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I/O Psychology in Canada?


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I'm a Canadian psych major who just finished first year. I'm curious about how competitive it is to get accepted into a I/O psych master's program in Canada. I was looking at the 2015 I/O psych applicants thread, and I was a bit intimidated by the calibre of some of the applicants (though most of them are Americans, so it might be different there). Is it totally necessary to participate in conferences or publish in your undergrad to have a shot? I have no idea how to go about doing those things, but I really want to make myself a competitive applicant for when it comes time to apply to grad school. If anybody has any advice, I'd appreciate it!

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Hi kudos to you for thinking ahead! I've always told younger students interested in going into any kind of graduate//professional program to think ahead and begin as early as they can in their undergrad. 

Based on what you've said, and that you've only finished your first year of university, I think you need to first figure out whether I/O (or even Psychology) is the route you want to take. If, of course, you already have a strong reason to pursue this field then don't let anyone stop you. Either way, you want to start building up your portfolio when it comes time to apply to graduate schools and programs. The summer after your first-year may be the best time to do so! Research the profs at your school (or even nearby universities) that have research topics you see yourself immersing in. I/O is a very specific area, and not a lot of profs really focus on that. With that being said, you may want to look at some of the social psychology researchers (since I/O touches on a lot on social behavioural content), or see if the business/management professors at your school does behavioural research. Those two fields are probably my best bet on you starting out. Don't be afraid of not hearing back or being overwhelmed. Once you secure your first researching position, either paid or as a volunteer, this will make it easier for future opportunities. One reason this is important, besides the obvious experience that comes out of these roles, is that these professors will be your references during your application. That's super important.

P.S. Although I have a few manuscripts in preparation, and have a couple posters under my belt, I didn't publish during my undergrad. Through hard work, and a bit of luck I managed to get into an amazing program and will be starting my Master's in Clinical Psychology at York in September.  Do whatever you can to make yourself stand out, and just remember that perseverance can get you to a lot of places!

PM me if you have any further questions! Good luck!

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