Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling & Clinical Psychology (Clinical & Counselling Psychology Field)

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Clinical & Counselling Psychology Field
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling & Clinical Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling & Clinical Psychology (Clinical & Counselling Psychology Field) Overview

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The PhD in Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Clinical & Counselling Psychology Field (CCP) provides training in the theory, research, and practice of clinical and counselling psychology. This enables students to assume a variety of positions in the field of clinical and counselling psychology, including teaching, research and practice in universities, colleges, hospitals, and community agencies offering psychological services.

The doctoral curriculum builds on the theoretical and practical foundations established during the MA training. Students are expected to conduct advanced research and to develop professional knowledge and skills. At the time of application, students will be required to identify a preference for a specific field as well as for a potential supervisor with whom they would work if admitted to the program.

The principal aim of this degree program are:

  • the development of research and theoretical knowledge in clinical and counselling psychology
  • assessment skills and knowledge
  • training in professional issues

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar.
For information on the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling and Clinical Psychology (Clinical Psychology Field) offered by University of Toronto - Scarborough (UTSC), visit the UTSC program page.

Each year the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development only accepts into its doctoral programs, one international student who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. This applicant must have a Master degree by the time of registration into the doctoral program. Although we typically admit international students to the Developmental Psychology and Education doctoral program, the Clinical and Counselling and School and Clinical Child Psychology Programs may on occasion accept an international doctoral student where the student has a Master’s degree that meets the admissions requirements.

Under very special circumstances, the department will accept an international student into the Developmental Psychology and Education doctoral program as a Flex PhD student with the approval of the chair of the department.

The department does not accept any international students at the MA level.

At a Glance

Study Requirements
Full-time (5 years)
Coursework with practicum & internship
Comprehensive examination
Thesis & defence 

Funding and Tuition
For current information about tuition fees, funding, and financial support, visit Tuition & Financial Support.  

Applications are now closed for a Fall 2024 start. 


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Why I Chose Applied Psychology & Human Development

Nivatha Moothathamby
Nivatha Moothathamby (Master of Arts 2021)

PhD student in Developmental Psychology and Education

"My journey at OISE has been filled with establishing positive and supportive relationships, learning the nuances of psychology and education, and understanding my role as a scholar and an activist. As a Tamil-Canadian, I come from a community that has faced racial injustices and intergenerational trauma. The Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development has provided me with academic resources and a community to explore and expand on these parts of my identity. Overall, OISE’s deep commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity is what drew me to apply. I found my place here."

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling & Clinical Psychology Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 

Program-Specific Information (Minimum Admission Requirements)

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.
  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree in psychology or equivalent, with a standing grade equivalent to a University of Toronto A- or better in the final year or over senior courses. It is expected that students will have completed 1.0 FCE at the third- or fourth-year level in each of three core areas of general psychology: biological bases of behaviour, cognitive/affective bases of behaviour, and social bases of behaviour. Students who are missing courses in these areas may be required to complete additional courses during the degree.
  • ​A University of Toronto MA degree with specialization in Clinical and Counselling Psychology with a standing grade equivalent to a University of Toronto A- or better
    • ​If space permits, we accept into the PhD program students who completed their MA at another institution. These students are required to complete the MA courses for which they do not have equivalence as part of their previous Master’s program to ensure they have the knowledge and skills that are required as part of our CCP MA. 

Required Supporting Documents

All applicants must submit: 

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two letters of reference (academic), including contact emails
  • Applicants are asked to respond to the following guided questions:
    • What research topic(s) do you want to pursue during your degree? Please describe any previous research relevant to this research area and why you feel it is an important research topic to focus on. (500 words max)
    • What are your career goals and how will acceptance into this program facilitate those goals? (500 words max)
    • Please provide details of your research experiences focusing on how your skills have developed over time and how these skills will assist you in completing the research components of the degree. Be concrete about your relevant experience (e.g., Honours or M.A. thesis, presentations, publications, or research assistantship activities). What research skills did you develop and what new research skills did you acquire working/volunteering on these project(s)? (500 words max)
    • Please identify faculty within the Clinical and Counselling Psychology program (or other faculty in APHD) whom you would like to work with during your degree. How do your research interests and experiences make you a good fit for our program and your proposed supervisor? How does your previous research experience impact your understanding of the research questions you have already investigated and your research interests moving forward? How does this, in turn, fit with the current research interests of your proposed supervisor(s)? (500 words max)
    • Could you briefly describe your family, life, community, volunteer, or professional experiences that have helped prepare you to work with diverse individuals? (350 words max)
    • Could you briefly describe your relevant counselling/clinical experience working directly with individuals in either a volunteer or a professional capacity that would contribute to your successful completion of the program? (500 words max)

Additional Program Information


Students must complete a minimum of 5.5 FCEs as follows:

  • 2.5 FCEs in Counselling and Psychotherapy:
    • APD3215H Advanced Psychotherapy Seminar;
    • APD3217Y+ Advanced Practicum in Clinical and Counselling Psychology (Credit/No Credit; 600-hour practicum); and APD3268Y Internship in Clinical and Counselling Psychology (1,600-hour internship — arrangements must be made in consultation with the Director of Clinical Training). PhD students will attend a minimum of six colloquium presentations during their program, which partially fulfills the course requirements for APD3268Y.
  • 1.0 FCE in Psychology Measurement/Assessment and Diagnosis:
    • APD3225H Assessment and Diagnosis of Personality and Psychopathology.
    • APD3260H Psychodiagnostic Systems.
  • 0.5 FCE in Supervision and Consultation:
    • APD3261H+ Clinical Supervision and Consultation Practicum.
  • 1.0 FCE in Advanced Research Methods:
    • APD3202H A Foundation of Program Evaluation in Social Sciences (RM).
    • An advanced-level statistics course (in consultation with supervisors). Courses can be drawn from those offered at OISE or other Faculties with the permission of the instructor.
  • 0.5 FCE in History and Systems Psychology:
    • APD3204H Contemporary History and Systems in Human Development and Applied Psychology.
Comprehensive Examination

In addition to normal course requirements, students will complete two comprehensive components. First, a manuscript for publication and presentation at a peer review conference, normally in Year 1 of the program. Second, students will be examined systematically in general psychology and in professional psychology. The examination will normally be taken at the end of Year 2 of full-time study.

Doctoral Dissertation: 

All students must develop, complete, and defend in a Doctoral Final Oral Examination a doctoral dissertation supervised by a full-time member of the Counselling and Clinical Psychology faculty. The content of such dissertation research may address theoretical issues applicable to clinical and counselling concerns and practice, relate to the development of programs in a variety of educational or applied settings, or in some other way contribute to the development and practice of clinical and counselling psychology.

Students must register continuously and pay the full-time fee until all degree requirements have been fulfilled.

Students cannot transfer between the full-time and flexible-time PhD options.

Collaborative Specializations provide students with a the opportunity to explore a novel interdisciplinary area or special development that crosses a number of disciplines. 

Collaborative specializations are available with the PhD in Counselling and Clinical Psychology (Clinical and Counselling Psychology field) in the following areas:

  • Addiction Studies
    • Develops and integrates graduate training in the multidisciplinary field of addictions, an area that includes the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and psychoactive substances, as well as gambling and other addictive behaviours
  • Aging, Palliative Care and Supportive Care Across the Life Course 
    • Prepares students for specialization in the field of aging and/or the field of palliative and supportive care, with an emphasis on viewing aging and palliative issues within the perspective of the life course
  • Community Development
    • Focuses on working with community members and groups to effect positive change in the social, economic, organizational, or physical structures of a community
  • Sexual Diversity Studies
    • For students to engage in questions of gender, ethnicity, race, Aboriginal status, (dis)ability, and class to highlight the importance of exploring their interaction with sexual differences.
  • Women and Gender Studies
    • Provides a rich interdisciplinary environment in which students can grapple with how gender and sexuality are tangled with questions of race, citizenship, embodiment, colonialism, violence, and other pressing concerns.

Students whose plans include preparation for professional practice in psychology should note that graduation from a doctoral program or from any graduate program in psychology does not, in itself, qualify a person to practice as a psychologist.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario regulates professional practice in Ontario and examines candidates for registration as psychologists. Students are encouraged to review the requirements for registration early in their program and to save all course outlines so that they may submit them to CPO as part of their application for registration.

For more information on the registration process, please consult the College of Psychologists of Ontario website at

The program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) as a combined Clinical/Counselling Psychology program. 

Initial Accreditation:  2006-2007.  Next site visit: 2021-2022.

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1P 5J3
613-237-2144 x 328
1-888-472-0657 x 328

Letters of Reference

Please ask one of your referees to comment on the following in your reference letter.

To the extent possible, please comment on the applicant’s 

  • Sensitivity to others
  • Awareness of own impact on others
  • Empathy and capacity to provide support to others
  • Ability to exercise appropriate judgment
  • Appropriateness of interpersonal behaviour
  • Ethically appropriate behaviour
  • In your opinion, how suitable is this applicant for clinical training?

Tips for Your Application

Applicants to the PhD-CCP program follow the standard application procedures outlined above via the School of Graduate Studies website. Below are a few tips for your application process:

  • At the time of application, students will be required to identify a preference for a specific research area as well as for a potential supervisor with whom they would work if admitted to the program.
  • Applicants to the flexible-time PhD option are accepted under the same admission requirements as applicants to the full-time PhD option. However, in addition, applicants to the flexible-time PhD should demonstrate that they are active professionals engaged in activities relevant to their proposed program of study
  • Please Note: Although students in the University of Toronto MA in CCP are given priority over other applicants when applying to the Ph.D., continuation from the MA to the Ph.D. is not automatic. Demonstration of a high level of competence and commitment is required.

Program Chair: Dr. J. Roy Gillis

Program Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey Ansloos; Dr. J. Roy Gillis; Dr. Abby Goldstein; Dr. Charles Chen; Dr. Roy Moodley; Dr. Judy Silver; Dr. Lana Stermac; Dr. Jeanne Watson

Questions? Please email us at

Program Coordinator:
Caren Li

Ready to join one of the world’s top universities?

Take the next step in your academic journey and start your application to graduate studies at OISE.