Location: Life Sciences Centre
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
1355 Oxford Street
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3417
Fax: (902) 494-6585


Psychology is an experimental science: Its purpose is to discover the conditions that control the activities of animals and people, to measure these conditions and the responses they produce, and to use this knowledge to predict and change behaviour. It is a subject for inventive but also scientifically rigorous people, better suited to those who want to find out for themselves than to those who want to be told what to believe.

Psychology at Dalhousie treats behaviour as a natural phenomenon, and in that sense shares much with the other life sciences. The boundaries that historically separated psychology from zoology, physiology, and cellular biology are blurred. As well, important ties are being made to such disciplines as anthropology, sociology, and philosophy. The student will find that the diverse subject matter includes three major levels of analysis: the organism, the organism’s biological machinery, and the broader social-environmental context in which particular behaviour patterns are expressed. Meaningful integration of these diverse levels and forms of analysis is an intellectual challenge of major proportions. Similarly, the time perspectives of immediate causation, development, evolution, and function all contribute to the modern approach to behavioural science and each must be evaluated in relation to the others.

A. Enrolment Limitations

Psychology is a popular program, and we have a high enrolment of students. Potential Major and Honours students, and those intending to enrol in the 90 credit hour Minor in Psychology, should note that there are limitations on the number of students that can be taught in these programs in any given year. Passing introductory psychology courses with the required grade of B- and declaring an intent to Major in Psychology does not guarantee a spot in any particular course. We do our best to provide spots in core required courses to students in the program; however, students are advised to register as early as possible for required courses to secure a space.

There are strict size restrictions on individual courses. Lecture courses are limited by room size. Enrolment in laboratory courses is further restricted because of equipment limitations and requirements for supervision. All Major and Honours students, and those enrolled in a 90 credit hour program, should carefully review program requirements and choose prerequisite courses accordingly. Laboratory courses fill rapidly, and not all laboratory courses are offered every year.

B. Enrolment of Other Students

Only Major and Honours students in Psychology or Neuroscience may enrol in PSYO 2000.03, PSYO 2470.03, and PSYO 2501.03, and such students are given preference in other second-year courses. All students must have at least a B- in both the introductory psychology courses, or a B- in the psychology component of the Integrated Science Program, to register in any second-year course in Psychology.

C. Laboratories

Psychology laboratory courses typically involve data collection and interpretation, and writing reports on the results. All Major and Honours students must take the second-year research methods course (PSYO 2000.03) and at least one 3000-level research laboratory course (for Honours students, the requirement is two laboratory courses, for a minimum of six credit hours).

Degree Programs

The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience offers the following degree programs in Psychology:

  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Honours (Concentrated)*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Combined Honours*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Major*
  • BSc or BA (120 credit hour) Double Major*
  • BSc or BA (90 credit hour) Minor in Psychology
  • Minor in Psychology

* May be combined with Minor programs from other disciplines (except Neuroscience).

Departmental requirements for each degree program can be seen by following the links in the menu to the right.

In addition to departmental requirements, students must satisfy the requirements outlined in the Academic Regulations and the College of Arts and Science Degree Requirements sections. Students are advised that a number of requirements differ between the BA and BSc degrees.

A student is governed by the academic regulations in place at the time of initial enrolment, as long as the degree is completed within the time permitted (10 years). Subsequent changes in regulations shall apply only if the student so elects. Students applying the old academic regulations should consult the calendar of the appropriate year.

Students should plan their programs of study carefully and are strongly encouraged to do so in consultation with a Psychology undergraduate academic advisor.

A detailed description of the Psychology programs is available in a guidebook titled "A Student's Guide to Psychology at Dalhousie University." The guidebook is available on the Department's website ( and at the Psychology and Neuroscience Main Office (Life Sciences Centre, Room 3263).