Information for

Honours Psychology (BA) (Regular and Departmental Co-op)

Features of Honours Psychology (BA)

  • available on a regular or co-op system of study.
  • choose from a single Honours Major or a Joint Honours program
  • Psych 291 (Research Methods) and Psych 292 (Basic Data Analysis) will introduce you to the scientific methods for understanding mind and behaviour
  • gain a broad perspective of psychological theory by taking courses from several areas in Psychology.
  • develop distinctive skills including observation, numeric, analytic, computer, and written and oral communication.

Features of the Research Intensive Specialization

  • Indepth training in the analytic skills of experimental design (see PSYCH 389-399, 499A/B/C). Students address problems of human motivation, memory, social relations, communication, and many other human capacities and dispositions by translating them into solvable empirical problems. This also entails critical evaluation of the bases of claims about human abilities and inclinations.
  • opportunities for experiential learning and to work one-on-one with faculty members e.g.,
  • honours seminar discussions covering topics in the forefront of the field of Psychology (see PSYCH 420, 451-463).
  • opportunities in senior courses to read primary journal articles rather than just textbooks.

Co-operative system of study

Admission to Honours Psychology 'Departmental' Co-op is for the 2A (year/level) Fall school term

For Psychology 'Departmental' Co-op to be tagged to Joint Honours Psychology, Psychology must be the first Major.

See Psychology Co-op for more information.


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" Honours Psychology degree.

Degree requirement checklist for Honours Psychology (BA)

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 6 discipline core courses (PSYCH 207, 211, 238, 253, 257, 261) by the end of year 2.
  • If you intend to complete the Research Intensive Specialization, you should plan on completing the following:
    • Before 3A:
      • PSYCH 211
      • PSYCH 257
      • one of PSYCH 253 or 238
    • Before 3B:
      • PSYCH 207
      • PSYCH 261

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

Advanced Research Courses:

  • Available only to students in the Research Intensive Specialization
  • See Psych policies on priority enrolment for PSYCH 391 and Advanced Research Methods courses
  • PSYCH 391 is offered Fall and Winter
  • PSYCH 389 is only offered in Fall
    • PSYCH 393, 395, 397, or 399 can also fulfil this requirement
  • PSYCH 390 is only offered in Winter
    • PSYCH 392, 394, 396, or 398 can also fulfil this requirement
  • PSYCH 492 will be offered once a year, normally in Winter.


  • Students in the Research Intensive Specialization will be taking a Research Seminar (1 of PSYCH 420, 451-463, or 485) instead of PSYCH 470.
  • All other Honours students will be taking PSYCH 470.

Courses such as PSYCH 291, 292, 391, 392 to 399, 420, 451 to 463 are not offered in the evening or online.

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 are not subject to double counting rules.

Arts and Business requirements:

Students enrolled in Honours Psychology Arts and Business must also complete their Arts and Business requirements.

See the undergraduate calendar for details about the Arts and Business requirements. Note that PSYCH 292 covers the statistics course requirement for the Arts and Business program.

Refer questions about these requirements to the Arts and Business advisor.

Other requirements for the degree

  • 70% 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 overall average
  • 20.0 units 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 polices 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 circumstances. This means that a single psychology course cannot be used to satisfy psychology course requirements in more than 2 programs (e.g., Major plus 2 Minors).
  • For those in the co-op system of study, see co-op requirements.

Psychology course sequence tips

This is the recommended course sequence. If you're concerned about deviating from this sequence, please contact the Psychology Academic Advisor.

Year one (1A/1B):

  • PSYCH 101 (Fall)
  • 1 of the 6 discipline core content courses (Winter)

Year two (2A/2B):

  • PSYCH 291 (Offered Fall term only)
  • PSYCH 292 (Offered Winter term only)
    • Honours Psych Arts and Business Co-op Students: You are required to take PSYCH 292 in the 3A (year/level) Winter term because PSYCH 292 will not be offered in the 2B (year/level) Spring term.
  • 4 of the 6 discipline core content courses
  • Take MATH 103 concurrently with PSYCH 291 if required for PSYCH 292 enrolment (see student success).

If PSYCH 291 or PSYCH 292 cannot be taken in year 2 (e.g., late admission to the Psychology Major), see the supplementary course planning information.

Year three (3A/3B):

  • 1 of the 6 discipline core content courses
  • 2 PSYCH at the 300-400 level
  • 1 PSYCH any level

Research intensive specialization students:

  • 1 of the 6 discipline core content courses
  • 2 PSYCH at the 300-400 level
  • PSYCH 391:
    • Regular system of study: Strongly recommend that you take PSYCH 391 Fall term instead of the Winter term.
    • Honours Psychology Co-op: You are required to take PSYCH 391 in the Fall 3A (year/level) term.
    • Honours Psychology Arts and Business Co-op students: You are required to take PSYCH 391 in the Fall 3B (year/level) term. 
  • PSYCH 389 (Fall term only)
  • PSYCH 390 (Winter and Spring only)

PSYCH 389, 390, 483, 484. and 492 cannot be taken before PSYCH 391. Must have at least 3 (preferably 4) of PSYCH 207, 211, 238, 253, 257, 261 before PSYCH 391.

If PSYCH 391 cannot be taken in year 3 (e.g., late admission to the Psychology Major), see the supplementary course planning information.

Year four (4A/4B):

  • 3 PSYCH at the 300 or 400 level excluding PSYCH 323R
  • PSYCH 470

​Research Intensive specialization students:

  • 3 PSYCH at the 300 or 400 level excluding PSYCH 323R (or take PSYCH 499A/B/C ).
  • 1 PSYCH at any level
  • 1 psychology research seminar:
  • PSYCH 492 (normally offered in Winter)
    • Note: the research seminar and PSYCH 492 can be completed in third year, but cannot be taken before PSYCH 391.

Requests to switch to Honours Psychology (BA)

If you're interested in switching to Honours Psychology, contact the Psychology advisor.

Last updated: February 22, 2018