Developmental and Communication Science

The Master of Applied Science (MASc) program in Developmental and Communication Science consists of 7.5 units of credit including the following combination of coursework, internships, and research project(s):

Coursework

All courses for a numerical grade unless they are only offered Credit/Non-Credit (CR/NCR). Of the courses, required courses are:

  1. Developmental Seminar in Fall and Winter term (PSYCH 710 - CR/NCR) (2 x 0.5 units = 1.0 unit)
  2. Two graduate level courses offered by the Developmental area. (2 x 0.5 units = 1.0 unit)
  3. One statistics course offered by Psychology such as PSYCH 632 (0.5 unit)
  4. Two elective courses (see further details below) (2 x 0.5 units = 1.0 units)

Internships

Students complete two types of internships (Research Lab Internship and Community Practicum) during the year of the program. There are two options for how to accomplish this and the decision should be based on a students’ discussion at the beginning of the program with their advisor and confirmation of the decision with the department’s Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies. The difference between the two options is whether students complete 1-term or 3-terms of a Community Location Practicum. If 1-term is chosen, the remaining time is substituted with increased Research Lab Internship time and a larger, written Master's Research Paper.

Option 1:

This first option is likely to be of most interest to students seeking applied careers in areas such as speech-language pathology, early childhood education and teaching.

A) Research Lab Internship (1.5 units - CR/NCR) with Research Project (1.0 unit)

Three-term research internship (Fall/Winter/Spring term program milestone requirement) in one of the research labs of one of the faculty members in the developmental division or a faculty member affiliated with the program (see list of affiliated faculty members at end of this document). This research internship consists of approximately 10 hrs/week (completion of these hours is worth 1.5 units of credit - CR/NCR) from the beginning of fall term until the last day of lectures in Spring term. The research project(s) to be completed by the student in this internship will be determined by the student and his/her advisor at the time of entry to the program. Depending on the faculty member in whose lab a student is working, the nature of research project(s) will differ. In some cases, a student may be working on a single study with a more traditional final write-up of the study. In other cases, the student may be working on several projects related to one or more studies where, for each, the outcome may not be a final written paper but rather a series of products (e.g., set of transcriptions, a coding scheme, a data set, a computer program). Prior to accepting entry into the program if granted, a student should confirm the nature of the research lab internship with the faculty member he or she is working with to avoid misunderstandings and clarify what the written and/or other requirements will be (completion of the research project(s) is worth a further 1.0 unit of credit).

B) Community Location Practicum (1.5 course credits - CR/NCR)

This 3-term community practicum consists of one morning or afternoon (approximately 3.5 - 4 hours per week) and runs roughly from September to the end of June (0.5 course credits per Fall, Winter & Spring term). In late summer, following acceptance to the Masters of Applied Science in Developmental and Communication Science (DCS) program, students will receive more information by email about possible locations and placements for the Community Location Internship(s) for the upcoming year and will be asked to indicate which are of interest. In the past, community locations have included the Early Childhood Education Centre (ECEC) at University of WaterlooWestmount Public School and McLennan Speech and Language Services.

While a placement at the ECEC location is guaranteed, placements at the other community locations are not. These are competitive internships and in early September students will be interviewed at their desired location and decisions regarding placements will be made. Priority will be given to students selecting the 3-term option. More information about the requirements accompanying these internships will be communicated to new incoming students at the beginning of fall term. It is possible for students accepted into the program to propose a desired internship location to the director of the MASc program, Dr. Daniela O’Neill. However, given time and other constraints, it may not be possible to accommodate a student’s request. This decision is at the discretion of Dr. O’Neill. A proposed internship location cannot be a location where a student has already volunteered or worked in the past. It is also possible, under certain circumstances to complete this internship in two locations, where a switch would take place in January. This must be discussed with Dr. O’Neill and is at her discretion.

All community placements require submission of a police check and Tuberculosis (TB) test. Read the provided information to ensure you do this far enough in advance In the summer so as not to delay the beginning of your internship.

Option 2:

This second option is likely to be of most interest to students deciding on whether to pursue further doctoral (PhD) studies in an area related to Child Development.

A) Research Lab Internship (1.5 units - CR/NCR) with additional Research Apprenticeship (1.0 course credits) and Research Project (1.0 unit)

This expanded research lab experience option includes:

  1. Three-term research internship (Fall/Winter/Spring term program milestone requirement) in one of the research labs of one of the faculty members in the developmental division or a faculty member affiliated with the program (see list of affiliated faculty members at end of this document). This research internship consists of approximately 10 hrs/week (completion of these hours is worth 1.5 units of credit - CR/NCR) from the beginning of fall term until the last day of lectures in Spring term. The research project(s) to be completed by the student in this internship will be determined by the student and his/her advisor at the time of entry to the program. Depending on the faculty member in whose lab a student is working, the nature of research project(s) will differ.
  2. 1.0 course credits in a Research Apprenticeship obtained via a further 84 hours of work in the research lab in (i) to equate to the time otherwise completed within a community practicum (i.e., 3.5 hours x 24 weeks over 2 terms).  
  3. Due to the expanded nature of this internship, a more formal written Master's Research Paper is required with two readers.  Prior to accepting entry into the program if granted, a student should confirm the nature of the research lab internship with the faculty member he or she is working with to avoid misunderstandings and clarify what the written and/or other requirements will be (completion of the research project(s) is worth 1.0 unit of credit).

B) Community Location Practicum (0.5 course credits- CR/NCR)

This 1-term community practicum consists of one morning or afternoon (approximately 3.5 - 4 hours per week) and runs roughly 12 weeks starting in September or January (0.5 course credits per Fall or Winter term). Completion in Spring term is not permissible. In late summer, following acceptance to the Masters of Applied Science in Developmental and Communication Science (DCS) program, students will receive more information by email about possible locations and placements for the Community Location Internship(s) for the upcoming year and will be asked to indicate which are of interest. In the past, community locations have included the Early Childhood Education Centre (ECEC) at University of WaterlooWestmount Public School and McLennan Speech and Language Services. However, students should be aware that with this choice, a placement at the ECEC is most likely given that priority will be given to students desiring a 3-term placement at most other locations.

While a placement at the ECEC location is guaranteed, placements at the other community locations are not, particularly for students choosing this shorter one-term internship. These are competitive internships and in early September students will be interviewed at their desired location and decisions regarding placements will be made. More information about the requirements accompanying these internships will be communicated to new incoming students at the beginning of fall term. It is possible for students accepted into the program to propose a desired internship location to the director of the MASc program, Dr. Daniela O’Neill. However, given time and other constraints, it may not be possible to accommodate a student’s request. This decision is at the discretion of Dr. O’Neill. A proposed internship location cannot be a location where a student has already volunteered or worked in the past.

All community placements require submission of a police check and Tuberculosis (TB) test. Read the provided information to ensure you do this far enough in advance In the summer so as not to delay the beginning of your internship.

Seminars and colloquia

Students are expected to participate fully in other academic seminars and colloquia as department members (no credit).

Two elective courses

Students are encouraged to take ownership of their program of study depending on their own interests and future goals. Information about the availability of courses may be obtained by contacting the department's Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies.

Students have the option of taking courses in other areas of Psychology and other departments on campus as their elective courses. For example, students might want to consider courses related to linguistics or second language acquisition provided by the Germanic and Slavic Studies department; Sociology courses related to survey administration; and courses related to cognitive and computer science provided by the departments of Computer Science and Philosophy. Students should note that the majority of courses in Clinical Psychology are only open to students in the Clinical PhD program. Check the Psychology course descriptions in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar for further information. If interested in a course outside of the Psychology Department, please submit a request in writing to the Psychology Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in the course. We do encourage students to consider cross-disciplinary courses if appropriate, and so such requests are generally approved.

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Last updated: Oct 3, 2016