Undergraduate Honours Thesis

Undergraduate Honours Thesis in Psychology

APPLICATION FORM (updated for Fall 2024):
Request to Enrol (Microsoft Word version)

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


IMPORTANT! Professional etiquette when writing to potential supervisors


F24 Applicant actions:

  1. Fall/Winter 23/24: be sure that you are completing all prerequisite requirements for PSYC*4870 Honours Thesis I AND PSYC*4780 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics or PSYC*4790 Qualitative Methods in Psychology.
    • Prerequisites include: completion of PSYC*3000, 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 F23 the minimum PSYC average of successful candidates was above 85%
    • 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 supervisor. 
      • 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 in Psychology or Neuroscience (i.e. MA/MSc/PhD). You do NOT need an honours thesis to apply to social work, law school med school, or teacher's college.
  2. Complete the Request to Enrol 
  3. Submit to Sharon Helder at shelder@uoguelph.ca

Fall 2024/Winter 2025 Honours Thesis: Application process and timeline (BAH.PSYC students)

September-February Search for a thesis supervisor (see above). It is not possible to do a thesis without a supervisor.
February 23, 2024
  • 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

Add period for Fall'24:  IF the following has occured you will receive a course waiver allowing you to register in PSYC*4870:
-your application is accepted

-If you have not been accepted, 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 -Students who have not found a supervisor on their own will be notified whether or not they have been accepted.

-Ensure you are registered in PSYC*4870.
-All students registered in PSYC*4870 must also register in PSYC*4780  or PSYC*4790
(NEUR students may register for NEUR*4000 instead of PSYC*4780/4790)

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.

  • Read more about professional email etiquette.

Course Outline Fall 2022/Winter 2023

Course Outline Fall 2023/Winter 2024

Course descriptions: 

  • 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. Classes are held on how to create a research proposal (oral and written), research ethics (REB) 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. Classes are held on how to create a poster and how to structure a thesis. 

Still have questions?

Sample posters from previous thesis students:


Emilia Szwajka, William O'Grady
Effects of social support on adolescent academic achievement

Wing Tse, Leanne Son Hing, Ella Gomes, Mais Haj-Ayoub
The influence of organizational factors on firefighters' well-being
Poster Photo

Previous years

Miranda Chan, Donnelle DiMarco, Dr. Harvey Marmurek
The Effects of Divided Attention on the Testing Effect and its Transferability

Cayden Genik and Dr. Ian Newby-Clark
Flow of Consciousness Lab

Effects of Memory Salience for No-Go Devaluation
Amelia Luzy-Kocher, Brooke Pardy and Dr. Mark Fenske

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

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