Information for

This page has information for students who were admitted to Honours Psychology prior to Fall 2016. If you were admitted after Fall 2016, please see the page for the current Honours Psychology Requirements.

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.

Highlights 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 after Fall 2016, you are following the requirements in the "New" Honours Psych requirements. See the requirements for the "New" Honours Psychology degree.

Degree requirement checklist for "Old" 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 the discipline core requirements (PSYCH 207, 211, 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 391:

  • See priority enrolment for PSYCH 391.
  • PSYCH 391 is offered fall and winter terms. However, we expect Psych majors to take PSYCH 391 during the fall term.

Advanced Research courses (PSYCH 392-399):

  • See priority enrolment for  advanced research methods courses
  • Social Science Advanced Research Courses (PSYCH 393, 395, 397, 399) are only offered in the Fall.
  • Natural Science Advanced Research Courses (PSYCH 392, 394, 396, 398) are only offered Winter and Spring. Spring sections have priority enrolment for co-op students.

Senior Research Seminar courses:

  • See priority enrolment for honours seminars.

    PSYCH 4XX transfer credits count towards the research seminar requirement.

Advanced Psych courses:

  • PSYCH 3XX transfer credits count towards the advanced Psychology course requirements.

PSYCH courses at the 300-400 level

  • For those doing an honours thesis (optional), PSYCH A/B/C is worth 1.5 units and will count for 3 of the 4 psychology electives. Enrolment restrictions for PSYCH 499A​
  • PSYCH 492 (Psychological Measurement: Foundations of Research and Practice) is not a required course but is recommended. PSYCH 492 will be offered once a year during the Winter term.

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.

Other requirements

  • 75% 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
  • 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 policies for details).
  • For those in the co-op system of study, see co-op requirements elsewhere on the Psychology Department website.

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).

PSYCH 465 and 467 are currently discontinued until further notice. 

If not doing an honours thesis (PSYCH 499A/B/C) you can substitute one of PSYCH 465 or PSYCH 467 for one of (not both) the following two requirements:

  • social science advanced research methods course: PSYCH 393, 395, 397, 399, 484
  • natural science advanced research methods course: PSYCH 392, 394, 396, 398, 483

on condition that you take one of PSYCH 392 through PSYCH 399. Note that PSYCH 465 and 467 are discontinued until further notice.

An application form is required for enrolment in PSYCH 465 (Applied Apprenticeship) or PSYCH 467 (Human Resources Apprenticeship), and those are only offered in the Winter term. The next offerings of PSYCH 465 and 467 are unknown.

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 5 discipline core content courses (Winter)

Year two (2A/2B):

  • PSYCH 291 (Offered Fall term only)
  • PSYCH 292 (Offered Winter term only)
  • 3 of the 5 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):

  • PSYCH 391:
    • Students are expected to take PSYCH 391 in the fall term if possible, as the winter section has limited space.
  • 1 social science advanced research methods course.
  • 1 natural science advanced research methods course.
  • 1 of the 5 discipline core content courses
  • 2 advanced psychology courses

PSYCH 392-399, 483, 484, 492 cannot be taken before PSYCH 391. Must have at least 3 (preferably 4) of PSYCH 207, 211, 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):

  • 1 psychology honours seminar:
    • Can be taken in third year.
    • Cannot be taken before PSYCH 391.
  • 4 PSYCH at the 300 or 400 level excluding PSYCH 323R (or take PSYCH 499A/B/C plus 1 PSYCH at the 300 or 400 level excluding PSYCH 323R).

Requests to switch to Honours Psychology (BA)

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

Last updated: February 22, 2017