Counselling psychology applications

The information on this page is for the project-based and thesis-based master's programs. Get information about applying to the Master's in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology program.

Application deadline December 1

The application deadline for the September 2022 program entry is December 1, 2021. 

This program will be open for online application beginning September 1, until 11:59 p.m. on the date of the application deadline. 

For this program, there is only one entry point, in September each year. It is not possible to start at any other time of year.

Am I eligible? 

To determine if you are eligible for the program, please go through each of the admission requirements in the admissions guide carefully. 

Admission requirements

For an overview of the application process and program information, please download the Counselling Psychology admissions guide (PDF).

Baccalaureate degree requirement

We accept undergraduate degrees from any discipline. You must have earned the equivalent of a B+ average over the last two years (or equivalent of 30.0 UVic units) of your degree to be considered. Practica, non-graded (pass-fail) courses, credit granted on the basis of life or work experience, or credit earned at institutions not recognized by the University will not be used in determining your grade point average or units completed. Learn about Calculating GPA for graduate admission.

If you are pursuing the thesis-based program, completing an undergraduate thesis is not required; however, having completed an undergraduate thesis (honours level) will make your application more competitive.

Prerequisite courses (5-6)

  1. ED-D 414 Group Processes1

  2. ED-D 417 Skills for Effective Interpersonal Communication1

  3. ED-D 418 Introduction to Theories of Counselling1

  4. An upper level course in the area of developmental psychology (i.e. child/adolescent development)

  5. An upper level course in the area of abnormal psychology/behaviour disorders

  6. An upper level statistics course (thesis-based applications only). Must cover descriptive statistics and inferential statistics including univariate and regression analyses

1 Must have a B+ or higher. All three ED-D courses must have been completed within seven years of the application deadline.

In your application, you must documents these courses in the List of required counselling prerequisites courses form.

ED-D 417 and 418 must be completed by December 31st of the year prior to program start. If they are not, then your application will not be considered. Knowing ED-D 414 is hard to find outside of UVic, you can apply without it and it won’t make your application any less competitive. If you are offered a spot in the program, then you will be required to take ED-D 414 at UVic in July/August before the program starts. Having the upper-level prerequisite courses also completed at the time of applying will make your application more competitive, but it is possible to apply while they are still in progress.

To request equivalency for courses taken at another university or department, please see the Counselling Psychology admissions guide (p. 13). The UVic psychology examples chart (p. 16) provides examples of acceptable developmental and abnormal psychology courses.

A significant number of counselling related hours

Counselling related experience is defined as working1 with “vulnerable populations”2 in a position where the applicant’s main role was to help individuals or groups with personally meaningful goals or needs. Such experience should involve person-to-person and/or group helping relationships in which (a) you play a facilitative role in learning, personal and emotional growth, and/or psychological development and (b) are required to demonstrate professional and ethical behaviours, effective interpersonal skills and personal awareness. It must also include supervision involving evaluative feedback from a professional of a higher administrative position (i.e., not peer consultation) with clearly stated roles and responsibilities for the individual and the supervisor. This requirement can be met through volunteer work experience; although, preference may be given to you if you have sustained relevant, paid work experience.

Counselling related examples include social work, peer helping, group facilitation with members of a vulnerable population, teaching minors, special needs care, group homes, at-risk youth outreach, community outreach, volunteer counselling, distress line work, big brother/sister and lay counselling programs.

If your job involved some hours of direct work with clients and some hours of administrative tasks, case management, training, or other tasks not eligible as counselling hours, you can differentiate between “Total # of hours worked on the job” and “# of hours of direct helping experience” on the field experience chart.

1 Volunteer and/or paid work experience.

2 While it is arguable that the human condition renders us all vulnerable, by vulnerable populations we refer to persons/populations more-than-ordinarily vulnerable than typical adult-aged persons of the general population. Children and youth are a vulnerable population (which is why volunteers and service personal require criminal record checks).

Applicants must document their counselling-related experience(s) in a Resumé and Field Experience Charts.

Field experience chart(s) form: For every counselling-related position held, fill out an experience chart.

In the resumé please document all work experience and include a brief statement about what was gained or learned from each experience. Whether the candidate was working or not, all gaps in the history should be included and explained. The purpose of the experience requirement is; in part, to show involvement and interest in people-oriented work. Please include on the first page: current date, name, address, phone number and email address.

Two counselling skills evaluations

Counselling Skills Evaluation (fillable PDF)

Due January 1.

The purpose of the counselling skills evaluations (CSEs) is to provide a detailed qualitative assessment of your counselling skills and professional characteristics.

All applicants must get two counselling skills evaluations filled in. One must be from your instructor of ED-D 417 or pre-approved equivalent course. The other should be from a supervisor from a counselling-related setting. These two referees should be different from the two referees who fill in your assessment reports.

Applicants must send the blank CSE to their referees. Each referee will email the completed CSE directly to the Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies Graduate Programs Office ( by Jan. 1. 

Applicants must indicate on their personal statement who has been asked to submit these evaluations.

Two assessment reports

Due January 1.

Assessment reports are required from two academic or professional references. The counselling admissions committee would prefer to see at least one academic reference.

These two referees should be different from the two referees who fill in your counselling skills evaluations.

You will provide the names and email addresses of your chosen assessors as part of your online application. UVic will email the assessment report link directly to your referees after you submit your application. It is important that you contact your referees prior to listing them here, to confirm their willingness to provide you with an assessment.

You can log in your application and return to the assessment section check whether the assessment reports have been completed by your referees, make changes to your referee information, or re-send an assessment request if necessary.

Personal statement

A personal statement (5 pages max) describing future work plans and motivation for graduate work in Counselling is also required. Please address the following:

  1. How might enrolment in a counselling graduate program at the University of Victoria help you meet important life goals and aspirations? Are there any critical incidents in your life that helped you to develop these goals and aspirations?
  2. What preferences do you have in a counselling graduate program in terms of course content and style of teaching, skill development, and personal learning?
  3. What are your personal strengths and weaknesses as a person, learner, and counsellor?
  4. What personal values are most important to you and how do they influence your views about being a counsellor?
  5. What type of setting would you like to work in following graduation from a counselling program and what client population would you like to work with?
  6. Add any other relevant information that you think would help the admissions committee to know about you as a person and a potential counsellor.
  7. Indicate the names of the people who have been asked to submit your Counselling Skills Evaluations.

You are advised to use the above headings in abbreviated form to facilitate the reading of material. The personal statement should be typed, double spaced, with normal margins and should be no longer than five pages.  Please include on the first page: current date, name, address, phone number and email address.

Research statement (Thesis-based applicants only)

The research statement must include a description of previous experience with research projects or courses, as well as a brief description of present interests in counselling research areas. It needs to be typed, double spaced, with normal margins and should be no longer than 2 pages. On the first page, please include the current date, name, address, phone number and email address.


In addition to submitting a new application with all required documents, you must provide the following:

  1. An in-depth letter must be submitted showing the actions taken to strengthen their new application over the previous one. It needs to be typed, double spaced, with normal margins and should be no longer than 2 pages.
  2. Updated documents are also required to reflect the actions taken to strengthen the application (i.e., field experience chart(s), resumé, new transcript).

English language requirement

If your first language is not English, you must provide proof of English language proficiency, in the form of a TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB test result (some students may be exempt from this requirement; please see the link below). No other tests are accepted.

Official test score reports must be sent directly to the University of Victoria by the testing agency (due January 1). Scores older than two years are not acceptable. 

Please note: Given that the counselling profession requires an excellent command of the English language including emotion-based vocabulary and subtle understanding of nuance communications, minimum scores for University of Victoria admissions are not sufficient for entrance to the counselling psychology program. Visit the following site for details on minimum required scores for this program, and exemptions: EPLS English proficiency requirements

PLEASE NOTE: The EPLS department requires higher language proficiency scores than those required by Graduate Admissions and Records. See the EPLS English language proficiency requirement for more information.

How to apply

All prospective students should download the admissions guide for a complete guide on program requirements and admissions procedures:

Follow the admissions checklist on page 4.

Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early.

Forms needed for application

Submit your online application by the deadline.


Criminal records check

Successful applicants must undergo a Criminal Record Check (Solicitor General CRC only) in compliance with the BC Criminal Records Review Act and submit it to the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies for review before full acceptance is given. Await department instructions before proceeding.