keeners,  psychology

do the right thing, brainiac

Hey aska,

So I’m in my 4th year, going on 5th (because the Major-Changing-Gods smiled upon me greatly at UofT) BUT:
I am wondering what you have to do to get an honors thesis if you are only in the Psych Major and not the Specialist?

I know they say you have to get into a thesis class but I don’t think that’s on the regular calendar. Also why are they excluding us poor majors from all the cool Specialist stuff? Lastly, do you still graduate the major with honors if you do not do an honors thesis?

Thanks a lot,
Major(ly) Psych(ed)


Dear Major(ly) Psych(ed)

Cute name! Askastudent loves it when people give themselves nicknames. It’s the little things that count.

According the 2011/2012 calendar (ooh it’s so fresh and shiny), the Psychology Major requires the following:

First Year: PSY100H1
After PSY100:

  1. Statistics: PSY201H1/ECO220Y1/ECO227Y1/GGR270H1/HMB325H1/SOC202H1/STA220H1/STA250H1
  2. Two of PSY210H1, PSY220H1, PSY230H1, PSY240H1 (Cluster A) and two of PSY260H1, PSY270H1, PSY280H1, PSY290H1 (Cluster B)
  3. Four half-courses (2 FCEs) at the 300+-level from Group 1 below, with at least one half-course from each of Clusters A and B
  4. one 400-level half-course (.5 FCE) from Group 1 below, Cluster A or B
  5. 1.5 FCEs from Groups 1 and/or 2 below

I don’t see anything about an honors thesis, which seems more streamlined for the Psychology Research Specialist, which you can get into by applying into a PSY lab course in third year.

My advice is that you be proactive about this. If you want to do an honors thesis, contact the professor you like the best in the Psychology Program and see if you can do one. Contact the Psychology Students Association and ask for their advice. There’s no reason that your major in Psych should stop you from seeking the opportunities for research that you so crave. (And that will certainly improve your application for graduate school, if you are so inclinded.)

I also see that the “research” tab of the Psych website lists a bunch of profs studying highly specific facets of interest. Maybe you could find a match by perusing those categories?

My point is that if you want an opportunity to happen, sometimes you have to go about making it happen yourself. Sans honors thesis, you will still graduate with honors (because everyone in Arts and Science graduates with honors – hooray!), but do the honourable thing, and go after what you want while you can.

Hope that helps!

xoxo, Askastudent

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