Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselling Psychology

Thesis-based, on campus degree

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselling Psychology prepares individuals to develop the philosophical, theoretical, and research expertise in counselling psychology required of those who wish to offer effective psychological education and counselling and to work as counselling psychologists in a variety of public and private practice settings.

The PhD program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), and course content follows CPA's accreditation guideline standards for training.

These programs are guided by a common mission, values, program goals, and principles. The PhD program follows a scientist practitioner model of training and is committed to social justice efforts in all areas of scholarship.

Social justice can be understood as a professional commitment, an action-oriented process, and a desired goal. The process entails investigating and dismantling inequities related to age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual / affectional orientation, language, (dis)ability, religion, spirituality, indigenous ancestry, nationality, status in country, social class, accessibility, physicality, and their intersections.

This action-oriented process requires critical, reflective, ongoing, community-driven multidisciplinary research, which addresses issues of inequity, power, privilege, and oppression, and includes traditional and indigenous ways of knowing, with the aim of challenging unjust policies and systems. The goal then is the full and equitable engagement of all groups within society.


Social justice efforts can be demonstrated in several ways, including a focus on (a) specific topics of study that have not traditionally been prioritized in counselling psychology (e.g., ableism, ageism, heterosexism, racism, sexism, weightism, etc.); (b) research approaches that prioritize the voices and experiences of underrepresented communities (e.g., feminist epistemologies, indigenous ways of knowing, etc.); (c) work and advocacy with specific groups who typically have reduced access to care and services (e.g., at-risk youth, newcomers, individuals from marginalized social classes, etc.); (d) scholarly work that contributes to social and systemic change (e.g., discriminatory practices, organizational policies, etc.); to name but a few examples.

* This definition was co-created by Arthur, Cairns, Fellner, Kassan, Mendaglio, Robertson, Russell-Mayhew, Strong, and Wada on September 15th, 2017; with the influence of the following sources: Fouad & Prince, 2011; Kassan, 2016; Kennedy & Arthur, 2014; Lewis, Ratts, Paladino, & Toporek, 2011; Sinacore & Ginsberg, 2015; Stewart, 2014.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counselling Psychology

The PhD program in Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary has been accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) since 2010-2011:

Office of Administration, CPA,
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702, 
Ottawa, ON K1P 5J3. 

The program's term of accreditation goes until the year 2019-2020.

Please view the Information Booklet for Prospective Students for more information.

EDCP Doctoral Program Brochure

Program Information for Current Students

The PhD in Counselling Psychology has a minimum requirement of two years of full-time residency on-campus.

The requirements for completion of the PhD program are as follows:

a) 24 units of course work at the doctoral level that includes:

i. Educational Psychology 704 and an additional 3-unit course in research methods at 600 or 700 level as approved by the supervisor;

ii. Educational Psychology 711 and 731;

iii. Practicum courses: Educational Psychology 742 and 743. Note: Please see Practicum and Internship section below.

b) Candidacy requirements.

c) Dissertation.

d) A twelve-month full-time internship: Educational Psychology 788. Note: Please see Practicum and Internship section below.

Applicants who are offered admission as a qualifying student due to missing pre-requisite coursework or practicum hours will be required to take additional courses or to complete additional practicum hours within the doctoral program to ensure equivalent training. A qualifying student may take up to 12 units to meet equivalency requirements during the qualifying year. Qualifying status will be granted for a period not exceeding one year.

Course content addresses theory, research, and practice in the domains identified by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) for accreditation of doctoral programs in professional psychology.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date. Admission to candidacy is an acknowledgement that a student is fully prepared to devote his/her full attention to the dissertation research. For admission to candidacy, the Faculty of Graduate Studies requires that (1) all mandatory course work has been completed, (2) an oral candidacy examination has been successfully passed, and (3) a dissertation research proposal has been approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee.


The Doctoral thesis is the focus of the degree program. In consultation with the supervisor, the student should formulate an appropriate thesis topic as early as possible in the program because the thesis proposal affects the choice and number of courses needed in order to complete the program. The thesis proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee before continuing towards candidacy.

Ethics approval is required for all research projects involving the use of human subjects, before data collection begins. Prior to submitting an ethics application, students must complete Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans: A Concise, Online Tutorial,, and attach the certificate issued upon completion to the ethics application form.  

To initiate the ethics approval process, the student must submit a copy of the application (available on the Research Services website) to the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board or the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board.

Police Information Check

see Practicum and Internship section below

Time Limit

Expected completion time for full-time students in four years with a maximum completion time of six years.

Supervisory Assignments

An interim supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission. Students are responsible for initiating discussions with potential permanent supervisors and are expected to have finalized supervisory arrangements by their second annual registration.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to Graduate Programs in Education by February 1.

Faculty Members/Research Interests

Current faculty members and their areas of interest can be found by going to the Counselling Psychology: Faculty Members page.

Doctoral Procedures Checklist

At the beginning of program:

  • Register for an eID to access myUCalgary. Keep your eID and password confidential.
  • Accept your Offer of Admission in the online Student Centre.
  • Activate your UCalgary IT computing account that comes with a UofC email. We strongly encourage you to use this email while in program.
  • Before you start utilizing your UofC email, update your email address in the online Student Centre.
  • Confirm your current e-mail address to your Graduate Program Administrator (see your Admission Letter for contact information). Please include your full name, UCID number, program, and specialization.
  • Attend one of the scheduled Virtual Welcome Sessions for Graduate Programs: Education (GPE) students.
  • Attend one of the scheduled Student Orientations to GPE Online Delivery Tools. We recommend this for students in on-campus programs, due to the fact that online tools may be utilized in on-campus courses.
  • Connect with your supervisor to plan your program.
  • Initialize your registration.
  • Register for courses.
  • Check with FGS, Research Services and SSHRC for possible research funding.

Within 12 months:

  • Confirm the number of courses required for program completion with the supervisor.

Every May:

  • Submit the online Annual Progress Report form through student centre, approved by supervisor, and Graduate Program Director of GPE or designate.

Every 12 Months:

Within 15 months:

  • Consult with supervisor regarding the appointment of the supervisory committee. Complete the Appointment of Supervisory Committee form.

Within 28 months:

  • Request candidacy examination guidelines.
  • Complete all course work prior to the candidacy examination.
  • Submit a research proposal to the supervisory committee. If acceptable, this proposal is signed by the members of the supervisory committee and placed in the student's file.
  • Complete candidacy requirements and examination.

Within 4 to 6 years:

  • Have ethics application approved before collection of data.
  • Complete thesis and final oral examination.
  • Submit two unbound copies of the thesis to the Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the Thesis Clearance form.
  • Submit an Application for Degree through your Student Centre.
  • Attend convocation and celebrate.

Program Forms

There are various forms related to a student’s progress through their graduate degree. Please refer to the forms for detailed instructions on their proper completion. Students who have any questions or concerns should contact their Graduate Program Administrator. Required forms are available in the GPE office and some can be accessed by downloading them from Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Internship Manuals

U-CAPES Internship Manual

Pre-doctoral Internship Manual

For information on the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Match Dates, please go to,

EPPIC Match & Post Match Schedule for 2020 – 2021 placements:

Police Information Check

All successful applicants to the Werklund School of Education Counselling Psychology program are required to provide a current clear Police Information Check which includes a Criminal Record Check and a Vulnerable Sector Search. All successful applicants will be also required to acknowledge the requirement for a Police Information Check by submitting an "Acknowledgment of PIC Requirement" declaration form prior to the start of the program. Students who are not residents of Calgary must arrange for a Police Information Check through their nearest police service or RCMP detachment in the area where they reside. In order to be considered "current", the Police Information Check must be completed no earlier than June 30 and students will be required to request a new Police Information Check every year in which they enroll in a practicum or internship (Educational Psychology 742743, and 788). The original Police Information Check must be presented to the administration in the Graduate Program Office in the Werklund School of Education before the start of Fall Term classes and to the organization hosting the student on or before the first day of the practicum or internship.

Students who are concerned about the presence of a criminal record should contact the police department to discuss the process for eliminating or erasing such a record.

A current clear Police Information Check is required for all third-party and University of Calgary practicum and internship placements. Failure to present a Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to complete their Practicum or Internship. Successful completion of both Practicum and Internship are required for graduation.

Students are obligated to inform the Faculty immediately of any change in the status of their criminal record.

Intervention Record Check

In addition, it is strongly recommended that students obtain an Intervention Record Check (IRC) in each year that they participate in a practicum. Even if your site does not specifically require this check, it is to your advantage to have an IRC done so as to prevent a potential issue should there be a last minute change in your placement site.

NOTE: IRCs are not required by the Werklund School of Education (WSE), and should not be submitted to WSE. Results should be kept in your personal records, and shown to your practicum site should they request to view them.

Integrated Services in Education (formerly U-CAPES) is an on-campus clinic is housed in the PACE unit within the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.  Recipient of the Canadian Psychological Association Foundation 2009 Access to Innovative Psychological Services Award, Integrated Services in Education (ISE) is a nationally recognized leader in psychological service that offers clinical services, professional development, and applied research/programme evaluation. The clinic provides opportunities for both Educational Studies in School Psychology (EDSP) and Educational Studies in Counselling Psychology (EDCP) graduate students to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of registered psychologists in each of these areas.  Graduate students are provided with the very best experiential learning while making a contribution to the community.   The core values of empowerment, respect for diversity, advocacy, resiliency, and accountability permeate the teaching, research, and services of ISE.

ISE provides psychoeducational services to the local Calgary community and has developed partnerships with a number of regional educational and health service providers.  ISE is strongly committed to excellence in both the quality of psychological services provided to the community as well as in the learning experiences offered to graduate students.  Serving the practicum and supervised learning programme of the on-campus MSc and PhD students in School and Applied Child Psychology programmes, ISEprovides direct benefit to the students in a number of ways.  Through the supervised training opportunities to work directly with children and youth in the clinic, much of the revenue from the services provided is returned to doctoral students in the form of annual PhD funding.  This funding support allows students to gain valuable professional experience and complete their research in a timely manner. Under the guidance of PhD students, Masters students are also provided with the opportunity to complete practicum placements in the clinic, and are provided with a hands-on learning environment in which to develop their assessment, diagnostic, and intervention skills.

Further information can be found on the Integrated Services in Education website.

Contact Us


Have Questions?

Edith Mandeville Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)

Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew

Academic Coordinator

Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew, Professor,

Program details

Complete Program Details