Get inside the human mind (and earn a science degree at the same time)
If you have a passion for psychology and a strong scientific orientation, we have the program for you. As it happens, it's one of the top 100 psychology programs worldwide, according to the 2020 Shanghai World University Rankings. And it offers co-op, which is paid work experience, on top of that.
You’ll take a blend of psychology, science, and math courses with an emphasis on research methods and data analysis. In your third and fourth years, you’ll have the chance to work in small groups, get hands-on laboratory training, and work one-on-one with professors.
Your Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Honours Psychology is the perfect launchpad for a career in behavioural neuroscience, forensic psychology, or cognitive psychology — or for a medical career specializing in neurology, psychology, or pediatrics.
in Canada for psychology research productivity and impact
Research areas within the Department of Psychology
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Two of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, Physics (Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics are recommended)
Admission averages: Low 80s
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements for Life Sciences (which is the entry program for Psychology majors).
How to apply
Apply to Life Sciences and select Psychology as your major at the end of first year. To continue on to second year as a Psychology major, your average in all first-year courses must be at least 60%, your average in first-year Science courses must be at least 60%, and your average in your first-year Psychology courses must be at least at 75%
What will you learn?
Programs/majors in the Faculty of Science start right in first year. To select your program with confidence, here’s some handy info to get you started.
Skills you'll develop with this major
- Problem solving
- Data analysis
This isn't an exhaustive list – rather a glimpse into the skills a Psychology major can provide.
Your experience will be unique, and the skills you develop will depend on your goals; which courses you take; and your involvement with any clubs, jobs, or research projects.
Types of courses you'll take
This is a general guideline. The ratio of courses may change slightly from year to year.
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Monthly topics include how to choose a university program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, and more.
Questions? Ask a student!
Contact a Science student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year Psychology courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
After first year
View a list of all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Customize your Psychology degree
You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Psychology students include Biology, Cognitive Science, and Human Resource Management.
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
- Child & youth program assistant
- Marketing assistant
- Personal care worker
- Health promotion assistant
- Undergraduate research assistant
- Science peer tutor
Sample co-op employers
- Toronto District School Board
- Centre for Addiction & Mental Health
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
- University Health Network
- Ontario Health Quality Council
What can you do with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology?
Graduates typically find a wide variety of career opportunities in counselling, therapy, mental health services, neuroscience, teaching, human relations, psychiatry, speech pathology, research, and education. Many graduates choose to continue their education with a specialized Master's degree.
- Youth Worker and Volunteer Resources Coordinator - Vietnamese Women's Association of Toronto
- Coordinator - Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
- Patient Satisfaction Coordinator – Ontario Hospital Association
- Lab Coordinator - Infant Cognition and Communication Lab, New York University
- Human Resource Coordinator - Thomas Cook Group (Canada)
- Change Management Consultant - Andersen Consulting
- Assistant Crown Attorney - Ministry of the Attorney General
How does Psychology in Science differ from Psychology through the Faculty of Arts?
The first and most obvious difference is the degree you will obtain! If choose Psychology through the Faculty of Science, you'll graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) versus a Bachelor of Arts (BA). One degree isn't necessarily better than the other. It really comes down to whether you enjoy science. Your Psychology courses will largely be the same; however your other courses will be different.
You'll take chemistry and biology courses, labs, and other science electives alongside your Psychology courses. If you enjoy science, you'll enjoy psychology in the Faculty of Science. In the Bachelor of Arts program, most of your electives will be in majors offered by the Faculty of Arts.
Both options offer the opportunity to include paid co-op work terms as part of your degree.
Apply to Life Sciences, select Psychology as your major
Offered through the Faculty of Science
Earn a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Honours Psychology
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the Psychology (Faculty of Science) website
- Related programs
Learn from top researchers
Waterloo’s Department of Psychology is one of the strongest in North America, with an international reputation for excellence in clinical and research programs.
Build an impressive résumé
Enrol in one of our apprenticeship courses, or choose the co-op system of study. Meanwhile, if you opt for an honours thesis in fourth year, you’ll pursue your own scientific research project.