Graduate Chair's Welcome


The Department of Psychology offers two graduate programs, the Psychology Graduate Program and the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program, leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The Psychology Graduate Program offers specialization in six different research areas and the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program offers training in four different tracks. Most of our students complete both a Masters and PhD; however, some students with psychology or related Masters degrees from other institutions apply directly to our PhD program. All graduate programs in Psychology are full time. Most students complete a Masters within three years and a PhD within six years. After graduating, our students embark on a variety of successful careers in practice, industry, and academia.

In my role as the Psychology Graduate Program Chair (GPC), I am responsible for overseeing our two graduate programs. In addition, in my capacity as GPC, I chair the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), whose membership includes faculty representatives from each of the research areas and student representatives from each program. The GSC is responsible for overseeing: graduate student admission; review and nomination of major, minor, private scholarships and other sources of merit-based graduate funding; curriculum changes to either of the graduate programs; as well as student support and disciplinary issues. It is also a part of my role to facilitate growth and development of the Psychology graduate programs and to respond to the changing needs of graduate students in our programs.

It is important to note that as GPC in the department, I work very closely with the Psychology Graduate Program Assistant (GPA; Kathy Nguyen). The GPA supports the GPC and all aspects of the running of the graduate programs in Psychology. It is an incredibly busy job and essential to the smooth functioning of our two graduate programs. The GPA is often the first point of contact for prospective applicants, graduate students, and faculty for questions regarding admission requirements, and program policies and procedures. You can contact Kathy Nguyen at psycgrad@sfu.ca.

All the best for the 2020-2021 academic year!

Dr. Kathleen (Kate) Slaney
Psychology Graduate Program Chair

GPC Responsibilities:

As GPC, I fill the role of one of two Associate Chairs of the Dept. and, in this capacity, I liaise and consult with the Department Chair (Dr. Deborah Connolly) and the Chair of the Undergraduate Psychology Program (Dr. Rebecca Cobb). I also sit on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Graduate Studies Committee, which deals with all FASS-level graduate program issues. In addition, I liaise and consult with the Dean and Associate Deans of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) and the GPS staff.

Another important part of my role is to consult directly with graduate students about any challenges or difficulties they are experiencing in the program. I am available to meet with students on an individual basis or as a group. As a note, however, I will act as a support person and source of information for students but I am not, strictly speaking, an advocate solely for students. Rather, my role is more to help students access the resources they need, explain policies and procedures, and help facilitate resolutions to problems that students are encountering. Very importantly, anything students share with me is treated confidentially. The range of issues that students might wish to meet with me to discuss varies but includes: troubles adjusting to grad student life; workload challenges; difficulties with the courses they are taking or TAing; and communication difficulties with academic or course supervisors.

The best way for current graduate students to contact me is to email me (klslaney@sfu.ca) to set up an appointment.