Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The Counselling Psychology Program, in line with the mission of the research-intensive University of British Columbia, creates, advances and critically examines knowledge in counselling psychology, especially with respect to its validity, applicability, limits, and interface with other disciplines. In developing and applying pertinent and innovative research methodologies, the Counselling Psychology Program relies upon and builds qualitative and quantitative evidence to determine effective counselling interventions in educational, community, health, and occupational settings.

Our Doctoral Program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association and follows the scientist-practitioner model for the education of counselling psychologists: students receive a substantial education as both researchers and professional psychologists.  Designed for those with relevant experience who want to gain doctoral level competence, this program enhances research, counselling theory, and counselling skills.

 
 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 90

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is required by all applicants.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
20 September 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2024

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Criminal Record Check

This program contains a practicum component for which a criminal record check is required.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 14 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $19,727.
  • 2 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 2 students was $10,800.
  • 7 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 7 students was $7,751.
  • 7 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 7 students was $17,426.
  • 3 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 3 students was $26,111.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

52 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 50 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (7)
Adler University (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2)
Trinity Western University (2)
Douglas College (2)
Simon Fraser University (2)
Smith College
Langara College
University of Chile
Royal Roads University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
A.T. Malcolm and Associates (2)
Surrey Memorial Hospital
Simon Cunningham School
Caribbean Mental Health Consultants
Richmond Counseling
Doctors of BC
Orion Health Rehabilitation Centres
Creative Transitions
Campbell and Fairweather Psychology Group
Grace Fertility
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Psychologist (14)
Registered Psychologist (3)
Senior Clinical Practice Manager
Clinical Psychologist
Counselling Pscyhology
Psychologist/ Performance Consultant
Psychotherapist
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant/Clinical Counsellor
Counselor
Practice Initiative Lead
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Students will be prepared for careers as researchers, practitioners, and educators in a wide variety of settings including academic, clinical, community, business, private practice, and research. Our graduates hold positions such as staff psychologist, research manager, professor, director, department head, clinical counsellor, vocational rehabilitation consultant, team leader, behavioural consultant, group facilitator, and psychoanalyst.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20222021202020192018
Applications2117192516
Offers23466
New Registrations23455
Total Enrolment3232353740

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 88% based on 24 students admitted between 2010 - 2013. Based on 16 graduations between 2019 - 2022 the minimum time to completion is 4.1 years and the maximum time is 11.32 years with an average of 6.08 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Monday, 4 March 2024 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Sean Richard Heaslip
Keep Your Hands to Yourself and Use Your Words: A Condescendingly Titled Exploration of What Helps and Hinders People with Visual Impairments while Receiving Unsolicited Help from Sighted People

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2019 Dr. Chou examined the narratives of intergenerational trauma and resilience among Chinese-Canadian families. His study was one of the first to examine this psychological construct for this population and has implications for counselling psychology in the areas of narrative and multicultural research as well as family and trauma therapy.
2018 Dr. DuMerton described what helps and hinders early parenting women who are impacted by substance use. This research contributes a practical understanding of the needs of this vulnerable population and will assist professionals who treat mothers' addiction issues while they remain together with their babies.
2018 Dr. Hsu's research demonstrates the hindering, helpful, and wish-list categories associated with the parenting experience of Chinese mothers in so-called "astronaut" families in Vancouver, BC. Her research addresses a gap in the body of literature on non-working class, transnational families and is likely to inform counselling psychology and education fields.
2017 Dr. Timm studied building online rapport with suicidal clients. She found that counsellors with rapport interacted in a genuine, often informal manner. In chats without rapport, clients perceived the chats as scripted, robotic, and circular. The results suggest that traditional counselling techniques may require revision in an online environment.
2017 Dr. Tavormina completed her research in Counselling Psychology. Her research comprised a qualitative micro-analysis of the process of attunement, disruption and repair in the therapist/client dyad. Her study filled in a significant gap in the literature, informed existing theory on affect regulation, attachment, and the change process in therapy.
2017 Dr. Maier studied the experience of therapists when providing counselling about the human journey of spiritual development. The results show how spiritual counselling looks for an enlivening thread in life and fits with counselling theory. Her research contributes to knowledge for psychologists about working competently with spirituality in clinical practice.
2017 Dr. Huminuik investigated the mental health implications of Canada's refugee policy. Given that many refugees have survived torture and persecution, she concludes that a systemic trauma-informed approach could increase protection for claimants. Her findings contribute to the field of psychology and will inform professionals who serve refugees.
2016 Dr. Mills explored the cultivation of mindfulness with university students who struggle with mental health issues. She found specific practices, mindfulness groups, and support of others to be important factors for students. This research gives deeper understanding of how counseling centers might help students use mindfulness as a part of treatment.
2016 Dr. Westwood explored the processes involved when clients and therapists worked with clients' positive emotional experiences in psychotherapy sessions. Her research highlighted how paying attention to positive affect in therapy has important impacts on therapy members, as well as the therapeutic relationship itself.
2016 Dr. Cayley's research explored narratives of people who identify as non-binary, highlighting errors of the female-male gender system. Included were stories of violence, resistance, intersectionality and systemic oppression. This project represents trans voices and offers inclusive language, which widens the space of belonging for people of all genders.

Pages

Further Information

Specialization

Programs of research reflect the core values and foci of the discipline of Counselling Psychology: career development, health and wellness, indigenous healing, gender and cultural diversity, disability, and social justice issues. Faculty members are involved in a wide range of research activities including intercultural counselling, First Nations counselling, career development and counselling, stress and coping, sexuality and reproductive health, disabilities, trauma, working with families and children in school settings, prevention of anxiety disorders, and empirically supported approaches utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-EW

Classification

 
 

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
20 September 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

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