2nd Year (24-54 university credits)

This page describes the Psychology program for students who have completed their first year, including PSYC 1010 (6) with a grade of at least C, and have registered as Psychology majors.

The links below will explain the program in broad terms, including the common requirements for all Psychology programs, the prerequisite structure, and will guide you through course selection in your 2nd and 3rd Years.  Please note that this page is still under construction and some information may pertain only to students who entered the program before 2017. 

It is important to note that regardless of your year of entry, as of Fall 2019, we will no longer be offering Honours Thesis (Psyc 4000) or Advanced Research in Psychology (Psyc 4170).  For the 2017-2018 academic year and the 2018-2019 academic year, only limited sections of Advanced Research in Psychology (Psyc 4170) will be offered.  If you would like to complete an individually supervised thesis, you will want to apply to the Specialized Honours Program.  More information on this program is available on our website under Degree Requirements by Program/Specialized Honours BA/BSc.

You can typically apply to the Specialized Honours program at the end of your second year (after you have completed 54 credits).  Applications are accepted from May1st to May 15th each year.  Please see the website for more information.

Overview of Psychology Programs

All Psychology Major programs (BA, BSc, 120 credit or 90 credit) including Double Majors have the following general pattern of Psychology requirements although the details, in terms of the number of courses and specific courses, differ for each program.  The Specialized Honours program has some additional requirements not listed here.  Students who entered the program in 2017 will follow slightly

  1. PSYC 1010 with a grade of C or higher - this is a prerequisite for ALL other Psychology courses.
  2. Methodology courses:  Statistics and Research Design courses – these should be completed in the 2nd year of the program
  3. Writing course:  Student who entered in 2017 or later should also complete Writing in Psychology (PSYC 2010) in second year.   Students for whom this is not a requirement are strongly encouraged to consider this course as an elective.
  4. Foundation courses: all students must meet requirements from two groups of courses, one focusing on the social and personality aspects of Psychology  (21-, 3100 series; for students in the new program only 21- courses fulfill this requirement) and the other on the biological and cognitive aspects (22-, 3200 series; for students in the new program only 22- courses fulfill this requirement).   These should also be completed in the 2nd year of the program if possible
  5. Psychology electives – these courses are given primarily at the 3000 level.  Note that some require prerequisites from among the Foundation courses and others do not.  Students must have completed at least 54 credits in order to register for 3000-level courses.

In addition, Honours degrees (including double major degrees) have the following requirements, normally completed in the 4th year of the program.    In order to enroll in these courses, students must have completed at least 84 credits and maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 5.0, must have completed the Statistics and Research Methods requirements for the Honours Program, and must have completed all specific prerequisites for the individual course in question.

  1. 4000-level seminar courses in specific sub-disciplines of Psychology.
  2. A 6 credit thesis or advanced research course  (For Honours students: PSYC 4180 (or PSYC 4000 or PSYC 4170 until Fall 2019); For Specialized Honours students: PSYC 4001).  PSYC 4175 might also meet this requirement but requires special permission to enrol and will not be offered in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Psychology Minors (BA or BSc): all of the above categories of requirement generally apply to the Minor in Psychology except for PSYC 2010 - Writing in Psychology and the Advanced Research course.   For students who started their minor prior to 2017, foundation courses are also not required, but may be taken as Psychology electives.   There is no thesis requirement in the Minor and the minimum Statistics requirement for the Psychology minor is PSYC 2021 (3).

Degree Requirements outside of Psychology:

All degree programs have requirements in terms of General Education Courses, electives from outside of Psychology, and in the case of BSc degrees, basic science  and science breadth requirements.  These requirements differ for each program, so go to the Academic Calendar for your year of entry, as well as your Degree Progress Report to find the requirements for your program depending on your year of entry.

Understanding Prerequisites & why are they important?  

A prerequisite is a course that must be successfully completed prior to starting another course.  Psychology, like all sciences and other fields of scholarly inquiry, requires you to lay down a foundation of basic knowledge and skills upon which more specialized expertise may be built.   For this reason, courses at each level of the program are  designed with the assumption that students possess the skills and knowledge base laid down at the previous levels, and their objective is to advance the student to a higher level of expertise.  This cannot be done if the same early level material must be repeated at every level.

How are prerequisites enforced?

In some courses, you will find it impossible to register if you do not have the prerequisites for the course.   Transfer students may find that they have to have their prerequisites confirmed by the department in order to register in these courses.   However, even if you are successful in registering (in some cases, lack of prerequisites cannot be detected at the time of enrolment), this does not mean you will be able to remain in a course for which you do not have the prerequisites.  Students found to be lacking a stated prerequisite may be removed from a course at any time, and if this happens after the deadline for course change, your tuition fee for the course will not be refunded, so it is very important to pay attention to prerequisites and to plan your courses a year or two in advance.

Are exceptions ever made?

Very rarely, and only the Undergraduate Director can admit you to a course for which you do not have the prerequisites.  A course director cannot do this, although they may inform the Undergraduate Director if they think a particular student is an exceptional case, providing the reasons for this position in writing.  However, the final decision is made by the Undergraduate Director in all cases, so it is very wise to deal with this at the very beginning of the term.  The fact that you have been attending a particular class will not be enough to justify an exception.

Note that NO EXCEPTIONS will be made in the case of the Statistics and Research Methods prerequisites for all thesis courses (4000, 4001, 4170, 4175).   You may not enroll in these courses until you have achieved a passing grade on all the required methodology courses for your particular program.   This includes courses for which you have a petition in progress or any other situation that has caused you to delay fulfilling the requirements.


In a few cases, one course may be allowed as a co-requisite (meaning that it is taken at the same time as another course) instead of as a prerequisite.   This applies in only a very small number of situations.  If you are uncertain about a particular course, it is your responsibility as a student to clarify this before the start of classes.

Prerequisite Maps

These tables show you the prerequisite structure graphically.    In all cases, blue arrows indicate the connection between lower level courses and the 3000 and 4000 courses for which they are prerequisites.   Tables 1, 2 & 3 show sequences for which the Foundational Courses (21/3100 and 22/3200 series) are prerequisites.   Table 4 shows the sequence of Methodology and Research courses for our various programs.  Table 5 lists upper level courses that do NOT have prerequisites other than PSYC 1010, or in the case of 4000 level courses, no prerequisites beyond PSYC 1010, PSYC 2120 or 2021 and PSYC 2030).  Please note that some 4000 level courses have more complex prerequisites and are not shown in these tables, or have co-requisites which are not included on the maps.  These courses are marked by ** on Table 3  - check the Psychology Handbook and the Courses website for details.  Please note that this information is provided for your consideration only and has note been recently updated.  Please be sure to double check the information provided for any additional prerequisites that may have been added during our program changes for 2017.

Table 1:   Developmental, Social, Health

Table 2:   Abnormal, Personality

Table 3:   Perception, Cognition, Biological Bases of Behavior

Table 4:   Methodology and Research Courses

Table 5:   Courses with few prerequisites

Choosing Courses for your 2nd Year

You have completed PSYC 1010 with a grade of C or better.  What next?

In choosing your next courses, you must be planning ahead to meet the degree requirements for your particular Honours  (120 credit) or 90-credit degree program.  This page will walk you through those choices, looking at the components of the program described earlier.   Choices will differ somewhat depending on whether you are a BA or BSc student, and whether you are planning to do an Honours degree.

Be sure to look ahead as well.  Many upper-level courses have specific course prerequisites, so you will want to be sure to complete those courses in the early years.  Also look on our website to see if you might be interested in one of our certificate program or in the Specialized Honours program so that you can plan accordingly.

1) Statistics and Research Methods

 2) Writing in Psychology (required for students who entered in 2017 or later)

 3) Foundational Core Courses

4) Psychology Electives

5) General Education Requirements

6) Sample 2nd year programs