site and your experiences with psychology.