Classroom with students and professor

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.


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 program follows a scientist practitioner model of training and is committed to social justice efforts in all areas of scholarship.

The mission of the Counselling Psychology program the University of Calgary (hereafter the Program) is to prepare the next generation of Counselling Psychologists to be reflexive, critical, and culturally responsive researchers, educators, and practitioners. Taking on a generalist approach, the Program provides students with broad preparation for careers in a wide range of settings, including education (schools, colleges, and universities), government, social services, health units and hospitals, community agencies, business and industry, and private practice. Both the MSc and PhD programs are grounded on a scientist-practitioner model, emphasizing: the integration of science and practice; critical evaluation of theory, research, and practice within the profession; and the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge. Furthermore, the Program upholds an active commitment to social justice, highlighting the importance of infusing advocacy in both the science and practice of psychology. As such, we aim to use the power and privilege obtained as Counselling Psychologists to aid in the understanding, healing, and advocating for the wellbeing and justice within and outside of our communities.


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 from 2020-2026.

Program Details

  1. Application Dates

    Application opens:  September 1
    Application deadline: December 1
    Official supporting document deadline: December 1-No Exceptions

    Students must use the online application found at the How to Apply page.

  2. Program Delivery

    Full-time on campus

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements, entry requirements for the PhD in Counselling Psychology include:

a) A completed thesis-based master’s degree in Counselling Psychology (or equivalent) from an approved university, with a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in the master’s program, including 500 hours of practicum, with a minimum of 400 hours (200 direct client contact hours) completed under the supervision of a registered psychologist.

b) A master's thesis (or equivalent research project). Although not a requirement, it is beneficial to also have completed an undergraduate psychology degree with an honour's thesis.

c) Prerequisite coursework:

  • Applicants required to have completed a 3-unit senior undergraduate (or graduate) course in Historical and Scientific Foundations of General Psychology

Applicants are also required to have completed two 3-unit senior undergraduate courses (or one 3-unit graduate course) in each of the following four areas:

  • Individual Behaviour (e.g., personality theory, human development, individual differences, abnormal psychology)
  • Social Bases of Behaviour (e.g., social psychology; cultural, ethnic, & group processes; sex roles; organizational & systems theory)
  • Cognitive-Affective Bases of Behaviour (e.g., learning, sensation, perception, cognition, thinking, motivation, emotion)
  • Biological Bases of Behaviour (e.g. physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, psychopharmacology)

Applicants are required to have completed graduate coursework equivalent to the courses that comprise the University of Calgary's MSc in Counselling Psychology program (see Pre-Admission Checklist below).

d) Prerequisite practicum hours. Applicants need to have completed 500 hours of practicum during their master's degree, with a minimum of 400 hours (200 direct client contact hours) completed under the supervision of a registered psychologist.

e) A curriculum vitae, including information about previous employment and volunteer experience.

f) A concise (500 word) rationale of why the applicant and this program would be a good fit, including a description of the applicant's research interests and potential thesis supervisors from within the counselling psychology program area, if applicable.

g) Three references, two of which are academic references (e.g., a professor) and one of which is from someone who has provided clinical supervision for the applicant (e.g., a practicum supervisor). It is recommended that one of the academic references be the applicant's master's thesis supervisor or a professor who is familiar with the applicant's thesis research.

h) The PhD in Counselling Psychology Pre-Admission Checklist is required

i) Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University.

If the original transcript documents are not in English, applicants must submit original documents or certified true copies of each of your official transcripts and degree certificates in the original language, in the original sealed envelope, sent directly from the issuing University, and an English translation from the issuing University or a notarized word-for-word English translation of a duplicate copy of that original. 

j) Meeting the English language proficiency requirement. 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 must fulfill the English language proficiency requirement. For additional information, please visit our How to Apply page.

Please note: Applicants may be interviewed prior to admission to evaluate their understanding of, and motivation for entry into the Counselling Psychology program.

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.

Applications, transcripts and all supporting documents must be submitted 11:59 pm MT on the application deadline date for each program. Please visit the FGS applicant transcript page to answer frequently asked questions on transcripts. 

For additional information on transcripts and where to send them, please visit our How to Apply page.



Three (3) references are required. Two of which are academic references (e.g., a professor) and one of which is from someone who has provided clinical supervision for the applicant (e.g., a practicum supervisor). It is recommended that one of the academic references be the applicant's master's thesis supervisor or a professor who is familiar with the applicant's thesis research. No hard copy letters of reference or documents will be accepted.

Please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies' advice on finding references for your application.

References are due by the application deadline, so you should complete the online application earlier in order to give your referees sufficient time to submit their reference. Referees will receive notification on how to submit their reference after you submit your application and are due on the application deadline regardless of when they receive the notification. Please ensure that your references are aware of the supporting document submission deadline. Applications without completed reference forms will be considered incomplete after the application deadline has passed.

Statement of Intent

Statement of Intent must be uploaded to your Student Centre after the application has been submitted.  Applicants will receive a confirmation email with instructions and information regarding this process upon completion and submission of the online application.

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 doctoral 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 PhD program a supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

  1. Funding

    The Werklund School of Education provides funding opportunities for full-time doctoral students admitted to the on-campus program, for the first 4 years in program.

  2. Awards and Scholarships

    Applicants to the program are encouraged to apply for internal and external scholarships.

Police Information Check

All successful applicants to the Werklund School of Education School PhD Counselling Psychology program are required to provide a current and clear Police Information Check which includes a Criminal Record Check and a Vulnerable Sector Search. Students must apply for a Police Information Check through their nearest police service or RCMP detachment in the area where they reside.

The original Police Information Check must be presented to and accepted by the administration in the Graduate Program Office in the Werklund School of Education, dated within timelines as directed by the Placement Coordinator.

Students will be required to request a Police Information Check upon admission and each subsequent year that they go on placement (Educational Psychology 772, 773, 752, 753, and PhD Residency).

A current and clear Police Information Check is required for all placements. Failure to present a clear and current Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to begin their program and/or go on placement. Successful completion of all placements is required for graduation.

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.

Practicum Schedule

  • 1st* year of program: 
    • EDPS 772 - Off Campus – Community based (Fall term)
    • EDPS 773 - Off Campus – Community based (Winter term)
  • 2nd* year of program: 
    • EDPS 752 - - Off Campus – Community based (Fall term)
    • EDPS 753 - Off Campus – Community based (Winter term)
  • PhD Residency (3,4,5 or 6** year of program):
    • Off Campus – Community based (Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer terms)

*Preference for EDPS 772 & 773 (formerly EDPS 743) to be taken in year 1. However, if student is missing assessment pre-requisite course upon admission, they must take EDPS 752 & 753 (formerly EDPS 742) in year 1.
**Students are required to obtain approval from the Director of Training (DoT) and thesis supervisor via a Readiness to Apply form before applying to residency sites.

Teaching Facilities

Typically, our courses are scheduled in classrooms in the University’s Education Block and Tower buildings.  For clinical and laboratory work, observation, and role-play, the program has access to space in our in-house clinic, Integrated Services in Education.  ISE has nine rooms with audio-visual recording capabilities in the Education Tower. All have one-way mirrors for live observations.

Library Facilities

Students at the University of Calgary have access to resources through Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR) (, which operates eight university libraries on campus and across the city of Calgary. In addition, students have extensive access to library resources on-line and can access the holdings of other national and international libraries through inter-library loans. The Doucette Library is our closest library, located in the Education Block and has a dedicated resource librarian available for faculty and graduate students in Education. Specialized resources include an extensive collection of psychology, counselling psychology, and assessment-related books and journals as well as a video collection of counselling-related adjunctive instructional material.

Work Space for Students

Shared work space is provided, with priority given to students in the first three years of the PhD program and first two years of the MSc program. Following renovations to upgrade our building, students are now housed in dedicated and secure workspaces that have large study carrels. Given the number of graduate students in our programs, students are clustered on various floors in the Education Tower. Students are guaranteed workspace during residency years and may request space beyond that period of time. Touch-down spaces and lockers will be available for students who are past their residency years in their respective programs.

Research Space for Faculty and Students

Research space varies depending on the faculty member you are working with and area of research.  Most faculty do not have labs as such, as their research programs are field-based.  Faculty members with lab-based requirements have research space in Werklund or affiliated institutes (e.g., Owerko).  The instructional video suite in the ISE Clinic described earlier is available for faculty or graduate students (who apply and can demonstrate CFREB or CHREB ethical approval) to potentially schedule for research purposes. A separate application form is required to gain access.

Assessment Materials and Supplies including Scoring Facilities

The Werklund School of Education also operates a test library located in the ISE Clinic.  The ISE test library contains a large and varied collection of testing materials and accompanying expendable materials (test forms and rating scales) that can be used by graduate students for coursework that involves instruction in administration of assessment measures as well as for clinical practicum work. The library also has archival storage in the basement of our building for those who may need access to earlier versions of tests. Students do not have to pay to access these materials, although fees are charged for lost materials. Additionally, the ISE houses three computers that may be used by graduate students to score clinical assessment measures or work on assessment reports. The clinic also provides other relevant materials such as portable video camera recorders and stopwatches. Graduate students may also apply to access ISE resources for research purposes, although priority is given to clinical work. 

Computer Facilities

Students can access university computers through the main library, the Werklund School of Education of Education’s Doucette Library computers, or the Computer Lab located on the 3rd floor of the classroom block. All students are also given free access to the University’s server through their home computer, including email accounts and free access to data analysis and word processing packages.

Resources to Support Data Analysis

The University and Werklund School of Education provides workshops, either free of charge or at minimal cost, to faculty and graduate students, in the use of reference management programs such as Covidence, EndNote, Mendeley, and Refworks; data analysis software such as SPSS, BMDP, SAS; and common computer applications such as Microsoft Office. Our faculty and students are provided access to a computer lab on the 3rd floor of the Education Classroom Block. At this time, commonly used data programs such as SPSS, LISREL, NVIVO etc. have been installed on those computers for use by faculty and students.

Recording Equipment

The ISE instructional suite described earlier contains nine rooms equipped with closed-circuit video recording capability. Additional audio and video recording equipment is available for sign out through the ISE Clinic, or the Doucette Library housed in the Werklund School of Education of Education building. Extensive audio and video dubbing facilities are available to all students through the Com Media Department or the Learning Commons.

Facilities and Technical Support for Building Research Equipment

This is available in an “as needs require” basis, through the office of Information Technology and also through the computer support network available to all faculty. In addition, equipment pertaining to communications media (video cameras, video records, etc. are available through the Communications Media Department (COM Media) through an agreement paid for by the Werklund School of Education. Requirements beyond the above are paid for through faculty research grants.

Facilities to Enable Access for Students with Disabilities

The University is an access friendly facility for students with special needs. The University has an “Academic Accommodation Policy” for students requiring special accommodations during exams or other term assignments, operated through Student Accessibility Services ( The Education Tower is equipped with wheelchair-accessible facilities, including auto-entry electronic doors, larger stalls, and motion- sensor sinks and soap dispensers in washrooms.

Availability and Nature of Financial, Academic, Counselling, and Other Support Systems

The University offers many services for its students. Some of these include:

  • The Counselling Centre
  • The Student Success Centre
  • Academic Services
  • University Health Clinic
  • Computer Technical Support
  • International Centre
  • Teaching and Learning Centre
  • Graduate Students’ Association
  • Recreational activities

A complete listing of Student and Academic Services can be found at

The University offers comprehensive, holistic, and accessible programs and services to foster student wellness through the SU Wellness Centre, which includes Health Services, the Counselling Centre, and the Faith and Spirituality Centre. There are also services and clubs on campus that pertain to the needs of diverse groups. At the University of Calgary, for example, there is a Student Success Centre, an International Student Centre, a Native Centre, a Women’s Resource Centre, and a club for sexually- and gender-diverse individuals (called Q).  The University offers accommodations for students with disabilities through several specialized support services including Student Accessibility Services and the Nat Christie Adaptive Technology Centre.

The primary mandate of the Centre is to provide a Centre of excellence in research, education and service through a coordinated holistic vision for the wellbeing of children, youth and transition-age youth (ages 4-25). learn more

Graduate students may participate in the intervention services provided by the Centre.

Contact Us


Graduate Program Administrator

Megan Freeman

Dr. Tanya Mudry

Academic Coordinator

Dr. Tanya Mudry, Associate Professor

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