Doctor of Philosophy in School Psychology (PhD)


The doctoral program in school 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 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.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
School Psychology
Program Components
Faculty of Education


TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Criminal Record Check

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

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

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.

Career Outcomes

17 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 15 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):

Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (3)
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
The Wishing Star (2)
Delta School District 37
Delta School District
York Region District School Board
Singapore Government
Coquitlam School District
Dufferin Peel Catholic School District
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
School Psychologist (3)
Psychologist (2)
Associate (2)
Counselling Psychologist
Registered Psychologist
Lead Educational Psychologist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
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 School Psychology program prepares graduate students to become psychologists who work in schools, academic, research, community and private practice settings.

Alumni on Success

Vanessa Lapointe

Job Title
Registered Psychologist, Parenting Educator, Author

Juliana Negreiros

Job Title
Registered Psychologist & Post-Doctoral Fellow
UBC Psychiatry

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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. 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

New registrations71 23
Total enrolment159121313

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 84.62% based on 13 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 6 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 7.33 years with an average of 5.44 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 12 July 2017]. 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: 29 September 2017].

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.

  • 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)
  • McKee, William (Children and Youth with Special Needs, Consultation and Interventions, Ethical and Legal Issues in School Psychology, Integrated Service Delivery, Multi-disciplinary Teams, Professional; development and implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for students identified with special needs)
  • Mercer, Sterett (curriculum-based measurement, academic intervention)
  • Weber, Rachel (Bilingualism and Second Language Learners, Cognitive Development, Executive Functioning, Neuropsychology and Neuropsychological Assessment, Pediatric Cancer; Cognitive Development in At-Risk Populations, Cognitive Correlates of Bilingualism and Second Language Learning, Development and Application of Executive Functioning Skills, Neurocognitive Functioning in Pediatric Cancer Survivors)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Marita Helmi Partanen
    "Dr. Partanen examined the outcomes of reading intervention programs in school. Results showed that students who completed an intensive reading program had increased reading skills over time, and there were changes in brain function but not brain structure. These studies help to increase our understanding of reading impairments and its treatment." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Ekaterina Jitlina
    "Dr. Jitlina studied the development of anxiety in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She examined the measurement properties of an anxiety rating scale and examined what early childhood factors predict elevated anxiety in later childhood." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Joanna Lynne Kelm
    "Dr. Kelm examined the experiences of adults who had been diagnosed with a learning disability. Her findings describe the experience of receiving an assessment for a learning disability and the ways in which adults make sense of their diagnosis. These findings indicate the diagnosis may provide adults with an increased sense of self-efficacy." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Alexandra Diane Carter
    "Dr. Carter studied how families and schools work collaboratively to support adolescents with mental health disorders. She used a critical incidents approach, which identified the importance of having an advocate, understanding disorders, and having accommodations. This research added an understanding the school-based needs of parents and youth." (November 2015)
  • Dr. Rashmeen Nirmal
    "Dr. Nirmal investigated the lived experiences of students with high-functioning autism who are attending college or university. She discovered 8 critical themes that illuminate their unique experiences, such as managing autism and co-occurring symptoms. Her research will help to inform the provision of services for students with autism in adulthood." (May 2015)

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