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Frequently Asked Questions


Psychology and Neuroscience

The Psychology and Neuroscience programs have a high degree of overlap (so much so that you cannot major in one and minor in the other), but they also have some key differences.

In first-year, students wishing to major in Neuroscience are expected to complete more specific courses at the first-year level compared to students wishing to major in Psychology.

If you have taken first-year Biology, Chemistry, and Math and are interested in the biological aspects of how the nervous system functions, then Neuroscience may be the right fit for you. However, if you find yourself gravitating towards courses like Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology and Cellular Neuroscience doesn’t hold much interest for you, then Psychology may be your route of choice.

View the PDF version of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [PDF-1MB].

General

Is Psychology the right major for me?

Are you interested in learning more about how people and animals think, learn, and behave? Do you want to gain a deeper understanding about social interactions, psychological disorders, and research designs? If so, Psychology might be the field for you!

View Psych-at-a-Glance

Is Neuroscience the right major for me?

Are you interested in the underlying biological mechanisms and systems that influence our brain, behaviour, and diseases? Do you enjoy learning about and conducting your own research? If so, Neuroscience might be the field for you! 

View Neuro-at-a-Glance

What is the difference between Psychology and Neuroscience?

The Psychology and Neuroscience programs have a high degree of overlap (so much so that you cannot major in one and minor in the other), but they also have some key differences. For example, in first-year, students wishing to major in Neuroscience are expected to complete more specific courses at the first-year level compared to students wishing to major in Psychology. In general, if you have taken first-year Biology, Chemistry, and Math and are interested in the biological aspects of how the nervous system functions, then Neuroscience may be the right fit for you. However, if you find yourself gravitating towards courses like Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology and Cellular Neuroscience doesn’t hold much interest for you, then Psychology may be your route of choice.

View Psych-At-A-Glance [PDF 1.9 MB]
View Neuro-At-A-Glance [PDF 1.9MB]

Am I ready for an online course?

Our department currently offers two online courses (Intro Psych I and II; PSYO 1031 and PSYO 1032, respectively). If you’ve never taken an online course and are wondering whether it’s an option that will work for you, take the Online Learning Self-Assessment Quiz to see if you are ready.

I think I’m ready to take an online course, but I have a bunch of questions…

It’s great that you’re thinking ahead to prepare for your online course! View the Intro Psych Online FAQ sheet.

What is the difference between a BA and a BSc in Psychology?

If you’re having a hard time deciding whether to major in Psychology with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc), it’s important to understand that the Psychology program is identical regardless of which degree you choose. The only difference exists in the degree requirements (see an Academic Calendar for details).

In general, BSc degree requires students to complete math requirements, while BA has language requirements.

Please note: Our program has a heavy focus on research design and statistics, as such, all students are required to take a 2nd-year Statistics course and an Experimental Research Methods course (in addition to other research-focused courses).

I want to get into NESC/PSYO XXXX but it’s currently full – what do I do?

If there’s a course you want to get into, but it’s already full, place yourself on the waitlist. Students will be admitted to courses from waitlists on a first-come-first-serve basis. Follow the instructions here to sign up for a waitlist and ensure you properly register if you receive permission.

How do I know if I have all the credits I need to graduate/how do I know if I’m on the right track?

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is an excellent way to determine if you’re on the right track for graduation. You can run an audit on your own by logging on to DalOnline then navigating to Student and then selecting “Degree Audit Reporting System”. DARS will show you what requirements you have already fulfilled and what you have left to complete for your degree. If you still have questions, you can always contact an advisor.

Dal doesn’t offer a course I want to take – can I take it from another University?

Dalhousie students can take courses from other institutions, but require permission to do so. To learn about the requirements to obtain permission and the process involved, click here.

I’m interested in going on an exchange to another university, where can I find more information?

Dalhousie offers the opportunity of studying abroad for a semester or a full year. Prior to planning an exchange, students are required to meet with an advisor and complete an application form.

View full details and links to the application process

I want to take NESC/PSYOXXXX but I don’t see it listed on the timetable for this year; what does this mean?

If a course is not listed on the current timetable it means that it is not currently being offered. Course offerings are dependent on instructor availability and demand, and as such, not all courses are offered every year/term. Speak to a Faculty Advisor if you’re wondering if the course will be offered the following year. 

How do I know what courses will be offered in the summer term?

Summer classes are posted to the Academic Timetable in December (with registration for summer classes opening in Februrary).

View DalOnline for course listings

First Year

How do I know what textbooks I need for my courses?

The Dalhousie Bookstore has all the textbook related information you need! Simply enter your campus, term, and courses, and all necessary textbook details (including titles, cost, etc.) will be displayed.

What courses do I need in first year to major in Psychology?

To declare Psychology as your major, students must have completed (or be in the process of completing) Intro Psych I and II with a B- or higher in each.

See our Psychology Year-by-Year Overview for more information. 

What courses do I need in first year to major in Neuroscience?

To declare Neuroscience as your major, students must have completed (or be in the process of completing) Intro Psych I and II with a B- or higher in each, Introduction to Biology I and II with a B- or higher in each, Introduction to Chemistry I and II, and two Math credits (MATH 1215 and STAT 1060 recommended).

See our Neuroscience Year-by-Year Overview for more information. 

How do I minor in Neuroscience or Psychology?

To minor in either Neuroscience or Psychology, students must take 3 full credits (or 6 half credits) at the 2000-level or above.

Can I get into 2nd-year NESC or PSYO courses without a B- in Intro Psych?

Most of our upper-year NESC and PSYO courses require a B- in BOTH Intro to Psychology I and II. If you are planning to major or minor in Neuroscience or Psychology, we recommend repeating the course to ensure you have the minimum grade required.  

Transfer

I’m transferring from another institution and have taken Intro Psych, can I move straight into 2nd-year NESC or PSYO courses?

In order to take upper-year courses in Neuroscience or Psychology, students must have a B- or higher in both halves of Intro Psychology (I and II). Thus, if transferring from another institution, students must have credits for both halves (with a B- or higher in both). If a student does not have both credits, or if they don’t have a B- in each half, they must complete the required credit prior to receiving approval for upper-year NESC or PSYO courses.

I’m currently majoring in another subject, can I transfer into Neuroscience or Psychology?

The ease with which students can transfer from another program into Neuroscience or Psychology depends on the students’ year of study and what courses they have already taken. Please check our program overviews (NESC, PSYO) to determine what requirements we have for each year and which courses you may already have completed. We then HIGHLY recommend speaking with a Faculty Advisor.

View Psych-at-a-Glance 
View Neuro-at-a-Glance 

Honours

How do I apply to honours?

Admission to our honours program (for both NESC and PSYO) is merit-based. Students require a minimum grade of “B” in the Experimental Methods course (NESC 2007 or PSYO 2000) and an overall average of “A-” in their last six (6) major-related (NESC or PSYO) courses.

What if I want to get research experience before applying to do honours?

Students who wish to gain research-related experience prior to applying for the honours (or for other reasons) may wish to complete an Independent Research Project (3000.06 or 3001.03). Students may also seek out volunteer opportunities in laboratories within the department. For more information on getting involved with a lab, click here.

 

View the PDF version of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [PDF-1MB].