PhD In Clinical Psychology In Canada 2022: Best Doctorate Degrees & Top Universities

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Clinical psychology is one of the biggest branches of psychology and pursuing a PhD in it is a great option if you wish to be a specialist in the field. A PhD in Clinical Psychology trains you to learn concepts and principles and use them to solve issues such as mental illnesses, psychiatric issues and emotional and behavioural disorders. It focuses on applying the studies of human behaviour to real-world problems and individuals. A clinical psychologist examines a patient’s issues through tests, examinations, observations and questions. This is how the research methodologies taught in the course are applied while consulting with patients and solutions are derived.

In this blog, you will get to know about studying for a PhD in Clinical Psychology in Canada. 

PhD in clinical psychology in Canada

PhD in Clinical Psychology Overview

A PhD in Psychology is a study of the mind and behaviour of human beings. The degree covers a wide variety of subjects related to the human psyche, such as emotions, intelligence, addiction, attention, comprehension, perception, personality, relationships, behaviour and subconscious.

A doctoral degree in psychology includes several specialisations that you can choose from. Some of the specialisations in a PhD in Psychology are:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Industrial & Organisational Psychology   
  • Educational Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology   
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Integrative Physiology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Neuropsychology   
  • Child Psychology

Colleges in Canada that offer PhD in Clinical Psychology

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PhD In Clinical Psychology In Canada 2022: Best Doctorate Degrees & Top Universities

Canadian universities are known for their affordable tuition fees and high positions in world rankings. A number of psychology universities in the country offer a PhD in Clinical Psychology program to their applicants. 

Their names, durations of the courses and approximate fees per year are as follows:

University of Toronto

  • Program Name: PhD in School & Clinical Child Psychology
  • Course Duration: 5 years
  • Program Fees: 6,539 CAD

University of Montreal

  • Program Name: PhD Research & Intervention in Clinical Psychology 
  • Course Duration: 5 years
  • Program Fees: 16,564 CAD

University of Calgary

  • Program Name: PhD in Clinical Psychology 
  • Course Duration: 4 years
  • Program Fees: 8,081 CAD

University of Victoria

  • Program Name: PhD in Clinical Psychology 
  • Course Duration: 4 years
  • Program Fees: 5,018 CAD

Simon Fraser University

  • Program Name: PhD in Clinical Psychology
  • Course Duration: 4 years 
  • Program Fees: 5,846 CAD

The University of British Columbia

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology 
  • Course Duration: 5 years
  • Program Fees: 9,131 CAD

Reasons to Study a PhD in Clinical Psychology in Canada

  • Due to its diversity in population, the country has been ranked among the top 10 places to reside in the world.
  • According to QS World Rankings 2022, Canada houses some of the highest-ranking psychology universities in the world, such as the University of British Columbia (rank 46), the University of Toronto (rank 26) and McGill University (rank 27), among many others.
  • Canada offers a number of attractive scholarships based on merit, need and research to international students applying for doctorate programs. Apart from those, there are options like teacher’s assistantships, research assistantships and working while studying. These options can help you reduce your financial burden and manage your expenses effectively.
  • After completion of the degree, students can opt to stay back in the country on a work permit and secure a good job; Canada has a very low unemployment rate of 5.6%.

PhD Program Requirements

In order to be eligible for a PhD in Clinical Psychology in Canada, the following criteria need to be met:

  • A master’s/postgraduate degree in psychology with good grades/marks, preferably higher than 80%.
  • Exam scores of IELTS/TOEFL/PTE/MELAB. These exams are required to be taken by applicants from non-English speaking countries. These exams measure the student’s fluency and understanding of the English language.
  • In some universities, GMAT or GRE scores might also be a requirement. The University of Toronto is one where GMAT is a requirement for admission.

Documents Required

Before applying to the course and college of your choice, make sure you have the following documents handy:

  • Transcripts of your academic qualifications, i.e., your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • CV/resume
  • 2 to 3 academic and professional references from people you have worked with in the past
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Research proposal
  • Statement of purpose aligning yourself with the program of your choice and how it can help you fulfil your ambitions
  • Canadian study permit/student visa

Application Process

The application deadlines for universities in Canada are generally based on three periods through the year:

  • Fall intake (September to November)
  • Winter intake (December to January)
  • Spring intake (February to April)

Once you’ve gathered all the required documents, you can begin the application process. 

  • Visit the official website of the university you want to apply to.
  • Select the specific program.
  • Check to see if you fulfil the eligibility criteria.
  • Fill out the application form and upload the required documents.
  • Submit the fees for the application.
  • Once submitted, wait for the university’s response. In some cases, the university might call you up for an interview.

Scholarship Programs

Canada and its scholarship programs are known worldwide among international students. For Clinical Psychology students, the country offers scholarships between CAD 1,966 and CAD 40,000 to international applicants. Some of the most popular scholarships you can apply to in Canada as a PhD in Clinical Psychology candidate are:

  • Alumni Clinical Psychology Student Research Award – University of Manitoba
  • Alberta Blue Cross 50th Anniversary Bursary for a Student Specializing in Psychology – University of Alberta
  • Beatrice Award – Dalhousie University
  • Boris Muskatov Prize in Psychology – McGill University
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarships

Job Prospects

With an increasing awareness about mental health and a high number of specialisations available in the field, psychology graduates have a number of job opportunities. Clinical psychology is one of the biggest areas of employment in the discipline of psychology.

A clinical psychologist works in a variety of environments such as hospitals, mental health institutions and private clinics. The average salary of a clinical psychologist working in Canada ranges between CAD 59,000 and CAD 134,000, compared to Rs 3.5 lakhs to Rs 4.5 lakhs for a clinical psychologist working in India. Their salary also depends highly on their educational qualifications and years of experience. Also, a psychologist with many skills and certifications in areas like clinical supervision, group therapy and forensic psychology can earn even more.

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the regulatory authority in Canada in the field of psychology. If you wish to stay back in Canada and practise, you will need to get registered with a regulatory body and acquire a license. However, if the doctoral program you are pursuing is accredited by the CPA, the registration and licensing process will be easier. 

PhD in clinical psychology in Canada


Clinical psychology is a field wherein a number of job opportunities have opened up in recent years. As mental health awareness rises, the need for psychologists is bound to rise too, and what better place to practice your profession than a country that ranks 6th on the Global Peace Index. 

With Canada being heavily invested in research work and offering a pleasant environment for international students, completing your PhD in Clinical Psychology in Canada can be one of the best decisions for your career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average duration of a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology in Canada?

A PhD in Clinical Psychology in Canada spans between 4 and 5 years. The first few years are focused on specialisation and research. In later years, you will have to work under the supervision of a faculty member and prepare a thesis and dissertations.

What are some specialisations that can be done in clinical psychology?

Psychology is a subject that can provide specialisations in various fields. The specialisations that can be undertaken in clinical science are clinical lifespan specialisation and clinical neuropsychology specialisation.

Is clinical psychology a rewarding profession?

Yes, clinical psychology is rewarding in both monetary and job satisfaction aspects. Clinical psychologists earn very well and are in high demand. The job also provides the mental satisfaction of helping individuals overcome their health issues.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

Articles: 635

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