The Master of Science (MSc) Program in Counselling Psychology program is an full-time, on campus, research intensive thesis program which will assist students to develop the philosophical, theoretical, research, and practical expertise required of those who wish to offer effective educational and counselling psychology services. Opportunities are available to study such diverse topics as psychological intervention and assessment, ethical and cultural issues in professional practice, group and relationship processes, career exploration and development, quantitative and qualitative research design, and a variety of other topics of particular relevance to counselling psychologists.
A majority of graduates of the MSc program register with the College of Alberta Psychologists, and are employed in schools, post secondary institutions, community agencies, hospitals, and private practice settings, or pursue doctoral studies.
A program committed to social justice
The Counselling Psychology programs at the University of Calgary are guided by a common mission, values, program goals, and principles. The MSc 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.
Admission into the program is highly competitive due to limited space, so many excellent applicants who meet or exceed the minimum requirements are not admitted each year.
In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, entry requirements for the Counselling Psychology Master of Science program include:
a) A four-year undergraduate degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 over the courses taken during the last two years of study.
b) Normally, a minimum of 24 units in Educational Psychology and/or Psychology. This must include:
i) Two undergraduate statistics courses (Note: For those who completed a psychology degree at the University of Calgary, Psychology 312 acts as an equivalent);
ii) A senior undergraduate psychology or educational psychology course in the area of Communication Skills in Guidance and Counselling, or its equivalent, Communication Skills – Interpersonal and Verbal Facilitation;
iii) A senior undergraduate Psychology or Educational Psychology course in each of learning theory, developmental psychology, social psychology, biological bases of behavior, and personality theory.
c) A curriculum vitae and a concise rationale for the application (500 words or less).
d) Two academic references; one of which is from the undergraduate honours supervisor, if applicable.
e) One optional supplementary practice supervisor reference.
f) Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs in the Werklund School of Education. Prior to admission to Graduate Programs in Education, an applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement for academic purposes in one of the following ways:
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt) score of 97.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0.
- Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL) score of 70 (no less than 70 in each section).
- Academic Communication Certificate (ACC) score of A- in each course.
A Graduate Program Director may exempt an applicant whose first language is not English from the ELP requirement if they meet the following criteria:
The student has completed
- a Bachelor’s Degree (minimum of 3 years in length), or
- a Graduate Degree
in an institution where the sole language of instruction and examination is English.
Eligible institutions must be listed as providing English language instruction in the World Higher Education Database (WHED). Please remember, even if you have a degree from an institution included on this list, exemption from ELP requirements remain at the discretion of Graduate Program Directors.
Search for eligible institutions
Please note successful applicants will need to produce the results of a Criminal Record Check before they will be permitted to participate in practicum or internship experiences associated with the program.
Offers of admission are valid only for the term to which applications are made. Graduate Programs in Education will not grant deferrals of admission. Students unable to take up an offer will be required to submit a new application.
The MSc in Counselling Psychology requires a minimum of two years of full-time study, on-campus to complete.
Police Information Check
Please see Practicum and Internship section below.
The University of Calgary approved changes to the MSc degree in Counselling Psychology which come into effect September 2019. These changes were developed in response to feedback from students and from the Canadian Psychological Association that accredits our PhD program. Beginning in Fall 2019, the program structure will follow the sequence outlined below.
The program requires completion of (a) a master's thesis and (b) 42 units of coursework, consisting of the following thirteen courses. All courses are three unit, one semester courses unless otherwise specified:
- EDPS 600 Theories, Conceptualizations, and Interventions in Counselling Psychology I
- EDPS 601 Theories, Conceptualizations, and Interventions in Counselling Psychology II
- EDPS 609 Research Design in Statistics II
- EDPS 614 Ethics in Professional Psychology
- EDPS 615 Theoretical and Clinical Foundations of Assessment
- EDPS 625 Cultural Influences on Professional Practice
- EDPS 631 Theories of Career Development
- EDPS 640A/B Practicum in Counselling Psychology II (6 units, 2 semesters)
- EDPS 647 Practicum: Counselling Psychology I
- One of: EDPS 611 Qualitative Research Methodologies or EDPS 618 Multivariate Design and Analysis
- One of: EDPS 620: Psychological Assessment of Children and Youth or EDPS 617 Psychological Assessment of Adults
- One of: EDPS 628 Theories and Applications of Child and Youth Therapy or EDPS 645 Indigenous Approaches to Therapy
- One of: EDPS 627: Group Processes in Applied Psychology or EDPS 637: Relationship Counselling
These program requirements include a one semester practicum (100 total hours including 50 client contact hours) to be completed in the first year and a two semester, psychologist-supervised practicum (400 total hours including 200 client contact hours) in the second year.
Some courses are only offered every second year, so the program sequence depends on your year of entry, and specific course choices. For additional information see Program Requirements document
The Masters 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 because the nature and type of proposed research will affect the time needed to complete the program.
For guidance in preparing the final thesis, please refer to the GPE Thesis Rubric and the Student Guide to the Thesis Oral.
Students in the Master of Science program may also choose the option of a Manuscript-Based thesis. Please review the Masters Manuscript-Based Thesis guidelines for more information.
Please note: 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 are required to complete the TCPS 2 tutorial and upload the certificate of completion into their Researcher Profile in IRISS. Do NOT upload in the documentation section of a study. Register on theTCPS 2 website https://tcps2core.ca/register. When registering, be sure to use your institution email address (name @ucalgary.ca)
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 course (Educational Psychology 640, 647). 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.
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 placements. Failure to present a Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to complete their Practicum. Successful completion of Practicum is required for graduation.
Students are obligated to inform the Faculty immediately of any change in 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.
As a Graduate Student you are expected to devote the time, effort, and energy necessary to engage in scholarship. As a graduate student, you will determine the specific milestones and requirements of your program of study in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar and with your graduate supervisor.
An integral part of the masters experience is working closely with a supervisor on the development and completion of a research project. A graduate supervisor mentors graduate students through regular meetings and research training aimed at research, scholarship, teaching and professional development. Graduate supervisors support students in the timely completion of their programs. As a Graduate Student, you are expected to meet with your graduate supervisor on a regular basis. While each student-supervisor relationship is unique, graduate supervisors can assist graduate students in a number of ways: advising on course selection, applying for awards and scholarships, obtaining research funds, applying for teaching assistant and sessional teaching opportunities, developing track records in refereed publications and conference presentations, getting involved in leadership and service, and encouraging and supporting apprenticeship in a research community of practice (collaborative review of papers, grants, academic writing, and data analysis).
In the MSc program 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.
Master's 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.
- Submit the online Annual Progress Report form through student centre, approved by supervisor, and Graduate Program Director of GPE or designate.
Every 12 Months:
- Complete registration initialization.
Within 4 years:
- Have ethics clearance approved before collection of data.
- Complete thesis.
- Supervisor establishes the committee for final oral examination.
- Upon successful 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!
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.
Farah Premji finds passion in multicultural counselling
It is my hope that my research will challenge psychologists to constantly monitor their practice, question their competency, and assist them in recognizing the importance of engaging in continuous professional development.