Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in School & Applied Child Psychology

Thesis-based, on campus degree

  The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in School & Applied Child Psychology program prepares students to work as school psychologists or develop specialized knowledge of school and applied child psychology for use in school or community settings. Course content for the PhD program follows the accreditation guidelines created by Canadian Psychological Association standards for training.


NOTE: The program provides for school-based practicum experiences in sites located throughout Calgary and surrounding communities. Students are responsible for securing their own transportation to these sites.

Program Details

  1. Application Dates

    Application opens:  September 1
    Application deadline: December 1
    Official supporting document deadline: December 1

    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 School and Applied Child Psychology include:

  • A completed thesis-based Master's degree in School and Applied Child Psychology or equivalent from an approved university with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the Master's program (must be completed by the beginning of classes). 
  • If coursework from an applicant’s Master’s program is not equivalent to courses from the Master of Science in School and Applied Child Psychology program at the University of Calgary, the student will be required to take additional courses within the doctoral program to ensure equivalent training. These prerequisite courses will need to be completed before the doctoral candidacy examination.
  • Two senior undergraduate courses or one graduate course (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent each) in (i) biological bases of behaviour, (ii) cognitive-affective bases of behaviour, (iii) social bases of behaviour, and (iv) individual behaviour.
  • One senior undergraduate or one graduate course (3 units or 0.5 full-course equivalent each) in the historical and scientific foundations of general psychology.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of “B-” or above.
  • If all of the prerequisite courses for admission have not been completed at the time of application, students who have up to 12 units (2.0 full-course equivalents) in deficiencies may still be admitted, but the prerequisite courses will need to be completed prior to the doctoral candidacy exam.
  • A completed application
  • CV - include the following items as applicable:  Educational history, awards and scholarships, presentations and publications, employment, research experience, volunteering, and professional development.
  • A concise rationale (500 words or less) for the application including statements about your research and professional interests in school psychology, your previous research experience and the research you would like to pursue in this degree, and specification of a prospective research supervisor from among current faculty.
  • Three references:  (2 professors, 1 clinical) Graduate Programs in Education recommends you provide one reference from your thesis advisor or an individual familiar with your thesis research.
  • For applicants required to prove proficiency in English, a TOEFL score of 97 (Internet-based test), an IELTS score of 7.0 (Academic version), or a MELAB score of 83. The test must have been taken within the last two years. Note: When requesting that official TOEFL test scores are forwarded to the University of Calgary, please indicate institution code 0813.
  • 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 original documents are not in English:
  • 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.
  • Official transcripts are due to the Graduate Programs in Education office on or before December 1.

A limited number of outstanding applicants holding equivalent Bachelor's and Master's degrees from elsewhere may be considered; however, if the course content of their Master's program is not equivalent to the MSc at the University of Calgary in School and Applied Child Psychology, students will be required to take additional courses within their doctoral program to ensure equivalent training. These additional courses (a maximum of two full courses) must be completed in the first year of study. Applicants must also have a research advisor selected from among professors in Applied Psychology upon entry to the 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.

Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions 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. Current and previous University of Calgary students are not required to order official University of Calgary transcripts.

If original documents are not in English:

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.

Applications, transcripts and all supporting documents must be submitted 11:59 pm MT on the deadline date for each program.

Official transcripts must be submitted to the following address:

Werklund School of Education
Graduate Programs in Education
Education Tower 114
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N

Supporting documents (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 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 PhD program a supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

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.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date.

The Werklund School of Education Candidacy procedure falls under the Faculty of Graduate Studies Candidacy Regulations (effective Sept 1, 2014).  Graduate Programs in Education Council (GPEC) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies have approved new Werklund School of Education guidelines for Candidacy.

All students admitted as of September 1, 2015 fall under the new procedure.

Students admitted prior to September 1, 2015 have the choice of the candidacy procedure in effect at the time of admission, or they can elect to use the new procedure.  Please click here to review the guidelines in use prior to September 1, 2015.

Dissertation

The Doctoral dissertation 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 nature and type of proposed doctoral research will affect the time needed to complete the program.  The student’s research problem, research questions and the development of the research proposal will be tied to engagement in coursework and the preparation needed in order to complete the program. The thesis proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee before continuing towards candidacy. 
For guidance in preparing the research proposal, please refer to the Werklund School of Education Candidacy Requirements.
For guidance in preparing the final thesis/dissertation, please refer to the GPE Thesis/Dissertation Rubric and the Student Guide to the Dissertation Oral.

Werklund School of Education Guidelines for a Doctoral Manuscript Based Thesis

In consultation with their Supervisor, students may choose to compose their theses using the traditional thesis style or the manuscript-based thesis style. A manuscript based thesis is intended to provide an alternate format for those students who are both inclined toward and adept at writing articles for peer review and publication.  A manuscript based thesis is a coherent and organized document that contains a related set of papers judged to be publishable, of which the student is the sole author and/ or the first co- author, and which adheres to the Manuscript Thesis Guidelines (See Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar) and meets the criteria specified in the Werklund School of Education Guideline, approved April 2016.  

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)

To initiate the ethics approval process, the student must submit an application to either the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board or the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. Applications to the CFREB or CHREB are created and submitted online using IRISS. There are no paper application forms.

Doctoral students should consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Handbook of Supervision and Examination - Part III: Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education for details regarding supervision and examinations, including candidacy and thesis oral examinations.

For information on the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Match Dates, please go to, http://appic.org/Match/About-The-APPIC-Match/APPIC-Match-Dates.

EPPIC Match & Post Match Schedule for 2019 – 2020 placements:

Police Information Check

All successful applicants to the Werklund School of Education, Counselling Psychology and School and Applied Child Psychology programs are required to provide a current Police Information Check which includes a Criminal Record Check and a Vulnerable Sector Search. 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 30th and students will be required to request a new Police Information Check every 12 months. The original Police Information Check must be presented in person to the administration in the Graduate Program Office in the Werklund School of Education before the start of classes (September 1) and to the organization hosting the student on or before the first day of the practicum course (EDPS 762, EDPS 766, EDPS 798).

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 Police Information Check is required for all 3rd party and University of Calgary practicum placements.  Failure to present a clear Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to complete their Practicum. Successful completion of Field Experience Practicum is required for graduation.

In addition, it is highly recommended that students in the PhD program in Counselling Psychology obtain an Intervention Record Check (IRC) in each year that they participate in a practicum or internship. The IRC must be completed no earlier than four months prior the start of a student's program.

Failure to present a clear IRC may result in a site denying the start of a student’s practicum and/or internship. Practicum and/or internship placements occasionally fall through with short notice. Having an IRC will help mitigate the potential risk of a replacement site denying the start of a student’s practicum and/or internship.

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

Mission

The mission of the MSc/PhD programmes in School and Applied Child Psychology, University of Calgary, is to prepare psychologists whose skills and knowledge in teaching, research, and practice draw upon knowledge of the scientific foundations of psychology and education and apply that knowledge to enhance outcomes for diverse learners of all ages in a wide range of applied settings including schools and community agencies and academic or research positions in institutions of higher education.

Our mission links directly to two pillars identified in the University of Calgary Academic Plan: Advancing Health and Wellness and Language Learning and Literacy. Substantive literature points to the reciprocal relationships between diversity and academic and psychosocial well-being. The efficacy of early intervention at the individual, family, and school levels in enhancing developmental health and well-being has been robustly documented. Our School and Applied Child Psychology programmes forge relationships and connections with researchers, clinicians, and school personnel by similarly focusing on child health and well-being to advance knowledge and practice in nurturing thriving and resilient learners. Further, our programmes have a strong relationship to the Language Learning and Literacy pillar. Language is intimately related to cognitive and social development, emotional self-regulation and development, and learning. Understanding typical and atypical language development and the ways in which it impacts on these areas of development and learning is crucial knowledge for all professionals concerned with developmental well-being. Further, keeping with the core principles of the University of Calgary, our School and Applied Child Psychology programme is a prime example of “providing return to the community” in that it is responsive to the needs of the Province of Alberta and beyond not only through the quality of its training programme and the graduates it produces but through the research it generates and the wide of services it offered through its award-winning clinic (i.e., U-CAPES).

Values

Our School and Applied Child Psychology programmes value approaches that:

  • Maximize the likelihood of students becoming both scientists and practitioners;
  • Ensure our students possess sound ethical knowledge and have the ability to successfully integrate ethical standards and best practices into their work with diverse student populations;
  • See developmental and educational theories and research as foundational for sound and effective psychological and educational practices and policies;
  • Focus on the self-righting potentials and strengths of learners and families for resilient outcomes;
  • Recognize that well-being and thriving are highly dependent on the contextual integrity of developmental processes in multiple, interconnected domains including the social, emotional, language, cognitive, and spiritual;
  • Foster an understanding of the importance of context on all aspects of development;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based prevention, direct and indirect intervention and remediation, and community promotion and development.

These approaches and the values inherent in them permeate all aspects of our School and Applied Child Psychology programmes.


Contact Us

GPA

Have Questions?

Edith Mandeville Graduate Program Administrator (GPA) 403.220.3585, edith.mandeville@ucalgary.ca

AC

Academic Coordinator

Dr. Jac Andrews, jandrews@ucalgary.ca

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Ready to Apply?


Program Information for Current Students

Students in the PhD program are required to complete:

a) A minimum of 33 units of course work at the doctoral level that includes:

i. Educational Psychology 691.04, 691.06, 731, 732, 760, 762, 763 and 764.

ii. Practicum Courses (12 units): Three Educational Psychology 761 courses (this course may be repeated for credit) and Educational Psychology 766. Note section 6. Police Information Check below.

b) Candidacy

c) A twelve-month (min. 1600 hours) full-time internship Educational Psychology 798
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. 

d) Dissertation

Students entering the degree following completion of a Master's degree outside of the University of Calgary may be required to take additional Master's courses to ensure equivalency to the Master of Science in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. A student may be deficient in no more than two full-courses, which must be completed before the Doctoral candidacy.

School and Applied Psychology specialization and practicum courses:

EDPS 691 - Graduate Seminar:  Selected Topics
EDPS 731 - Advanced Clinical Supervision in Applied Psychology
EDPS 732 - Advanced Seminar in School & Applied Child Psychology
EDPS 760 - Evidence Based Consultation for Intervention
EDPS 761 - Advanced Doctoral Practicum in Clinical Assessment & Supervision (3 courses)
EDPS 762 - Advanced Neuropsychological Assessment and Intervention
EDPS 763 -
EDPS 764 - Advanced Research Statistics
EDPS 766 - School Based Practicum
EDPS 798 - Pre-Doctoral Internship in School & Applied Child Psychology 

Candidacy Examination

Admission into Candidacy in the Werklund School of Education Graduate Programs: 1) requires that students have abilities to conceptualize, interpret, critique and synthesize comprehensive, substantive knowledge that is relevant to the discipline and practice of educational psychology; and 2) ensures that students have a well-developed plan for their dissertation research, a sound proposal with a well-developed research question and potential for the ability to pursue and complete original independent research at the doctoral level.

In compliance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Candidacy Regulations, the requirements for Admission to Candidacy at the Werklund School of Education is a 4 stage process:

  1. Completion of all course requirements as identified in the calendar; 
  2. Field of study (FoS) written candidacy examination; 
  3. A research proposal approved by the Supervisory Committee (recognizing changes may be made after successful completion of exams prior to submission for ethics approval); 
  4. An oral examination of the research proposal;
    All Candidacy requirements must be completed within 28 months of the start of the program. 

For further information, please consult the Graduate Programs in Education website, 

Dissertation
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, http://www.ucalgary.ca/research/ethics/CORE_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

All successful applicants to the Werklund School of Education School and Applied Child Psychology program are required to provide a current 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 a "Notice Regarding Requirement for Police Information Check" 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 12 months. The original Police Information Check must be presented in person to the administration in the Graduate Program Office in the Werklund School of Education before the start of classes (September 1) and to the organization hosting the student on or before the first day of the practicum or internship course (Educational Psychology 761, 766, 798).

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.

Failure to present a clear Police Information Check may result in the student being unable to complete their Practicum and/or Internship.

Students are obligated to inform Werklund School of Education immediately of any change in status of their criminal record.

Time Limit

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

Supervisory Assignments

A supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

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 Program in Education by February 1.

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

Pre-doctoral Internship Manual

Integrated Services in Education is an on-campus clinic 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, the Integrated Services clinic 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 the ISE clinic.

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, ISE provides 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.