Psychology at the University of Ottawa has been a reflection of the broad spectrum of modern scientific psychology research and applications.


Since 1941, psychology at the University of Ottawa has been a reflection of the broad spectrum of modern scientific psychology research and applications. The school is committed to expand the understanding of human behaviour and its development and contribute to optimize mental health and well-being through rigorous and state of the art research. This forms the basis for its academic and professional training programs which strive to provide a rich experience to its students preparing them to excel in their careers and their contribution to society.

Tabaret Hall circa 1966

The school has been a champion of the University of Ottawa's mission towards Franco-Ontarians, language duality and bilingualism. From the outset, all its programs at both the undergraduate and the graduate level are offered in French and in English.

The specific mission of the undergraduate program in psychology is to provide students with an understanding of the mental structures and processes that underlie individual human experience and behaviour, the scientific methodologies by which such a knowledge base is acquired, and the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate scientific and popular claims concerning behaviour. For a subgroup of our undergraduate majors (particularly those intending to continue into graduate study), we also seek to provide in-depth research apprenticeships in our faculty's laboratories.

The specific mission of our graduate programs in experimental and clinical psychology is to educate and train students for careers in basic and applied scientific psychological research that are currently defined as five main and active research fields, Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Lifespan Psychology, Social & Community Psychology, with the outcome being graduates who will produce and apply scientific knowledge in their research and/or teaching in a variety of contexts.  For those who pursue careers in clinical psychology, training is offered in a scientist-practitioner model of psychological service, with a special emphasis on evidence-based interventions. An integral part of the clinical program is the Centre for Psychological Services, whose mission is to deliver psychological services to the general population of the region, to provide training to doctoral students in clinical psychology, and to facilitate research.


Word from the director

As a New Brunswicker, I come from a culture that is rich in storytelling, one that places great value on people’s tales and narratives. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that I was drawn to the field of psychology. After all, we are a discipline devoted to the study of how people (and other animals) think, act, and feel. We are fascinated by the why and how of the behaviours of ourselves and others: the protagonists of the stories that surround us. We care about the story of a father bonding with his newborn baby. The story of a boy getting help to overcome his school anxiety. The story of a young adult who is facing barriers to mental health access that stem from systemic racism. The story of an undergraduate student confronting academic challenges while retaining her optimism for her career goals. The story of two young women on a journey of building a loving relationship. The story of a cancer survivor who is afraid of her disease recurring. The story of a homeless man reaching out for help from his community and the people who are reaching back. The story of a senior who is starting to notice that she is forgetting things more and more.

Christopher Fennell
Christopher Fennell, Director of the School of Psychology

The researchers and clinicians here at the School of Psychology deeply care about the stories of all those people. For over 75 years, we have devoted our research enterprise to exploring the issues above, amongst many, many more. We are excited and proud to share those research stories with our undergraduate and graduate students in both official languages via our teaching in the classroom and training in our labs and clinics. Indeed, bilingualism is a core value of our school: students have the option of taking all compulsory and most optional courses in either English or French. Another core value of our school is our commitment to research. Undergraduate and graduate students will obtain career-relevant skills in our state-of-the-art research laboratories. Students can build their career network via our own deep research connections with major hospitals, community organizations, and government. Our comprehensive range of programs and courses allows students to tailor their education to their own needs and goals. 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. Students are part of a large and vibrant community of over 2,300 Undergraduates, 200 Graduate students, and 50 full-time professors in Psychology. We are also a community that highly values the mental health professionals amongst our ranks and holds firm to our commitment to promote mental health here at the University of Ottawa and beyond – for all members of our society.

On behalf of our vibrant community of professors, staff, researchers, and students, I invite to you come and share and build your story with us.

Christopher Fennell



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Contact us

School of Psychology

Faculty of Social Sciences
136 Jean-Jacques Lussier
Vanier Hall
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5801

Academic Secretariat of the School
Room 3002
Tel.: 613-562-5801
[email protected]

Administrative Secretariat of the School
Room 3002
Tel.: 613-562-5232
[email protected]

Office Hours

Monday to Friday 
8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(June to August: closed at 3:30 p.m.)


Please note our services and our personnel are available by MS Teams and by email.

The Social Sciences (FSS) and Vanier (VNR) buildings are open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.