Psychology (B.A.)

B.A. Major in Psychology

Note: The UBC Okanagan campus also offers a B.Sc. Major in Psychology.

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Major in Psychology provides a strong foundation for advanced training that can lead to a career in Psychology or other professions.

Students gain a broad perspective in Psychology with courses in such diverse areas as biopsychology, cognitive, developmental, social, and abnormal psychology. In addition, students gain an understanding and appreciation of the empirical method as it is applied across the disciplines.

Students intending to pursue graduate studies in Psychology are advised to consider taking the Honours Program since many Canadian universities expect potential graduate students to have completed an Honours degree.

Enrolling as a Psychology Major

Students are encouraged to declare their major in Psychology at the end of their first year. To be admitted to the major program, students must successfully complete both PSYO 111 and 121 (or equivalent) and a minimum of 24 credits. To continue as a Psychology Major, a student must complete both PSYO 270 and 271 (or equivalent); these courses should be completed in second year.

First and Second Years

B.A. requirements, including PSYO 111, 121.

A student must complete PSYO 270 (Introduction to Research Methods and Design) and PSYO 271 (Introduction to Data Analysis) to graduate as a Psychology Major.

Third and Fourth Years

  • At least 18 credits in 300-level or higher courses outside of Psychology;
  • At least 30 credits of 300-level or higher Psychology courses;
  • Psychology breadth requirement of at least 3 credits from each of the following five areas. Each area is defined by the centre digit in the course number (e.g., PSYO 219 satisfies category 1; PSYO 321 satisfies category 2; etc.); students may complete this requirement with 200-level as well as upper-level courses:
    1. Cognitive/Learning/Perception;
    2. Developmental;
    3. Biopsychology;
    4. Personality/Abnormal;
    5. Social/Sex/Forensic.

Electives are available to complete the 120 credits required for the degree.

For the Major, students need a minimum of 48 credits in Psychology courses, with at least 30 credits at the 300 level or higher. It is possible to take additional upper-level Psychology credits beyond this minimum value.

In addition, and with reference to non-Psychology course electives, students must complete at least 18 credits at the 300 level or higher outside of Psychology. Therefore, at least 48 credits (including the minimum 30 credits in Psychology and 18 credits in non-Psychology) toward the degree requirement of 120 credits must be from courses numbered 300 and above. As a consequence, it is possible to take a limited number of lower-division courses (including Psychology) during third and fourth years.

Note: not all Psychology courses are offered each year. A number of courses are offered in alternate years, and some may not be offered for several years. Students are advised to check the current schedule of course offerings.

B.A. Psychology Honours Program

The Honours degree program in Psychology enables high-achieving students in the Psychology Major to increase their concentration in Psychology and to gain research experience in the completion of an Honours thesis. Students are expected to satisfy high levels of competency in their academic achievement and to successfully complete a research project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Students intending to pursue graduate studies in Psychology are advised to consider taking the Honours Program since many Canadian universities expect potential graduate students to have completed an Honours degree.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% from all courses in Psychology;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% over the last 60 credits;
  • Preliminary thesis topic approved by a thesis supervisor (note: the department head must approve the thesis supervisor);
  • Completion of PSYO 372.

Graduation Requirements

  • All general program requirements for the B.A. degree, including the general, English, Science, Language other than English, and Distribution requirements;
  • All requirements for the Psychology Major, including the breadth requirement;
  • Completion of PSYO 372 (Research Methods and Statistics), PSYO 373 (Advanced Research Methods and Statistics), and 6 credits of PSYO 490 (Undergraduate Honours Thesis) with a minimum of 76% in each of these courses;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% from all courses in Psychology;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% over the last 60 credits;
  • Public presentation of the thesis; and
  • A minimum of 54 credits of Psychology, of which 42 must be upper-level courses.

Minor in Psychology

To complete a Minor in Psychology, students must accumulate no fewer than 30 credits in Psychology out of the 120 credits required for the B.A. degree. At least 18 of these credits must be numbered 300 or above.

Page last updated: June 15, 2020

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