Psychology (B.Sc.)

B.Sc. Major in Psychology

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

The Bachelor of Science Major in Psychology provides a strong foundation in psychology.

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 may complete a B.Sc. Major in Psychology with a minor in any other Social Science area.

Students intending to pursue graduate studies in Psychology are advised to consider taking the Honours degree 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

First Year Credits
ENGL 109, or two of ENGL 112, 113, 114, 150, 151, 1531, 154, 155, or 156 6
MATH 100 3
One of COSC, DATA, STAT, additional MATH courses 3
At least 3 credits of experimental science in any BIOL, CHEM, EESC, or PHYS courses with labs 3
Science electives3 9
PSYO 111, 121 6
Total Credits 30

Second Year  
Science [non-Psychology] electives3 12
PSYO 270, 2712 6
At least 12 credits of non-science designated courses4,5 12
Total Credits 30

1Students who have not earned the 6 credits of required English or Communications coursework by the time they enter fourth year will not be permitted to enroll in any courses other than courses that satisfy the English or Communications requirement.

2A student must complete PSYO 270 (Introduction to Research Methods and Design) and PSYO 271 (Introduction to Data Analysis) to graduate as a Psychology Major.

3The first-year courses are often prerequisite for second-year courses and second-year courses are often prerequisites for upper-level (third- and fourth-year) courses in the discipline. Students are strongly advised to consider what upper-level courses are of interest to ensure that they have the proper prerequisites.

4PSYO courses are NOT Arts courses for B.Sc. Psychology students.

5Students are strongly encouraged to take 3 credits of an Indigenous content course to partially fulfill this requirement. Students entering the B.Sc. in 2022 and later will have to successfully complete an Indigenous content course.

Third and Fourth Years

  • 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:
    1. Cognitive/Learning/ Perception;
    2. Developmental;
    3. Biopsychology;
    4. Personality/Abnormal;
    5. Social/Sex/Forensic.

Note: each area is defined by the middle number in the course number (e.g., PSYO 219 satisfies area 1; PSYO 321 satisfies area 2, etc.); students may complete this requirement with second-year as well as upper-level courses.

  • In total, a minimum of 48 credits in Psychology courses (at least 30 credits at the 300 level or higher). Students may earn the additional 6 credits in Psychology beyond the required 12 lower-level [PSYO 111, 121, 270 & 271] and the 30 upper-level [i.e., 300 or higher] credits with second- and/or upper-level credits;
  • At least 12 credits in 300-level or higher non-Psychology courses (upper division). At least 6 must be designated as Science which will give a total of 78 Science credits [this includes all Psychology credits];
  • At least 12 credits of non-science designated courses;
  • At least 120 credits are required for the degree;
  • The credits not specifically defined are electives. Given the requirements of a minimum 42 upper-division credits, it is possible to take a limited number of lower-division courses (including Psychology) during third and fourth year.

Note: not all of the identified 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. Moreover, timetabling conflicts may mean that courses have to be taken in a different order.

B.Sc. Psychology Honours Program

The Honours degree program in Psychology enables high-achieving Psychology Major students to increase their concentration in Psychology and gain research experience by 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 admitted to B.Sc. Psychology Major program, or in any of the concentration areas, may apply to the Honours program provided all admission requirements outlined below are satisfied.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% from all courses taken 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; and
  • Completion of PSYO 372.

Graduation Requirements

  • All general program requirements for the Bachelor of Science;
  • 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;
  • A minimum of 54 credits of Psychology, of which 42 must be upper-level Psychology;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% from all courses in Psychology;
  • Minimum weighted average of 76% over the last 60 credits; and
  • Public presentation of the thesis.

Residency Requirements

Same as for B.Sc. Major in Psychology.

The University of British Columbia

Enrolment Services
University Centre, Room 322
3333 University Way, Kelowna BC, Canada V1V 1V7