Welcome to the School/Applied Child Psychology Program at McGill University. The McGill School/Applied Child Psychology Program prepares school psychologists to work with educators, children, youth, and families to promote individuals' learning and development particularly in relation to schooling and mental health. Our Program’s overall mission is to equip school psychologists with the knowledge, skills, and temperament necessary to provide quality psychological services to students in school, hospital, community and independent practice settings. Our Program includes a planned sequence of coursework in school psychology and supporting disciplines, complemented by practica, field work, and internship experiences. The expectation is that graduates of our Program become leaders in the field of School Psychology through the provision of psychological and education services to children and families, research and scholarly activity, policy development and implementation, and supervision.
Defining Features of McGill’s School/Applied Child Psychology Program
Our program at McGill McGill brings a developmental and systems approach to learning that focuses on the needs of children in the context of families, schools, and communities. We view the science and practice of School Psychology as grounded in the knowledge of psychological development as well as an understanding of the social contexts in which development occurs. We view research and practice in School Psychology as being inextricably related. We consider these to be reciprocal processes where research serves as the basis for practice and practice informs research. Our Program is committed to preparing School Psychologists whose practices are supported by research. We strive to develop future leaders committed to equitable and just schools that promote the development and well-being of all children and their families.
There are several distinguishing features of the School/Applied Child Psychology Program at McGill:
Scholarship and research: McGill University is consistently ranked among the top 20 research intensive universities in the world. The School/Applied Child Psychology Program was ranked as the 4th most research productive Program in North America. Students select and partner with these productive and internationally recognized scholars to develop independent research projects. Students have the opportunity to present findings to international professional conferences and publish their work in scholarly journals. These research skills provide an outstanding foundation for applying research-based interventions to children, families, and communities. In addition, the School/Applied Child Psychology Program is an outstanding unit from which to develop a career in research as a university professor and trainer of future School Psychologists.
Community and clinic experiences: From the 1st year of the program, students acquire experiences observing and working along with experienced psychologists in community schools, hospitals and mental health centres. McGill University has the McGill Psychoeducational & Counselling Clinic located in the Faculty of Education. Beginning in the 2nd year of the program, students begin taking professional responsibility for providing services to clients from the community for assessment, counselling, and consultation with schools. These clinical experiences continue throughout the program. In year 4, students have a 16-hour per week supervised clinical field placement in the community. In year, 5, students have a fulltime supervised pre-doctoral internship. The opportunity to learn and provide clinical services under the supervision of an experienced core faculty and highly qualified clinical supervisors allows students to develop the highest quality of clinical skills.
International and multicultural orientation: McGill University is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Students work in area schools, hospitals, and mental health centres and gain experience working with persons from a variety of cultures and speaking a variety of languages. Faculty members and students speak over a dozen languages and arrive from multiple countries to study at McGill. Faculty members in the School/Applied Child Psychology Program conduct research and consultation in many parts of the world. Currently, faculty projects are taking place in Australia, England, France, Indonesia, Israel, Nunavut, Poland, and the United States.
McGill's online Graduate Calendar provides additional information about the program, including application requirements, course work and other features of the program. The School/Applied Child Psychology Program is one of several graduate programs in the Department of Educational and Counselling within the Faculty of Education.
Please explore the website and resources below. If you have any questions about our program, then please send me an steven [dot] shaw [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email).
Steven R. Shaw, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Director, School/Applied Child Psychology Program
Click on links below for program information and application requirements and procedures:
- MA in Educational Psychology - School/Applied Child Psychology Concentration
- PhD School/Applied Child Psychology
- Post-PhD Graduate Diploma in School/Applied Child Psychology
The program is built on the Scientist-Practitioner (Boulder) model and prepares graduates for the practice of professional psychology and academic occupations. The PhD in School/Applied Psychology builds upon the theoretical, research, and clinical experiences completed in the MA in Educational Psychology, School/Applied Child Psychology degree. At both the MA and PhD levels, students take a combination of theoretical, practical, and research-based courses throughout the course of their degree. Students will produce a thesis at both levels of study.
McGill's online Graduate Calendar will also provide further information about the program, including application requirements, course work and other features of the program.
Skills & careers
The School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University prepares students to work primarily in school, institutional, and university settings, and private practice. The goal is to develop competent and inquiring professionals who have the skills to improve the educational and psychological well-being of children, to use research to critically inform practice, and to be able to conceptualize and conduct applied and theoretical research arising from practice and the science of psychology, especially as it relates to issues in education. This model provides a basis for students to develop their leadership skills in School/Applied Child Psychology, and to be able to adapt effectively to future changes in the needs served by all psychologists working with preschool or school-age children and adolescents, their families, teachers, counselors, and other healthcare providers.
Our students go on to practice school psychology across a range of environments including private practice, academia, hospitals and school boards.
Progression from the MA to PhD
Students completing the MA program will graduate with a degree in Educational Psychology with a stream in School/Applied Child Psychology. M.A. graduates who wish to proceed to the Ph.D. must arrange for supervision before applying into the PhD program and submit an application package as outlined in the PhD School/Applied Psychology web page. There is no presumption of continuation from one degree to the next. Students successfully completing the MA and having arranged a commitment of doctoral advising should expect a fair review of their application.
However, students can be admitted to a combined MA and PhD degree in the School/Applied Child Psychology. It is expected that as long as student performance is satisfactory in the MA, the thesis (or project report) is submitted by August 31 of the second year of their program, and PhD advising has been arranged, they will be admitted to the Ph.D. upon completion of the MA portion of the program.
To proceed from the MA to the PhD, MA students should be sure to:
- Be in good academic standing.
- Submit a McGill online application form to enter the PhD by the application deadline during their second year. It is not necessary to submit reference letters, personal statements, or transcripts, apart from annual reports.
- Identify a PhD thesis advisor and have the supervisor submit a letter indicating his/her willingness for supervision. Individuals having difficulty making such an arrangement should obtain the help of the Program Director. The prospective PhD advisor may be the MA advisor, but need not be so.
- Complete all MA program requirements and submit the MA. thesis or project report for formal examination no later than August 31 prior to formally beginning PhD studies. Students who, at the beginning of their 3rd year have not met all the MA requirements and submitted the thesis or report by August 31st will not be permitted to register as PhD students or to take the doctoral courses. Such students will have to register as Additional Session MA students.
For information, email: schoolpsych [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca (School/Applied Child Psychology, General Information)