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.
What is Psychology?
Psychology is the study of mental processes and behaviour. Psychologists study the relationship between brain function, behaviour, and the environment. As a discipline, it covers a wide range of subjects including cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, social influence, health, development, and clinical psychology.
As scientists, psychologists follow scientific methods, using careful observation, experimentation, and statistical analysis to learn more about all aspects of the human experience.
Studying psychology helps you to answer the following questions:
- How much do we know without learning? How do we learn?
- Do our perceptions equal reality?
- How do we acquire language? How do we communicate?
- How does stress affect us?
- How do early experiences affect our development?
- What kinds of behavior are abnormal? Why do they occur?
- What are the most effective treatments for mental illness?
- What makes people behave differently in groups?
- Do we have free will?
What do Psychologists do?
The work that psychologists do can be classified into three general and often overlapping categories:
- basic research,
- applied psychology, and
- clinical/counseling psychology.
These scientists use observation, experimentation, and statistics in order to understand, explain, and predict the experience and behaviour of human beings and other animals. Some study psychological processes (e.g., sensation & perception, learning & memory, emotion & motivation, thinking & language), while others study topics such as child development, personality, social interactions, families, organizations, and communities.
Some psychologists’ work involves the application of psychological knowledge to solving problems and improving conditions in everyday life. Often these individuals are employed as consultants, working with schools to improve learning and behaviour, corporations to motivate employees and improve productivity, police forces to enhance investigation, corrections, to help manage offenders, or athletic organizations to improve athletes’ performance.
These clinicians assess and treat complex mental and behavioural problems, with individuals, couples, families and groups. They may also work at the community level to improve living conditions and promote mental health. Clinical and counseling psychologists are generally employed in hospitals, private or community clinics, schools, or correctional institutions. In most jurisdictions in Canada, registration as a clinical psychologist requires a doctoral degree.
The Psychology Dept is home to 31 labs where faculty members conduct research in Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science, as well as Developmental, Social and Clinical Psychology.
Many of our students volunteer, and later conduct their own thesis research, in these labs. For information on our researchers and the studies currently underway in the psychology dept, please visit: www.queensu.ca/psychology/research
After taking Introductory Psychology in their first year, students choose increasingly specialized courses in their second and third years and then complete their degree requirements with either a thesis or three advanced seminars.
To browse our course offerings, please visit our Course Information page
Blended Learning in PSYC 100/6.0
An innovative course design known as blended learning is enabling us to go beyond the lecture format, which is traditional for large classes, and to focus more on a classroom experience where students work collaboratively in small groups and are engaged actively in their own learning. In general:
- students are guided through the fundamental content and concepts with readings and interactive online materials;
- classroom time is focused on small group activities and collaborative learning, where students apply and synthesize the concepts and theories they have learned;
- there are fewer total classroom hours (e.g. 2 per week instead of 3 per week).
If you’re one of the 1800 students in PSYC 100/6.0, each week looks like this: complete preparatory work online, attend one lecture in a class of a maximum of 450 students, and participate in one active, face-to-face learning lab together with your group of 6 students (in a class of 25-30 students).
A student-centred approach, and the active learning strategies that characterize blended courses are key to their success.
Students may apply for admission to Queen’s Arts (QA) or Science (QS) through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Following the completion of first-year at Queen’s, students may apply for a Psychology degree plan.
The Department of Psychology offers the following degree plans:
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Psychology, Major
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) Psychology, Medial
- Bachelor of Arts (General) Psychology, Minor
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology-Psychology
NOTE: Details of the above plans are found on the Degree Plan Requirements page.
Queen's Admissions: Arts
Students apply to Queen's Arts (QA) through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC).
Secondary School Prerequisites include:
- Six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U.
- Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements.
Queen's Admissions: Science
Students apply to Queen's Science (QS) through the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC).
Secondary School prerequisites include:
- English 4U;
- Biology 4U;
- Advanced Functions 4U;
- Two of Chemistry 4U, Physics 4U, or Calculus and Vectors 4U.
Upper Year Transfer Students
The Department of Psychology is currently at capacity and is unable to accept upper-year transfer students into our Honours Psychology plans.
For a list of available programs, please see the following link: www.queensu.ca/artsci/think-and-apply/transfer
Undergraduate Admission Requirements for Upper Year Transfer Students can be found at: www.queensu.ca/admission/about-applying/transfer-students
Arts and Science Online offers a fully online 3-year BA General degree in Psychology: www.queensu.ca/artsci/programs-and-degrees/social-sciences/psychology
Distance students completing a BA General in Psychology, may not transfer or upgrade their degree to on-campus studies at Queen’s.
Information regarding program requirements (high school course prerequisites), tuition and fees, financial assistance, and student services, can be found at:
Faculty of Arts & Science