Master of Science (MSc) in Counselling Psychology
The Master of Science (MSc) Program in Counselling Psychology program is a full-time, on campus, research intensive thesis program intended 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 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.
MSc Counselling Psychology Information Sessions
Another information session will be held October 25th, 2022. To view a recording of the September 21st, 2022 session, please use the link below.
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) One 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, Working Alliance;
iii) A senior undergraduate Psychology or Educational Psychology course in each of (a) cognitive psychology/learning theory, (b) social psychology, (c) biological bases of behaviour, and (d) psychology of the individual (e.g., abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, personality theory).
c) A curriculum vitae including information about previous employment and volunteer experience, and a concise rationale for the application (500 words or less) including a description of the applicant's research interests and potential supervisors from within the counselling psychology program area, if applicable.
d) Two academic references; one of which is from the undergraduate honours supervisor, if applicable. Optionally, a third reference from someone who has supervised the applicant in counselling-related employment or volunteer work. References are due on 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.
e) The MSc in Counselling Psychology Pre-Admission Checklist is required.
f) 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.
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.
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.
Please note - All courses listed are not necessarily offered every year and students should consult the Schedule of Classes for a listing of those courses that will be offered in a given session.
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.
Police Information Check
Please see Practicum and Internship section below for details.
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.
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.
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.
Effective Fall 2023 admission, the minimum funding opportunities for Master of Science (MSc) students, will not be less than $10,000 annually for each of the first two years of their program. Over the course of the first 12 months there will be funding opportunities for students to obtain not less than $10,000 CDN through work experiences from research assistantships, teaching assistantships, teaching, and awards.
Depending on the source(s) of funding, monthly payments will not necessarily be consistent. For example, the timing of the receipt of a scholarship, or the dates of a Graduate Assistantship appointment, may impact the amount paid in a given month.
Funding for these positions comes from a variety of sources including Tri-council scholarships (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC); private, provincial and university scholarships; teaching assistantships; and sessional teaching.
Any or all of the following sources of funding may count toward your minimum funding during these two years:
- External scholarships and awards (e.g., SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, AIHS, AITF, AGES, donor scholarships);
- Internal scholarships and awards (e.g., Werklund School awards, Graduate Awards Competition (GAC), and other program or university competitive graduate awards);
- Research Assistantships (e.g., Graduate Assistantship Research (GAR), Research Stipend, and/or Scholarship payments from research grant(s));
- Graduate Assistantship Teaching (GAT) (50% salary and 50% scholarship) administered by Werklund School of Education;
- Graduate Assistantship Non-Teaching (GANT) (50% salary and 50% scholarship) administered by Werklund School of Education;
- Salary of up to two Sessional (Graduate Student Teaching) Appointments as per TUCFA Collective Agreement administered by the Werklund School of Education
- Paid internships
MSc students will receive funding based on the following conditions:
- must be registered as a full-time student
- must apply for SSHRC funding (October) and the University scholarships competition (December). Failure to apply will result in a decrease or cancellation of departmental funding.
- must maintain satisfactory academic standing in the program
Students who are offered admission to a MSc program will receive general information regarding funding opportunities in the offer package.
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.