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Ask Me: 3rd year UWaterloo Arts Student

A photo of Kirenne Kirenne
So I've had experience with a few different areas of the Arts faculty. I can answer any questions regarding:

- Waterloo in general
- The Arts faculty
- Fine Arts (I'm majoring)
- Psychology (I'm minoring)
- English
- Arts & Business
- Honours Arts
- Residence (I work in the department)

So yeah. :)
I got accepted for Arts & Business Co-op originally, but was dropped after first year due to low grades and was placed into General Arts. I picked up the Fine Arts major and Psych minor and applied for Honours Arts. My grades have improved greatly so I got in. Meanwhile I've held 3 different jobs within residence, and my voice can be found on some videos on the official website. ;)
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A photo of napinhei napinhei
I know you're not going into English, but you listed it as something you have experience in. I have applied to Honours Arts with an interest in English.

Did you enjoy the classes? What are university English classes like? I know there will be a lot of reading and writing, but anything else you can tell me?
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A photo of MissSmile MissSmile
I'm thinking about going into a double major in either psychology and music or history in music. I know that waterloo is well known for its science and math departments, but I've heard very little about the arts.
I'm wondering why you picked Waterloo, especially for arts and why you think it's a great place to study the arts and fine arts.
Thank you!
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@napinhei wrote
I know you're not going into English, but you listed it as something you have experience in. I have applied to Honours Arts with an interest in English.

Did you enjoy the classes? What are university English classes like? I know there will be a lot of reading and writing, but anything else you can tell me?



I actually have a friend majoring in English, which is why I wrote that I can get you answers about it. :) She's responded to me with this:

I really enjoyed my English classes. The professors are very passionate about English and really enjoy getting to know their students. Most of my professors (in fact maybe all of them) have been kind of quirky and very friendly. Almost all of them are very willing and will go the extra mile for their students, especially if a student needs help.

University English classes are a lot like high school in terms of class size. You're still in a room of about thirty people most times, though the mandatory classes (like the ones in second year) are bigger so you get to experience both.

There is A LOT of reading so you have to be prepared for that.

There is also a lot of writing and professors expect more from your essays than in high school. They will suggest that you buy The Little Brown Handbook. It's an optional buy but extremely helpful and it's something you'll use every year so you really get your moneys worth. Your marks really are weighted on your essays. Even a lot of your exams are essays, so if you do poorly it's important to go to your professor for help right away. They'll give you a better idea of what they're looking for and what the university is looking for in general. Also, each prof is different so try to tailor your essays to what that prof wants. That's where you'll get the marks.

I said this before, but there really isn't a lot of assignments. You're essays really will create the bulk of your mark. It's best to try to manage your time so you're not trying to write 2,000 words in two hours.

Also, there is a lot going on around campus for English students. There is an English society with other students in the program. I know they have meetings and social events. It's a great way to meet people in the program, especially the people that are really passionate about it. It's also a good way to meet some profs that are involved around school.

If you like writing or editing it would also be a good idea to get involved with the school newspaper, The Imprint. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. It's another great way to make friends with similar interests, and expand your circle of friends since there are a variety of people in attendance (different programs, etc.)


@MissSmile wrote
I'm thinking about going into a double major in either psychology and music or history in music. I know that waterloo is well known for its science and math departments, but I've heard very little about the arts.
I'm wondering why you picked Waterloo, especially for arts and why you think it's a great place to study the arts and fine arts.
Thank you!



I think the reality is that even though most schools have a reputation to be 'good' in one or two subjects, you'll find passionate professors wherever you study. This is definitely the case with Waterloo. In Arts, there are lots of great classes and professors. Waterloo may not been 'known' for Arts, but there are still TONS of students in the faculty, you'll meet lots of people.

Psychology is a great program. If you double major, you also have the option to add co-op on too, which is a good opportunity and something that I can't have in Fine Arts (note that you can get co-op with any arts major provided you are in Arts & Business, but I'm not anymore.) I don't know anything about music, but the fine arts department is fantastic - it's small, so everyone knows each other and you get to know your professors too. I imagine the music department is pretty similar. I like fine arts because the classes aren't just sitting in a lecture and taking tests. In fine arts, we have assignments and one-on-one's and discussions, critiques, and more interaction with other students and the professors.
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A photo of napinhei napinhei
Amazing! Thank you so much! Please thank your friend for me, too. You've really helped me.

Waterloo sounds like a perfect fit for me. I cannot wait. I really hope I get accepted!
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@napinhei wrote
Amazing! Thank you so much! Please thank your friend for me, too. You've really helped me.

Waterloo sounds like a perfect fit for me. I cannot wait. I really hope I get accepted!



No problem! If you have any other questions feel free to ask me :)
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A photo of napinhei napinhei
Actually, I do have some more questions for you - well, actually, more of a question for your friend - which hit me last night, haha.

Which English stream is she in? The English Literature or Professional Writing and Rhetoric? Or the one which is a combination of the two? And how do those work?

Is the combination a double major where you have to meet the requirements of degrees or do you just take classes in each area?

Why did they choose the stream they did? And if you choose just one stream, can you still take the occassional class in the other stream?

Did you friend choose co-op? Why or why not?

If they did choose co-op, how has it been trying to find a co-op placement?
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@napinhei wrote
Actually, I do have some more questions for you - well, actually, more of a question for your friend - which hit me last night, haha.

Which English stream is she in? The English Literature or Professional Writing and Rhetoric? Or the one which is a combination of the two? And how do those work?




Response:
"I'm in the four year general English program right now, but I'm hoping to upgrade at some point to Honours. I think I was looking at the program that was lit and rhetoric.

These work kind of like high school. You know for your requirements in high school you had mandatory classes and then you had electives but you had to eventually (didn't matter when) take certain electives to graduate? It's pretty much exactly like that. Same thing goes for your BA requirements which you also have to meet.

There's actually an extension of the website for English and you can find checklists for the different programs. I printed mine out and I've just been checking off classes as I go. That way you make sure you're not missing anything and you graduate on time, etc.

So, this is the program I am in right now:
http://english.uwaterloo.ca/documents/4YearGeneral2010.pdf

Honours Lit:
http://english.uwaterloo.ca/documents/HonsLit2011.pdf
Honours RPW:
http://english.uwaterloo.ca/documents/HonsRPW2011_000.pdf
Honours RPW:
http://english.uwaterloo.ca/documents/HonsRPW2011_000.pdf "



@napinhei wrote
Is the combination a double major where you have to meet the requirements of degrees or do you just take classes in each area?

Why did they choose the stream they did? And if you choose just one stream, can you still take the occassional class in the other stream?

Did you friend choose co-op? Why or why not?

If they did choose co-op, how has it been trying to find a co-op placement?



Response:
"The combination is not a double major, it is one major with it's own list of requirements which just combines the core of the two classes. A double major would be like if you were taking History and English at the same time.

Right now I'm kind of forced to be in the stream I'm in because I haven't been making my 75 average. Which reminds me. It's important to go to class. Attending the lectures, doing the course work (readings, assignments, etc.) on time, and all that is important and you'll do a lot better. I'm really bad for actually showing up for classes so I'm averaging just under 75.

However, I'm working towards being in Honours Lit and Rhetoric. I'm going to sell it straight, literature includes the more interesting classes and probably in my opinion the easier classes, while some of the rhetoric classes can be very instructional and boring in comparison. I think that rhetoric is going to take you further once you graduate though. So I like the idea of the combined option, clearly. The good thing about being an English student is that you're almost guaranteed a spot in any English class you want, so if you go into one stream you can take classes from the other. Just be careful for your requirements. Though, to be honest, they're really easy to track. I'm in my third year and I finished my BA requirements last year, so now I'm just sailing through everything.

My parents kind of pushed me to do co-op but I really didn't want to when I first got here. It complicates your living situation sometimes if you have to move away from Waterloo for co-op. I mean, my friends in Engineering sometimes have to move every four months. Some people really like that, but I thought it was kind of a hassle.

Eventually I decided I wanted to try and get in but I missed the average by 2%. In case you didn't know you need a 75% English average for co-op. It looks like the person I spoke with doesn't work here anymore but she said that she'd let me into co-op if I got 74%. So if you're keeping track and you're close but not making it, go talk to someone because they will help you out.

I think you would go talk to this person. It looks like she might be the undergraduate adviser:
Ms. Jennifer Crane (Undergraduate Studies)
jcrane@uwaterloo.ca
519-888-4567, x32634
HH 251

In my opinion, co-op is a great option and if you're interested I definitely think you should take advantage of that opportunity since it's pretty unique to Waterloo. With that though comes a lot of responsibility. The 75 average, finding a placement, maybe having to move every four months, etc. The experience is really going to pay off though. Especially if you can get in at RIM (which does hire English students contrary to popular belief) because for every work term you return to RIM you get a raise and RIM hires a lot of UW students right out of school. Plus, let's be honest, RIM would look ridiculously good on a resume.

As for the difficulty of placements, I'm not really sure what it is like for English students since I'm not in co-op, but I can tell you a little bit about co-op in general.

There is a building on campus called the Careers Centre or something along those lines. It's right next to Hagey Hall. There are advisers in there that will help you look for English placements and I can strongly suggest that if you are in co-op that you take advantage of their help. You're more likely to find something you want/would like and I think you're more likely to get the job as I've heard it.

You apply for jobs through the school website JobMine but to be honest, I don't know much about that process. I'm pretty sure though the school gives you resume advice and a tutorial of JobMine. If they don't, go to the Careers building and ask for help, just to make sure you understand the process and your resume is up to standard.

After you apply, you go through an interviewing process. It's like the real world, some places you will get an interview, some you won't. You obviously go in for you interview and then wait for your offer. I think you find out all of these things over JobMine/email but I could be mistaken.

There is always the worry and question on what happens if you don't get a job. The university does handle that and they do have course work for you to do in the event of being without a job. However, I don't think you really have to worry about that too much. I really do think that is a rare circumstance.

When you do get a job, at the end of your work term there are two things. Around this time you will have to finish a work term report which from my understanding is very time consuming, long, and often difficult but that's what I've heard from Engineering and everything they do is like that, so I can't say for sure that it is the same for English. The other thing is that around this time you'll want to think about your next term. You may be asked by your employer to return or you may have to ask if you want to return. This is nice because then you don't have to go through the application process again, and you've already secured yourself a job for the next term.

Hope this has helped!"



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A photo of vslow vslow
Hi I was wondering for Honors Arts, do you know if they'll deduct percentages for taking a course repeatedly? This is my third time taking English and it's online, does it affect my acceptance in any way? Plus I applied for the Spring term, do you think it'd be easier to get accepted?

Thanks!
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@vslow wrote
Hi I was wondering for Honors Arts, do you know if they'll deduct percentages for taking a course repeatedly? This is my third time taking English and it's online, does it affect my acceptance in any way? Plus I applied for the Spring term, do you think it'd be easier to get accepted?

Thanks!



That, unfortunately, is something I can't give an accurate answer to. I don't know how acceptances work, so I could only guess what they would do in that situation (which won't exactly help you.) If the question is really eating away at you, I'd try to get in touch with somebody at the Waterloo Registrar's Office (http://registrar.uwaterloo.ca/index.html) to ask.

In regards to the Spring term, I don't really think you'll have an easier time getting in, but again, that's just my guess. What I can say for certain is that if you do get accepted and start in the Spring term, you'll have your first choice of which residence you want. In the summer, most students are on break, so the residences are pretty empty. You're pretty much guaranteed MKV (it's basically the most popular residence, though you might like one of the others better.)

ALSO - another advantage to getting accepted in the Spring term would be empty classes, or rather, being able to get into classes more easily. For the same reasons as the residence stuff, you'll be able to get into all your classes no problem (not that it's really a problem in the Fall, but depending on your major spots can fill fast.)

Sorry I couldn't really answer your questions but if you have any others about the campus or your program, I'd be happy to answer them!
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A photo of vslow vslow
They said the minimum average would be like 75% for the spring term, while for the fall term it's low 80's. My average is an 82 though. Do you know who I could call to ask about my chances of getting accepted for the spring term? Do you know if they keep records of the old AIF as well?
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@vslow wrote
They said the minimum average would be like 75% for the spring term, while for the fall term it's low 80's. My average is an 82 though. Do you know who I could call to ask about my chances of getting accepted for the spring term? Do you know if they keep records of the old AIF as well?



Again, this is all Registrar stuff, so I would recommend going to the website I linked above and look for some contact information.
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A photo of xoblackout xoblackout

@Kirenne wrote
So I've had experience with a few different areas of the Arts faculty. I can answer any questions regarding:

- Waterloo in general
- The Arts faculty
- Fine Arts (I'm majoring)
- Psychology (I'm minoring)
- English
- Arts & Business
- Honours Arts
- Residence (I work in the department)

So yeah. :)
I got accepted for Arts & Business Co-op originally, but was dropped after first year due to low grades and was placed into General Arts. I picked up the Fine Arts major and Psych minor and applied for Honours Arts. My grades have improved greatly so I got in. Meanwhile I've held 3 different jobs within residence, and my voice can be found on some videos on the official website. ;)




How is the psychology program at waterloo? Was arts and business fun (was there a lot of math involved)? I'm deciding between the two.. or York.

Also,when I was applying, I couldn't find the Psychology Co-op program to apply to, so i only applied for the regular program. =/ I heard that if you want to go into psychology co-op, you have to apply second year. is that true?

How is the school in general? Is it hard to get good grades? Thanks a lot!
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A photo of napinhei napinhei
I hope you don't mind me butting in, but I figured that I might as well since I can answer one of your questions. I know that, like you, I'm only an applicant, but as a result of my paranoid personality, I have done a lot of research.

So yeah, don't worry about not having applied psychology co-op. You didn't actually apply to psychology. You applied to the Honours Arts because most of the arts programs at Waterloo have a general first year. Listing psychology was only you letting Waterloo know what your current interest is, but Waterloo won't actually list you as a psychology major until you declare it at the end of first year. At the same time that you declare your major, you will also indicate whether you want to apply to regular or co-op.

Oh, and I see from your signature that you were already accepted into Honours Arts at Waterloo... I was just wondering when you heard back. I'm feeling rather impatient.
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@xoblackout wrote

How is the psychology program at waterloo? Was arts and business fun (was there a lot of math involved)? I'm deciding between the two.. or York.

Also,when I was applying, I couldn't find the Psychology Co-op program to apply to, so i only applied for the regular program. =/ I heard that if you want to go into psychology co-op, you have to apply second year. is that true?

How is the school in general? Is it hard to get good grades? Thanks a lot!



The psychology program is great. I'm not majoring, so I can't give you tons of detail, but the professors are good at what they do, and there are tons of psychology classes offered at Waterloo (as seen here: http://www.ucalendar.uwaterloo.ca/1112/COURSE/course-PSYCH.html#PSYCH100S). I recommend any classes with Ennis or Spencer, they're both great professors.

As you can see here http://www.findoutmore.uwaterloo.ca/programs/Psychology%20(Arts), you need to apply to Honours Arts or Arts & Business to pick up Psychology. Once accepted to one of these programs, you just need to make sure that you're taking two psych courses in your first year. First term, you'll take PSYCH101. Second term, you're able to take one or two more psych courses of your choosing. These programs will get you a bachelor of arts, so you'll have some additional arts requirements throughout your 4 years. After first year, you can apply for the Psychology major, at which time you can also apply for co-op if your grades are up to par.

Arts & Business isn't a lot of math at all. It's an arts program, you mainly take courses tailored to include business. The intro business course is easy. Economics involves a little bit of math, but you should be okay. Accounting also includes a little math.

It is hard to get good grades if you try to coast through. It is important that you're keeping up with any readings in the textbooks and doing your homework. Attend all lectures and don't be afraid to ask question to the professor if you don't understand something. I didn't get good grades because I thought I could get by the way I did in high school. I went to class, I took some notes, but I got lazy with readings and ended up doing all my studying the night before the test in most classes.

As for York, I actually know somebody who originally went for Psychology at York and then transferred to Waterloo for her second year.
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A photo of SandyH0ng SandyH0ng
Hi there! I actually just received my admission to Waterloo today for Honors Arts so I'm very happy to see this thread.

1. Of all the residences, which would would you say is the best? I'm looking for one that has preferably single room or double room. Also something with a good location not too far from classes.

2. How's the school's spirit? I know that Waterloo doesn't exactly have the same reputation, in terms of school spirit, as Queens or Western.

I'll probably have more questions later :P

Thank you so much! :D
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@SandyH0ng wrote
Hi there! I actually just received my admission to Waterloo today for Honors Arts so I'm very happy to see this thread.

1. Of all the residences, which would would you say is the best? I'm looking for one that has preferably single room or double room. Also something with a good location not too far from classes.

2. How's the school's spirit? I know that Waterloo doesn't exactly have the same reputation, in terms of school spirit, as Queens or Western.

I'll probably have more questions later :P

Thank you so much! :D



I can't tell you which residence is best because they're all different with great things to offer. I can honestly say that it doesn't matter which one you end up in, because you'll end up loving it regardless. It's more about the people around you, social interaction, and your attitude that will determine your experiences in residence. Here's a little summary though:

1. Village 1 (V1) - Is located closest to Arts buildings. It's mostly made up of single rooms, but there are a few double rooms and some interconnecting (meaning you've got your own room, but your room leads to your roommates room. They're connected). It has a cafeteria so you need to buy a meal plan.

2. Ron Eydt Village (REV) - Some people say it's far, but it's only a few minutes away from V1. It's entirely a double room residence. Most people will either hate this or be open to this when they read about REV. The truth is, I wish I'd been in a residence like REV. You are forced to meet tons of new people and have an entire floor of friends. In my residence, I barely met anyone. There's also a cafeteria here, meal plans are required.

3. Mackenzie King Village (MKV) - Is most people's favourite residence because it is the newest and the only one with air conditioning (but seriously, if you're living here for Fall/Winter, does it matter?) It's a suite style residence, meaning you have roommates but all have your own room. It's like a mini apartment, you've got a kitchen and a living area. Meal plans are not required. This residence is in between V1 and REV.

4. UW Place (UWP) - Is closest to Engineering buildings. It's made up of a few buildings all with different room styles, so for this residence I recommend checking out the website for the room layouts. It's a suite style residence though, meaning no meal plans. You aren't guaranteed your own room though, some have bunk beds (although there are plenty of single rooms throughout the buildings as well).

5. Columbia Lake Village (CLV) - Is definitely the furthest off campus, but it's only about 5-7 minutes down the road from REV, so it's not as far as it looks. Also, if distance is an issue, there's a bus that stops right across the road and will drop off at the Davis Centre and Engineering on campus. I lived in this residence, and while I can say it was great to have my own room and be in a nice townhouse, I wish I'd been on a floor and met people. CLV is pretty isolated, but good if you're more focused on your studies than meeting new people, I guess. It's suite style, so no meal plan.

As for school spirit, of course Waterloo has some. The thing is, I haven't been to Queens or Western or any other schools, so I can't exactly make a comparison. I can tell you that we have tons of events around campus and opportunities to get involved though.

Any other questions just ask. :)


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A photo of xxv xxv
I recently got accepted into the Honours Arts Psychology program. I was wondering how LGBT friendly Waterloo is?
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A photo of napinhei napinhei
My brother is gay and goes to Waterloo. When he saw your question, he wanted me to direct you to this page.

Link

So, based on that, I would say pretty LGBT friendly. I asked him if there was anyting I could specifically tell you about, but he just sort of shrugged and said that he has always felt welcome and never had any problems. He also said he doesn't pay too much attention, though, but I hope this was helpful anyway.
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@xxv wrote
I recently got accepted into the Honours Arts Psychology program. I was wondering how LGBT friendly Waterloo is?



Agreed with napinhei's answer above.

But you may also want to check out this link: http://knowyourglow.ca/

I do not know much about the LGBT community at Waterloo, but I have heard good things about Glow at Waterloo.

I hope that helps!
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A photo of loohopefull94 loohopefull94
hey so I have a few questions:

1. can you switch from Arts/Business to AFM

2. how is the co-op (major is economics or poli sci)

3. how is the work load

thanks
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@loohopefull94 wrote
hey so I have a few questions:

1. can you switch from Arts/Business to AFM

2. how is the co-op (major is economics or poli sci)

3. how is the work load

thanks



1. I'm not sure about this. I believe that for some AFM programs an entrance exam needs to be written, so I think it depends. I would contact somebody here on this website about it: http://www.afm.uwaterloo.ca/

2. I'm not in co-op, but from what I know and have heard it's good. There are tons of programs here that have co-op, and the majority of students are able to find jobs in their areas of interest. I don't know anybody majoring in economics or political science, but I'm sure there are jobs available for these areas too.

3. The work load depends on your program. If you're in AFM, you'll probably have more homework than an Arts & Business student, but that depends too. It's really hard to say. My work load isn't very heavy, but I'm in Fine Arts, so most of my assignments involve Photoshopping pictures (which doesn't take me very long). Other programs will differ in their amounts of homework.
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A photo of coolshoes coolshoes
Hello,

I have been accepted to Waterloo for co-op life sciences (I may transfer to arts in second year), majoring in psychology. Waterloo has always been a back-up till now, and I think it may be a really good idea to come for the co-op. :) So I have a few questions...
How do you find the psychology courses right now?
Do they involve more application as you take the more specialized upper year courses, or is it mainly memorization?
Also, if you are taking any cognitive or biological psychology, do they teach you everything you need to know about the biological aspects in the courses?
Or is it preferable to pick up a few science courses to understand the material?

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A photo of g93 g93

@loohopefull94 wrote
hey so I have a few questions:

1. can you switch from Arts/Business to AFM



I don't think it's possible to transfer into 2nd year now with the recent program changes. For example AFM 121 and INTST 101 are reserved just for AFM students. You can transfer into year 1 though (you will have to write the AFMAA) and I'm not sure how they would transfer the other credits. I would suggest emailing Patty Mah, and she'll be able to answer your question better.
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A photo of Kirenne Kirenne

@coolshoes wrote
Hello,

I have been accepted to Waterloo for co-op life sciences (I may transfer to arts in second year), majoring in psychology. Waterloo has always been a back-up till now, and I think it may be a really good idea to come for the co-op. :) So I have a few questions...
How do you find the psychology courses right now?
Do they involve more application as you take the more specialized upper year courses, or is it mainly memorization?
Also, if you are taking any cognitive or biological psychology, do they teach you everything you need to know about the biological aspects in the courses?
Or is it preferable to pick up a few science courses to understand the material?





The psychology courses I've taken so far aren't very application based. They consist of lectures and tests. I'm actually not sure if this changes in 3rd year, as I've only taken 1st/2nd year psychology courses up until this point. I have heard that becoming a Research Assistant can really inform your experience as a Psychology student though.

As for your next question, I'm sure picking up the science courses would help, but if there are no pre-reqs like that listed under those Psych courses, you'll probably be able to handle it without them. I have not taken any of those psychology courses though, unfortunately. I much more enjoy social psychology.


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