What is the Specialized Honours Psychology Program and why would I apply?

The Specialized Honours Psychology Program (YUSHPP) is designed to provide advanced training in research methods, statistical analysis, scientific communication, and critical thinking. If you were admitted to the program you would be required to complete a specific set of courses intended to develop breadth and depth of psychological knowledge and build strong research skills. You would be provided 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.

Who should apply to the Program?

You should apply if you are in your second year have a strong interest in conducting psychological research and you plan to pursue graduate studies in psychology.

What are the application requirements?

You may apply if:

  • You are a currently a Psychology major in a 120 credit BA or BSc program, and
  • You have completed approximately 53 credits (i.e., at the end of 2nd year) and
  • You have completed PSYC 1010 6.00 Introduction to Psychology with a minimum grade of C, PSYC 2030 3.00 Introduction to Research Methods, and PSYC 2020 6.00 Statistics I & II (or equivalent), and
  • You have completed (or plan to complete by the end of the summer of the year you apply) your general education requirements for the degree, and
  • You have an overall GPA of 7.0 (B+)

Is it possible to apply to the program after your 2nd year?

Students that apply later in their degree will be considered on a case by case basis, you may apply if:

  • All of the general application requirements are satisfied, and
  • You have completed PSYC 3010 3.00 (Intermediate Research Methods) and PSYC 3031 3.00 (Intermediate Statistics Laboratory), and
  • You have acquired research experience in a faculty member’s lab and you have secured a thesis supervisor

How do you apply?

  • The application period is between May 1 and May 15
  • You start the application process by completing an online application, which can be found at: https://spechon.apps01.yorku.ca/

What is the admission process?

  • You submit your online application between May 1st and May 15th.
  • Your application is reviewed by a committee of faculty members
  • Candidates on the short list are invited for an oral interview in late May or early June.
  • Successful candidates are notified in July.
  • Successful candidates see the program coordinator to ensure appropriate paper work is completed prior to being transferred in to the program.

What happens if my GPA drops below 7.0 or I fail to complete one of the required courses?

You will have to continue your program as a regular Honours Psychology student. Depending on the circumstances you may or may not be re-instated if your GPA reaches 7.0 (B+) by the time you graduate and you have completed the required courses in the Specialized Honours program.

Once I am accepted in to the program what will I need to do to complete the requirements?

  • Maintain an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 7.00 (B+).
  • Participate in research lab(s)
  • Complete the following Psychology courses in addition to the degree requirements for your BA or BSc (120 credit) degree.
  • 6 credits in the 2100 and/or 3100 series of courses.
  • 6 credits in the 2200 and/or 3200 series of courses.
  • Intermediate Research Methods (PSYC 3010 3.00)
  • Intermediate Statistics Laboratory (PSYC 3031 3.00)
  • Psychological Measurement (PSYC 3090 3.00)
  • History of Psychology (PSYC 3125 3.00)
  • Specialized Honours Thesis Seminar (PSYC 4001 6.00) (note this requires conducting an individual thesis in a faculty members lab and attending the seminar course).

What is the process for enrolling in the Specialized Honours Thesis Seminar (i.e. 4001)?

  • Confirm you have completed all 4001 prerequisites:
    • Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 1010 6.00) with a minimum grade of C
    • Introduction to Research Methods (PSYC 2030 3.00)
    • Statistics I & II (PSYC 2020 6.00)
    • Intermediate Research Methods (PSYC 3010 3.00)
    • Intermediate Statistics Laboratory (PSYC 3031 3.00)
  • Obtain a 4001 thesis contract from the Specialized Honours website
  • Complete and sign the contract with your supervisor
  • Make a photocopy for yourself and your supervisor
  • Leave a copy of the signed contract with the secretary in room 280 BSB for approval (i.e. confirmation that prerequisites have been completed) by the specialized honours coordinator
  • Approved contracts will submitted to the Undergrad office by the specialized honours coordinator
  • You will be contacted by email if enrollment in 4001 is not approved
  • You will be able to enroll online approximately 1 week after submitting your contract assuming there is no problem with your contract

Who do I contact if I have questions?

John Eastwood, the current coordinator of the specialized honours program, can be reached via the contact page.

22 responses to FAQs

  1. Dear Sir,

    I have finished my 3-year study of Psychological Science in Monash University in Melbourne. However, I lack an honours degree and thus, is unable to proceed to Psychology Masters. I was wondering if I am eligible to apply for Psychology Honours at York University so as to get the qualification for further Psychology studies? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Best regards,

    • Hi Cecilla
      Thanks for your interest in the program. I can not comment on whether you are eligible to apply to the York Honours Program in Psychology (you would need to contact the undergraduate office for that question). If you are successfully admitted to the undergraduate program, then you could apply to the specialized honours program after that.

  2. helllo, i am a second year BA honours psychology major and i am interested in applying for the specialized honours at the end of the year. i learned that a gpa of 7 is to be maintained when u enter the program. do we have to have to a gpa of 7 when we apply for the program? at the moment, my gpa ranges between 6 and 6.8

  3. Hi Norbu
    Yes, a GPA of 7.0 is a requirement for application to the program. Best

    • Ying said on June 7, 2013

      Hello, Dr. Eastwood,

      There are three kind of GPAs in student grade report: overall GPA, faculty GPA, and major GPA. In order to apply for specilized program, do I have to have three of them fulfil the GPA of 7.0 requirement, or solely focus on the overall GPA?

      Best Regards,

  4. Hi there. I am a second year Psychology BSc Honours student at York interested in applying for this program. I just noticed that the requirements want the general education courses to be finished by the end of the summer of the year you are applying. I have one general education course left to take (a MODES course) but I cannot take it until third year. Is there any way to work around this or will I have to wait until next year to apply and hope I get considered?

    Thank you,
    Evan Shanahan

  5. Hamze said on May 4, 2013

    Dear John,

    Is the cut off for the GPA hard or soft?

    My GPA stands at 6.94, I am wondering if my application will be considered if I am barely below the cut off?



    • Hi Hamze
      Yes, 7.0 is required. You could take a summer course to raise your GPA and apply now. If you were accepted it would be dependent on having a GPA of 7.0 or greater by Sept 1.
      John Eastwood

  6. Dear Dr. Eastwood,

    Can part time students apply for this program?

    Regards Allison

  7. Dear Dr. Eastwood,

    I complete Research Methods Course at end of summer.
    Can I apply this year to the program or do I need to apply next year?

    Regards Allison

    • Hi Allison
      Yes, you can.
      John Eastwood

      • Hi,
        So if i complete Introduction to Research Methods at the end of this Summer, will I still be eligible for the specialized honours program in the upcoming F/W session?

        Also, is the specialized honours program a requirement for the psychology graduate studies program?

        • Hi Stephanie
          If you apply in May of any given year you can be admitted in Sept of that same year as long as all requirements are complete by September. No, you do not need to be in the specialized honours program in order to apply to graduate school. Thanks for your question. Best
          John Eastwood

  8. Hi John,

    I am currently in second year and completing an Honours double major program in both Psychology and Sociology. Since I am double majoring, am I still eligible for the Specialized Honours program, assuming that I complete all mandatory requirements?

    Thank you


    • Hi Daniel
      You should confirm with the undergraduate office in both Psychology and Sociology…however, I am almost certain that it is not possible to complete a double major and a specialization. All the best
      John Eastwood

  9. Hey, I have just finished my second year, entering my third year, and I missed the deadline to apply to the program, but I also haven’t taken intro to research methods anyways, which I plan on taking this year. I am attempting to take Psych 3031, and I’m already enrolled in Psych 3010. I am aware I need to find a supervisor for my thesis and get some research experience with a faculty member. Assuming I do just that, does that mean I am eligible to apply to the specialized honours program after my third year?

    • Hi Lucas
      Yes, provided you meet all of the application requirements outlined on the website you can apply after your third year. The most critical issue is as follows: If you apply in May of any given calendar year and then want to do your thesis in the fall of that same year (i.e 4 months later) then you need to secure a supervisor on your own before September.
      John Eastwood

  10. Hi John,

    For applying after your 2nd year, the requirements are a GPA of 7.0, Intermediate Stats and Research Methods, research experience, a thesis supervisor, and the general requirements. Does this mean that it is not necessary to take History of Psychology and Psychological Measurment to apply during your 3rd year?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *