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Psychology student performing a brain scan on another student

Real World Thinking

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour viewed from social, developmental, clinical and biological perspectives. York’s Department of Psychology, located at the Keele campus, offers the largest and most diverse selection of courses available at any Canadian university taught by internationally recognized teachers, researchers and clinical practitioners.

York’s Psychology program was ranked 4th in Canada by QS World University Rankings 2023.

For more information on York’s Psychology degree, visit the Psychology website.

Psychology video description

Why Study Psychology at York?

  • York's Psychology program equips students with the fundamental critical thinking, writing and communication skills that employers value
  • More course selections than at any other Canadian university offering tremendous choice to help students determine their study and career interests
  • Evening, online and blended courses for maximum study flexibility
  • Award winning professors who are internationally recognized teachers and researchers actively working with community partners to address challenges such as improving services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; advising schools and government on ways to prevent or stop bullying; working with NASA astronauts on vision and perception in space and much more
  • Students in both honours degree options now have the opportunity to gain a credential in one of six new Psychology Concentrations: Counselling and Mental Health; Psychological Humanities, Contexts & Communities; Child and Youth Development; Applied Methods and Analysis; Neuropsychology; Aging and Late Life Development.
  • A great student experience in a supportive environment with academic advising, peer mentoring and student clubs
  • Career workshops in Psychology with York’s Career Centre to help you prepare for life after graduation
Psychology student conducting a study in a lab

Psychology program at York

Students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. In Introductory Psychology 1010, students in both degree options will be exposed to the diversity of human behaviour and mental processes. Areas and topics that are covered include: personality, memory, learning, intelligence, psychological disorders, the biological basis of behaviour, perception, motivation, cognition, child development, abnormal and social psychology.

Our strength comes from the diversity and breadth of the interests we explore ranging from studies of infancy to mental health disorders of childhood through the challenges of adolescence to adulthood and old age. From bilingualism to perfectionism; from pain to resilience; from how we see to how we are seen; from studies in outer space to inner space; and from what enhances empathy to how emotional-focus can help us change.

In both degree options, students take the first year Introduction to Psychology course where they are introduced to basic terms and concepts in Psychology, as well as a diversity of topics including the biological bases of behaviour, learning, emotion, perception, motivation, cognition, child development, personality, social psychology and psychological health, distress and impairment in real world contexts. The BA option gives students more choices of electives, including in the humanities and social sciences; while students in the BSc must take electives in math and science (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics, computer science).

Pathways to Medical & Professional Schools 

Specialized Honours Program

For those students thinking about graduate study in Psychology, the Specialized Honours Psychology program is designed to provide advanced training in research methods, statistical analysis, scientific communication, and critical thinking. Students complete a specific set of courses intended to develop breadth and depth of psychological knowledge and build strong research skills. You would be given the opportunity to work on research projects under the supervision of a faculty member in your 3rd and 4th years and your research training would culminate in the completion of a thesis supervised by a faculty member. Throughout the program you would be mentored in the process of preparing for and then applying to graduate programs in psychology.

The BSc and BA in Psychology have the exact same core Psychology course requirements. However, a BSc student also has additional math, science, and computer science requirements outside of their Psychology courses while a BA student does not. This means that a BA student may have more space in their schedule to take additional electives, such as in the humanities or social sciences.

Two researchers analyzing a brain scan in the MRI lab
Exploring the biological basis of behaviour in the fMRI lab
Psychology student presenting a poster of her research
Psychology Poster Day

Psychology Concentrations

Students can gain a credential in one of seven Psychology Concentrations: Counselling and Mental Health; Psychological Humanities, Contexts & Communities; Child and Youth Development; Applied Methods and Analysis; Neuropsychology; Aging and Late Life Development; Our Social World and Social Minds.

Preparing Students For Success: Writing In Psychology

Develop university-level writing ability to succeed in your courses and beyond. In this course, students write about psychological content in a way that develops general written communication skills that are widely transferable. Students learn how texts ‘work’ and develop self- reflective writing skill.

Sample Core Courses

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Writing In Psychology
  • Critical Thinking in Psychology
  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Statistical Methods I and II

Sample Elective Courses

  • Psychological Health, Distress and Impairment
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Community Psychology
  • Psychology of Intimate Relationships
  • Psychology of Reasoning, Judgment and Decision-Making


The following certificate programs are available to supplement your degree studies:

Opportunities for Students

Students have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning through experiential education, such as analyzing brain imagery to understand the biological basis of behaviour in our fMRI lab; exploring the relationship between vision, perception and psychology in our Centre for Vision Research; or out in the community in schools in the fourth year Atypical Development course looking into disorders of childhood and adolescence based on current research; or as part of the fourth year Advanced Community Based Applied Research course working with community partners such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health,  the Black Creek Community Health Centre and others to address community partner needs in broad areas within health and social psychology. Students integrate psychological theories and methods with the design, data collection, analysis, presentation and write up of applied research projects.

The York/Seneca Certificate in Rehabilitation Services prepares undergraduate students to work in a variety of rehabilitation fields by integrating academic training in health sciences, and practical field experience.

Through work in class or in the lab, community experience and independent research projects such as the undergraduate research poster day, students apply what they learn in class in real world settings, as well as acquire valuable transferable skills sought by employers including critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and presentation skills.

Academic advisors in the Psychology Undergraduate Office and in our Office of Student and Academic Services are ready to assist you to plan your courses of study so that you are on track toward your career path.

The Undergraduate Psychology Students Association is a great way to meet new friends and get involved.

Professors and students standing in front of research posters
Undergraduate Psychology Research Poster Day
A panel of professors introducing themselves to a class of students
Meet the Professors Event

Careers in Psychology

Career paths open up with a degree in Psychology because there are so many applications for the knowledge and skills that Psychology graduates acquire. Understanding human behaviour and what motivates people is a highly valued skill in multiple sectors including the non-profit, private, education and social services sectors, as well as in government, law and research institutions. Below is a sampling of some of the many careers that York Psychology graduates have gone on to.

  • Applied Behaviour Analyst*
  • Child and Youth Worker
  • Community Justice Worker
  • Corrections Officer
  • Counsellor* (schools, substance abuse, bereavement, immigration)
  • Developmental Disabilities Services Worker*
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Educational Administrator*
  • Family Therapist
  • Human Resources Specialist*
  • Labour Relations Specialist
  • Lawyer*
  • Marketing Manager
  • Mental Health Therapist*
  • Physician*
  • Policy Advisor
  • Professor*
  • Psychiatrist*
  • Psychologist*
  • Psychotherapist*
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Manager
  • Research Assistant
  • Social Worker*
  • Speech Language Pathologist*
  • Teacher*

*with further postgraduate training

People talking in a classroom

Psychology Alumni

Psychology alumni are working in health care, law, marketing, education, research and more.

Kat Kova
Psychotherapist, Private Practice
Farwa Jafri
Law student, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Rebecca Pillai Riddell
Psychology Professor,
York University
Jonathan Clodman
Elementary Teacher, Toronto District School Board
Safiyyah Alli
Instructor Therapist, Always Connected Treatment Network

Contact Psychology

(416) 736-5117