Information for

Four-Year General Psychology (BA)

Features of Four-Year General Psychology

Psych 291 (Research Methods) and Psych 292 (Basic Data Analysis), 2 mandatory courses for the Psych program, will introduce you to the scientific methods for understanding mind and behaviour. 

The remaining Psychology courses provide a general overview of the body of knowledge that currently exists in the diverse and exciting field of Psychology.

Four-Year General Psychology will be of particular interest to those who require a Four-Year degree in order to pursue further studies that do not require an honours degree for admission e.g., admission to some Faculties of Education.


See the undergraduate calendar for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs in Psychology. The official statement of degree requirements is in the Undergraduate calendar. The information on this website is supplementary.

If you were admitted to the Faculty of Arts prior to Fall 2016, you are assumed to be following the Academic Calendar of the year you were admitted unless you have requested to switch. For plans prior to Fall 2016, see the requirements for the "Old" Four-Year General Psychology degree.

Degree requirement checklist for 4 year General Psychology.

Notes about Psychology Course Enrolment

Completion of core courses such as PSYCH 291 and 292 are required to be completed in the year of admission to the Psych major.

Discipline core courses:

  • It is recommended to complete at least 5 of the discipline core requirements (PSYCH 207, 211, 238, 253, 257, 261) by the end of year 2.

PSYCH 291:

  • PSYCH 291 must be taken in the same calendar year as admission to the Psychology Major.
  • PSYCH 291 is only offered in the Fall term.

PSYCH 292:

PSYCH courses at the 300 level or above

  • PSYCH 3XX transfer credits count towards this category

PSYCH 470 or Senior Research Seminar (1 of PSYCH 420, 451-463, or 485):

  • Typically all Four-Year General students should be taking PSYCH 470. This requirement should only be fulfilled by a Research Seminar if the student was enrolled in Honours Psych when they took the seminar.

BA Breadth requirements:

BA Breadth requirements

Notes regarding the 'Social Science' requirement of the BA Breadth requirements:

  • Any 2 of the psychology courses (1.0 units) taken for the psychology Major will also satisfy 1.0 of the 2.0 units required in the 'Social Science' category. You must complete at least 1.0 units in the Social Science category from a discipline(s) other than psychology.
  • As a result of that overlap in requirements, you will only require 4.0 units in addition to your Psych major requirements to satisfy the BA Breadth Requirements instead of the normal 5.0 units.
  • Counting courses taken to fulfil a major or minor plan (including the Psych major) towards Faculty of Arts Breadth Requirements does not qualify as double counting and is not subject to double counting rules.

Other requirements

  • 65% cumulative Psychology average.
    • All PSYCH courses taken at UWaterloo count towards the Psychology average, even if they are "extra" PSYCH courses or cross-listed courses.
  • 60% cumulative average overall
  • 8.0 units above the 100 level
  • No more than 4 courses with 0.25 unit weights (see Undergraduate calendar for details).
  • Must satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement (see Undergraduate calendar for details).
  • Residency requirements and transfer credits: You must not exceed the amount of allowable transfer credits (including internal and external transfer credits) and you must satisfy the residency requirements for both the Faculty of Arts and the Psychology Department (see Psychology Department policies for details).

Double counting restrictions:

  • If psychology courses are needed for another program (e.g., Social Development Studies Minor), see the double counting restrictions in the undergraduate calendar and consult with each of your academic advisors.
  • Triple counting' is not allowed under any circumstancesThis means that a single psychology course cannot be used to satisfy psychology course requirements in more than 2 programs (e.g., Major and two Minors).

After Graduation

A Three-Year General or Four-Year General Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will not be sufficient for admission to graduate studies in psychology.

Sample careers and further studies (e.g., career focused post-graduate programs for those who have completed a Bachelor's degree)

A Three-Year General or Four-Year General Bachelor of Arts in Psychology will not be sufficient for admission to graduate studies in psychology.

Will Four Year General Psychology (BA) students have an advantage over Three Year General Psychology (BA) students when seeking employment?

Possibly if the interviewer perceives that the two applicants are equally qualified in other aspects. However, the Psychology Department has no evidence on which to predict what would actually happen.

Keep in mind that both degrees are at the General level. Prospective employers review and evaluate information about you obtained from a variety of sources (e.g., resume, interview, etc.) e.g.,

  • match between your knowledge, skills, and abilities and those required to perform the job,
  • your awareness of any strengths and weaknesses that you have,
  • your personality traits and attitudes,
  • examples of your behaviours in particular work related (volunteer or paid) situations in the past (i.e., using past behaviours as predictors of future behaviours),
  • your appearance and body language,
  • etc.

Think carefully about the information that you want to market to the prospective employer about yourself that might differ from than other applicants. Did you do a Minor? Did you have experiences such as volunteer or paid employment that the interviewer might perceive as an asset to his/her organization?

For further details see Psychology Majors develop distinctive marketable skills and the Career Development eManual

Requests to switch psychology programs

If you're interested in switching from 4 Year General Psychology to Honours Psychology, contact the Psychology Advisor.

Last updated: February 22, 2018