PhD in Educational Psychology

The doctoral program in Educational Psychology permits concentrations in:

  • Special Education
  • Learning, Development & Instructional Sciences
  • Measurement, Evaluation and Computer Applications (MECA) - Note: this focus area is currently not accepting applications. However, applicants who are interested in the MECA focus area should first: a) contact the graduate advisor directly to determine if required coursework will be offered and b) and apply through the Learning, Development & Instructional Sciences program.

Normally students are admitted every year depending on the quality of applications received and faculty availability. See admissions information.

Each student’s program of studies is individually planned. It is expected that there will be considerable variation among students as a result of differences in academic background and experience, research interests, and future professional goals.

The program of studies requires that a broad knowledge of the field or fields of study be demonstrated through the successful completion of candidacy examinations. A major portion of the doctoral program is devoted to a research project culminating in a dissertation, which satisfies the requirements and standards of the Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Typically, the doctoral program only takes applications to be considered for a September entry point. If you are interested in applying for a January entry point please contact the graduate program assistant, Stacey Brownell to obtain permission before you apply: or 250-721-7883.

Program delivery and courses

The minimum total number of units required for the PhD program is 46.5 units. The program requires a minimum of 13.5 units of coursework, a candidacy examination of 3.0 units, and a dissertation of 30.0 units. 

Phd requirements Courses
Required coursework ED-D 660 Proseminar in Educational Psychology (1.5 units)
Required coursework Advanced Statistics/Research Methods (4.5 units)
Required electives Electives (7.5 units)
Required component ED-D 693 Candidacy Exam (3.0 units)
Required component ED-D 699 Dissertation (30.0 units)
Total units 46.5 units

Courses and requirements are subject to change. Check the Academic Calendar for up-to-date information and course descriptions.

A minimum residency of one year is required. During the residency year, students are expected to be committed full time to their studies. Normally, a student proceeding toward a Doctoral degree will be required to complete all the requirements within seven years from the date of first registration in the program. 

PhD students write candidacy examinations in research methodology and in their area of specialization (for example, learning and development) within educational psychology.  The format normally consists of two written papers followed by an oral examination.  In the oral examination, the candidate will be examined on both research methodology and his/her area of specialization.

Students are required to register in every term from the time of admission until the requirements of the degree have been met, or formally withdraw in accordance with regulations set out in the University of Victoria’s calendar.

Becoming a registered psychologist (school or counseling)

Students who wish to be eligible for registration as a psychologist with the B.C. College of Psychologists must consult the College of Psychologists of British Columbia. Our program is not specifically designed to meet College requirements. Students who choose to do this will need to take responsibility for tailoring their program to meet college requirements where possible. This includes but is not limited to: identifying requirements, finding and taking courses at UVic and beyond, and arranging an internship.