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. Students can demonstrate English language proficiency with one of the following:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) minimum score of 600 (paper version) or 100 (Internet version);
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) minimum overall band score of 7.0, with no other component score less than 6.5; or
  • MELAB score of at least 84.

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

The minimum requirements for the Ph.D. are as follows:

Note: coursework that was completed for a master's degree may be counted and credited for the Ph.D. coursework requirement.

  • 6 credits of graduate-level statistics and methodology;
  • 3 credits from each of the following cognate areas in Psychology: biological, cognitive-affective, and social;
  • 6 credits from each of the following areas: Individual Differences, Professional Practice: Assessment, Professional Practice: Intervention;
  • 3 credits in the historical and scientific foundations of general Psychology;
  • 3 credits in each of the following areas: Ethics and Professional Standards, Psychometrics, Program Evaluation;
  • 1 credit in each of the following areas: Supervision, Internship Preparation;
  • successful completion of the comprehensive requirements;
  • Clinical Psychology Practicum as needed to reach competency and progress to the next level of training;
  • successful defence of the doctoral dissertation (PSYO 699);
  • development of an acceptable level of clinical skill; and
  • successful completion of a one-year internship in an approved applied setting (PSYO 730).

It should be noted that while the above criteria satisfy the minimum requirements, additional courses will routinely be offered that are aimed at further enhancing the breadth of knowledge in one of the above required areas, or that provide instruction in an area that is not reflected in one of the above categories. 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.

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