Admission into the PhD in Educational Psychology program

Please note we will not be accepting any applications to the Educational Psychology PhD program for September 2024 entry

For an overview of the application process and program information we recommend you download the PhD Educational Psychology Admissions Guide (PDF).

Program requirements

MA degree (thesis)

Admission to the doctoral degree program requires completion of a thesis-based master's degree from a recognized university in a psychology or educational psychology related area.

Applicants with a non-thesis masters degree must have published a first-authored paper in a peer-reviewed journal that demonstrates ability to conduct, analyze and report empirical research in order to be considered for the PhD.

Applicants must provide a sample of first-authored research in the form of a thesis and/or published research paper.

Two required prerequisite courses

Applicants must have completed ED-D 560 (Statistical Methods in Education) and ED-D 561A (Methods in Educational Research), or their equivalents within their Master’s degree program.

Letter of Intent

Applicants must submit a letter of intent.

Guidelines for the letter of intent (not to exceed five pages in length):    

  • Applicants are asked to address the following issues/questions:
  1. Discuss your reasons for pursuing doctoral studies in Educational Psychology.
  2. How might enrollment in an Educational Psychology doctoral program at the University of Victoria help you meet your immediate and long-term professional goals?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a learner?  In addition, please provide any other relevant information that you think would help the admissions committee to know about you as a person and a potential Educational Psychologist.

Statement of Research Experience and Interests

Applicants must submit a statement of research experience and interests. 

Guidelines for the statement of research experience and interests (not to exceed three pages in length):

  • Applicants are asked to address the following issues/questions:
  1. A description of previous research and work experience related to your area of doctoral study.
  2. A description of past and present research interests in Educational Psychology. 
  3. A statement describing your intended research area during your doctoral studies.
  4. Name two Faculty members with whom you might like to work. For each, provide a brief explanation about how your research interests connect with theirs.


Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Due to COVID-19, the GRE is not required for the September 2023 program admissions. 


Three Assessment Reports

Each applicant is required to submit three confidential assessment reports from persons who are in positions to comment on the candidate's abilities and performance. One must be from the student’s Master's thesis supervisor and at least one other should be from a professor from whom you have taken a graduate-level course. It is not acceptable to have an assessment report completed by a coworker or friend. The names and email addresses of your chosen assessors are required when you submit your 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 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.

English Language Requirement

Applicants for admission whose first language is not English should consult the English Language proficiency requirements on the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies website.

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 Language Proficiency page for complete information.

No application will be adjudicated until scores have been received.

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 PhD Educational Psychology Admissions Guide for a complete guide on program requirements and admissions procedures.

Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early. The online application system is available starting on Sept. 1 each year. 

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

  • All unofficial post-secondary transcripts
  • Personal Statement
  • Research Statement
  • Resume
  • Thesis
  • Names and email addresses for the people filling out your assessment reports (3)

Submit your online application by the deadline.

English Language Proficiency results need to be sent 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.