Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology admissions

Unfortunately, the ICCP program is postponed indefinitely due to insufficient staffing and resources. We will keep your name on the interest list, and advise when we are next able to offer this program.

Admission requirements

For complete program information, requirements and guidelines, please read the Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology Admissions guide (PDF).

Baccalaureate Degree Requirement

We accept undergraduate degrees from any discipline. All applicants normally 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 an applicant's grade point average or units completed.

Prerequsite courses (5)

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

  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 course2 in the area of educational psychology, psychology, child and youth care, social work, or Aboriginal or Indigenous helping/healing.
  5. An upper level course2 in the area of educational psychology, psychology, child and youth care, social work, or Aboriginal or Indigenous helping/healing.

1Must have a B+ or higher

2Examples of relevant courses include: lifespan development, personality, abnormal psychology, learning/cognition, social psychology, community psychology, family systems, and addictions. Courses in Indigenous culture, learning, education, helping, and other areas would also be considered appropriate background (e.g. ED-D 419 Introduction to Indigenous Helping and Healing, IED 372 Indigenous Epistemologies, SOCW 391 Indigenous Approaches to Healing and Helping, and SOCW 354 An Introduction to Indigenous Issues and Human Services).

Applicants must fill out their courses on the form “ICCP List of Required Prerequisites Courses” that meet the 5 courses of senior level undergraduate courses required.

For your application to be considered, ED-D 417 and ED-D 418 must be completed by April 30th. It is also in your best interest to have all prerequisite courses completed by April 30th. All required prerequisite courses must be completed before program starts (no exceptions).

A significant number of counselling-related hours

Successful, relevant field experience must be completed prior to the application deadline. We are particularly interested in applicants who have completed all or part of their field experience in Indigenous based settings. At least 200 hours are recommended.

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 worker, 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

  • 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.
  • Field Experience chart(s).

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.For more information on these reports visit graduate admissions and records.

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



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 will your enrolment in the ICCP program help you meet important personal and/or community goals? What background and/or experience do you have related to helping in Indigenous communities?
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a helper and a learner?
  3. What personal and/or cultural values are most important to you and how do these influence your views about being a counsellor?
  4. In what type of setting would you like to work following graduation from a counselling program and with what client population would you like to work?
  5. Add any other relevant information that you think would help the admissions committee to know about you as a person, a community member and a potential counsellor.
  6. Indicate the names of the two people who have been asked to submit your Counselling Skills Evaluations.

Applicants 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 5 pages. Please include on the first page: current date, name, address, phone number and email address. 

English Language Requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not resided in a designated English-speaking country for 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. Official test score reports must be sent directly to the University of Victoria by the testing agency. Scores older than two years are not acceptable.

Applicants holding a recognized degree from a designated English-speaking country are exempted from the language proficiency requirements.

Please visit our English Langauge Proficiency page for complete information.

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 need to review the the Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology Admissions guide (PDF) before applying.

Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early.

Ensure the following the 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.

ED-D course equivalency

Download information on possible ED-D equivalent courses (PDF).

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.