Undergraduate Academic Advising
Have an advising question? Be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Other questions can be answered by making an appointment with an Academic Advisor.
General Undergraduate FAQ
In order to graduate, you are required to complete a specific number of Psychology credits and outside electives. Outside electives are courses offered in other programs outside of Psychology. You also must ensure you have completed any missing profile courses. To check your progress in our program, and track to make sure you are going to be able to graduate, use the program checksheets.
If you are still uncertain after having completed the program check sheet, you can make an appointment to see an academic advisor. Always bring the completed program checksheets with you when seeing an academic advisor
This depends on your degree, the number of credits you need to graduate (90, 108, 120), the number of credits taken per semester, and if you also take summer courses. For example, if you are a full-time student taking 12 credits per semester, you can complete 90 credits in 4 years. If you take 15 credits per semester, it will take you three years to complete 90 credits.
To be a full-time student in Quebec, you must take a minimum of 12 credits per semester (usually 4 courses). The maximum load is 15 credits per semester (usually 5 courses). If you are worried about the workload that university courses require, we recommend you start out with 12 credits (i.e., 4 courses) in the first semester. If you can handle the workload, then go to 15 credits in subsequent semesters. If you are thinking of applying to Medicine, Law, or Graduate Degrees, then please check with the schools you plan to apply to for the degree requirements (some schools expect you to take a 15-credit to demonstrate that you can handle the workload).
Profile courses are pre-requisite courses that most Quebec students take at Cégep before enrolling at Concordia, and thus do not need to take while in the program. For BA students, these include Introductory Psychology (PSYC 200), 200-level Math, and BIOL 201 (with lab) or BIOL 202. For BSc students, these include Introductory Psychology (PSYC 200), MATH 203 & 205, CHEM 205 & 206, BIOL 201 (with lab), and PHYS 204, 205, 206, 224, 225, 226.
Students without these requirements will see deficiencies noted in their Advisement Report, and must complete these within the program. These courses count as non-psychology electives, but do count towards your GPA. Specifically for PSYC-200, this does not count towards your PSYC requirements, and is taken as an elective course. For honours students PSYC-200 will have to be taken as an "extra" class.
Psychology courses tend to demand more work from the student than other general elective courses. This is especially the case for courses that have a laboratory component (i.e., PSYC310, PSYC315, PSYC311, PSYC316). While it is possible to take a full Psychology course load per semester, it is not recommended. Instead, taking 2-3 psychology courses, in addition to 1-2 general electives is recommended.
Some Psychology coures are offered every semester, others once per year, and others only occasionally. Courses come and go. If a course is not currently being offered, it is not possible to know when it might be offered the next time. Search the Concordia class schedule to see our current offerings.
Students will sometimes think they should stay in a course even though they are doing poorly, as they have heard that a DISC looks bad on their transcript. It is ok to have a DISC on your transcript – this happens from time to time as students like the initial idea of a course, but find it different when taking it. Also, as DISC is better than receiving an F for a course: a poor grade affects your GPA but a DISC does not count towards your GPA. However, try to not make a habit of having too many DISCs.
Students can repeat a course at any point, without making an advising appointment. The exception is if you are trying to repeat a course which is a prerequisite for another course you are or have taken.
Students should think of the following before repeating a course:
1) While re-taking a course can improve your GPA this will only happen if you do better than you did the first time. If you end up with a lower grade in the re-take, then this will lower your GPA. The last taken grade is what counts towards the GPA.
2) The earlier grade will remain on your transcript, and will not disappear.
3) How have things changes since the first time you took the course? Have you improved your work load or study habits to give yourself a better opportunity for improving your grade? Concordia's Student Success Centre can help you build your study skills and habits.
This is a common question from students that are either attempting to graduate, are thinking of applying to graduate school, or are in academic jeopardy (e.g., conditional standing, failed standing) the best way to answer this question is to try out different course and grade scenarios to see how these may impact your GPA. We have made available a simple Excel spreadsheet for this purpose.
These programs differ in the number of Psychology credits that students take, and whether they have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate thesis (required for honour students, optional for specialization students). Additional information on these program options is available here. Students wishing to switch from one program or another should complete the appropriate form.
Many psychology students choose to volunteer in a research lab during their studies. Voluntering can be valuable to students' psychology education in many different ways: it can give you your first real taste of research, help you to decide if you would like to puruse an undergraduate thesis in general or in a particular lab, provide opportunities to work closely with graduate students and faculty, and give you research experience in different labs and areas of psychology. Some labs give priority their own volunteers when admitting honours/specialization thesis students and hiring research assistants.
Labs differ widely in terms of what they expect from volunteers: commitments vary in terms of hours per week, the flexibilty of schedules, and the length of commitment (e.g., number of semesters that you commit to volunteering the lab). You may perform different tasks depending on the lab and your own skill set, for example assisting with preparing research studies, programming an experiment, recruiting or testing participants, or entering data.
To find opportunities, browse our list of faculty or our list of research labs. Compose a polite e-mail with information about your background, availability, and why you are interested in working in that particular lab. If labs have an application process for volunteers (this will be indicated on their website), be sure to follow any instructions.
Remember that volunteering is an important and often large commitment, and you should keep in mind your school and work commitments before applying to volunteer.
A degree in Psychology is a great foundation for many different careers. Concordia Career and Planning Services offers career counseling, workshops, a careers library, and more, including information specificially geared to Psychology students. Many professors are happy to give you their prospective - don't hesitate to use those office hours.
As a rule of thumb, plan to devote three hours of study time for each hour of class time. At times, and in particular courses, this will need to be increased. Students who work and/or volunteer part-time more than 15 hours/per week are likely to struggle with a full course load of 4-5 courses/semester.
If you run into trouble, seek help as soon as possible! If you are having academic difficulty, you can start by talking to your professor or to a Psychology advisor. Concordia also has a range of services to help you succeed. The Student Success Centre offers services including one-on-one tutors, study groups and workshops, student advocacy, and skills development. Counseling and Psychological Services are available for students experiencing stress, anxiety, relationship, or other problems. The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities supports students with a variety of disability conditions. The Concordia University Student Parents Centre offers resources for students who are studying while raising a family.
Honours and Specialization FAQ
PSYC 485 is an optional course for students in the specialization program who wish to have the opportunity to conduct research. Students enrolled in PSYC 485 have the opportunity to complete a specialization thesis. You would apply to take this course in the summer before your final year after you have received your grades from the winter term. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.2, and a thesis supervisor to be admitted. Students must submit a completed application form and a supervisor-student-contract with their application. Note that PSYC 311 (Research Methods II) and PSYC 316 (Statistical Analysis II) are pre-requisites for PSYC 485.
Honours students and specialization students (only those wishing to complete the optional specialization research experience course) must complete these two courses BEFORE you can get permission to register for PSYC 485 (optional specialization research project) or PSYC 495 (honours research project). You will not be able to do PSYC 311 or PSYC 316 concurrently with PSYC 485/495. Keep in mind that PSYC 485/495 is a full year course, so PSYC 311 and PSYC 316 must be completed the year prior (usually in your second year). Also be aware that neither of these courses is offered during the summer. It is best to complete PSYC 316 and PSYC 311 (in that sequence) in separate semesters, as they both carry a heavy workload.
The Honours Seminars (PSYC 490, 491) and Honours Thesis Seminar (PSYC495) are taken in the final year of the honours program. To be able to register for these classes, you must get permission from the department, which will be given once you have a confirmed thesis supervisor. You would take these courses in your final year provided your grades warrant your completing the honours program (have and maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in PSYC courses, and 3.3 in all others).
It is your responsibility to contact faculty members and ask if they would be willing to act as your thesis supervisor. Not all faculty members take on a student each year and those that do take on a limited number. Prior to contacting a faculty member, students should consult the faculty profiles on the department website to find a research area that interests them. Be aware that there are a limited number of spots so register early!
The honours advisor will open a place for you in a particular section after you let the advisor know, by email, which faculty member has agreed to be your research thesis supervisor, and the thesis supervisor confirms by email that you are accepted into the laboratory. If you are an Honours student, you do not have to complete the 'supervisor-student-contract' at this point, as you will do so during the first week of the thesis class.
You register yourself once a place has been opened for you. You will receive an email in late May or June, listing the specific sections to which you have been admitted.
No. Students are assigned to a thesis / seminar section by the honours advisor. This procedure provides an even distribution of the number of thesis students and research topics across all sections.
You will not have confirmation of your honours courses until all your grades from the Winter term are available, but all the seminar and thesis courses occur at the same time (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 16:15 pm to 18:45). With that schedule in mind, you should register for all your other courses when your date for registration occurs.
Academic Advising Appointments
Academic advisors provide advice about your academic program. Academic advisors can answer questions about:
- which program you should be in;
- whether your progress is satisfactory;
- what to do if you run into problems in your courses; and
- graduate school and academic opportunities following graduation.
Academic advisors do not provide career counseling. For career counselling, you should visit the Career and Placement Services Department.
- You can make an appointment with an academic advisor by emailing the main Psychology Department office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have questions about your academic progress you should first obtain a copy of your transcript and use it to complete your program checklist.
- Advising in the Department of Psychology is reserved exclusively for students currently enrolled in a Psychology program.
If you are not a current student in a Psychology program:
- Academic advisors in the Department of Psychology will not be able to help you. Instead, you can call the Student Academic Services Office at (514) 848-2424 ext. 2104 in the Faculty of Arts and Science to make an appointment with an advisor.