Psychology focuses on the behaviour of human beings and animals, with particular emphasis on the individual rather than the group. Psychology courses span the various areas of psychology, including the study of development, personality, social and abnormal behaviour, learning, cognition, perception and the role of the brain and psychological mechanisms in behaviour. Students are introduced to methods used in psychological research, including experimentation in the laboratory and field, naturalistic observation, and the use of statistical methods in interpreting data.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Life Sciences admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English and Calculus & Vectors are required
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits

It is also strongly recommended that, beginning September 2018, students wishing to enter any Psychology program be admitted with a grade 12 science credit in biology, physics, or chemistry. This will be a requirement beginning September 2019 (pending approval by the Faculty of Arts & Science Council).


Honours Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Psychology (specialist, major and minor options)
  • Psychology Research (specialist)


First-Year Courses

  • PSY 100H1 – Introductory Psychology


Advice for First Year


Students who are interested in enrolling into a psychology program should take PSY 100H1 in either the Fall or Winter terms of their first year. 

Successful completion of this course with a grade that meets the requirement outlined in the Arts & Science Calendar is required for entry into psychology programs.  However, since our Psychology programs have limited capacity, the grade listed is only the minimum required and does not guarantee admission into any of our programs.  PSY 100H1 is also the prerequisite for all second year psychology courses.

Note: While there is no math requirement to enrol in PSY 100H1, admission to all Psychology Programs requires a high school Calculus course at the senior/grade 12-level. Grade 12 Biology, or Chemistry, or Physics is also highly recommended.



The department of psychology offers research-based BSc programs that focus on the experimental and biological approaches to the discipline rather than on a clinical approach to psychology often found at other universities.


Direct career options include:

paraprofessional in the area of
social services or mental health
personnel assistant
research technician in a university
or research institute
child care worker
placement officer probation officer
student counselor rehabilitation counsellor


Becoming a Psychologist - What degrees would I need?  What would I do?

To become a psychologist, you need to obtain a PhD. This may take three to five years of graduate study upon completion of a BSc (20 credits). You should aim for a well-rounded undergraduate program which incorporates a broad range of courses both within and outside of your psychology program.

Graduate students have repeatedly mentioned that courses in mathematics, computer science, statistics and biology have proved extremely helpful.

 A doctorate (PhD) may lead to employment as a(n):

  • experimental psychologist, teaching and conducting research
  • clinical psychologist
  • school psychologist
  • counselling psychologist (for example, career planning and marriage counselling)
  • industrial psychologist (applying psychology to the work environment)


What is the difference between a clinical or counselling psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A clinical or counselling psychologist has obtained a PhD in psychology and may obtain training in providing therapy, although he or she may not prescribe drugs. The psychologist is specifically trained in the design and use of psychological tests to diagnose disorders, and most important, in doing the research to develop and assess therapeutic techniques.

A psychiatrist is a specialized physician. After obtaining an MD, the physician may obtain further training in the specialized field of psychiatry to provide therapy to people with emotional disorders. As a physician, the psychiatrist may prescribe drugs, such as tranquilizers or stimulants. 


Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year