Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Admission Requirements

The Ph.D. degree program is governed by the regulations of the College of Graduate Studies, including its standards for admission of students. Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally must possess a Master's degree in Psychology or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Exceptional students may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. degree program with only an Honours degree.

Transfer from the M.A. to the Ph.D. degree program is permitted at the discretion of the program under regulations set by the College of Graduate Studies after 12 but after no more than 18 months in the M.A. degree program.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Applicants from a university at which English is not the primary language of instruction must meet Language Proficiency Requirement for the minimum English language proficiency test scores.

No applicant will be admitted to the program until a faculty member of the Psychology Department has agreed to supervise the dissertation research; thus, applicants are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor prior to applying.

Program Requirements – Psychological Science (formerly Experimental Psychology)

In addition to the general academic regulations for graduate students set out in this chapter, the minimum requirements for the Ph.D. are as follows:

  • up to 18 credits of coursework equivalent to that required for the M.A. degree program, selected by the student with the approval of his or her supervisory committee (if a student has not already completed the relevant credits or their equivalent);
  • a second-year empirical paper (if a student has not already completed an M.A. thesis in Psychology or a related area);
  • successful completion of the comprehensive requirements; and
  • a successfully-defended doctoral dissertation (PSYO 699).

Additional coursework may be required by a student's supervisory committee. For more information regarding the comprehensive requirements and thesis, please refer to the College of Graduate Studies' Academic Regulations.

Program Requirements – Clinical

All doctoral students are required to successfully complete both a clinical and general research comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation as required by the College of Graduate Studies. Clinical students must develop an acceptable level of clinical skill, complete coursework, and serve a one-year pre-doctoral internship at a CPA- or APA-accredited site. Our program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association.

See the Department website for complete details regarding the various psychology programs.

Page last updated: June 15, 2021

The University of British Columbia

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