Doctor of Philosophy in School and Applied Child Psychology (PhD)

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 doctoral program in school and applied child psychology is designed to prepare psychologists who can serve as practitioners and supervisors in the field, trainers of school psychologists, researchers, and leaders in school psychology. The typical doctoral program is 39 credits, beyond completion of the UBC School Psychology MA or equivalent program. The PhD Program of Graduate Study (PGS) for each student is developed to reflect program requirements and individual student career goals, as well as professional and academic background and preparation.

What makes the program unique?

Top Five Reasons to join the School and Applied Child Psychology program at UBC:

  • Productive faculty research. Our program has award-winning scholars, whose wide range of research interests influence policy and practice. Active research grants allow many opportunities for student involvement, employment, and independent research. And UBC is currently ranked one of the top 35 universities in the world!
  • Extensive practical experiences. From day one, you’ll be applying what you learn in our courses right in the K–12 classroom. At the masters level you will participate in two full-year practicum placements followed by a one-year paid internship. At the doctoral level you will have your pick of specialty placements in the field of education and mental health, a practicum focused on developing skills in supervision, and a full-year paid internship.
  • Outstanding career prospects. School Psychology is consistently listed as a “best career” by US News and World Report. There are many job openings across Canada and worldwide, with excellent salaries and benefits. School Psychology practitioners and professors are both currently in very high demand.
  • Supportive environment. We admit cohorts of students who progress through the program together. Students have close contact with program faculty members throughout their graduate training. You will also get support from your peers, the school psychology graduate student assistant, and an advanced student mentor provided to you upon admission. There are abundant social gatherings and yearly program retreats.
  • Location. Vancouver is a diverse cosmopolitan city with a vibrant downtown, mountains and beaches, unmatched outdoor opportunities and a mild climate. It is regularly ranked in the top five cities to live in the world.
 

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: 100

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

25

Listening

25

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 not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

Program Prerequisites In addition to the minimum admission requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess a M.A. in School and Applied Child Psychology equivalent to the requirements of the UBC M.A. program (see coursework listed below), and graduate or senior undergraduate preparation in Human Development (3 credits), History and Systems of Psychology (3 credits), and Biological Bases of Behaviour (6 credits), Basic Interviewing Skills (3 credits). Prerequisites not met prior to entry may be included in the doctoral program of study.

Course Requirements

Prerequisites Coursework EPSE 506 (3) Applied Psychopathology Across the Lifespan EPSE 528 (3) Basic Principles of Measurement EPSE 535 (3) Social and Emotional Assessment EPSE 550 (3) Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues In School Psychology EPSE 553 (3) Theories of Cognitive and Affective Abilities EPSE 556 (3) Cognitive and Academic Assessment Practicum EPSE 552 (3) Intervention and Mental Health Promotion in Schools EPSE 557 (3) Social and Emotional Interventions with Children and Youth EPSE 561 (12) Laboratory Practicum In School and Applied Child Psychology (6 credits each year 1 and 2) Research Coursework (minimum 3 credits) EPSE 599 (6) Thesis

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

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 School and Applied Child 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.

Research Information

Program Components

Required Coursework and Experiences EPSE 551 (3) Consultation Advanced Professional Practice Electives (minimum 6 credits) Research Electives (minimum 6 credits—at least 1 quantitative and 1 qualitative across MA and PhD programs) CNPS 587 (1) History and Systems of Psychology EPSE 633 (3) Community Based Systems EPSE 661 (12) Doctoral Practicum in School and Applied Child Psychology1 (6 credits each year 1 and 2) EPSE 688 (1) Supervision of School and Applied Child Psychology Practice EPSE 689 (3) Pre-doctoral Internship in School and Applied Child Psychology Multicultural and Diversity Elective (can be combined with coursework in another area) Comprehensive Examination EPSE 699 (0) Dissertation Total: 35 credits

Research Facilities

The Psychoeducational Research and Training Centre (PRTC) is a university-based setting for research and clinical training within the Faculty of Education. The PRTC supports graduate training in educational assessment and counselling, maintains an up-to-date Test Library of assessment instruments, provides service and leadership in the profession and community, and facilitates research in education.

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, 15 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 $26,314.
  • 1 student received Research Assistantships valued at $8,400.
  • 4 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 4 students was $8,956.
  • 15 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 15 students was $18,579.
  • 4 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 4 students was $17,917.

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 Estimator

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

Career Outcomes

Career Options

School Psychology is a great career. There are many openings in BC and throughout North America, and starting salaries are excellent. With a Master's degree in School and Applied Child Psychology, the most common job is as a School Psychologist working in a school district and job prospects are excellent. In addition to working in schools, individuals with a degree in School and Applied Child School Psychology with PhD work in a variety of settings, including univerisities as researches and/or teaching, mental health agencies, child development centres, children’s hospitals, and private practices. With a M.Ed. degree in School and Applied Child Psychology from UBC, you would be eligible to apply for certification with the BC Association of School Psychologists. With a PhD, you would be eligible for registration as a psychologist with the College of Psychologists of BC and most other provinces and states in North America.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

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

This program went through a name change in previous years that may have included curriculum changes. It was previously known as: Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology until 2021. Historical data on this page may include data collected under the previous name(s) of the program.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications201611610
Offers47056
New Registrations27035
Total Enrolment2123192222

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 100% based on 9 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 9 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 4.1 years and the maximum time is 9.95 years with an average of 6.21 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

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 - 2:30pm

Nathalie Suzanne Sagar
"It Doesn't Have to be One Thing or the Other" Stories of Second-Generation Bipolar Disorder

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 School and Applied Child 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.

 

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.

  • Cloth, Allison (Adolescence, Adolescent development, Child and Family Counseling in School Settings, Interventions, Mentoring, Program Evaluation, Social Justice, Young People Placed )
  • Ford, Laurie (Early Childhood Assessment, Youth and Families)
  • Jiang, Yuanyuan (Clinical psychology; Educational psychology; Mental health and wellbeing; inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity; psychosocial assessment and intervention; supporting children, parents, teachers. and care providers in improving mental health)
  • Kassan, Anusha (Social sciences; Child and youth mental health; Social justice; Multiculturalism and diversity; Feminist-multicultural pedagogy; immigration; Cultural and social justice responsiveness; Anti-oppressive therapy)
  • Nelson, Melanie (experiences of Indigenous caregivers within Western systems)
  • Schanding, Thomas (Social and Emotional Learning; Universal Screening; Behavioral/Mental Health Interventions; Autism Spectrum Disorders; LGBTQIA+; Youth Social Justice)

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
2023 The Squamish Nation afforded Dr. Nelson a collaborative community project exploring how youth identify and access support for mental health and wellness. Concrete examples of what youth do to support themselves through engagement in Indigenous practices and the use of Western strategies help us learn how to provide more responsive support to youth.
2023 Dr. King studied the experiences of youth returning to high school and re-engaging in their education after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury/concussion. This research helps us understand the barriers these students face, what is helpful to them in this time, and what can be improved to better support their transition back to school.
2023 Dr. Starosta's research examined high school teachers responses to exclusionary behavior. Not only did teachers in her study recognize that both identity- and non-identity-based bullying were serious and required intervention, but they also appreciated the need to respond in ways that were supportive and addressed the specific type of bullying.
2021 Dr. Lee examined the meaning and the experience of a sense of belonging with participant researchers from a local refugee community in Vancouver, BC. She proposes a framework for designing and implementing programs and services that facilitate successful refugee settlement by means of addressing the fundamental human need to belong.
2021 Dr. Lee studied teacher responses to student peer victimization. By way of a social experiment, he found that teachers respond differently to bullying victims with emotional and behavioural problems. His research highlights teacher sensitivity to student mental health differences, and the need for further teacher-focused mental health initiatives.
2021 Dr. McClure investigated the effect of empathy on how elementary students defend others who are bullied by their peers, exploring different facets of empathy and a range of possible responses to bullying they witness. The study highlighted the need to focus on the more complex facets of empathy when trying to positively influence social change.

Further Information

School and Applied Child Psychology prepares students to become psychologists who work in a variety of settings, including: research, academic, school, community, and private settings. The primary goal of the program is to develop professional psychologists whose research, training, and practice activities increase the educational and psychological well-being of children and youth. The program follows a scientist-practitioner model, with emphasis on the integration of theory, research, and clinical skills. Training encompasses academic, social, emotional, behavioural, consultation, intervention, and prevention domains. Students receive training in the integration of assessment and intervention, and in relevant professional, legal, and ethical issues. 

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-WB2
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

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

The city and the sea

Take a break from studying with opportunities at your fingertips. Whether you want to settle down in a café or take your research outdoors, we have a place for you.