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How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?

Are there many research opportunities?

Yes! PNB is great for research. We have a course called QQ which you can join a lab and get course credit for it. Many people do this year-long or throughout their 3 years in PNB. I was a research assistant second 


For a Mac PNB Student...


Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

I first started Life Sciences at Mac in my first year. Going into my first year, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I thought it would be biology or chemistry-related. However, it turned out that I was not very passionate about biology or chemistry like I thought I was. I also took psychology courses during first year and I realized it was psychology that I wanted to pursue. I then made the bold decision to drop chemistry in the second semester, in hopes that my grades would be high enough to get accepted into PNB. PNB is a limited program that only accepts a 

I don’t think I was fully prepared to go into PNB. I quickly realized that my study habits from the first year were not working in PNB. There were a lot more readings and homework than I had anticipated. But I quickly adapted and learned how to organize my time so I was also enjoying my life as well as studying as hard as I could. PNB is great because they have so many extracurricular activities throughout the year, such as wine and cheese night, where you can talk to professors outside of class. I had also learned this year that I needed to take time for myself, so I made time for clubs, the gym or to hang out with friends. I would like to say that most students in PNB are involved with extra circulars so we all have to organize our work-life balance.  But we manage to have interests outside of school so a work-life balance is definitely doable.

Is there lots of collaborative work or group presentations? 


There are some collaborative work and group presentations, although the majority of it is individual work. There is a course about presenting where you work with a group. Despite many of the courses having individual work, I felt like I never worked alone. I was always collaborating with friends or other students. Working with others helped me to be successful in PNB by helping me to learn the content. 



If you could go back in time, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your former self upon preparing to apply to PNB?

McMaster allows you to go into a different program in second year. I was definitely very nervous getting into PNB. I was very passionate about psychology. neuroscience and behaviour and had felt that this was the program for me. I had ruled out going to other science programs to get into PNB. I wish I had the ability to tell my past self that it will work out. That not only I will get into PNB, but into the mental health specialization. I also wish I would have told my past self to explore other courses that aren’t in science. I wish I would have taken more social sciences courses that could help me prepare for PNB. Overall, I am glad how everything turned out. I was grateful to be able to figure out my passions and go into a program more appropriate for me.

semester of my second year and it was an amazing opportunity. I also have obtained another lab research position this year, in second semester. Furthermore, PNB offers a thesis that you can take in your fourth year. PNB allows students to get research experience if they want it. I am very proud to be a program that offers such opportunities to students at the undergraduate level.

certain number of students. I had also applied to the PNB mental health specialization, which had an even higher acceptance rate and accepts about 20 students; and to my surprise, I had gotten into the PNB Mental Health Specialization. I love the content and my program. I have finally found my passion. PNB is not only a small program with a super close cohort, but it offers so many opportunities. During my second year, I joined the PNB Mental Health Committee, got a research assistant position and met some of my best friends.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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Hi, I’m Abby Fisher and I’m entering my third year at McMaster University studying Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour: Mental Health Specialization. I love to dance, read and watch Netflix. As for school, I am currently interested in educational psychology and how humans learn. 

My goal is to help others in any way that I can. I am currently a mentor and running an organization to help empower young females. If you are reading this and want to reach out to me please feel free to.

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