Word from the Director

Catherine Plowright

If you are reading this, you probably have a good idea of what Psychology is about. It is about understanding ourselves and our relationships with others. It is about understanding how a baby became a child, the child became an adolescent, and the adolescent became you! It is about understanding how you formed your own identity and became part of a community. How does the brain encode and retrieve information? Is there a connection between language and music? Why are people prone to depression? What are the causes and consequences of personality disorders? What is the future of artificial intelligence? When do youngsters begin to have a sense of morality? How can we improve our own routines and lifestyles? How can community programs assist marginalized groups? If you are interested in these sorts of questions, we can help you find the answers: Ours is the science of behavior.

Though our research areas cross boundaries within and across our discipline, we cover it all: Social and Community Psychology, Learning and Cognition, Development over the life-span, Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. Some students wish to advance their research and professional careers. Others are aiming for employment in areas such as education, health, or social service, where an understanding of Psychology is a key asset. Some wish perhaps simply to foster their interests and nurture their love of learning. These are all excellent reasons for being here.

What is special about the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences? Please consider the following:

  1. We have a long history of over 75 years of excellence.
  2. Bilingualism is valued and promoted: all compulsory and most optional courses are offered in both English and in French.
  3. We have strength in numbers. You would be part of a cross-cultural academic community of over 2,300 Undergraduates, 200 Graduate students, 50 full-time professors in Psychology and a vast network of outreach and support.
  4. A broad selection of programs tailored to a variety of needs and interests await you. At the Undergraduate level, we offer Honours B.A. and Honours B.Sc. programs as well as a Major and Minor in Psychology. At the graduate level, we offer a fast-track combined M.A.─ Ph.D. degree in an Experimental Psychology program as well as a Clinical Psychology program accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association.
  5. The University of Ottawa has invested millions in our state-of-the-art research laboratories.
  6. Our research extends to fruitful collaborations in hospitals, community organizations and government.
  7. Last but not least, you will find here a dynamic team of experts in their fields who are passionate about teaching and research and are eager to share a world of innovation and discovery with you.

My colleagues join me in extending to you a very warm welcome.  It is our hope that you will find your intellectual home and place here.

Catherine Plowright

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