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PhD in School/Applied Child Psychology

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Tuition & fees


The PhD in School/Applied Child Psychology is the second degree in a sequential pair of programs, the first of which is the M.A. (non-thesis) Research Project in School/Applied Child Psychology, or former M.A. in Educational Psychology, School/Applied Child Psychology (thesis) concentration (closed for admission as of Fall 2014).

Most students in the doctoral program completed their M.A. 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 Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ). 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 Canadian Psychological Association (CPA).

Accrediting body information

Order of Psychologists of Quebec
1100 Beaumont Avenue, Suite 510
Mont-Royal, QC
Canada, H3P 3H5

Telephone: 514-738-1881
Fax : 514-738-8838

You can also visit the OPQ 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
Ottawa, ON
Canada, K1P 5J3

Telephone: 1-888-472-0657

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:

Academic background

  • 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.
  • 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 School/Applied Child Psychology Pre-Admission Academic Checklist [.doc] to ensure they meet admission requirements. Consult the School/Applied Child Psychology Pre-Admission Academic Domains Guide [.pdf] to assist in determining how to categorize courses when completing the Pre-Admission Academic Checklist.  



    • Due to our high volume of applicants, Departmental Faculty and Staff do not review an applicant's academic history in order to help the applicant complete the Pre-Admission Academic Checklist. Applicants are asked to thoroughly consult the Pre-Admission Academic Domain Guide (link above) and use course descriptions and other course materials from completed courses, to complete the checklist to the best of their abilities. Successful applicants who are offered admission will be advised of any conditions of acceptance on their letter of admission (which may include fulfilling any pre-requisite course requirements). 
    • At the time of application, applicants can be missing up to 6-credits of courses from their Pre-Admission Academic Checklist. However, admitted students are required to have all Pre-Admission course requirements completed by the beginning of their degree (by their first term, Fall year 1, of study).

Admission deferrals

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 School/Applied Child Psychology M.A. to the Ph.D. program, a deferral might be considered if they:

  1. Complete the M.A. on time and in good standing, as in the normal progression.
  2. Secure an advisory commitment before the following January 15th application deadline.
  3. Defer for a maximum of one year.
  4. Commit themselves strongly to continuing in the program after such a deferral.
  5. Will not cause the Clinic Practicum to exceed more than 10 students.
  6. 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).
  7. Are able to provide strong arguments for why a deferral is essential to their being able to successfully complete the program.
  8. 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:

  1. Commit themselves strongly to coming the following year.
  2. Defer for a maximum of one year.
  3. 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.
  4. Are able to provide a strong case for why a deferral is merited.
  5. Can demonstrate that the grounds for requesting the deferral were not known by the application deadline of January 15th.

International applicants

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.  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.

Please note that the Department no longer accepts deferrals, except under extraordinary circumstances.



The deadline for online submission of your completed uApply application and uploaded supporting documents is January 15 annually (Fall admission only). Click below for application process and required supporting information.

Please read the program’s admission requirements fully. Please note that the Department no longer accepts deferrals, except under extraordinary circumstances.

uApply Online Application

 STEP 1. Complete uApply Online Application

  • Complete an online McGill uApply application for admission. Applicants should review the abovementioned program eligibility requirements prior to starting their online application. Applicants should review the GPS step-by-step Applying and Admissions Help Site before starting their application. Note: in order to finalize and submit your uApply application, a non-refundable application fee is required.
  • Built into the uApply 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 (1100 character or approximately 250 word maximum). Applicants will also be required to list the name(s) of one (1) or more ECP School/Applied Child Psychology program faculty member(s), in order of preference, who they would like to supervise their area of research interest(s). Applicants should ensure their preferred supervisor has listed expertise in their chosen area of research interest. Consult the following website to review the list of ECP Faculty members and their program areas of expertise: School/Applied Child Psychology faculty members.

STEP 2. Uploading supporting documents via uApply

  • Within uApply, applicants must upload (in PDF format) the following supporting documentation by the January 15 application deadline(More details on the uploading process can be viewed on the uApply Help Site).
  1. Transcripts: An unofficial copy of your complete university-level academic record to date must be uploaded through uApply - 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 through uApply.
  3. Application statement (Application Statement SACP) : Please provide a 2-page application statement in APA style and format as follows:
      • Past and current research experience: Describe your past and current research experience. List the research projects you have been involved with. Include the tittle and supervisor, a description of participants, and provide specific details about research skills that you acquired through these experiences. For at least one of these studies, provide a summary of the theory, methodology, and your interpretations of the findings. (1 page).
      • Expected gains and career objectives: Why are you applying to this program? How do program training standards match your general career objectives? Which skills would you like to gain? (1/2 page).

      • Research supervision: Please identify faculty members and provide a rationale for selecting them as potential research supervisors. Please identify and prioritize 1-3 preferred faculty members. (1/2 page).
      • Please note: Only the SACP Application Statement is required, you are NOT required to submit a separate personal statement. Please do not upload any document in the Personal Statement Section. Thank you. 
  4. 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.  .
  5. Writing sample (e.g., paper for a course, MA thesis, publi­cation).
  6.  OPTIONAL 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.
  7. International Applicants: Submission of documented proof of English language proficiency, if applicable, as described in Admissions above.

Notification & 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 uApply. 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 uApply account.


Tuition & fees

Visit the McGill Student Accounts' Graduate Tuition & Fees page.

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

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.



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