Psychology Honours Program

What is an Honours degree?

An Honours degree in Psychology may be obtained with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. An Honours degree involves completing an Honours Thesis, which is a paper written in the format specified by the Canadian Psychological Association. Most theses report on a supervised independent research project (quantitative and/or qualitative), but other alternatives include: (a) a review paper that includes an original historical and theoretical overview of the topic, or (b) a critique of the theory, research, or practice of psychology.

Honours Theses will be defended in an oral exam before the student's “examination committee.” This committee will normally consist of the student's supervisor plus two other faculty members, or in some cases one other faculty member and a professional from the community. After the defence, the committee will assign the thesis a number grade, which will be the student’s grade for Psychology 4900.

Honours program requirements:

  • Student must be a Psychology major.
  • In order to apply, the student must first have a full-time Psychology faculty member who is willing to supervise the Honours thesis.
  • A completed Honours application submitted with an official academic transcript.
  • An overall academic average of 70% or above, and an overall Psychology course average of 75% or above.  You must maintain averages above these minimal criteria to remain in the programme.
  • The Honours program entails completion of Psychology 4800 (Honours Literature Review), Psychology 4900 (Honours Research), and Psychology 4810 (Origins and Contexts of Psychological Thought and Practice). Your supervisor will outline the specific requirements for Psychology 4800 and 4900 as they pertain to your thesis.

Honours in Psychology application form

The "Honours process" – starting and finishing an Honours degree

The deadlines for Honours applications are September 1, January 3, and May 1 annually. Although the Honours program is not just for students thinking of graduate school, an Honours degree is needed for admission into most graduate programs (including non-psychology). Because of the extra course requirements and the extra time involved in the process of producing an Honours Thesis, early planning is important. For instance, to graduate with an Honours degree will likely involve taking courses in the summer so that Honours courses will fit in the 4th year. Those interested in this path are advised to consider the following timeline:

  • 3rd year (1st term): Consider options after graduation; identify area(s) of interest; discuss with academic advisor.
  • 3rd year (1st term or early 2nd term): Contact a professor who is conducting research in an area of interest to inquire about pursuing Honours the following year. Alternatively, contact the Honours Coordinator. 
  • 3rd year (2nd term): Starting the program: Pending an agreement with a professor, students should submit their application to enter the Honours program in either the beginning of the summer (May 1) or fall (September 1) semesters (i.e., between 3rd and 4th or beginning of 4th year). Because Psychology 4810 is only offered in the Fall semester at this time, the January entry point may pose difficulties in meeting this requirement.