Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Psychology

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Offered by: Psychology     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

All candidates for the Ph.D. degree must demonstrate broad scholarship, mastery of current theoretical issues in psychology and their historical development, and a detailed knowledge of their special field. Great emphasis is placed on the development of research skills, and the dissertation forms the major part of the evaluation at the Ph.D. level.

Ph.D. students in Clinical Psychology must fulfil similar requirements to Ph.D. students in the Experimental Program and must also take a variety of specialized courses, which include practicum and internship experiences.


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Course (6 credits)

  • PSYC 701 Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (6 credits)

    Offered by: Psychology (Faculty of Science)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Psychology : An examination that must be passed by all doctoral candidates in order to continue in the doctoral program.

    Terms: Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Summer 2015

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2014-2015 academic year.

One graduate seminar each term during Year 2 and Year 3 chosen from seminar courses PSYC 710 to PSYC 758.

Note: The Department of Psychology does not ordinarily require an examination in a foreign language. However, all students planning on practising clinical psychology in the province of Quebec will be examined based on their proficiency in French before being admitted to the professional association.

Note: If the student has a non-McGill master's degree then the following courses are also required:

Faculty of Science—2014-2015 (last updated Feb. 18, 2014) (disclaimer)