Undergraduate Honours Thesis

*updated January 14, 2019*

Undergraduate Honours Thesis in Psychology

PSYC*4870 Honours Thesis I [0.50 credit] Under individual faculty supervision, students plan, develop, and write a research proposal and prepare an extensive review paper on their area of research. Group sessions are held on research ethics, subject protocols, and applying to graduate school.

PSYC*4880 Honours Thesis II [1.00 credit] Students conduct research and write an undergraduate thesis under the direction of a faculty member, present a poster, and reflect upon their work.

Once your application has been confirmed, you and your supervisor will complete a course outline for your project. 

  • Template: coming soon
  • Upon completion, forward to Sharon Helder at shelder@uoguelph.ca located in MCKN 4015.

APPLICATION FORM: Request to Enrol

Applicant actions:

  1. Contact potential supervisors.
    • Link to: Psychology labs and projects.
    • Obtaining a supervisor's agreement greatly increases the possibility that you will be approved for the honours thesis, however be aware that it is still a competitive process. 
    • You can find out who is accepting students by clicking on their profile at: https://www.uoguelph.ca/psychology/directory/faculty
    • You can not do an honours thesis without a superviosr. Applicants who have not identified one will be added to the pool of candidates that will be reviewed each summer.
    • If you are waiting to be matched with a supervisor, you should choose your fall courses as if you will not be doing an honours thesis in order to ensure that you get a spot, since the 4th year courses fill up quickly.
    • The course size is limited to 50 students. (Each year, some qualified students are not accepted.) 
    • While the minimum average for acceptance is a Psychology average of 75% in Psychology courses, in reality students with an average below 80% are not usually accepted because demand for the class exceeds class size.
    • Only consider the Honours Thesis if you intend to pursue a post-graduate degree.
  2. Complete the Request to Enrol
  3. Submit to Sharon Helder at shelder@uoguelph.ca or MacKinnon 4015.

Fall'2019/Winter'2020 Honours Thesis:
Application process and timeline

February 28 "Soft" deadline for submission of "request to enrol" form. 

Add period for Fall'19:  IF the following has occured you will receive a course waiver allowing you to register in PSYC*4870:
-your application is accepted, AND
-you and your instructor have signed the course outline

June 30 Students who have not found a supervisor on their own will be notified whether or not they have been accepted.
August Ensure course outline has been signed and you are registered in the course.

Tips for contacting a potential supervisor:

  • Before you contact them, familiarize yourself with their work: read their papers, know what type of work they do.
  • Be flexible in balancing your own ideas to fit within the research.
  • Be prepared to provide intellectual contribution to the project even if the work is already underway.
  • Be considerate: drop in during office hours if possible or set up an appointment.

Sample posters from the class of 2018:

Bailey Bingham, Claire Coulter, Dr. Karl Cottenie, Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs
Metacognition and exam performance: Tools for effective learning

Sarah Hollywood, Rachel L. Driscoll and Dr. Mark Fenske
Mood killer: Response inhibition reduces the capacity of erotic stimuli to elicit feelings of sexual arousal

Jonah Stub and Dr. M. Gloria Gonzalez-Morales
The Effect of Conversation Topic on Dominance Behaviour


Sample posters from the class of 2017:

Aleece Katan and Dr. Heidi Bailey
Self-Compassion as a Moderator of Reactions to Social Rejection

Brianne Gayfer, Jasmine Mahdy (MA) and Dr. Stephen Lewis
Peer Reactions to Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Disclosure