Undergraduate Honours Thesis

*updated June 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. 

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 application package. This should include:
-completed "request to enrol form" (template above - Action #2)
-Personal Statement (maximum 300 words)
-Unofficial copy of your transcript


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.
-All students registered in PSYC*4870 must also register in PSYC*4780 (NEUR students may register for NEUR*4000 instead of PSYC*4780)

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