To gain admission to Minor, Major, or Honours programs, students must have a grade of B- in two half-credit introductory psychology classes. Two different pairs of introductory psychology classes may be taken: PSYO 1011.03 and 1012.03 or PSYO 1021.03 and 1022.03. Both pairs of classes cover similar material and serve as prerequisites for advanced psychology classes. There are differences in how material is covered in these classes.
Psychology 1021.03 and Psychology 1022.03 are taught in a conventional fashion. Each class is taught by a single professor and students are assessed on both material covered in lectures and in the assigned text.
Psychology 1011.03 and 1012.03 differ from Psychology 1021.03 and 1022.03 in that three different professors share responsibility for teaching each of these classes and a full-time instructor oversees class operations. Each professor teaches material in his or her area of specialty and a test follows completion of each unit.
In Psychology 1011.03 and 1012.03, large lecture hall presentations are coupled with small tutorial laboratories. In addition to going to lectures, students are required to attend tutorial lab classes that aid in the understanding class-related issues. The class has a Learning Resource Centre equipped with computers to provide web access and to make available ancillary class-related materials. The majority of psychology students take Psychology 1011.03 and 1012.03.
Students interested in clinical psychology should know that the important prerequisite for entry into a graduate program in clinical psychology is a solid background in general experimental psychology. A clinical psychologist must have a knowledge of neural mechanisms, learning theory, perception, experimental design and statistical analysis, as well as a knowledge of social, developmental and clinical psychology. The Honours Psychology Program at Dalhousie provides a good foundation in clinical psychology and allows students substantial freedom in choosing courses that interest them.
Students planning to take a professional program in Medicine, Nursing, Law, Physiotherapy, Human Communication Disorders, or the Health Sciences often choose to take a Major or Honours Program in psychology. Many professional schools require their students to take one or more psychology classes.