This degree program was the first of its kind in Canada. It provides comprehensive studies in the rapidly growing field of Behavioural Psychology. By combining classroom instruction plus 1,100 hours of supervised placement in community settings, our students graduate with excellent applied skills as well as the theoretical knowledge they need to prepare them for their careers, or further studies.
Governments and agencies are increasingly recognizing behavioural approaches as “best practices” in many fields such as autism, corrections, mental health services, education, developmental disabilities, and more. This honours degree program joins the well-established Behavioural Science diploma program and maintains St. Lawrence College’s national leadership position in the human services field.
The program is based on a behavioural framework which has been scientifically demonstrated to be effective in developing skills and reducing challenging behaviours with a wide range of clients in a variety of settings.
Students are taught a set of complex and highly effective skills at an honours degree level now demanded by more and more employers. In this program you will:
- Learn about psychological theory and research;
- Practice clinical skills (under supervision) with clients in up to three different settings;
- Graduate with the knowledge and skills to develop and carry out effective and efficient assessment and treatment programs with a variety of populations.
What Do Graduates of our Program Do?
Examples of what clinicians do while working in the field include helping:
- children to manage their behaviour in the classroom and improve their social skills
- children with autism to communicate and play with others
- people with developmental disabilities to take care of themselves
- young offenders to improve their social skills and manage their anger
- persons with mental health challenges to cope with and reduce their stress
- adult offenders to manage substance abuse and improve problem-solving skills
Many graduates embark on exciting careers upon graduation, while others pursue further education. It is not uncommon for our graduates to obtain a graduate certificate, a Masters degree, or a Doctoral degree. Common graduate programs of study include applied behaviour analysis, counselling psychology, education, disability studies, and occupational therapy. Note: there are certain clinical positions that will require a graduate degree and/or registration with a regulated health profession. Our faculty are happy to help students navigate these various opportunities and their respective requirements for employment.
Our full and part-time faculty have extensive and varied clinical experience that they bring into their teaching. Learn more about the full-time faculty in this program.
First year students participate in a very engaging and exciting mentoring program whereby they are grouped with other students with similar interests and needs and assigned a mentor who is a third year student who best fits their strengths and needs. The mentor is responsible for facilitating mentoring sessions with their mentoring group. The purpose of the mentoring program is to promote student success by assisting students with their transition into the program, getting students connected to services at the college, and having students feel that they are connected to their peers and engaged in the Honours BPSYC program.
This liberal arts course based in Communications offers students the opportunity to develop key negotiation and mediation skills that are necessary for effective communication and conflict resolution in personal, professional, and academic settings. Students will have the opportunity to hone these skills through consistent critical reflection and practical exercises designed to apply their learning to diverse real life scenarios. This course provides students the fundamentals they need to productively engage in and manage conflict, in the world and in their work, through a range of dispute resolution methodologies.
This course is designed to help students develop, practice, and build confidence in the communication skills needed to succeed in their academic studies and as professionals in a workplace environment. The development of effective writing and verbal skills involves careful planning, organization and coherency; the development of research techniques with proper American Psychological Association (APA) formatting, referencing, and documentation of sources material; an understanding of argument and persuasion; and the ability to use language clearly and concisely in all areas of communication.
This course presents an introduction to the history and major schools of thought in psychology. Topics such as research methods, learning, intelligence, human development, social influences on behaviour, abnormal psychology, and psychological therapies are examined. Students gain insight into how psychological knowledge can be, and has been, utilized in everyday situations. The basic areas in psychology are explored through lectures, presentations, research activities and group discussions.
PSYC 5DG introduces students to the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis. Students will learn basic principles of operant conditioning and their range of application (including developmental disabilities, education, community psychology, and mental health). As a student in this course, you will learn to define and operationalize behaviour, how to set behavioural objectives, conduct functional behavioural assessments, and how to monitor and evaluate behavioural change using direct and indirect methods of observation. Ethical issues related to the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis will be highlighted throughout the course and explored further in the Ethics Course which follows next semester. Particular emphasis will be placed on conducting behavioural assessments and interventions from a person-centered framework, respecting the dignity of the individual, including the right to self-determination and effective treatment. Lectures, discussion, in-class participation, role-plays, and team behavioural exercises will guide the presentation of the course material.
This course takes a life-span approach to human developmental patterns and processes from conception to death. In particular, it will present the basic physical, cognitive, and social processes at work during each age period (i.e., infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood); external/behavioural influences affecting these processes; and the relationships among the various threads of development in each age period. Emphasis is placed on theoretical approaches and empirical findings. This course should help the student relate knowledge about how humans develop not only to the application of behavioural psychology, but also to parenthood.
This second course in applied behaviour analysis examines specific principles and procedures to teach new behaviours and reduce interfering behaviours. Students also learn about the maintenance and generalization of behaviour change. Students develop the ability to select and create intervention plans to change socially significant behaviour.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC5DG + PSYC4DG
This course is the second part of Introductory Psychology. As such, it continues to help students explore the scientific study of behaviour and introduce major areas of this very complex topic. This course is an introductory survey of psychology that includes biological aspects of psychology, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning and memory, thought and language, motivation and emotion, personality, and stress and health.
This course exposes students to the principal theoretical paradigms that have been used to conceptualize the etiology and treatment of abnormal behaviour. Students will become familiar with the general assumptions made by each paradigm and this will serve as a framework to examine the major psychological disorders. Students will also consider attempts to find an integrative paradigm in the diathesis-stress/biopsychosocial model, as well as other eclectic models of psychotherapy which are employed to treat psychological disorders. Students will apply their knowledge of the paradigms and diagnostic system to case studies and will also use their burgeoning scientific skills to critically evaluate relevant research literature on the effectiveness of various mental health treatment approaches.
This course provides students with an opportunity to learn about the various major theoretical approaches to the understanding of personality and explores the relationship between personality theory, research, and application. Particular emphasis will be placed on Social Learning Theory.
This course introduces students to the field of developmental psychopathology and examines the interaction of genetic, biological, psychological, and behavioural processes in the development of normal and abnormal behaviour from infancy to adolescence. In surveying the major psychological disorders of this period, students will learn that many factors relate to the development of troubled behaviour and gain an appreciation for protective as well as risk factors in its etiology. The course will highlight the use of behavioural and evidence-based interventions. It will also emphasize proactive and positive strategies for managing and preventing childhood and adolescent behaviour problems. Course content will be delivered using a lecture/discussion format. In order to enliven concepts and discussions, this course will incorporate guest lectures (where possible), student presentations, and written case materials.
PSYC 9DG consists of two parts: 1) a field work component in which students are assigned to a field setting in which they will begin to apply their knowledge of material presented in Applied Behavior Analysis I and II; and 2) a seminar/lecture component in which specific fieldwork assignments designed to approximate the initial sequence of assessment activities (that will be part of most practical placements) will be reviewed in a small group setting designed to encourage discussion and review particular difficulties and success encountered in field work. Computer graphing skills of observation data will also be emphasized in this course.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC6DG + LART9DG
This course introduces second-year students to the processes and expectations regarding their first practicum and to techniques designed to enhance their professional development. It focuses on activities designed to promote clinical judgment and realistic self-appraisal in order to enhance personal and professional growth.
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of behavioural assessment. The focus is on the utilization of behavioural assessment models and methods in the planning and implementation of assessment strategies. A variety of behaviour assessment observation tools and measures including structured interview will be reviewed. The interrelationship of assessment to intervention is also detailed.
This course builds on the previous field work in Applied Behaviour Analysis. For 7 consecutive weeks students have an opportunity to train and to apply their knowledge in treatment settings under supervision of professionals.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC14DG + PSYC9DG + PSYC15DG + PSYC8DG + PSYC6DG
Professional communications is an intermediate breadth course based in the liberal arts that is designed to prepare students for success in various dimensions of communications within the context of their professional lives. The purpose of this course is to examine three key dimensions of professional communications in order to successfully integrate them into a sophisticated skill-set for the budding professional. These dimensions include: 1) Interpersonal communications as professional communications: gaining a deep understanding of the nature of interpersonal relationships, including an understanding of the self in relation to others; 2) Oral and written communication: understanding the importance of the mastery of effective oral and written communication skills; and 3) Critical thinking and reflective practice: developing an understanding of the necessary roles of critical thinking and reflective practice in the professional setting. Students will learn how to apply these dimensions of the successful professional into their writing and, most importantly, into their everyday professional interactions with others.
Prerequisite(s): LART10DG + PSYC16DG
This course builds on Applied Behavioural Analysis 1 and 2 and examines the application and integration of concepts studied in the first year as they apply to a variety of complex case studies and across diverse client groups.
Behavioural Counselling 1 provides students with an introduction to interviewing, assessment, and intervention strategies for working with individuals in a variety of applied settings using a behavioural framework. An emphasis will be placed on developing core behavioural competencies in order to promote an effective therapeutic alliance. These skills will be developed through in-class exercises, role-plays, group discussion, interactive exercises, and video-taping as well as through lecture. Students will be encouraged to examine their own skill-set and to analyze personal values and experiences that may impact the therapeutic relationship. By the end of the course, students will be expected to present their own portfolio of competence and a report of a video-taped simulated session that demonstrates their knowledge, application, and synthesis of the core skills learned.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC15DG + PSYC16DG
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of group and single case research design. The course concentrates on the issues of: distinguishing scientific from pre-scientific and pseudo- scientific explanations, validity questions, and experimental designs.
This course surveys the major drugs used to treat neurological and psychopathological disorders. It includes a review of the basic pharmacology, behavioural effects and side effects of various classes of both licit and illicit psychoactive drugs. A review of the development of tolerance to and dependence on drugs is also included (45 hours).
This course provides an introduction to statistical analysis including descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistical techniques will be first discussed in lecture and then practiced in a laboratory setting using a variety of data sets. Supervised use of computerized statistical programs (Excel & SPSS) loaded onto individual computers for each student will be available in the lab. The relationship between these statistical techniques and empirical research will be highlighted.
This course introduces students to the role that other professional groups and broader community-based service delivery systems play in the context of behavioural interventions. A multilevel perspective on service development and delivery is presented as a conceptual framework. Programs that address these various levels of service delivery are provided for review and examination.
This course is designed to introduce students to the relevant classification systems and planning approaches to services for individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC13DG + PSYC18DG + PSYC12DG
PSYC 28DG provides an overview to the theories and concepts in the addictions and mental health fields, with an emphasis on the former area. It will cover preparatory information for more advanced courses offered in the program. Its principle focus will be theories and treatment approaches to drug and alcohol abuse and other addictive disorders. The interrelationship of substance abuse to major mental illness and general mental and physical health will be covered, as will health promotion and addiction prevention.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC18DG + PSYC13DG
This course will extend your knowledge of functional assessment to the behavioural therapy context and include application to a variety of clinical populations. You will learn to conceptualize behavioural clinical cases and to formulate appropriate interventions. You will be introduced to a variety of evidence-based behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions. In this course, you will also examine more elaborate approaches to behavioural counselling such as dialectical behaviour therapy, contextual and mindfulness-based interventions.
This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of group behaviour and cognitive behaviour therapy. It focuses on the process of designing a group including: assessing clients at intake, identifying goals, monitoring progress of group members, assigning homework, and establishing transfer and maintenance of learned skills. In addition, the impact of group process and the analysis and resolution of issues surrounding process will be explored. The impact of the group as compared to individual therapy and counselling approaches in supporting behaviour change will be discussed. In the latter half of the class, behavioural and cognitive behavioural groups which focus on particular client disorders will be reviewed and students will write a group plan for a particular disorder and/or client population.
This course helps students develop and refine their ability to work in adult and youth corrections, both in institutions and the community. Challenges to treatment integrity and implementation are highlighted, along with success strategies. The course enhances their understanding of the structure of these service delivery systems, along with issues of policy, legislation, empirically based risk factors and ‘best practices’ in the areas of psychological risk assessment and treatment.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC26DG + PSYC29DG
PSYC 34DG builds on the previous Professional Standards and Practice seminar (PSYC 14DG) and provides an opportunity for third-year students to present both formally and informally on their previous practica experiences in second year. It also focuses on activities designed to promote clinical judgment and realistic self-appraisal in order to enhance personal and professional growth. In addition, the seminar enables students to continue their career planning for their remaining placements. Moreover, students are introduced to a multilevel, systems perspective on service delivery, so that behavioural techniques can be understood within a larger context.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC26DG + PSYC16DG
This course builds on the previous field work and practicum experiences. For 7 consecutive weeks students have an opportunity to train and to apply their knowledge in treatment settings under supervision of professionals.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC34DG + PSYC36DG + BEHA5 + PSYC16DG + PSYC35DG
This course builds on the previous Professional Standards and Practice seminar and provides an opportunity for third-year students to present both formally and informally on their previous practicum experiences in third year. It also focuses on activities designed to promote clinical judgment and realistic self-appraisal in order to enhance personal and professional growth. In addition, the seminar enables students to continue their career planning for their remaining placement. Moreover, it continues to promote a multilevel, systems perspective on service delivery, so that behavioural techniques can be understood within a larger context.
This course introduces students to the theory and principles of psychological testing and its application in a variety of applied settings including clinical, vocational, and educational settings as well as forensic and industrial settings. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with issues related to test construction, administration, item analysis, and evaluation. Controversies related to the use and misuse of testing will be highlighted throughout the course.
This course is designed to assist students in developing and refining their behavioural consulting and mediator training skills. Special attention will be given to the consultative skills required to train individual mediators such as parents, teachers, and front-line workers. Consultation will also be addressed at the program and organizational level of application.
PSYC 41 DG introduces students to techniques for analyzing the research literature and applied resources to identify “best practices” interventions or research projects in various areas of Behavioural Science. Students will explore how to synthesize this information into a comprehensive thesis and will develop a proposal for future thesis work.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC35DG + PSYC30DG
This course builds on the previous field work and practicum experiences. For 14 consecutive weeks students have an opportunity to train and to apply their knowledge in treatment settings under supervision of professionals.
Prerequisite(s): PSYC40DG + PSYC41DG + PSYC38DG
This course provides an intensive coverage of advanced topics in Behavioural Science. The specific content for this course will vary from year to year. In this course, students learn about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), one of the “third wave” behavioural and cognitive therapies.
This course in applied behaviour analysis introduces students to the most recent conceptual and treatment advances used in applied behaviour analysis. Special attention is given to ‘third generation’ behavioural applications.
Students analyze the research literature and applied resources in various areas of Behavioural Science and synthesize this information into a comprehensive thesis. The finished product will present ‘best practices’ in the form of a single case design, or, on occasion, a training manual, workshop, program curriculum, videotape, or CD-ROM.
This course completes the students' integration of the broad behavioural model including applied behaviour analysis, neobehaviouristic theory, social learning theory and cognitive therapy into a coherent cohesive whole. The focus will be on the integration and comparative analysis of complex psychological and behavioural phenomena using various behavioural models. The process of problem solving, case conceptualization and developing clinical judgment will be consolidated over this course.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with the following prerequisites:
- Minimum 65% prerequisite average for six Grade 12U or 12M level courses including Grade 12 English at the U level
- Grade 11 Math at the C, U or M level - (Grade 12 MDM4U preferred)
Completion of the General Arts & Science (Certificate) - Behavioural Psychology Stream program (0478BP) with a minimum 3.00 GPA
Completion of a college diploma with a minimum 2.50 GPA
Completion of one year of full-time university with a minimum 2.50 GPA
This is a HIGHLY COMPETITIVE program. To be included in the competitive ranking, applications must be complete including all transcripts and proof of enrollment by February 1. Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admissions to the program. Please see the Highly Competitive Program Chart for more details.
For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.
Mature Applicant: At least 19 years of age, no high school diploma and meets prerequisite standards for program. If you don’t meet these standards for the program, the General Arts & Science (Certificate) - Behavioural Psychology Stream program enables students to complete prerequisites in one year.
University Transfer Students: As long as you either have the minimum program standard average of 65% in their six high school OAC or U/M courses OR a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4-point scale in your university courses. All courses will be included in the calculation of the admission average. You must have completed at least one year of university studies as a full-time student.
Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements
Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Questions about completing this form can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Full-time student coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1 can be claimed under the Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan.
Recommended Background: It is highly recommended that students have strengths in written and oral communications, and a good grasp of scientific methods. It is also important that students be able to work in stressful situations and have good interpersonal, time-management and organizational skills.
Criminal Background Check:
Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (OPP) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.
Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.
In Canada, degree graduates are prepared for a wide variety of interesting and challenging careers, such as:
- Acquired Brain Injury Support Workers
- Addictions Counsellors
- Autism Instructor Therapists
- Behaviour Therapists
- Behavioural Consultants for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities or Geriatric Clients
- Child & Adult Mental Health Counsellors
- Educational Assistants
- Job Coaches
- Life Skills Instructors
- Program Delivery Officers in Correctional Settings
- Rehabilitation Counsellors
- Residential Workers
- Sex Offender Program Counsellors
- Vocational Counsellors
- Young Offender Counsellors
- Youth & Adolescent Workers
Some examples of local employers of our graduates include:
- Addictions and Mental Health Services- KFLA
- Limestone District School Board
- Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
- Correctional Services Canada
- Maltby Centre
- Community Living Kingston and District
- Providence Care
- Youth Diversion
7-week full-time clinical placement at a community agency in the winter semester, a 7-week full-time placement in a school in the fall semester, and fourth-year students have a 14-week full-time placement in the fall semester.
Students obtain placements across a variety of clinical settings including:
- employment counselling
- mental health
- autism services
- developmental services
- correctional services
The following outlines the process for assigning placements to students:
- Students are surveyed based on their interests
- Student Placement Facilitator and Faculty arrange placements based on students' choices
- Student are interviewed by the placement site
Student Placement Facilitator (SPF) Support
The SPF ensures that all student complete SLC Placement requirements which include:
- 6 Training Modules
- Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
- Student Covid 19 Waiver
- CPIC - VULNERABLE SECTOR
Questions about placement can be directed to:
The Association for Behaviour Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
Laura Campbell, MA, BCBA, Program Coordinator - Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Psychology Years 1 & 2
613.544.5400, ext. 1544
Contact a member of our recruitment team
1.800.463.0752 and ask for Recruiting
International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514