Printer-friendlyIrving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences /  > Psychology > Graduate Studies > Psychology

MA, PhD

Psychology

Conceive and conduct original research. Develop skills and expertise leading to future professional research and/or clinical careers.

Graduate Degrees

Program Components Expected Duration
MA/PhD Track* Coursework and thesis 24 months
PhD (Clinical Psychology) Coursework, dissertation and internship  60 months
PhD (Psychological Science) Dissertation 48 months

* Admission to the MA Clinical Psychology graduate program and the MA Psychological Science graduate program is restricted to those who intend to continue on to the PhD.

The Psychology graduate program at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC offers tier-one research-based degrees to students in a collegial, close-knit setting. Our high-calibre graduate students dedicate their lives to bettering the lives of others through research and clinical work.

The Department of Psychology offers graduate education leading to PhD specializations in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Science. The MA (PhD Track) is a prerequisite for students with an undergraduate degree who do not have an MA Clinical Psychology or MA Psychological Science degree.

Our Psychology degrees provide students with theoretical, practical and analytical expertise, as well as experience in the application of scientific results to real-world problems. Our dynamic faculty and graduate students are engaged in a variety of research projects, many in collaboration with partners in government, non-profit agencies or industry.

Our developmental learning model promotes research and clinical competence through close mentoring relationships with faculty, who instill in students a passion for lifelong learning that applies to your chosen career paths.

Students enrolled in the MA (PhD Track) program will learn to apply skills and methods in the science and practice of psychology, as well as undertake practical and/or clinical research in the field. Graduates of the MA program typically continue on to complete the PhD.

Formal milestones for the MA program include: preparing, presenting and defending a research proposal; collecting and analyzing data; writing and defending the thesis; and ideally publishing the research results. MA students also become paid Teaching Assistants during their studies in order to gain valuable teaching experience and to learn effective communication strategies.

Clinical Psychology: This MA specialization requires minimum completion of 45 credits, which includes 12 credits of thesis work and 33 credits of coursework, including clinical practica. Additional coursework may be required at the discretion of the supervisory committee. Find out more about Clinical Psychology’s Practicum Placements.

Psychological Science: This MA specialization requires minimum completion of 30 credits, which includes 12 credits of thesis work and 18 credits of coursework. Additional coursework may be required at the discretion of the supervisory committee.

Exceptional MA students may be able to transfer to the PhD program after one year if they meet program requirements and are approved by the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee.

The PhD is an advanced research degree program that requires original and substantive contributions to the advancement of the field of Psychology.

Graduates of the Psychological Science PhD program will be prepared for careers that involve conducting independent research, consulting, and/or teaching in academia, government or industry. Clinical Psychology PhD graduates will be similarly prepared, and will be eligible to apply for registration as psychologists.

Formal milestones for the program include: passing comprehensives; preparing, presenting and defending a research proposal; undertaking advanced data collection and applying sophisticated analytical methods; completing and defending a dissertation; communicating research results via conference presentations and publications in scientific journals; and completing advanced clinical practica (for Clinical PhD students). PhD students also become paid Teaching Assistants during their studies in order to gain valuable teaching experience and to enhance their communication skills.

Clinical Psychology: Minimum PhD program requirements include completion of six credits of graduate-level statistics and methodology; three credits from each of the cognate areas in Psychology (biological, cognitive-affective, and social); six credits from each of Individual Differences, Assessment, and Intervention; three credits in the historical and scientific foundations of general Psychology; three credits in each of Ethics and Professional Standards, Psychometrics, Program Evaluation; one credit in each of Supervision, Internship Preparation; successful completion of the comprehensive requirements; up to 900 hours of Clinical Psychology Practica as needed to reach competency and progress to the next level of training; successful defence of the doctoral dissertation (PSYO 699); development of an acceptable level of clinical skill; and successful completion of a one-year (2,000-hour) internship in a CPA or APA accredited program.* (Note: Coursework that was completed for a master's degree may be applied towards the PhD coursework requirements.)

Find out more about Clinical Psychology’s Practicum Placements.

* It should also be noted that while the above criteria satisfy the minimum requirements, additional courses will routinely be offered that are aimed at further enhancing the breadth of knowledge in one of the above required areas, or that provide instruction in an area that is not reflected in one of the above categories. Additional coursework may be required by a student’s supervisory committee.

Psychological Science: Minimum PhD program requirements include completion of up to 18 credits of coursework selected with the approval of the student's PhD committee, successful completion of comprehensives, and successful defence of the doctoral dissertation (PSYO 699). Additional coursework may be required by a student's supervisory committee.

Related Programs

CPA Accreditation

We are not currently accredited by Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). We submitted our self-study for consideration of initial accreditation in June 2017. While we cannot guarantee accreditation, we hope to complete our site visit and be accredited by 2018. For more information about accreditation, please contact the CPA Office of Accreditation.

Update: as of August 9, 2017, CPA’s accreditation office has advised that we have been authorized for a site visit in Fall 2017.

Office of Accreditation
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J3


Research & Supervisors

The professional and research interests of the Psychology faculty span a broad range, and their research expertise includes both quantitative and qualitative strategies of analyses. Graduate students can pursue these and other faculty research and teaching interests:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Cannabis & Psychedelic Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Creativity
  • Deception
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Laterality / Brain Hemisphere Interactions
  • Neuropsychology
  • Positive Psychology / Happiness and Well-being
  • Social & Personality Psychology
  • Statistics and Research Methods
  • Rural Mental Health

The success of UBC’s Okanagan’s Psychology graduate program depends in large part on a good mentor match between students and research supervisors.

Please connect with one to three potential faculty supervisors before you start the application process. No applicant will be considered for admission to the program until a faculty member of the Psychology Department has agreed to supervise the student's proposed research.

We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.

 
Paul Davies | paul.davies@ubc.ca | 250.807.8727
Research interests: Intergroup relations; specifically, stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination; diverse forms of social identity threat; how perception of stereotypes can influence levels of prejudice and discrimination that target stigmatized individuals.
  • Psychology
Liane Gabora | liane.gabora@ubc.ca | 250.807.9849
Research interests: Creativity; concepts, especially how they combine and adapt to new contexts; origins of modern cognition; cultural evolution; computer models of the above.
  • Psychology
Mark Holder | mark.holder@ubc.ca | 250.807.8728
Research interests: Positive psychology and the science of happiness; four main thrusts: 1. the predictors (e.g., temperament, spirituality and social) of happiness in children; 2. strategies and programs to promote well-being; 3. the biological basis of happiness; and 4. developing new measures of happiness.
  • Psychology
Susan Holtzman | susan.holtzman@ubc.ca | 250.807.8795
Research interests: Health psychology; adjustment to chronic illness; stress and coping; close relationships; caregiving; depression; chronic pain; organ transplantation; daily process methodologies; pathways through which the social environment can influence physical and emotional well-being in healthy and chronically ill populations.
  • Psychology
Marvin Krank | marvin.krank@ubc.ca | 250.807.8773
Research interests: Development of substance abuse in adolescence; vulnerabilities related to social learning; cognitive models that differentiate implicit (unconscious) from explicit memories; the relative role of automatic associations versus executive control; social experiences, dispositions, memories, and thoughts that predict transitions to substance use and to substance abuse.
  • Psychology
Maya Libben | maya.libben@ubc.ca | 250.807.9026
Research interests: Cognitive neuroscience; psychopathology; schizophrenia; psycholinguistics; bilingualism; transitive inference; figurative language processing; eating disorders; uses behavioural and neurophysiological methods to examine language, attention and memory in clinical and non-clinical populations.
  • Psychology
Lesley Lutes | lesley.lutes@ubc.ca | 250.807.8128
Research interests: Obesity intervention and prevention; developing alternatives to standard clinical treatments for obesity and associated health conditions; examining theoretically-based alternative treatment approaches in different populations; utilizing different treatment modalities and technologies; and examining alternative interventionist models for treatment delivery.
  • Psychology
Brian O’Connor | brian.oconnor@ubc.ca | 250.807.9636
Research interests: Statistics; methods; normal and abnormal personality; interpersonal behaviour; psychopathology; writes software for statistical procedures.
  • Psychology
Barbara Rutherford | barbara.rutherford@ubc.ca | 250.807.8734
Research interests: Communication between the hemispheres of the brain during reading in people with and without a reading disability such as dyslexia; developmental trends in hemispheric specialization for reading.
  • Psychology
Carolyn Szostak | carolyn.szostak@ubc.ca | 250.807.8736
Research interests: Media and mental health stigma; how mental health/disorders are portrayed in different genres of TV (dramas, comedies, talk shows, etc.) and how these depictions influence people’s attitudes and behaviours; the role of media in combating stigmatizing attitudes about mental health disorders and suicide; adjustment to university.
  • Psychology
Zach Walsh | zachary.walsh@ubc.ca | 250.807.9373
Research interests: Cannabis use—medical and non-medical, substance use, hallucinogens, harm reduction, personality disorder, partner violence, aggression, third-stream/mindfulness behaviour therapies, drug policy.
  • Psychology
Derrick Wirtz | derrick.wirtz@ubc.ca | 250.807.8276
Research interests: Subjective well-being; happiness; the good life; cultural psychology; flourishing and thriving; positive emotions; everyday beliefs, judgments and choices; pedagogical innovation in the teaching of psychology.
  • Psychology
Michael Woodworth | Michael Woodworth | 250.807.8731
Research interests: Psychopathy; violent offending; deception detection; computer-mediated communication; assessment and treatment of forensic populations; memory and psychiatric issues primarily within a legal context.
  • Psychology

Our in-house Interprofessional Clinic offers a free-of-charge public service for those in need within the Okanagan community. It provides assessment, treatment, case management and support for those with moderate to severe mental, behavioural and emotional concerns. Clinic staff come from the department of Psychology, in cooperation with the School of Social Work.

Our other research centres and facilities include the following, and associated Psychology faculty can be found in the Supervisors section above:

Assoc. Prof. Lesley Lutes
Small, smart changes to healthy eating
Assoc. Prof. Zach Walsh
Exploring therapeutic uses of medicinal plants

Students & Theses

Meet Our Students

See what our students are up to—check out the Psychology Graduate Students page for their research interests, supervisors, alma maters, and contact info.

Theses and Dissertations

Search all UBC Okanagan Psychology student publications at cIRcle, the University's digital repository for research and teaching materials.

Alysha Baker, PhD Student
Forensic Psychology researcher asks tough questions
Leanne ten Brinke, Forensic Psychologist
UBC Alumna (PhD 2012)

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts Applicants (MA)

Applicants to the MA Clinical Psychology program are expected to have an Honours degree in Psychology or a related field, with a minimum average of A- (80%) in the last 60 credits. This must include coursework in statistics and research methodology. Admission to the MA Clinical Psychology program is restricted to those who intend to continue on to the PhD. Applicants to the MA Clinical Psychology program must also have the ability to clear a Criminal Record Check for working with vulnerable adults and/or children in order for eligibility to register into the program and to complete the required practica.

Admission to the MA Psychological Science program is restricted to those who intend to continue on to the PhD.

Applicants to the MA Psychological Science program are expected to have an Honours degree in Psychology or a related field, with a minimum average of B+ (76%) or better in their third- or fourth-year classes; or at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with an A- (80%) grade or better average; or significant formal training and relevant professional experience. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field.

Doctoral Applicants (PhD)

PhD applicants to the Clinical Psychology program will normally have a BA or BSc and MA (or equivalent) in Clinical Psychology or a related field, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field. PhD applicants to the Clinical Psychology program must also have the ability to clear a Criminal Record Check for working with vulnerable adults and or children, in order for eligibility to register into the program and to complete the required practica.

PhD applicants to the Psychological Science program will normally have a BA or BSc and MA in Psychology or a related field, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field.

In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee and approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

MORE INFORMATION

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

The College of Graduate Studies defines additional requirements and degree equivalencies.

Master of Arts Applicants (MA)

Applicants to the MA Clinical Psychology program are expected to have an Honours degree in Psychology or a related field, with a minimum average of A- (80%). This must include coursework in statistics and research methodology. Admission to the MA Clinical Psychology program is restricted to those who intend to continue on to the PhD. Applicants to the MA Clinical Psychology program must also have the ability to clear a Criminal Record Check for working with vulnerable adults and or children in order for eligibility to register into the program and to complete the required practica.

Admission to the MA Psychological Science program is restricted to those who intend to continue on to the PhD.

All applicants to the MA Psychological Science program are expected to have a BA or BSc in Psychology or a related field, with a B+ (76%) average or better in their third- or fourth-year classes, or at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with an A- (80%) or better average. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field.

English-language competence: For non-native speakers of English, minimum acceptance TOEFL scores are 600 (Paper) or 100 (Internet); or IELTS minimum overall band score of 7.0, with no other component score less than 6.5; or MELAB score of at least 84.

Doctoral Applicants (PhD)

Applicants to the PhD Clinical Psychology program must have completed one of the following requirements prior to admission: a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Clinical Psychology or a related area from an approved institution, with clear evidence of research ability; or a bachelor's degree, with one year of study in a Master's program with 18 credits of first class average of which, normally, 12 credits must be at the 500 level or above, and clear evidence of research ability. Applicants to the PhD Clinical Psychology program must also have the ability to clear a Criminal Record Check for working with vulnerable adults and or children in order for eligibility to register into the program and to complete the required practica.

PhD applicants to the Psychological Science program will normally have a BA or BSc and MA in Psychology or a related field, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field.

English-language competence: For non-native speakers of English, minimum acceptance TOEFL scores are 600 (Paper) or 100 (Internet); or IELTS minimum overall band score of 7.0, with no other component score less than 6.5; or MELAB score of at least 84.

In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Psychology Graduate Studies Committee and approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

MORE INFORMATION

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Required Grades and Credential Guide

Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide—a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.

International Advisors

An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance and the transition to UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC. Visit the International Programs and Services website to meet the team.


Tuition & Funding

Tuition

Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MA Full-time $4,800 $8,435.94
PhD Full-time $4,800 $8,435.94

Tuition is paid three times a year at the beginning of each term, and on the first day of the term, as per the Academic Calendar: Winter Term 1, Winter Term 2, and Summer Term.

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for detailed tuition and fees information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 

Graduate students are typically funded through a combination of internal and external funding awards, Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Research Assistantships (RA).

The Department of Psychology has a number of TAs and RAs available for qualified students.

MA students are eligible for paid TA positions for up to two years, and PhD students are eligible for paid TA positions for up to four years. TA positions usually occur September to April. TA hours and wages are governed by the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU).

Research Assistantships are wholly dependent upon individual research supervisor's funding. RA positions may take place at any time during the school year and wages and hours will vary. RA positions are not guaranteed. Talk to your potential supervisor about RA opportunities.

Students are expected whenever possible to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships. These include principally, but are not limited to, Canadian Tri-Council scholarships, University Graduate Fellowships, and Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarships.

If students wish to hold off-campus (external) employment, they should discuss with their supervisor, particularly if the student is a grant-holder, as restrictions on hours of work may apply.

Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA): Paid TA positions are provided through the Department of Psychology and allow graduate students to develop skills in teaching, supervision, facilitation, and student assessment. TAs may lead seminars, help teach undergraduate courses, or assist in student evaluations and marking. TAs are mentored both from their supervisor and via the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Research Assistantships (RA): As a paid research assistant, RA students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research. RAs are typically funded by a supervisor’s external grants, contracts or other sources of funding, and therefore are not guaranteed.

Scholarships & Awards

UBC Awards: The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards: All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private organizations or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).


How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact our faculty before starting your application. Admission to the program requires the confirmed availability and mentor-match with a faculty supervisor as well as meeting program-specific criteria and requirements.

A complete application package will contain:

  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • English language test (for non-native speakers of English)
  • CV or resumé
  • Three reference forms or letters
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Psychology Subject scores also recommended
  • Letter of intent describing research interests and plans
  • Ability to clear Criminal Record Check (required for practica)

Applying takes time. We recommend you start your application two months in advance.

For full consideration students should submit all application materials by the following deadlines:

Intake Application Deadline
Domestic applicants
September December 1
International applicants
September December 1

UBC's Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the Psychology graduate program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

UBC Okanagan

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna's cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above*.

* Best viewed using Chrome or Firefox (desktop), YouTube app (mobile)

Full-time UBC Okanagan students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.

The Student Residence website includes helpful information about Important Dates for living on campus, plus options and resources for Living Off Campus.

Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing is a public Facebook group that shares notes about housing options, finding roommates, and vacancies in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.*

* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.

Join the club! Make friends with similar interests, compare notes, and organize and participate in academic and recreational events in the Psychology Course Union.

The College of Graduate Studies offers orientation events to support you in your first steps as a graduate student at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Stay active. Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.

Relax. The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.

The College of Graduate Studies is your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation.

The Library's Centre for Scholarly Communication (CSC) supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty in disseminating their research. The CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles, and grant proposals.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning provides support related to teaching, TA training, and use of technology in educational programming.

Careers and Occupations

With a Psychology MA or PhD degree from the University of British Columbia, graduates are well-positioned to thrive in a variety of occupations, such as:

  • Activity coordinator
  • Addictions support worker
  • Animal trainer
  • Athletic coach/instructor
  • Behavioural analyst
  • Child and youth care worker
  • Community relations director
  • Correctional officer
  • Crisis intervention support worker
  • Cultural diversity consultant
  • Customs or immigration agent
  • Daycare worker or supervisor
  • Educational counsellor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Ergonomist
  • Fundraiser or development officer
  • Gerontologist
  • Group home coordinator
  • Hospice coordinator
  • Human rights advisor
  • Immigration officer
  • Labour relations specialist
  • Leisure service worker
  • Life skills coach
  • Marketing and public relations professional
  • Mental health worker
  • Motivational research assistant
  • Population studies researcher
  • Program coordinator
  • Psychiatric aide
  • Public health statistician
  • Occupational hygienist technologist
  • Parole/probation officer
  • Research assistant
  • Residential support worker
  • Technical writer
  • Travel agent
  • Training consultant
  • Treatment facilities support staff
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Youth and family support worker

Career Services

Map out your future and prepare to hit the ground running with resources and services provided by the Advising & Involvement Centre.

Tell your story with resumé and cover-letter strategies, and search Work Study jobs for experience relevant to your degree and career goals. You can also book an appointment to meet one-on-one with our career advisor.

alumni UBC

alumni UBC is a member-driven association that offers a variety of lifetime programming and communications to enrich the lives of UBC graduates.

The 'Your Next Step' program offers webinars, speaker series and professional development sessions. It is designed to provide advice, tips and resources in areas of career development to graduates for life after university.

Realize the promise of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and an exceptional UBC.

Inquire

Dr. Lesley Lutes
Director of Clinical Training 
250.807.8128
lesley.lutes@ubc.ca

Dr. Derrick Wirtz
Director of Psychological Science
250.807.8276
derrick.wirtz@ubc.ca

Marlis Wecels
Psychology Graduate Program Liaison 
250.807.9237
psych.gradstudies.ok@ubc.ca 

Last reviewed shim8/28/2017 10:26:54 AM