Courses

The Psychology program at Mount Allison University offers our students a diversity of courses, while maintaining a strong core curriculum.

Courses are offered in areas including developmental, biological, neurological, cognitive, social, personality, abnormal, learning, and health psychology.

Find a full list of courses in the Academic Calendar.


Programs

Students can choose to pursue a major, minor, or honours in psychology.

Our students can also complete a Certificate in Biopsychology and/or a Certificate in Social Research Methodologies.

Useful links

Course planning

Majoring in psychology

For either a BA or a BSc you need to take:

  • Psyc 1001 & Psyc 1011
  • Psyc 2001 (Research Design & Analysis I) & Psyc 2011 (RDA II)
  • 2 of the following core courses:
    • Psyc 2101 (BioPsychology)
    • Psyc 2201 (Cognitive Processes)
    • Psyc 2301 (Social Psychology)
  • 12 credits in Psychology at the 3000 or 4000 level
    • Maximum of 3 credits from Psyc 4950/51
  • 3 credits from Psychology at the 4000
    • Excluding Psyc 4950/51
  • 9 additional credits in Psychology
Minoring in psychology

For either BA or BSc you need to take:

  • Psyc 1001 & Psyc 1011
  • 2 of the following core courses:
    • Psyc 2101 (BioPsychology)
    • Psyc 2201 (Cognitive Processes)
    • Psyc 2301 (Social Psychology)
  • 12 credits in Psychology
    • Note, at least 6 credits must be from the 3000 or 4000 level
Honours in psychology

Can be either a BA or BSc

  • 60 credits as required for the major, plus
  • 18 credits from Psyc which must include
    • Psyc 3001 (Advanced Design & Analysis)
    • Psyc 3901 (History of Psychology)
    • Psyc 4903 (Honours Seminar)
    • Psyc 4990 (Honours Thesis)
    • 3 additional credits in Psychology
  • Psyc 2011 (RDA II) is a pre-req for an honours application

To be admitted to the honours program you:

  • Must apply to the Department in your third year
  • Must have a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 on all prescribed honours work
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses beyond the first year at Mount Allison
  • Must secure a supervisor
Course planning hints, tips, and recommendations
  • Get your core courses completed early, preferably in your second year
    • Pre-reqs for several upper year courses
  • Get the RDA courses (Psyc 2001 & 2011) completed early, preferably in your second year
  • The RDA courses are strongly recommended for the lab courses — particularly the third year lab courses, but Psyc 2001 recommended for second year lab courses
  • Look ahead at the senior courses you are interested in — what would like to take in your third or fourth year? Are there any pre-reqs for those courses?
    • Get the pre-reqs completed early
    • Keep in mind the C-rule — you must obtain a grade of C-or better for the pre-req to count
  • If you are interested in research, keep our directed studies courses (Psyc 4950 & Psyc 4951) in mind
    • Offered to advanced students in their third or fourth year
    • Must make arrangements to work with an individual faculty member
    • Note, if doing honours should not plan to take a directed studies in the fourth year
  • Note some courses may not be offered every year
  • BSc students with a non-science minor cannot use upper year courses in non-science discipline to fulfill science requirements — be careful with course selection!
  • When selecting courses consider:
    • Which courses/topics interest you most
    • What do you want to do with your degree?
  • Target relevant courses
    • Which courses will best prepare you for the future?
  • Try to remain flexible
    • You might change you mind later regarding your chosen major or minor

 


Honours

Should you pursue honours, that is, conduct a research project and write a thesis?

This is an important decision and you should consider it carefully:

  • Do you have the motivation and the perseverance?
  • Is there a research topic that interests you sufficiently to warrant the effort?
  • Are you prepared to meet the sometimes-demanding deadlines and accept the pressure to meet the necessary standards?

Conducting an honours thesis is not the only way to learn about the discipline or even to prepare for graduate school. The honours thesis requires a major investment of time and energy and you should be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Your individual circumstances, aptitudes, and interests will determine how appropriate the honours program is for you.

A thesis represents an opportunity for scholarly work in psychology that differs in type and depth from the rest of the undergraduate program. It provides an opportunity to take part in a research project in close collaboration with a faculty member and an opportunity to learn the difficulties and frustrations that often accompany this process. Most theses come off reasonably well, and even if your thesis does not come off perfectly, you will feel that you have learned something important about the discipline and about yourself.

The thesis project will often, but not always, be a part of the supervisor's research program, for several reasons. First, this is the area with which your supervisor is most familiar and most actively involved and therefore, able to provide the best advice and guidance. Secondly, it is difficult for an undergraduate student at the outset of his or her honours year to be sufficiently familiar with a specialized area to be able to generate a research idea or design the necessary study which has the potential to be a real contribution to the literature. Therefore, you should begin, as early as possible, to discuss with various department members your interests and their research.

For more information, contact the co-ordinator of the honours program, Dr. Odette Gould.

Honours FAQs

Who should do the honours degree?

The honours degree is required for admission to most graduate programs in psychology, and for admission to some professional schools. It requires a lot of work and will be of interest to students who are strong academically, and who enjoy doing research.

What is an honours degree?

The honours in psychology is a one-year program that provides advanced training in psychological research to outstanding students. It is completed in your graduating/final year.  (Students who have already graduated with a degree in psychology may return to complete an Honours Certificate).

The honours degree requires successfully completing an honours thesis project, the honours seminar, and some specific advanced courses in psychology (History of Psychology & Advanced Design Analysis).

What is an honours thesis?

An honours thesis is a research project that the student completes under the close supervision of a faculty supervisor. The thesis project involves carrying out a literature review, designing the study, gaining ethics approval, doing the research, analyzing the results, and writing up a report of the project.

The final report is usually 30 to 100 pages long. The thesis project involves writing a literature review and study proposal due in November, and a final thesis due in April. All students present their thesis proposal to the Psychology department at the end of the fall semester and the results of the completed thesis project at the end of the academic year on Psychology Research Day.

Psychology Research Day is a one-day conference where students who completed Psyc 4950 or Psyc 4951 (Independent Study in Psychology) present posters summarizing their research, and where honours student do oral presentations of their thesis project. This conference is open to the Mount Allison community, and to friends and family of student presenters.

What is the honours seminar?

The honours seminar meets two hours per week for the entire year. In this seminar, students learn about the process of applying to graduate school, develop their critical thinking skills, enhance their communication skills, and learn about issues relevant to the general discipline of psychology.

Admission and graduation requirements

For admission into the honours program in psychology

  • a GPA of 3.3 or better in all courses that count towards the psychology major — this includes courses needed for the major as well as distribution courses
  • a GPA of 3.3 or better in all courses taken beyond the first year — if a course was repeated, both marks are used to calculate the GPA
  • completion of Psyc2001 (RDA1) and Psyc2011 (RDA2) with a B or higher — completion of Psyc3001 (ADA) is recommended but not required for admission to honours
  • finding someone who is willing to supervise your thesis project — students who meet the criteria above will only be admitted into the honours program if a faculty member is available to supervise their thesis project

For graduating with an honours degree in psychology

These are the requirements that you must meet at the end of the honours degree:

  • 3.0 GPA in courses required for the honours degree
  • 3.0 in coursework beyond the first year
  • 60 credits as required for the BA or BSc major in psychology
  • 18 credits in psychology, which must include
    • Psyc4903 (Honours seminar — 3 credits)
    • Psyc4990 (Honours thesis — 6 credits)
    • Psyc3001 (Advanced Design Analysis)
    • Psyc3901 (History of Psychology)
Identifying an honours supervisor

There are three main things to consider when selecting a supervisor for your honours.

First, is the professor’s research area: It should be something you are interested in. However, it is not necessary for it to be exactly the area you plan to study in graduate school. What is most important is that you acquire research experience. The list of faculty members and their research interests is provided below.

Second, it is important that you have a good working relationship with the supervisor. Their type of supervision (e.g., whether they have a hands-on style of supervision) should correspond with what you need and want in your supervisor. It is also important to consider whether you have the appropriate background preparation (some supervisors will require that you have taken specific courses). These are things that you can discuss when you meet with your top choices for supervisors.  The best way to contact each professor is provided in the list below.

Third, is whether the professor you are interested in is accepting students in their lab next year. When professors are on sabbatical, they may decide not to accept students. In some cases, many students want to work with a specific professor, but each professor will usually only accept two honours students in a year.

The first step in identifying a potential supervisor is to carefully read the description of the research interests for each faculty member listed below. It is recommended that you contact one or two professors to introduce yourself and to discuss their research plans for next year.

Faculty research interests

Faculty research interests can be found in the undergraduate research section on the opportunities for students page.

Applying to honours

Students interested in completing an honours degree should apply for admission in January of the year before they plan to graduate.

1. Make sure that you meet the GPA requirements.

2. Fill out the Department of Psychology's honours application form.

3. Contact the honours program co-ordinator (ogould@mta.ca) if you  have any questions.

4. Submit all the required materials via e-mail by Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 to psych@mta.ca

5. Wait for an e-mailed letter from the honours co-ordinator to find out the results of your application. Letters will be sent one to two weeks after the registration deadline.

» Honours application form