Most, if not all, graduate programs in psychology require that students have an Honours Bachelors degree in psychology to be considered for admission. Most programs also list some kind of research experience as a requirement and some programs prefer students whose research experience includes a thesis. While students completing any of our degree options can gain valuable research experience, only students who are accepted into the 4th year of the research stream (meaning their application to write a thesis was accepted) write a thesis.
Many students aren’t sure if graduate studies will be necessary to achieve their long-term goals, but until you have ruled out graduate studies, we suggest that you continue with the honours program (provided that you meet the average grade requirements). However, you should know that you will receive a lot of research training in the honours research program, and if you are confident that research and graduate studies are not in your future, you might be happier completing either the 4 yr BA with Major or the Honours Comprehensive stream.
Average Requirements Students must have a 77% average in Psychology to register for third year courses in the honours program. Students must have an 80% average in Psychology (and successful in their thesis application) to complete the required thesis in fourth year. Students must also maintain a 60% non-major average to graduate with an Honours BA.
Applying to Write a Thesis Students with an 80% PSYC average at the end of Year 3 can apply to write a thesis. Students must meet the minimum average requirements AND must have secured a thesis supervisor to be allowed to continue in 4th year of the research stream and write a thesis. Information about finding a thesis supervisor is available here: www.brockpsycsite.com/psyc-4f91-thesis.html
Applications will be due at the end of the fall winter term in students' 3rd year. Not all students who meet the minimum requirements will be approved to write a thesis, those who are not will be encouraged to switch over to the Honours Comprehensive stream for their final year.
Does Honours = Smart? Some people make the mistake of thinking that they need to do the honours program so that others will think that they're "smart" - in other words, they want other people to know that they had high grades in university. In fact, this connection between grades and the honours program is a bit of a myth. It's true that the people who complete an honours degree usually have high grades, because we restrict entry to the program based on students' PSYC GPA. However the designation that really tells people you're "smart" (that is, that you got high grades) is graduating from Brock "with distinction". Students who graduate with distinction have an average that is 80% or above, and this will be noted on their Brock transcript. We have a number of people who graduate from psychology with distinction but who chose not to complete an honours research degree. Instead, they opted for a 3 Year Pass, 4 Year BA with Major or now the honours comprehensive degree because they were not interested in the research requirements that are included in the 4 Year Honours research option. TIP: What happens if I don't meet the average requirements for required honours PSYC courses? You have several options if you do not meet the requirements:
Switch into one of our other degree options
Re-do courses to bring up your average
Submit an appeal to be allowed to register in the required honours courses.
All of these options can be complicated, and you should see academic advising before pursuing any of them.
Year 3 Course Requirements
PSYC 3P39 and 3F40
1.5 PSYC Credits numbered 300-399
Year 4 Course Requirements
PSYC 4F91; PSYC 4P92; PSYC 4P93
1 PSYC Credit numbered 390-499 (PSYC 4P95 is recommended)
TIP: What is a Thesis? A thesis is a major research project that you will develop and carry out under the close supervision of a faculty member. The process includes reviewing existing literature, designing an ethically sound study, gathering and analyzing data, recording the results, and writing a manuscript that describes the project. Don't worry if you don't have a research idea -- you will work on that with your supervisor. What Does This Degree Prepare Me For?
Graduate programs in Psychology, either clinical or experimental
Graduate programs outside of psychology including: Master of Social Work (MSW), Medical School, Law School, Counseling, Occupational Therapy, and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs will consider your application with a 4-Year Honours degree in Psychology.
Entering the workforce in a variety of disciplines (e.g., business in human resources, marketing or sales, social work, human services)
Attending a post-graduate college program
For more information about careers and post-graduate programs, click here.