Information for applicants to the Program

The Department of Psychology receives up to 200 applications for admission to graduate study each year; ten to sixteen students may be admitted. Applicants are required to have completed a BA or BSc with a concentration in psychology if applying to the MSc program, or have a MA or MSc with a concentration in psychology if applying to the PhD. Successful applicants normally have an upper second or first class average (e.g., 3.5 on a 4-point scale or a minimum B+) in their recent academic work, with a specialization in psychology. Students with an Honour’s degree or equivalent research experience are preferred.

In addition to meeting the standards and requirements of Graduate Admissions and Records and the Department, a student can only be admitted if there is a faculty member available for, and interested in, acting as the student's supervisor. Excellent applicants are sometimes refused admission because no faculty member is able to accept an additional student, or no faculty member has compatible research interests.

Students applying to the clinical program will be required to attend an interview with clinical faculty prior to being accepted for admission.

Faculty accepting new students for September 2019.

Application deadline: December 1st


To satisfy Undergraduate Competency Requirements (UCR), applicants should have taken at least one course in applied statistics and courses in the following major areas of psychology:

  • Biological Bases of Behaviour (e.g., Biological Psychological, Physiological Psychology, Neuropsychology)
  • Cognitive Bases of Behaviour (e.g., Learning, Memory, Cognition)
  • Social Bases of Behaviour (e.g., Social Psychology, Special Topics Courses in Social Psychology)
  • Individual Differences (e.g., Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychopathology)*

*The fourth area, Individual Differences, is a requirement specific to Clinical applicants.

Students with insufficient background in these areas will be asked to demonstrate competency within the first two years of graduate studies. Competency may be demonstrated in various ways including enrolling in undergraduate courses or by course challenge.


Applicants must arrange for submission of:

  1. My UVic application through Graduate Admissions.
  2. Names and email addresses of two academic or professional references familiar with your work. The names and email addresses of two assessors are required when you submit your application; UVic will send those individuals a form on which they will assess you on a variety of dimensions. Your assessors will also be invited to provide a letter of reference. It is important that you contact your assessors in advance to confirm their willingness to provide such an assessment. (NOTE: Applicants with a Masters or Honours degree are expected to use their thesis supervisor as one of their assessors).
  3. Unofficial transcripts for all previous academic work; official transcripts will only be required once an offer of admission has been made
  4. A letter of intent (approximately 1 to 2 pages single-sided should be uploaded at the time of application)
    • identifying the primary area of specialization desired (Individualized, Cognition and Brain Sciences, Social Psychology, Lifespan Health and Development, Clinical Lifespan or Clinical Neuropsychology).
    • describing areas of research interest
    • naming at least two specific faculty members with whom the applicant wishes to work (see Faculty Directory to learn more about faculty members’ research and activities and determine which faculty members are available to supervise new students)
    • giving details of other relevant information such as courses in progress, job responsibilities, research experience (and clinical experience if applying to the clinical program)
    • indicating whether financial support will be required in order to pursue graduate study.
  5. Scores from the general (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing) portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). We do not require psychology subject test scores. Unofficial copies of your GRE scores may be considered on a preliminary basis but must be replaced by official copies as soon as possible.
  6. 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.

All of the above noted admission requirements should be submitted by the December 1st application deadline.


All forms and documents are due Graduate Admissions and Records by December 1st. Keep in mind that substantial lead time is required to register for and take the GRE (and, if required, TOEFL) in time for those exams results to be received within the deadline.

The Department of Psychology makes every effort to communicate offers of admission by April 15th.

University of Victoria Fellowships (up to $15,000 for Master’s and up to $18,000 for PhD although actual values may vary in any given year) are awarded annually to incoming graduate students (awards are funded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and distributed through the department of Psychology). Normally, awards are available for those entering in September only. All new applicants are evaluated for University Fellowships; there is no additional application required. The university’s primary requirement for a fellowship is a minimum cumulative grade point average of 7.0 for the last two years (30 units) of undergraduate work and for any graduate work. This is approximately equal to A-, 80% or 3.5 out of 4.0. In any given year, a GPA of 7.5 (3.75/4.0) or higher may be required. The psychology department may also consider other aspects of academic excellence (e.g., GREs). UVic Fellowships can provide up to two years of support at the Master's level or a maximum of three years at the Ph.D. level. Students are not allowed to hold another major award (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) in conjunction with a University of Victoria Fellowship. Should a student be offered such an award after acceptance of a UVic Fellowship, the UVic Fellowship must be forfeited. See: Uvic awards and fellowships for more information.

A limited number of teaching assistantships (TAs) are available (usually ranging from about $2000 to $4000 from Sept. to April). Some students may be employed by individual faculty members as research assistants (RAs). Students will normally discuss this possibility with their supervisors at the time of admission or after acceptance into the program.  University of Victoria Graduate Awards (minimum value of $1,000) are also available to all eligible graduate students and are awarded by the department annually (usually in the spring for the following academic year).

NOTE: National scholarships for graduate students are also available on a competitive basis from federal government funding agencies (NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC). There are separate competitions for master’s awards and doctoral awards. See external awards  for the websites of the above agencies for details. The President’s Research Scholarship (PRS) is also available to graduate students who hold a national scholarship (the number of PRS awards available in a given year depends on the amount available in the departmental graduate funding budget). Canadians and permanent residents are strongly urged to apply to these agencies; information is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website and from the Psychology Graduate Advisor. See: external awards for links to further information. Application deadlines may be as early as the beginning of October. UVic Fellowships will not be renewed if the student is eligible to apply for a national scholarship but does not apply.

For more financial information and tuition fees see graduate studies fees and funding


Non-Canadian students may be admitted to study in Canada either with a Study Permit or, more rarely, with landed immigrant status. They should consult the nearest Canadian consulate for further information about the requirements for obtaining and holding either status. Because application for landed immigrant status can usually be made only from outside Canada, they should give early priority to seeking this status.

Immigration officials normally require some evidence of financial support in the form of a commitment from the university (e.g., a fellowship award) and/or personal funds. Some sources of financial assistance are available without regard to nationality; these include fellowships and assistantships awarded by the University of Victoria. Immigration status is not a factor in these awards. If a student's spouse intends to work while in Canada she/he must obtain landed immigrant status. Landed immigrant status does not affect present citizenship in any way.

International full-time students are entitled to work only on campus with a valid Study Permit without the need for Work Permit. This includes working as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or with private businesses located on-campus.