Wilfrid Laurier University Undergraduate Academic Calendar - 2011/2012
Canadian Excellence

Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist

The Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist program provides students with specialized training in research skills including methods, design, statistics and computer skills, along with exposure to the major substantive areas of psychology. Space in this program is limited; eligibility for this program requires a higher level of academic performance than that necessary for the Comprehensive program. The requirement of completing two research experience courses and at least two senior seminar courses provides students with an opportunity to explore selected topics in depth, and to develop critical thinking and research skills as well as oral presentation and written communication skills. In addition, the requirement of at least one course with a community service-learning experience that exposes students to a broader range of experiences beyond the classroom. There are two options available to Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialists.

A) Students who plan to apply to graduate school in Psychology or who have a strong interest in, and commitment to, conducting original research should pursue the Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist program and complete a thesis (PS499*).
B) Students who don’t intend to pursue graduate studies but are interested in further training (e.g., law school, teachers’ college, social work, speech pathology) or work as paraprofessionals in the social service or mental health areas may choose the Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist program without the PS499* Thesis option.

The Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist program consists of 20.0 credits, including at least 10.0 but not more than 12.5 credits in Psychology. A maximum of 6.0 credits at the 100 level may be included in the program.

Additional Information

Year 1 & 2 (5.0 credits in each year - refer to Honours BA Psychology: Comprehensive program)

Year 3 (5.0 credits)
PS394 and at least one of PS395, PS397, or PS398, usually completed in Year 3, at least two of PS360, PS361, PS362, PS363, PS370, PS375, or PS382, of which at least one must be completed during Year 3; PS390 (which may be completed in either Year 3 or 4); at least two of PS460, PS461, PS462, PS463, PS465, PS470, PS475, PS480, or PS482, of which at least one must be completed during Year 3.

Year 4 (5.0 credits)
either PS499* or 1.0 additional PS credit at the 300 or 400 level (refer to Note 2).


  1. The Honours BA Psychology: Research Specialist program is entered at the start of Year 3 from the Honours BA Psychology: Comprehensive program. At the end of Year 2 students must choose either to remain in the Comprehensive program or enter the Research Specialist program. For the Honours BA Research Specialist program entry at Year 3 requires a 7.00 GPA in Psychology credits, a 4.0 GP (C-) in each of PS295 and PS296, and 6.00 GPA overall, or permission of the department. Progression from Year 3 to Year 4 is guaranteed with a 7.00 GPA in Psychology and a 6.00 GPA overall. For graduation, a 7.00 GPA in Psychology and 5.00 GPA overall are required.
  2. As noted above, students are required to include a community service-learning experience in their program. This can be accomplished by doing one of the following on-campus courses: PS275, PS276, PS277, PS282, PS283 or PS379. (Note that Online Learning versions of these courses, where available, do not offer a community service-learning experience.)
  3. Students are able to graduate in honours if they achieve a GPA of 5.00 overall and 7.00 in PS courses. Refer to the Graduation/Degree Regulations for an alternate graduation option if honours degree requirements are not met.
  4. It is recommended that all students considering graduate work apply for the thesis course (PS499*) at the end of Year 3. Students who do not take PS499* must substitute a 1.0 credit equivalent in psychology at the 300 or 400 level. Students are advised that admission to the Honours Psychology Research Specialist program does not guarantee admission to PS499*. Students will be required to apply to PS499* at the end of Year 3. Students typically must obtain a minimum GPA of 9.00 in senior psychology courses to be eligible to apply for PS499*.