Why do people do what they do? This is the fundamental question that the discipline of psychology attempts to answer. The specific topics that psychologists study can be as diverse as forgiveness, eyewitness testimony and human sexuality.
Given such diversity, it’s not surprising that psychology has become a popular field of study for many undergraduates. When you choose a major in psychology, you learn to formulate evidence-based arguments, critically evaluate research findings and identify important ethical issues—skills that are highly valued by employers in both the public and private sector.
What to expect
As a first-year student, you explore foundational principles of psychology through introductory courses, including the option of a hybrid course that takes place in class and online. This broad-based approach continues in the second year and helps you discover more specialized interests in either clinical work or research.
If your interests lie in a helping profession, courses in your third and fourth years focus on clinical psychology and assessment. The field placement in clinical psychology provides an opportunity for you to gain relevant practical experience in a mental health setting. If you choose a research path, you can work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor in an individual study course. Whichever path you choose—clinical or research—you benefit from in-depth engagement with your professors who serve as mentors and co-collaborators and connect you to hands-on experiences in the community.
As you move through the program, you gain experience and expertise in critically analyzing material, solving problems, specifying research questions and investigating data at increasingly complex levels. You become more confident engaging with others, presenting your ideas to your peers and evaluating your own work and your classmates’.
Courses and requirements
This major is open to students in the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Courses for your major are only one component of the degree requirements you need to graduate. You must complete the courses and requirements outlined in the academic calendar for the year you declare your major/minor or the year you are accepted into an honours program.
Psychology is considered both an arts discipline and a science discipline. Which is best for you?
Bachelor of Arts
Students with a strong interest in the influence of social, developmental and interpersonal factors on behaviour typically enrol in the Bachelor of Arts, major in psychology and take arts-based electives or minors in such disciplines as anthropology and sociology.
Bachelor of Science
Students with a strong interest in the influence of biological factors on behaviour, including learning, cognition and memory, typically enrol in the Bachelor of Science, major in psychology and take science-based electives or minors in such disciplines as biological sciences and statistics.
Declare your major/minor
Academic advisors for the program have prepared resources to help you understand how your major/minor fits within overall degree coursework. Consult the information provided by Program Services to choose and enrol in courses and complete the major/minor declaration process.