Admissions Requirements, Procedures, and Frequently Asked Questions
Admission to the MA (Research Option) requires an undergraduate degree in psychology or a closely related discipline. Applications from students with non-psychology degrees are evaluated to assess whether they are sufficiently prepared for graduate studies in Psychology.
Admission to the MA (Research and Clinical Training Option) requires an honours undergraduate degree in psychology or its equivalent. In addition, applicants must also have completed specific undergraduate courses required by federal and provincial licensing bodies, including an empirically based undergraduate thesis or its equivalent. Please consult this checklist. Students who are lacking up to three of these courses may obtain the equivalency for the missing credits by taking appropriate undergraduate and/or graduate courses during their degree.
Minimum GPAs are 3.0/4.3 for the Research Option, and 3.5/4.3 for the Research and Clinical Training Option. Please note that successful applicants typically have substantially higher GPAs than these minimums. There is a maximum of 11 students admitted to the Research and Clinical Training Option from a pool of several hundred applicants each year.
To be successful, applicants must have a faculty member willing to serve as their thesis supervisor, and applicants must therefore identify at least one faculty member with matching research interests that could serve as their thesis supervisor. Before applying to the program, it can be useful to review the descriptions of research interests of faculty members on our Departmental web page, and to contact potential research supervisors to determine if they will be taking new students into their lab in the coming September.
Students who want to become a clinical psychologist but who do not have an honours degree in Psychology or its equivalent with a competitive GPA can see answers to related FAQs.
Admission to the PhD degree requires a master's degree in psychology or its equivalent in a closely related discipline. Admission to the PhD degree in the Research and Clinical Training Option also requires that applicants have completed specific Psychology undergraduate courses required by federal and provincial licensing bodies, including an empirically based undergraduate thesis or its equivalent (see checklist), as well as master's-level courses in Psychology specified by the program.
The on-line application can be accessed via concordia.ca/apply. Instructions for completing on-line applications are contained in the Instructions File, and applicants must also upload the Psychology Background Summary Form during the on-line application process. Persons with visible handicaps and from ethnically diverse groups are encouraged to apply.
Applicants must submit academic transcripts, three letters of reference, and a statement of purpose. The Graduate Record Examination (aptitude and advanced) is recommended but not required, and the first-language of applicants is considered when their GRE scores are reviewed. The GRE institution code for Concordia University is 0956, and scores should be sent to the Sir George Williams campus. Materials must be received by the December 15 application deadline for entry into the program the following September.
The minimum TOEFL requirement for doctoral programmes for international students whose first language is not English is a score of 550, or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL (or its equivalent in other standard tests).
Letters of acceptance are typically sent in mid-March. The Department follows the deadline of April 15, set by the Canadian Psychological Association, after which late offers are only made to applicants who have not committed to attending another department (see the CPA website for a description of the policy).
- Q. I primarily want to be a Clinical Psychologist. What are the other local opportunities to develop the type of career that I want?
A. There are many different graduate programs that allow one to have a career as a psychologist or therapist. Some local universities offer a Psy.D. in Psychology (e.g. Psy.D. at Université de Montréal). This is a doctoral degree in Psychology that does not require the research component of a Ph.D. thesis. Other graduate programs include Counselling Psychology (e.g. McGill Educational and Counseling Psychology), and Art, Drama or Music Therapy (e.g. Concordia Department of Creative Arts Therapies). Different programs may or may not have the strict research pre-requisites and heavy research component that are required for an M.A./Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology.
- Q. What are my chances of being accepted into the graduate “Research and Clinical Training Option” in Psychology at Concordia?
A. Although we receive hundreds of applications from highly qualified honours students, we are only able to accept 11 new clinical students each year. Students that do not have a conventional honours undergraduate degree in psychology or its equivalent, or who have not completed an empirical research thesis as part of their undergraduate studies, can sometimes be at a further disadvantage.
- Q. I want to be a Clinical Psychologist, but I don’t have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. What are my options?
A. Due to our accreditation from the CPA and APA, we require certain pre-requisite psychology course competencies prior to entrance into the graduate program. You can enrol in a university undergraduate psychology program and complete these courses ‐ as listed in our honours degree equivalency checklist. If you already have a BA or BSc degree, you do not need to complete a second degree in psychology, merely the pre-requisite courses.
- Q. I want to be a Clinical Psychologist. I have a Psychology degree, but it isn’t an honours degree. What are my options?
A. This presents a little more of a problem. If you already have an undergraduate degree in psychology, you cannot enrol in a second undergraduate psychology degree program. You can enrol as an independent student in some cases, but many universities, including Concordia, restrict the higher level psychology courses to psychology majors. Thus, you may not have access to the courses you need when enrolled as an independent student. Some universities, including McGill, offer a special status student program to make up for any course deficiencies for graduate school (more information is available here). At the present time, Concordia does not have a qualifying program for this purpose.
- Q. I want to be a Clinical Psychologist. I have a Psychology degree, but my grades are below what is required (minimum GPA of 3.5/4.3). What are my options?
A. Grades aren’t the only factor taken into account when considering an applicant for graduate school. For example research experience is weighed very heavily. However, this particular program is very competitive and the odds of someone with a low GPA being accepted into the clinical program are very low. Some students feel that taking a few more courses and getting better grades will help. Usually a few courses will not have a great impact on the overall GPA and all courses are weighted equally during our admissions process.
- Q. I don’t have an Honours Psychology degree, but I have lots of work experience in counselling and/or therapy. Can my work experience be considered for my application instead of university courses or research experience?
A. Our graduate program is heavily based upon the research-practitioner model. It is assumed that counselling/therapy skills will be taught once in the program so they are not a pre-requisite for entry into the program. Thus, pre-requisite coursework and research experience are considered most important for our admissions process and prior counselling experience cannot replace those.
- Q. If I apply to the graduate Psychology Program (Research Option) and I am accepted to that program, can I later switch to the Research and Clinical Option?
A. No. If a student is accepted into the graduate program, “Research Option” they are not eligible to later apply to the “Research and Clinical Training Option”.