Psychology (Bachelor of Arts degree)

Get inside other people’s heads

Explore the frontiers of the mind. Examine human behaviour from a variety of perspectives, including neuroscience, cognition, clinical, developmental, industrial/organizational, and social psychology.

Then deepen your understanding with complementary courses in other subject areas, such as legal studies, sociology, biology, and health studies.

Want to customize your program even further? Work with one of our award-winning professors to design a directed studies course around your specific interest. Or get some work experience by enrolling in the co-op stream.

Graduate ready to make an impact. Waterloo Psychology is ranked in the top 100 in the world (Shanghai World University Rankings 2020), and its alumni are treating mental illnesses, improving approaches to education, and creating more satisfying workplaces everyday. 

Learn from top researchers

Waterloo’s internationally renowned Psychology program consistently rates among the best in Canada, ranking fourth in 2019 Maclean's survey of Canadian universities.

Serious research experience

At Waterloo, you’ll get to conduct hands-on research in our state-of-the-art labs. Take advantage of EEG machines, eye-tracking equipment, virtual reality rigs, and more.


Skye, a student in the Psychology degree program (Bachelor of Arts) smiles into the camera while standing in a hallway.

Skye, an Honours Arts and Business student majoring in Psychology, explains that while many students look at co-op as a way to finance their education or add to their resume, it is also an amazing opportunity to find what you love. “It’s a great way to dip your feet into the job market.”

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor


Admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of at least 70%)

Mathematics of Data Management is recommended.

Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Psychology as your major at the end of first year. 

After applying you may choose to co-register through Renison University College or St. Jerome's University, both located on Waterloo's campus. You'll earn a Waterloo degree but have a smaller community as your home base.

Get tips from Waterloo students

Sign up for insider advice that can help you now and in the future. Topics include

  • tips for a successful senior year of high school,
  • how to choose a university program,
  • differences between high school and university, and more.

First-year courses

September to December

  • PSYCH 101 – Introductory Psychology
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three elective courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

January to April


After first year

40% of the classes you’ll take will be Psychology courses.

With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

Sample upper-year courses 

PSYCH 230 – Psychology of Law
PSYCH 317 – Child Psychopathology
PSYCH 307 – Human Neuropsychology
PSYCH 459 – Close Relationships seminar


briefcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

Graduation capEarn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Research assistant
  • Marketing and communications assistant
  • Policy and research assistant
  • Resource management coordinator
  • Human resource assistant
  • Junior user experience designer
  • Teaching assistant
  • Sustainability intern

Sample co-op employers

  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Gambling Research Exchange Ontario
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Teledyne DALSA
  • Nulogy Corporation
  • Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation
  • Kia Canada
  • Department of National Defense

Customize your psychology major

The Research Intensive specialization provides in-depth training in experimental design. You'll learn to address problems of human motivation, memory, social relations, communication, and many other human capacities by translating them into solvable problems. 

You can also include one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices for Psychology majors include Human Resource Management; Cognitive Science; Legal Studies; Economics; and Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies.


What can you do with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree?

Graduates find a wide variety of career opportunities in areas such as counselling, various branches of therapy, mental health services, human relations, public education, speech pathology, research, education, and more.

Recent graduates

  • Teacher, Autism Spectrum Disorders Team - Kerry's Place Autism Services
  • Protection Support Worker - Children's Aid Society
  • Psychologist – Community Health Centre
  • Human Performance Manager – Bruce Power 
  • Customer Implementation Specialist – MappedIn 
  • Human Resource Generalist – ATS Automation Tooling Systems
  • Therapist – Surrey Place Centre

Learn about the future of careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

Ready to learn more?