Orientation guide

Welcome to the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo

This information is provided to help you settle in and get connected with important services, resources and people. We want to make our department and campus start to feel like home for you.

 Please remember to check your university e-mail daily!

Your first term to-do list



  • Attend the department's new graduate student orientation on Friday, September 2, 2022, in PAS 3026 (time TBA).
  • Get your University of Waterloo student card, generally referred to as the WatCard, at The Centre in Needles Hall. The WatCard is the University's comprehensive photo ID, and is needed for many of the services provided by the University.
  • Get to know the library.
  • Familiarize yourself with the University of Waterloo's Portal to stay informed about campus services, events, and news.
  • Attend the first day of classes on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.
  • Attend the computer orientation session with our Psychology IT Team, and the SONA research training session (dates, times, and venue TBA).
  • Finalize your Fall course enrolment.
  • Start preparing a research proposal for the current year’s scholarship applications.
  • Submit an ethics application for your first research project.

Academic Integrity Training

You must complete the Academic Integrity Module in order to graduate:

  • Academic Integrity Module (ACINTY 610): Hosted by the Office of Academic Integrity, the Graduate Academic Integrity Module (AIM) must be completed once in the course of a student's graduate career. A student going from a Masters to a PhD program does not have to take the Graduate AIM a second time.
  • GSPA automatically enrols fees-arranged students into the module. Students take the module through Waterloo LEARN. The Graduate AIM is not visible in LEARN until the first day of classes each term.
  • Student must complete the AIM, including the quiz, within the first 8 weeks of classes.

Adding/Dropping courses

Each term, students are given an enrolment period in which they can add or drop courses themselves in Quest.

If there is an enrolment restriction on the course, please e-mail the instructor for permission to enrol in the course. Once granted, forward this e-mail with a request for a permission number to the Psychology Graduate Administrative Co-ordinator (cmspencer@uwaterloo.ca). She will e-mail you a permission number to use while enrolling in the course in Quest.

Students can enrol in courses until the end of the third week of classes. Students who drop a course prior to the completion of the third week of classes will have no record of that course on their transcript.

Students can continue to drop courses in Quest between the fourth and tenth week of classes, but a grade of Withdrawn, no credit granted (WD) will be applied and the class will remain on the transcript. Note that WD is not an academic penalty.

After the tenth week of classes, students may not drop or add a course except by petition using the Graduate Studies course drop/add form, and only under exceptional circumstances with the signature of the instructor, supervisor, Department Graduate Officer, and the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) of their home Faculty.

Psychology course grading basis

Unless a course has a pre-set grading basis (credit/no credit), Psychology courses have a grading basis of "optional." When enrolling in a course, you must change the grading basis to numerical or credit/no credit dependent on your degree requirements. If you leave the grading basis as optional, your instructor will not be able to assign a grade for your course.

TA and Scholarship Payments for Fall 2024

The following is to clarify how your tuition fees, TA and scholarship payments are processed at UWaterloo. You will hold only one TA position in a given term unless you have your supervisor's consent to hold two.

Externally funded graduate students (Tri-Agency, OGS, President's Graduate Scholarship - PGS, etc). Your scholarship will be applied over three terms. For example, if you hold an OGS for $15,000, you will get $5,000/term. PGS payments totalling $5,000 are processed at $1667/term. The scholarship is placed in your Quest account before the start of the term. It is then applied to your tuition. The remaining balance will be disbursed to you via your Quest account, which is why your banking information must be up to date in Quest. You will hold one TA for the academic year as part of the PGS award which is made up of a $5,000 scholarship plus one full-time $6,984 TA (including vacation pay), totalling $11,617. The TA is paid through Workday.

Internally funded graduate students (UWaterloo funding indicated in your offer letter). Your funding package provides two terms with a TA at $6,984 per term (including vacation pay), plus one scholarship term. For MA students beginning in Fall 2022, the scholarship term funding is $4,032.

PhD students with a total funding package of $27,130, will receive scholarship money of $2,059/term during their two TA funded terms. Their non-TA/scholarship term will be $9,044. Scholarship funds are disbursed through Quest. The TA pay is disbursed through Workday.

Graduate Research Studentship (GRS)/Scholarships. Scholarship money or funding from your supervisor (GRS) appears in your Quest account. The money will be applied to your tuition. Any remaining balance after your tuition is paid will be disbursed through Quest.

TA funds are processed through Workday because you are an employee. If you are a new UW student, Human Resources will contact you once the department Program Manager has submitted the TA payroll after the start of term. Online sign-up information will be sent to you in mid-September. Human Resources/Payroll will need information concerning banking/income tax processes.

When you hold a TA, you are paid the last Friday of each month. If you paid your tuition and your balance is clear, you will be paid ¼ of the TA salary monthly for the fall term. If you became fees arranged with a promissory note, a prorated amount will be withheld each month to cover your term tuition fees. The balance of your pay will be disbursed to you through payroll.

It is important that your Quest account always has current banking information and a current address on file.

University resources


Good2Talk Post-secondary Student Helpline: 1-866-925-5454

Here 24/7 Crisis Services: 1-844-437-3247

Weekly "Brown Bag" Seminar

Each Psychology research area has a weekly seminar in which graduate students must enrol, for both the Fall and Winter terms, of each year of their programs.

  • Psych 621 - Clinical
  • Psych 747 - Cognitive
  • Psych 707 - CNS
  • Psych 710 - Developmental
  • Psych 885 - I-O
  • Psych 714 - Social

Each seminar has multiple sections to accommodate each year in the student's program. Therefore, please enrol in the following sections for both the Fall and Winter terms dependent on your program year*:

  • Year 1 - section 1
  • Year 2 - section 2
  • Year 3 - section 3
  • Year 4 - section 4
  • Year 5 - section 5

*The section numbering starts over if you complete a Masters program and proceed to a PhD. Therefore, in Year 1 of your PhD program, for both the Fall and Winter terms, enrol in section 1, etc. The renumbering does not apply to Clinical Psychology graduate students, however, who will take section 3 in Year 1 of their PhD program, etc.

Important department webpages

Degree requirements


Funding & awards

Policies and procedures: student annual progress report, graduate research and supervision guide, MA/MASc to Doctoral program application procedures, completing fillable forms, remunerating research participants, links to important university offices

Teaching Assistantships