Mental Health Studies Programs

Researcher conducting an EEG brain study

Mental Health Studies focuses on pathologies of the mind. It seeks to understand the causes of mental disorders from the level of the brain to the impact on everyday life. Some mental health challenges are normal and can arise as a result of certain life experiences whereas others are more severe, pathological and debilitating. Mental Health Studies explores this continuum and applies the science of psychology to their assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Our programs of study are valuable to students planning to join the public or private sector workforce (e.g., human resources, marketing, social/community services), those interested in pursuing graduate studies focused on psychological research (e.g., Ph.D. in Clinical or Experimental Psychology), those seeking a professional degree program related to psychological science (e.g., Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology, Public Health, or Social Work), as well as those interested in other professional degrees (e.g., law, business).

In our Mental Health Studies programs, students will have the opportunity to take courses from the various sub-fields of Psychology, with a particular emphasis on the Clinical Psychology courses.  Sub-fields of Psychology include:

  • Social Psychology: how socio-cultural influences affect us
  • Developmental Psychology: how individuals change over time
  • Clinical Psychology: diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders
  • Cognitive Neuroscience: the biology of the mind
  • Behavioural Neuroscience: physiological and genetic influences on behaviour

​These courses are designed to complement our other core skills courses (e.g., research methods, statistical methods, laboratory methods) found outside of this category system.

Choosing Your Program

Our programs in Mental Health Studies provide an opportunity to study psychological well-being and disorders. Students interested in typical thoughts, feelings, and behaviours may want to consider the Psychology program instead. Students with a strong interest in the biological basis of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours may want to consider a program in Neuroscience.  

Prospective students should visit the Admissions & Student Recruitment website for information on applying to Psychology at UTSC.

Program Types

We offer the following program options in Mental Health Studies (MHS):


Program Type Details
MHS Specialist Our Specialist program is research-intensive.
MHS Specialist Co-op The Co-op option offers an experiential learning supplement to the Specialist program.
MHS Major Our Major program requires fewer courses, allowing students to pursue a second major area of interest in a different program. 

Note: Programs in Psychology and Mental Health Studies cannot be combined

For full program details, please visit the Psychology and Mental Health Studies section of the Calendar.

Combined Degree Program

Students who are registered in the UTSC Specialist or Specialist Co-op programs in Mental Health Studies can apply to a Combined Degree Program during Year 3 of their studies.  The program combines a strong foundation in Mental Health Studies from UTSC with a Master of Social Work from U of T’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.