Counselling psychology admissions

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, 2020 for September 2021

Admission requirements

For an overview of the application process and program information we recommend you 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 their 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.

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.

Prerequsite 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

  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 courses must have been completed within seven years of the date of application.

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

For your application to be complete, ED-D 417 and ED-D 418 must be completed by December 31st of the year prior to program start. It is in your best interest to have all prerequisite courses completed by December 31st of the year prior to program start. However, we know that ED-D 414 is hard to find outside of UVic, so you can apply without it. If you are offered a spot in the on-campus program, then you will be required to take ED-D 414 at UVic in the July/August before the program starts.

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 facilitator, teaching, special needs care, group homes, at-risk youth outreach, volunteer counselling, distress line work, big brother/sister and lay counselling programs.

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 Resume and Field Expereince Charts.

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

In the résumé 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

All applicants must request two counselling skills evaluations to be completed about their counselling abilities. One must be from your instructor of ED-D 417 (or approved equivalent course) and the other should be from a supervisor from a counselling-related setting. Two different people from those who completed the assessment reports need to the complete counselling skills evaluations.

Applicants need to email the blank counselling skills evaluation form to the intended referee. Completed counselling skills evaluations are then emailed by the referee directly to the Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies graduate programs office at Candidates need to indicate on their personal statement who has been asked to submit these reports.

Two assessment reports

Two assessment reports are required from at least one academic reference and the second may be a professional reference or another academic reference who is familiar with your work. The names and email addresses of your chosen assessors are required when you submit your online application. It is important that you contact your referees prior to providing them here in order to confirm their willingness to provide you with an assessment. A letter of reference may also be supplied as part of the assessment report. UVic will send the assessment form information directly to your referees upon submission of your application. Submissions of references will be collected electronically alongside your application information.

Two different people from those who completed the counselling skills evaluations need to complete the assessment reports.

You may log in your application and return to the assessment section to review the status of your assessment reports as they are completed by your referees, make changes to your referee information, or resend 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, 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), résumé, new transcript).

English language requirement

For applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not resided in a designated English-speaking country three years immediately prior to the entry-point applied for, must provide proof of English Language Proficiency.This is done by providing results directly to the university from a TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB test. Scores older than two years are not acceptable.

Please visit our English Language Proficiency page for complete information.

If you hold a recognized degree from a designated English-speaking country you are exempted from the language 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 Counselling admissions guide (PDF) for a complete guide on program requirements and admissions procedures.

Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early.

Ensure the following are ready to upload with your online application:

Submit your online application by the deadline.

Make sure you have sent your counselling skills evaluations (PDF) to be filled out by the appropriate reference and they should be sent back directly from the reference to . These are due no later than one month after the application deadline.

Course equivalency

Forms needed for application

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.