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Apply for PS499

PS499* is the Department of Psychology's honours (undergraduate) thesis course

Enrolling in PS499 is a competitive process and, unfortunately, not all students who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be able to enrol. Enrolment in the course is limited by the number of supervisors available in any given year and the number of students they can supervise. Although faculty members typically supervise one or two thesis students each year, in some cases they may be on sabbatical or other leave or have commitments that prevent them from being able to supervise students.

However, you never know until you apply if you will get in, so if you feel like this could be an exciting and enriching experience for you, then we encourage you to apply.

Application Dates and Deadlines 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Enrolment in Year 4 of the Honours BA: Research Specialist, Honours BSc Psychology and Neuroscience, or a joint BSc Psychology program.
  • Completion of PS394 and one of PS395, PS397, PS398, or PS487 by the end of winter term of Year 3.
    • These courses are prerequisites for PS499 because they help prepare students to complete an honours thesis, but students who don’t have all of them are still accepted into the course every year and often excel in it.
  • A minimum GPA of 8.5 in psychology courses by the end of winter term of Year 3 is normally needed to be competitive.
    • However, students with lower GPAs are accepted each year. If you started to do very well in the last few psychology courses you have taken, for example, this can make up for some of the lower grades you might have received before. In the application form there is an optional section where you can explain why your grades may have been lower than what was expected of you.

Application Steps

1. Identify Faculty Members You Would Like to Work With

Consult our list below of faculty members accepting thesis students next year along with information about their research interests. You might also visit their website or download and take a quick look at recent publications authored by faculty members to learn more about their research.

Identify six to eight potential supervisors who you are interested in working with. Because some research areas are extremely popular, you might not be able to work with the faculty members you most want to work with.

2. Complete and Submit the Online Application by Jan. 29, 2024

On the PS499 application form, you will be asked to:

  • indicate the areas of psychology that you are interested in studying.
  • list the faculty members you are interested in working with along with the areas of research you are interested in studying with them, 
  • include a short personal statement describing why you are interested in completing a thesis and your future goals, and
  • upload an unofficial transcript and resume listing your employment and volunteer experiences.

You should prepare your personal statement and have these documents ready before you begin the online application form because the form will not allow you to save and continue. Find tips and on what to include in your personal statement.

The online application also has a section that allows you to optionally describe why your grades in any course or term might not reflect your true abilities or potential. 

3. Meeting with Faculty Members

Between Feb. 5 and March 1, faculty members will receive your application materials and may contact you for additional information or to arrange a time to meet with you to discuss the possibility of completing a thesis.

4. Complete the Online Ranking Form

Complete the online ranking form by Friday, March 8. Based on your initial review of faculty members as well as any meetings you have had with them, you should generate a ranked list of Faculty members, with the person you most want to work with as number 1.

To increase your chances of matching, we encourage you to rank several (six to eight are recommended) potential supervisors. We will try to match you with a supervisor as far up your list of preferences as possible.

5. Faculty Match and Eligibility Confirmation

As soon as possible after Friday, March 8, you will be notified by email if you are successfully matched with a supervisor. Please be patient, as this process could take several weeks. If a match is not possible based on the list you submitted, you may be contacted to consider whether there are other areas of interest that may interest you to facilitate further matching.

Once Winter grades have been submitted, your eligibility for PS499 will be confirmed. Your acceptance to the course may depend on meeting the eligibility criteria at this time.