Overview

Psychology is a diverse discipline that attempts to understand the basis of behaviour, thoughts and emotions. Psychology at UBC was introduced as a single course in 1915 and was initially offered by the Department of Philosophy. Over the years, the number of courses and instructors grew until we officially became the Department of Psychology in 1958.

Information on research areas offered in the department, as well as admissinos-related information, can be found on the department website. Read the department program webstie carefully before contacting the department with specific questions that are not addressed on the website.

What makes the program unique?

UBC’s Department of Psychology is a top ranked research department in Canada and in the world. Our 58 faculty members and 132 full-time graduate students and postdoctoral fellows conduct research across the spectrum of psychology, representing seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.

The strength of our graduate programs lie in the highly productive research faculty, well-organized programs of study, extensive opportunities for student-faculty interaction, and rich offering of research specializations. Our faculty are well known for their research expertise in happiness, language acquisition, gambling, child development, gender roles, environmental behaviour, neuroscience, and many other areas of psychology. Our research programs are well funded by major national granting agencies, and our faculty are committed to research excellence and interdisciplinary collaborations within UBC’s Faculties of Medicine, Science and Arts, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and many other institutions around the world.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Psychology
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Research Information

Research Focus

We offer research-intensive graduate studies in seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Criminal Record Check

Students going into Clinical Psychology will require a criminal record check.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Yes

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

Prior degree requirements

A thesis-based MA or MSc in Psychology is required for applicants applying for the PhD program.

Other Requirements

The GRE general test is required for all applicants; teh GRE subject test is recommended but not required.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.  Refer to our website at https://www.psych.ubc.ca/graduate/funding/ for additional information on funding opportunities.

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.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

112 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 106 graduates:


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 (9)
Simon Fraser University (5)
Concordia University (2)
Washington State University (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland (2)
Sheridan College (2)
McGill University (2)
University of Sydney
University of Saskatchewan
Saint Louis University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC Children's Hospital (3)
Vancouver Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Centre (2)
Leap Clinic (2)
Cognitive and Interpersonal Therapy Centre
Colorado Department of Education
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Central & Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust
Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services
Vancouver Coastal Health
Fraser Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Psychologist (17)
Registered Psychologist (3)
Clinical Psychologist (2)
Research Associate (2)
Senior Research Manager
Therapist
Psychometrician
Psychologist, Clinician Scientist, Assistant Professor
Neuropsychologist
Psychologist/Clinic Director
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

The PhD in Psychology is designed to prepare students for employment in academic or private sector settings. Recent graduates have taken positions as a public policy quantitative analyst, tenure track faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, research scientist, and practicing clinical psychologist.

Alumni on Success

Kristina Uban

Job Title
Post Doctoral Researcher
Employer
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Justin Park

Job Title
Senior Lecturer
Employer
University of Bristol

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* 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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications89120729279
Offers1620102713
New registrations1519102713
Total enrolment8581798471

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 90.91% based on 55 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 52 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 2.99 years and the maximum time is 8.00 years with an average of 4.98 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. 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 [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Alden, Lynn (Cognitive processes in the anxiety disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder, adult-onset Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, cognitive-behavior therapy)
  • Baron, Andrew (cognitive development, infancy, childhood, adolescence, racism, race, stereotypes, cooperation, bias, innateness, science education, multiculturalism, gender, ethnicity, neuromarketing, attitudes, preferences, psychology )
  • Biesanz, Jeremy (personality, Personality, interpersonal perception, accuracy, personality coherence, quantitative methods)
  • Birch, Susan (Social perspective taking, social learning, social cognition, imitation, nonverbal behavior, confidence, communication, decision-making, impression formation, child development My primary area of expertise is the study of children and adults’ social perspective taking abilities (i.e., their abilities to reason about other peoples’ mental states–their intentions, knowledge, and beliefs) and how their abilities to take another person’s perspective impacts how they form impressions of others, learn from others, communicate with others, and informs a range of socials. Of particular interest is a) how children make inferences about what is credible information to learn (e.g., how they decide whether someone is a credible source of information based on how confident that person seems) and b) how a widespread bias in perspective taking referred to as ‘the curse of knowledge bias’ (a difficulty reasoning about a more naive perspective as the result of being biased by one’s current knowledge) can impair communication (both written and in person) and decision-making across a range of fields (politics, law, education, economics, medicine, etc.)., Development of language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children)
  • Chen, Frances (social behaviour, relationships, social support, stress, coping, conflict and negotiation, social neuroscience, neurobiology, neuroendocrinology. )
  • Christoff, Kalina (brain, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, prefronal cortex, fMRI, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, executive functions, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, mind-wandering, attention, consciousness, real-time fMRI, trauma and PTSD, Cognitive and neural basis of human thought, reasoning and problem solving)
  • Clark, Luke (Gambling, Problem Gambling, Addiction, Decision-Making, Reward, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms involved in gambling behaviour and disordered gambling)
  • De Longis, Anita (Health psychology, stress, coping, social support, couples, marriage, families, chronic illness, Health)
  • Dunn, Elizabeth (Happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge)
  • Eich, Eric (Mood congruence and mood dependence in learning and remembering, memory impairments associated with bipolar affective illness, the cognitive correlates of dissociative identity disorder, and subjective, behavioral, and neural differences between field (first-person perspective) and observer (third-person perspective) memories)
  • Enns, James (attention, action kinematics, social perception)
  • Floresco, Stanley Bogdan (Neural circuits subserving learning and executive functions, behavioural and electrophysiological analyses of limbic-cortical-striatal interactions involved in decision making and behavioural flexibility, animal models of schizophrenia and drug addiction)
  • Galea, Liisa Ann Margaret (hippocampus, sex differences, neuroplasticity, estrogens, women's health)
  • Graf, Peter (Memory, Prospective memory, Morality of Memory, Memory and Aging, Cognitive changes across the lifespan, Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive, Alzheimer's)
  • Hall, David Geoffrey (Lexical and conceptual development, semantic development, language acquisition)
  • Hamlin, Kiley (Infant moral cognition, infant social cognition)
  • Handy, Todd (aging and cognition, aging and exercise, cognitive neuroscience, attention, migraine, fMRI, Cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, attention and its impairment in clinical populations, mind wandering, and real-world human behaviour)
  • Heine, Steven (Culture and human nature in psychology, culture, how people strive to maintain a sense of meaning in their lives when they encounter anomalies which they are unable to make any sense of, how people understand essences and genetic foundations for human behavior )
  • Hewitt, Paul (perfectionism, Therapy Perfectionism, personality vulnerability, depression, suicide in adults and children)
  • Hoppmann, Christiane (Health and well-being across the adult lifespan and into old age, individual differences in goals)
  • Kingstone, Alan (Human cognition and social attention in complex settings behavioral, neuropsychological, and functional neuroimaging research)
  • Klonsky, Elisha (Suicide, emotion, self-injury, impulsivity, borderline personality, clinical assessment, integration of psychological science and practice.)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Adam Sean Baimel
    "Why do some people believe in the supernatural and others do not? Dr. Baimel examined the psychological foundations of supernatural beliefs in diverse samples of the world's religions. His work identifies both cross-cultural stability and variability, and stresses that any complete account requires consideration of the world's vast religious diversity." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Michelle Leanne Crease Lark
    "Dr. Lark studied the cognitive processes required for completing prospective memory tasks, which involve executing a previously formed plan while engaged in another activity. Her research suggests that after executing a plan, it takes extra time and effort to switch attention back to the other activity, and performance on that activity suffers." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Rui Mary Jia
    "Dr. Jia studied social resilience in children with ADHD. She found that having good relationships with parents and teachers contributed to adaptive social functioning in this population. Her research provides new potential targets for interventions aimed at helping children make friends and get along with peers." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Lia Noelle Kendall
    "Dr. Kendall studied how cartoony faces, such as in comics or emojis, are processed when compared to photorealistic faces. She found evidence that illuminated how cartoony images are processed faster and more easily than photorealistic images, which may underlie their use in broader applications." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Jessica Leanne Pow
    "Dr. Pow examined the social support process. She found that what people think is at stake during stressful situations might play a role in shaping the support process. She also found that the type of support mobilized is related to fluctuations in pain intensity for those with rheumatoid arthritis." (November 2019)

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.