Undergraduate Honours Thesis

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. 

APPLICATION FORM (updated for Fall 2022):
Request to Enrol (Microsoft Word version)

Contact shelder@uoguelph.ca if you require this information in an alternate format.


F22 Applicant actions:

  1. Fall/Winter 2021/2022: be sure that you are completing all prerequisite requirements for PSYC*4870 Honours Thesis I AND PSYC*4780 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics.
    • Prerequisites include: completion of PSYC*3000, PSYC*3250, PSYC*3290 and minimum 75% Psychology cumulative average
    • While the minimum PSYC average is 75%, be aware that the actual average of those accepted tends to be higher. In F21 the minimum PSYC average of successful candidates was 85%
  2. Fall/Winter 2021/2022: 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.
    • Thesis supervisors can be faculty members from the Department of Psychology OR another department. 
    • The course size for PSYC*4870 is limited to 50 students. (Each year, some qualified students are not accepted.) 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.
  3. Complete the Request to Enrol 
  4. Submit to Sharon Helder at shelder@uoguelph.ca

Fall 2022/Winter 2023 Honours Thesis: Application process and timeline (BAH.PSYC students)

September 2021 - February 2022 Search for a thesis supervisor (Action #2 above). It is not possible to do a thesis without a supervisor.
February 28, 2022
  • Deadline to submit application package. This should include:
    • Completed "request to enrol form" (template above - Action #3)
    • Personal Statement (maximum 300 words)
    • UNOFFICIAL copy of your transcript
    • If you have confirmed a supervisor, you do not need to include the statement and transcript
June 2022

Add period for Fall'22:  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

-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.

June 30, 2022 -Students who have not found a supervisor on their own will be notified whether or not they have been accepted.
August, 2022 -Ensure course outline has been signed and you are registered in the course.
-All students registered in PSYC*4870 must also register in PSYC*4780 (NEUR students may register for NEUR*4000 instead of PSYC*4780)

There are some differences for BSCH.NEUR students. Contact a faculty advisor to discuss your application further. 

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: contact them during office hours if possible or set up an appointment.

Still have questions?

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