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Is the Research Intensive Specialization right for me?

Not sure if you should complete the Research Intensive Specialization? Please see the information below on requirements and advantages of enrolling in the specialization.

Requirements

The Research Intensive Specialization requires a 75% cumulative Psych average and completion of 4 PSYCH courses in addition to the 16 required for the Honours major (a total of 20 PSYCH courses overall). 

Honours students who have a Psych average of 74%-74.9% may enroll in the advanced research courses, but cannot declare the specialization until their Psych average is at least 75%.

The Research Intensive Specialization is available to all Honours Psych plans effective Fall 2016 or later, with the exception of Honours BSc Psych or Honours Psych BA plans from the 2015/2016 calendar or earlier. This is because the advanced research courses are already a part of the required Honours courses for these plans. If you're not sure which calendar you're following, contact the Psychology Undergraduate Advisor.

Research Intensive Specialization Courses:

  • PSYCH 391 - Advanced Data Analysis
    • Offered primarily in the Fall, with a small section in Winter
    • Pre-requisites are PSYCH 291, 292, level at least 3A Honours Psych, 74% Psych average, and at least 3, preferably 4, of the Discipline core courses (PSYCH 207, 211, 238, 253, 257, 261)
  • PSYCH 389 - Social Science Advanced Research Methods Topics
    • Offered Fall only
    • This requirement can also be filled by taking one of PSYCH 393, 395, 397, or 399
    • Co-requisite is PSYCH 391; pre-requisites are PSYCH 211, 257/257R, and one of PSYCH 238/338 or 253/253R, level at least 3A Honours BA Psychology, 74% Psych average.
  • PSYCH 390 - Natural Science Advanced Research Methods Topics
    • Offered Winter, with one section in the spring term reserved primarily for co-op students
    • This requirement can also be filled by taking one of PSYCH 392, 394, 396, or 398
    • Co-requisite is PSYCH 391; pre-requisites are PSYCH 207, 211, and 261, level at least 3A Honours BA Psychology, 74% Psych average.
  • PSYCH 492 - Psychological Measurement
    • Offered Winter only
    • Pre-requisites are PSYCH 391, Honours Psychology, and a 74% Psych average

Also, students in the Research Intensive Specialization are not able to take PSYCH 470, and instead will take a Senior Research Seminar (1 of PSYCH 420, 451-463, or 485). 

Advantages of the Research Intensive Specialization

If any of the bolded statements below apply to you, we recommend you take the specialization.

I want to be a competitive applicant for co-op jobs

  • Co-op employers value these advanced research skills, and thus not completing these courses might limit your opportunities for co-op positions.

I want to be a competitive applicant for jobs where research skills are highly valued.

  • Feedback from employers who hire Psychology alumni suggested that these courses provide research skills that are especially valued in many workplaces.

I want to apply to graduate studies in Psychology.

If you are interested in applying to graduate studies in Psychology (MA, MASc, PhD, PsyD) or related fields, or other professional degree programs (e.g., law school), we recommend that you take the advanced research courses because:

  • Advanced Data Analysis (PSYCH 391) and the Advanced Research Methods courses are typically required background for most graduate programs in Psychology. Even when they are not strictly required (e.g., professional programs), completing these courses could greatly improve your prospects for admission.
  • PSYCH 391 and the Advanced Research Methods courses are required to enrol in the honours thesis course (PSYCH 499 A/B/C), which is highly recommended for students who are interested in admission to graduate/professional studies. PSYCH 499 provides essential research/analytical skills, and often provides the kind of collaborative experience that leads to strong reference letters from the thesis supervisor.
  • PSYCH 391 is required to take several upper-level PSYCH courses at UWaterloo including directed studies courses (PSYCH 483-486) and the Research Seminars (PSYCH 420, 451-463). Note that completion of a Research Seminar is essential preparation for graduate/professional studies

      I'm still confused...

      If after reading this webpage you're still not sure if you want to complete the specialization, please contact the Psychology Undergraduate Advisor.

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