PhD in School/Applied Child Psychology
The PhD in School/Applied Child Psychology is the second degree in a sequential pair of programs, the first of which is the MA (Thesis) in Educational Psychology, School/Applied Child Psychology concentration.
Most students in the doctoral program completed their MA in the Educational Psychology program although students can apply for direct entry into the PhD program with a master’s degree obtained at another institution.
Extending upon the MA degree, the program's focus remains on the improvement of the educational and psychological well-being of children and to educate school psychologists in a manner consistent with the highest international standards in the field. Students explore a variety of topics including mental health, child development, school organization, learning processes, behaviour, motivation, and effective teaching. They are prepared to become inquiring professionals committed to the development of children and youth and receive intensive training of clinical practice with children and families, as well as basic and applied research.
The program develops clinical skills through intensive assessment courses, a Clinic Practicum, Field Placement, and a full-year Internship. Typically, our graduates go on to practise school psychology across a range of environments including private practice, academia, hospitals, and school boards. The PhD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ) (please note that APA accreditation will cease for all Canadian institutions in 2015). Graduates are eligible for licensure in Quebec.
The PhD program in School/Applied Child Psychology is accredited by the Order of Psychologists of Quebec (OPQ) and the American Psychological Association (APA). The program has submitted an application for accreditation with the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
Accrediting body information
Order of Psychologists of Quebec
1100 Beaumont Avenue, Suite 510
Canada, H3P 3H5
Fax : 514-738-8838
You can also visit the OPQ website.
American Psychological Association - Commission on Accrediation
750 First Street, NE
You can also visit the APA website.
The PhD program in School/Applied Child Psychology has submitted an application for accreditation with the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Ave. W., Suite 702
Canada, K1P 5J3
You can also visit the CPA website.
View Program Outcomes - Student Admissions, Outcomes & Other Data (Respective to APA's CoA Guidelines & Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology, Article IR C-20).
Click each heading to view admissions requirements:
- There are two entry levels and patterns in the PhD program. The specific requirements to be admitted at each level are as follows:
- PhD 2 Level
Applicants should hold an MA in Educational Psychology with specialization in School/Applied Child Psychology from McGill or a recognized equivalent degree. This degree should reflect high overall standing, study within the area of the proposed doctoral specialization and evidence of research competence.
- PhD 1 Level
Applicants should hold an MEd in Educational Psychology or a Master's degree in a related discipline (e.g., sociology, social work) lacking only the content in educational psychology that can be acquired within one year of full-time study. The applicant's academic record must reflect high overall standing and evidence of research competence.
- PhD 2 Level
- Applications are considered for students who have completed equivalent (i.e. counselling psychology) or directly relevant (e.g. clinical psychology) master's programs. In order to receive consideration, an applicant must be able to make up any missing master's-level content/courses in one year or less.
- Prior to applying to the program, prospective applicants should ensure that they have taken the appropriate courses before beginning their application. This can be done by reviewing the provided Pre-Admissions Academic Checklist [.doc] to ensure they meet admission requirements. Consult the School/Applied Psychology Pre-Admission Academic Domains Guide [.pdf] to assist in determing how to categorize courses when completing the Pre-Admission Academic Checklist.
Whether continuing from MA to PhD, or applying anew, deferrals are only provided under exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the Program Committee.
For students continuing from the MA to the PhD, a deferral might be considered if they:
- Complete the MA on time and in good standing, as in the normal progression.
- Secure an advisory commitment before the following January 15th application deadline.
- Defer for a maximum of one year.
- Commit themselves strongly to continuing in the program after such a deferral.
- Will not cause the Clinic Practicum to exceed more than 10 students.
- Will not cause the cohort from which they defer to fall to a size that is too small to sustain the exclusive classes in an economically defensible manner (normally about 6 students); to this end a deferral cannot be granted until a sufficient number of continuing students confirm that they will be continuing (this could be as late as April 15th).
- Are able to provide strong arguments for why a deferral is essential to their being able to successfully complete the program.
- Can demonstrate that the grounds for requesting the deferral were not definitively known by the application deadline of January 15th.
For new applicants to the program, a deferral may be considered if they:
- Commit themselves strongly to coming the following year.
- Defer for a maximum of one year.
- Will not cause the number of requested and granted deferrals to result in the entering class being too small or the following class cohort exceeding 10 students.
- Are able to provide a strong case for why a deferral is merited.
- Can demonstrate that the grounds for requesting the deferral were not known by the application deadline of January 15th.
Identification of prospective supervisor(s)
All doctoral students must have a research supervisor upon entry to the program. Applicants should consult the list of School/Applied Child Psychology faculty members to select and contact prospective supervisors.
If you are an international applicant and wish to find out whether you qualify under McGill University's CGPA Guidelines for Graduate Admissions, visit International CGPA Equivalency.
Proficiency in English
Applicants to graduate studies whose mother tongue is not English and who have not obtained (or are about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized institution in Canada or the US (anglophone or francophone), must submit documented proof of proficiency in oral and written English.
Appropriate exam results must be submitted prior to the application deadline and submitted directly from the language testing proficiency office to McGill. For more information on test requirements, submission of scores, and possible exemptions, visit the McGill Future Graduate Students English Language Proficiency page.
In each case, you must ensure that the official test results are sent to directly to McGill (McGill Institution Code: 0935) by the testing service. Applications will not be considered if test results are not available. Note: TOEFL results are only valid for two years from the date the test was written.
Applicants whose mother tongue is not English may be asked to demonstrate an English-language proficiency beyond the submission of the language proficiency test scores.
Deadline for online Application for Admission form and uploaded supporting documents: January 15 annually (Fall admission).
Please note that there are known issues with the referrer notification and uploading procedure. We are working hard to correct this as soon as possible. In the meantime, due to the high volume of such requests, if your referee has not received a notification email within 2 business days, please email us at ecpinfo [dot] education [at] mcgill [dot] ca with your name, ID number, and programs applied to.
Click below for the application process and required supporting information:
STEP 1. Complete online Application for Admission
- Complete the McGill online McGill Application for Admission. Include the name(s) of prospective supervisor(s) (see Admissions note above).
- Submit the non-refundable application fee. There are no exceptions even if you have applied to another McGill department in the same year. The fee is submitted by credit card when you submit your electronic application.
After your application has been received, you will be given access to your Minerva account. Here, you will be able to upload your unofficial transcripts and supporting documentation detailed below to complete your application. Uploading of these supporting documents is mandatory.
STEP 2. Upload supporting documents
As of October 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version. For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents, please see Preparing to Apply and Submitting your Documents
All applicants must submit electronically in PDF format:
- Transcripts: Uploaded copies of all post-secondary transcripts - including any McGill transcripts if you have previously attended McGill. These transcripts will be considered unofficial by McGill. Quebec residents: CEGEP transcripts are not required. Please note: after admission, you will be required to supply final, official transcripts before enrolling for courses.
- CV: A current Curriculum Vitae. Use the provided CV form [.doc]
- References: Three (3) references submitted online using the provided Letter of Reference form [.doc]. Applicants are responsible for advising their referees that references must be completed on the provided form. IMPORTANT: All reference letters must be uploaded to Minerva as PDF documents. If the form provided by the department is a Word document, please Save As PDF or Print to PDF and then upload the file through the Graduate Admissions system. View general reference letter instructions at McGill's Graduate Reference Information page.
- Personal statement. Use the provided Personal Statement Form [.doc].
- Program Application. Use the provided Program Application Form [.doc]. Please note: the Program Application Form is different from the McGill online application, which is also required by all applicants.
- Pre-Admission Academic Checklist. Use the provided Pre-Admission Checklist [.doc]. This form is used by applicants to indicate the names of the courses they have completed that fulfill the requirement for this program.
Consult the School/Applied Psychology Pre-Admission Academic Domains Guide [.pdf] to assist in determing how to categorize courses when completing the Pre-Admission Academic Checklist.
- Research summary: A 3-5 page summary proposal of the intended thesis research. This should demonstrate the appropriateness of studying at McGill and within this Department.
- Writing sample (e.g., paper for a course, MA thesis, publication).
- GRE: Scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) - both general and the psychology subject tests, sent directly from the testing agency. When arranging submission of GRE results, indicate the McGill University institution code: 0935.
- *For international students*: Submission of documented proof of English language proficiency, if applicable, as described in Admissions above.
Notification & confirmation of acceptance
- By April 1st of each year, candidates offered potential positions in the program will receive by email a "Recommendation of Acceptance" sent to the e-mail address indicated on the web application. This letter serves to inform the candidate that the Admissions Review Committee has agreed to accept them into the program and that their application is being transmitted to McGill Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) for final review. In most cases, this review takes approximately 7-10 days.
- After review by GPS, successful candidates will be contacted by GPS with an official "Offer of Admission".
- Candidates are then required to respond to the Offer of Admission by logging into Minerva and selecting the relevant accept/decline option.
Tuition & fees
Visit the McGill Student Accounts' Graduate Tuition & Fees page.
Additional fees apply to certain cohorts of School/Applied Psychology students due to the use of the ECP Assessment Materials Resource Centre (AMRC). Visit the AMRC page to view user fees.
Jump back to main School/Applied Child Psychology program page.