Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Psychology at Queen's University


Humphrey Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
R. Holden (Jan-July, 2015), W. Craig (July onward)

Undergraduate Studies Chair: Jill L. Atkinson
Graduate Studies Coordinator: Hans C. Dringenberg

Psychology can be divided broadly into two branches: natural science and social science. In the natural science branch, you will learn about basic processes of cognition and behavioural neuroscience, including the effects of brain damage or drug-induced changes on behavior, how various neurochemicals affect normal and abnormal behavior, mechanisms of memory, motor control, and how we solve problems. The social science branch of psychology focuses on child development, personality differences, how people act in groups or organizations, health-related behaviours, and various aspects of normal and abnormal behavior.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - BScH

Specialization in Biology and Psychology
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline with a combination of courses within Biology

Major in Psychology
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in Psychology
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Psychology
A dual course of study in Psychology and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Psychology
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Bachelor of Arts - BA or Bachelor of Science - BSc

General in Psychology
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Psychology - PhD
Psychology - MSc

First Year Courses

Psychology Arts students as well as Science students both need to complete PSYC100/6.0 in their first year.

Arts Psychology Degrees
Supporting arts credits include PSYC100 and up to 24.0 units in the Arts and/or Sciences

Science Psychology Degrees
Supporting science credits only applicable to students studying Psychology in the BSCH degree are listed below: 

  • BIOL 102/3.0 and BIOL 103/3.0
  • CHEM 112/6.0
  • 6.0 units from CISC (Computing) at the 100-level
  • 6.0 units from MATH at the 100-level
  • PHYS 104/6.0 or PHYS 106/6.0 or PHYS 117/6.0

Of the courses listed above, only 12.0 units are required for completion at any point across the 4 years of their Undergraduate career.  These courses DO NOT need to be taken in first year.

What it takes to study Psychology in your second year >

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

Job and Career Opportunities for Psychology Grads

Psychology occupies a remarkable position among the sciences, spanning a number of related disciplines. The natural-science branch studies basic processes of sensation, perception, memory, attention, thinking, language and behaviour. Psychologists in these areas study a wide variety of problems in humans and animals, such as the effects of brain damage or drug induced changes on behaviour, how various neurochemicals affect normal and abnormal behaviour, how our short-term memory works, or how we problem solve. The social science branch of psychology examines a wide range of problems, such as child development, personality differences, how people act in groups or organizations, and various aspects of normal and abnormal behaviour. Some students go on to complete Masters and Doctoral degrees and find research careers in academia, government and large organizations. Others stress applied aspects and become expert in areas such as the treatment of abnormal behaviour or in personnel selection. Still others who do not go to graduate school use their undergraduate degree as a jump off to law, public administration, education and a wide variety of careers where knowledge of human behaviour is valued.

Some of our psychology grads work in the following industries:

  • Administration
  • Addictions
  • Advertising
  • Advocacy - Patient
  • Arbitration
  • Art Therapy
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Child and Youth Care
  • Community Development
  • Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding
  • Counselling
  • Corrections
  • Demography
  • Disabilities
  • Education
  • Events Management
  • Foreign Service
  • Forensic Investigations
  • Gerontology
  • Human Resources
  • Image Consulting
  • Immigration Services
  • Laboratory Technology
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Mediation – Family, Labour Mental Health Services
  • Neurology
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Palliative Care & Hospice
  • Paramedical Services
  • Police Work
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychometrics
  • Public Relations
  • Security Services
  • Social Work
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Therapy – Music, Art, Play, Dance
  • Writing

Career paths for Psychology grads handout from Career Services >

Psychology Electives for Non-Psych Students

Principles of Psychology PSYC 100/6.0
An introductory survey of basic areas of psychology including perception, cognition, learning and motivation and their biological substrata. Also reviewed are child development, individual differences, social psychology and abnormal psychology.

Abnormal Psychology PSYC 235/6.0
The experimental approach to the understanding, description and modification of abnormal behaviour is emphasized in the analysis of disorders of cognition (e.g., learning, memory and thinking), disturbances of affect (e.g., anxiety and depression), and problem behaviours (e.g., addictions, sexual disorders and psychopathy).

Developmental Psychology PSYC 251/3.0
Introduction to the scientific study of human development, with an emphasis on social, cognitive, and neurobiological processes underlying perceptual, cognitive, and emotional development from infancy to adolescence.

Brain and Behaviour I PSYC 271/3.0
An introduction to behavioural neuroscience. The course primarily focuses on the basics of neuronal operation, functional neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and behavioral neuroscience methods. This will be followed by an examination of input (sensory) and output (motor) systems of the brain. Finally, topics relevant to lateralization of function and language will be covered.

Human Sexuality PSYC 333/3.0
An introductory survey to human sexuality, including different theoretical perspectives on human sexuality, the research methodology used to study human sexuality, and sexual behaviours, interests, and responses.

Brain and Behaviour II PSYC 370/3.0
The relationship between brain and behaviour. The first part of the course examines topics relevant to brain plasticity, including neurodevelopment, brain damage and learning and memory; followed by a section on the biopsychology of motivation that covers the neural mechanisms of eating, sexual behaviour and sleep. The final section deals with disorders of cognition and emotion, including drug addiction, stress and psychiatric disorders.

History of Modern Psychology PSYC 397/3.0
A survey of the history of modern psychology, from the 17th century to the present day. The more important empirical findings of psychology and related disciplines will be examined together with their theoretical explanations. The course will lead to an examination of the causes of differential scientific progress in the various subfields of psychology.

Graduate Studies in Psychology

The Department of Psychology has Graduate Programs at both the M.Sc. and the Ph.D. level in four areas:

The BBCS, the Developmental, and the Social-Personality Programs are designed to emphasize research skills and scholarship, preparing students for either academic positions or for research posts in government, industry, and the like. The Clinical Program is designed to educate psychologists who will be proficient in both the scientific and clinical aspects of their profession, and who are capable of working in a variety of settings.

Queen’s University has a minimum guarantee of funding for doctoral students (in good standing) of $18,000 per academic years 1 through 4, the Department makes a concerted effort to provide support for Master’s students in years 1 and 2 (some conditions may apply). The source of this support may be Federal/Provincial fellowships, scholarships, awards, Queen’s Fellowships/Awards; teaching assistantships; research assistantships, etc.

Kelly Sparks
Graduate Studies Assistant

Psychology Research at Queen's

Queen's is one of Canada's leading research-intensive universities - a place many of Canada's most outstanding researchers call home. From the humanities and social sciences to the physical, natural, and applied sciences, researchers across all disciplines have been recognized with the nation's highest research honours.

The Psychology Department at Queen's University provides internationally renowned research programs known for: the excellence and integrity of its faculty, students and training; the innovation and value of its research, scholarship, and skill development; and the fostering of leadership in the delivery of service to the community, to the field of psychology, and to society.


Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter