PhD in Educational Psychology, Human Development

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The PhD in Educational Psychology, Human Development concentration emphasizes the development of research skills and supports basic and applied research pertaining to all domains of educational psychology.

The program aims to develop graduates who demonstrate:

  • Broad scholarship in planning and implementing basic and applied research on problems of cognition, teaching, learning, and human development.
  • Mastery of current theoretical issues in educational psychology and their historical development.
  • A detailed knowledge of their selected concentration.

The Human Development concentration builds upon the MA program and is intended to prepare students to work in school, institutional, and university settings. The degree prepares candidates to support the educational and psychological well-being of individuals, to use research to critically inform practice, and to be able to conceptualize and conduct applied and theoretical research related to different trajectories of human development and varied educational settings. The program follows a mentorship model that encourages students’ active participation in research and prepares them for academia and leadership roles in the field.

The Human Development program is unique in exploring development including cognitive, language, social, personality, and gender development issues in children and adolescents from the diverse perspectives of our multidisciplinary faculty. These perspectives are then employed to better understand issues related to disabilities and individuals’ diverse needs in educational and community settings.

Admission Requirements

We will be accepting applications for our Graduate Programs starting on September 15th for the following Fall Admission term. Applications are submitted using Slate, McGill's online application system.

The deadline for applications is December 1 (annually) for Fall admission.

Please read the program’s admission requirements fully.

The Department no longer accepts deferrals except under extraordinary circumstances.

Academic background & CGPA

  • All applicants must have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 or higher.
  • 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 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, counselling psychology) 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.

International students

CGPA Equivalency
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 directly to McGill (McGill Institution Code: 0935) by the testing service. Applications will not be considered if test results are not available.
Please note that 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.


The deadline for applications is December 1 (annually) for Fall admission.

Please read the program’s admission requirements fully.

The Department no longer accepts deferrals except under extraordinary circumstances.

Prior to starting an online application:

- Familiarize yourself with McGill's admission requirements, program requirements, and required supporting documentation.
- Review McGill's Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures
- Review the step-by-step Applying and Admissions Help Site
- Submit your application before the deadline

*In order to finalize and submit your online application, a non-refundable application fee is required.

Online Application

STEP 1: Complete the Graduate Studies Online Application form.

Built into the online application are numerous questions requiring personal information specific to every applicant. Program specific requirements within the application are as follows:

  • Letters of Reference: Within the online application, applicants must provide valid institutional e-mail addresses for three (3) referees. McGill University will send an email to each referee applicants identify on the application form, asking for a reference in support of their application to be admitted. Referees will be invited to login to a secure portion of the McGill website where they will be required to answer questions about the applicant and will be given the ability to 1) input (via text box) a reference letter either by typing it in directly or by cut-and-paste from an existing document or 2) to upload a letter of reference in PDF format.
  • Statement of Research Interest and Preferred Supervisor(s): Within the online application, applicants are required to concisely outline their proposed area(s) of research interest should they be admitted to this program (1-page single-spaced maximum). Applicants will also be required to list the name(s) of one (1) or more ECP Human Development program faculty member(s), in order of preference, who they would like to supervise their doctoral research area of research interest(s). Applicants should consider their choices(s) of suggested faculty members focusing on matching research interest. Please consult the Human Development faculty members website to review the list of faculty members and their program areas of expertise. For more info on selecting preferred supervisors, see our Admission FAQs.


STEP 2: Submit your application
Once you have submitted your application an acknowledgement will be sent to the email address you have included in your application. You will be able to track your application online and start uploading documents.


STEP 3: Uploading supporting documents via online application

Upload (in PDF format) the following supporting documents by the December 1 application deadline. (More details on the uploading process can be viewed on the Online Help Site).

  1. Transcripts: An unofficial copy of your complete university-level academic record to date must be uploaded to the online application - including any McGill transcripts. (Quebec residents: CEGEP transcripts are not required). All transcripts received via the upload process are considered unofficial. If you are offered admission, you will also need to provide official transcripts (sent to us by mail in a sealed envelope directly from the institution). Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official documents. Please do not send these official records until we request them from you.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV): A completed curriculum vitae using the ECP Curriculum Vitae Form [.doc] must be uploaded to the online application.
  3. Personal Statement: A statement no longer than two (2) pages in length must be uploaded to the online application. Please write the words 'PERSONAL STATEMENT' as well as your first and last name at the top of the page of your pdf document. The statement must include the following information:
    • Your reason(s) for applying to the program;
    • Your career aspirations; and
    • Any additional relevant information about yourself that you wish to bring to the attention of the admissions committee, such as:
      • Your personal trajectory (optional): If any, please describe personal and/or professional challenges encountered during the course of your studies.
      • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) (optional): McGill would like to give you this opportunity to disclose any information about your identities and/or experiences. This information will facilitate access to any available financial aid and/or awards available to you during the application process. Rest assured that all personal data submitted will be kept confidential and used only for operational decision-making; your personal information will never be shared with any internal or external bodies, nor with any instructors, supervisors, or fellow students. For more information regarding EDI at McGill University, pls visit this Equity at McGill website.
      • Self Identification (optional): McGill University strongly encourages applications from Black and Indigenous applicants to self-identify. This identification allows our committee to inform Black and Indigenous students of specific services and funding opportunities and assess our progress in recruiting and retaining said applicants.

STEP 4: Submit your English Language Proficiency Test Scores
Where applicable, arrange for test scores (TOEFL, IELTS) to be sent to McGill directly from the testing agency. You must indicate the McGill University institution code: 0935

Notification and confirmation of acceptance

  1. By April 1st of each year, candidates offered potential positions in the program will receive by email a "Recommendation of Acceptance" sent to the email address they provided in online application. This letter serves to inform the candidate that the Admissions Review Committee has agreed to recommend them into the program and that their application is being transmitted to McGill's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) for final review and acceptance. In most cases, this review takes approximately 7-10 days.
  2. After review by GPS, successful candidates will be contacted by GPS with an official "Offer of Admission".
  3. Candidates are then required to respond to their offer of admission on-line using your online application account.

Tuition & fees

For current tuition and fees, visit McGill Student Accounts' Graduate Tuition & Fees.

Information about application fees can be found on the Students Accounts website.


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