yconic - Psychology Conflictions (Queen's, Waterloo, Western, Ryerson). Best pick?
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Psychology Conflictions (Queen's, Waterloo, Western, Ryerson). Best pick?

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I want and Arts degree in Psychology, preferably to become either an occupational therapist or a general researcher. My emphasis would be in either clinical psychology or social psychology.

That being said, I've been trying to determine which of my 4 university choices has the best psychology department. Here is the breakdown of my thoughts on each university:

1) Queen's: Overall good in all subject areas, well-known, beautiful town, a bit far (3-4h away from home), internship 4th/5th year, overall would be a good university experience.
2) Waterloo: (apparently?) one of the best psychology departments in the country, town a bit too suburb-y for my taste, closer to home (1h commute), Co-op program.
3) Western: specific Occupational Therapy program for masters (perhaps taking an undergrad at western boosts my chances of getting in that program in grad school?), nice campus, overall would be a good university experience.
4) Ryerson: Have no idea whatsoever about their psychology department, only real benefit is that it's in my city and would save the cost of going out.

Based on these factors, how would you base your decision? I'm unsure about all the departments, so any feedback on that would be very appreciated.
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Considering I actually care where I get my undergraduate degree, mainly due to the reason I'd like to be fully satisfied with my experience. I know for a fact that a undergraduate degree in Psychology isn't going to get me a high paying career straight out of school. This is why I'm planning on graduate or professional schooling in Psychology/Neuroscience, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Public Health & Safety, etc. Even if I don't get into that I'll be fine because I already plan on going to College after my undergrad for a Paramedic program, for the reason that I always wanted a career with patient interaction.

In terms of deciding factors when it comes to making the choice where to go for your undergrad. I'd mainly look at the faculty, research activities such as publications, also look at the course offerings and compare them to other schools. Psychology is considered in my opinion and in the world of Academia both a Science & Social Science. Some programs focus more on the social aspects, some on the biological aspects, and some even cover a good amount of both within the curriculum.

It's true most schools cover the same curriculum but I know there are slight differences in teaching, and or content covered which can make a difference.

A lot of students run into the situation; Program Vs School, some schools may be ranked really well but their program or department may not be as reputable so it's hidden in the dark.

But seriously, a major factor for me applying to the schools I did was course offerings and the schools reputation as well as proximity to where I live.

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I'm a 3rd year student at the University of Waterloo now. I took my first psychology course in 2nd year as a requirement for my degree. I didn't expect to love it so much. I had a fantastic professor who is super passionate about the subject, and I was disappointed to have to miss even one lecture.

I've mentioned this in another topic, but Waterloo has a ton of Arts students. It's a huge faculty here, even though we're technically not well-known for many of its programs.

Every school is going to have passionate professors and good courses, so your decision is a tough one, especially since you can't always get a job in psych with just an undergraduate degree (as the above poster mentioned).

As for the city, Waterloo isn't really that ... suburban, like you said. It's actually really big with a ton of things to do. It's also got a lot more students than you'd find in any other city with a University, considering that we've got Laurier down the road. You'd be in Waterloo and close to Kitchener, which both have a lot of things to do in combined.

If you do decide to go to Waterloo (I see you've been accepted already), you should try to apply for co-op as well. It definitely gives you a good advantage over others, and why not? Work experience is always a good thing, especially if you can find some good relevant jobs.

Speaking of jobs, there are also a lot of jobs on campus if you're interested in making money throughout the term while not on co-op. I work in residence, for example. :)

The campus is huge, but I like it anyway. If you have any specific questions about the area, the school, or anything else, feel free to ask!
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