Frequently Asked Questions
For detailed admissions requirements, please visit the admissions overview page. There are no math or science requirements to be admitted, but those courses in high school will likely be helpful for our program, which includes required courses in statistics and biological psychology.
Our psychology degree is a Bachelor of Arts (BA), whereas some other universities offer a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in psychology. The psychology courses offered in a BA vs. a BSc program are virtually identical. The main differences are in the prerequisities (e.g., many BSc programs require high school math and science courses, whereas our BA program does not), and in the nonpsychology courses that students take. For example, in our BA program in Psychology, students often supplement their psychology courses with courses in sociology, English, or other Arts disciplines, whereas a BSc program in Psychology may require that students take courses in math or basic sciences to supplement their psychology courses. Note that students in our BA program may take electives in math or basic sciences, though they are not required.
A common misconception is that all of psychology is about psychological disorders and their treatment. In fact, most of psychology is concerned with the general issues of behaviour, emotions, development, memory, thinking and more – for ALL people, as well as other animals. In fact, understanding basic principles of behaviour, cognition, and emotion is essential for understanding problems in these basic domains of human experience. It's also important to distinguish between the treatment of psychological disorders, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or schizophrenia, versus counselling people on coping with the stresses of everyday life, such as dealing with rebellious teenagers at home, an uncooperative colleague at work, or working two jobs to save up for a house. This type of counselling is important, of course, but it's often not a big component of the academic discipline we call psychology. Instead, counselling skills are often taught in advanced professional programs that focus on this type of training (e.g., social work, clinical and counseling psychology, etc.).
Like other social sciences (e.g., sociology, politics, criminology), a psychology degree does not lead to any particular career path. However, it does include important elements that contribute to success across careers, including learning to think better, write better, identify and solve problems, understand methods of inquiry and learning, be comfortable with numbers and statistics, and understand why other people behave the way they do.
Like other social sciences (e.g., sociology, politics, criminology), a psychology degree does not confine you to any one particular career path. A degree in psychology equips you with an arsenal of in-demand skills that prepare you for success across careers, including learning to think better, write better, identify and solve problems, understand methods of inquiry and learning, proficiency in numbers and statistics, and an understanding of human behaviour.
That said, there is a range of relatively psychology-specific careers that graduates can end up in, often in a variety of mental health care settings and roles, such as cognitive rehabilitation, addictions support, assessment and treatment of young offenders, and learning disability support. Our degree also prepares you for graduate studies in psychology, eventually leading to careers in public or private settings, independent practice, or academia. Other careers that benefit from a degree in psychology include sports science, media development, media relations, computer application design, human resources management, pharmaceutical development, policy analysis, conflict mediation, and human factors engineering. A degree in psychology can also prepare you for further studies in medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition and health, speech pathology and audiology, criminology and law, education and business (particularly for MBA programs in human resource management) and kinesiology. But really, the range of options is unlimited.
In many ways, it’s not different. The most important aspect of our program is that it provides a first-rate education in psychology, the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and other disciplines, as does pretty much every other university in Ontario and across Canada. The Ryerson difference in psychology, however, is perhaps a matter of emphasis, or perspective. Ryerson has a long history of addressing issues of practical concern, and our psychology program continues that tradition. Professors in our department conduct research on things like health promotion, illness prevention, and dealing with illness and dying; anxiety disorders, phobias, and panic attacks; age-related decrements in memory and vision; cultural strengths and differences; how psychology can be applied in criminal investigations and trials; and many other areas.
YOUR FUTURE IN PSYCHOLOGY
Below are some recommended readings that will help you navigate your undergraduate studies in psychology and prepare for life after graduation. They are divided into three main topics: (1) majoring in psychology, (2) careers for psychology majors, and (3) getting into graduate school in psychology.
- Helms, J.L., & Rogers, D.T. (2015). Majoring in psychology: Acheiving your educational and career goals, 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Hettich, P.I., & Landrum, R.E. (2013). Your undergraduate degree in psychology: From college to career. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Landrum, R.E., & Davis, S.F. (2013). The psychology major: Career options and strategies for success, 5th ed. Toronto, ON: Pearson.
- Silvia, P.J., Delaney, P.F., & Marcovitch, S. (2016). What psychology majors could (and should) be doing: A guide to research experience, professional skills, and your options after college, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Kuther, T.L., & Morgan, R.D. (2013). Careers in psychology: Opportunities in a changing world, 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Lundrum, R.E. (2009). Finding jobs with a psychology bachelor's degree: Expert advice for launching your career. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Morgan, B.L., & Korschgen, A.J. (2013). Majoring in psych? Career options for psychology undergraduates, 5th ed. Toronto, ON: Pearson.
- Sternberg, R.J. (2006). Career paths in psychology: Where your degree can take you, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- American Psychological Association (2007). Getting in: A step-by-step guide for gaining admission to graduate school in psychology, 2nd ed. Washington, DC. American Psychological Association
- American Psychological Association (2016). Graduate study in psychology (2017 edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Note that this book is updated annually in August, so be sure to get the latest edition.
- Kracen, A.C., & Wallace, I.J. (Eds.) (2008). Applying to graduate school in psychology: Advice from successful students and prominent psychologists. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Norcross, J.C. & Sayette, M.A. (2016). Insider's guide to graduate programs in clinical and counseling psychology (2016/2017 edition). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Note that this book is updated every 2 years, so be sure to get the latest edition.
"Ryerson’s urban, innovative environment made my decision an easy one. The brilliant faculty within the prestigious Psychology program, and the fast-paced atmosphere of downtown Toronto are just two of the reasons that have confirmed my initial choice."