A program for prospective graduate students in psychology

The Diversity Mentorship Program at UBC’s Department of Psychology provides mentorship and professional development support for students from diverse, under-resourced, traditionally underrepresented, and/or marginalized backgrounds. This program is geared towards advanced undergraduates or recent graduates who are interested in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies and research careers in psychology.

I spent all of my undergrad wondering if people who looked like me can really make it into a good graduate school and have a great academic careers, and this program opened my eyes to that possibility. It’s tremendously changed my mental health and confidence in my abilities for the future.

Undergraduate Student Mentee
Diversity Mentorship Program

“I felt really inspired by the speakers at the event and I reflect on their wisdom when I face adversity.”

“The benefit of the program is that I received a mentor that I can relate to. She listens and gives me resources and helps me when I am stuck. I am thrilled to have been a part of this program.”

“I spent all of my undergrad wondering if people who looked like me can really make it into a good graduate school and have a great academic careers, and this program opened my eyes to that possibility. It’s tremendously changed my mental health and confidence in my abilities for the future.”

“It was nice to know that through the whole process I had someone to talk to, someone who had been in my situation. Having a mentor made me realize that there are different outcomes and different times for everyone's goals. It made me reflect about what I wanted to pursue in my life, My mentor serve as a compass that guided me during a time I did not know what I 'truly' wanted.”

“It was inspiring and hopeful to talk to my mentor, and it provided me with clarity and a sense of not being alone in the very confusing landscape of grad school applications. I also did not have to worry about whether my identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community would get in the way of my mentorship. That helped ease my mind and allowed me to focus on how to get into grad school!”

“My experience in this program was invaluable. I really appreciated the opportunity to have conversations with a fellow LGBTQIA-identifying scholar about the experience of being a part of the margins of the academic community. My mentor helped me bolster my CV and statement of purpose for my Ph.D. applications, prepare for interviews, and was incredibly supportive of my admission to my program.”

“My mentor was extremely helpful! I initially felt a lot of uncertainty on pursuing higher education, and my mentor shared with me his personal experiences in his journey. In applying for the programs, he helped me with my personal statements. During the interview process, he provided tips and questions I should ask. Despite not getting accepted into any programs this cycle, he still helped me after the cycle had ended.”

“As a first-gen student, having someone to turn to when navigating various systems was super beneficial. Also having a reference point when formulating my applications (something I would otherwise have no guidance on) was very helpful.”

About the program

This yearlong program consists of monthly online workshops and virtual small-group mentoring meetings. Mentees will have the option of selecting a graduate student or postdoctoral mentor if they want additional one-on-one mentorship, such as guidance on particular topics or feedback on graduate school application materials.

The program is offered completely online and is open to people anywhere in the world. Throughout the year, we will hold workshops and small group meetings on topics that include:

  • Career options in psychology
  • An inside look at sub-fields of psychology
  • Planning your unique academic and professional path
  • How to apply for graduate school, funding, and the interview process
  • Diversity in academia
  • Psychology research on issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion

For mentees applying to the UBC Psychology graduate program, a limited number of vouchers will be available to offset the UBC graduate application fee.


Who is eligible to participate?

You are eligible to participate if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. You come from a background that is diverse, under-resourced, marginalized, and/or traditionally under-represented in psychological science. This includes but is not limited to students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, from low-income backgrounds, living with disabilities, and / or are in the first generation in their family to attend university.
  2. You are a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate student or have recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the past few years.
  3. You are interested in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies in Psychology

Apply for the program

Applications are now closed

The application deadline was Wednesday, September 7, 2022


Improvements to the program

We have made changes to the program this year based on extensive feedback from last year’s mentors and mentees:

  • Professional development programming: Workshops will be held throughout the year instead of on a dedicated weekend. The workshop topics will be broadly applicable for students who are still exploring different academic and career options, as well as students who have a fairly clear sense of their intended path.
  • Networking: We will have more opportunities to connect with fellow mentees through virtual group meetings and our online community.
  • Mentoring: Many undergraduates / recent graduates want the chance to chat with graduate students and postdocs, but they might not have well-defined mentoring needs yet or may want to “test the waters” before committing to a mentoring relationship. Thus, we will hold mentoring sessions in small groups, where mentees can meet with different mentors each month to discuss a range of professional topics. At any point during the year, if a mentee wants additional one-on

Frequently Asked Questions

No, this program is not restricted to Canadians. People both within and outside of Canada are welcome to apply!

Yes! We absolutely encourage applications from former mentees.

No, you are welcome to submit an application for this mentorship program even if you do not intend to apply to UBC for graduate admission. We anticipate that participants will benefit in many ways (e.g., professional development, strengthening graduate application materials, networking), regardless of where they apply for graduate school.

Please note that this program is separate from graduate admissions decisions for UBC Psychology. Participation in this program will NOT give you priority for admission to graduate school at UBC.

Applications will be reviewed in a holistic manner that considers the applicants’ personal backgrounds and lived experiences, as well as academic & research experience and interests. Applicants who identify as part of an under-represented group in higher education (for example, on the basis of their race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual identity, first generation university student, living with disabilities, etc.) will be eligible. We will prioritize applicants with past research experience and a strong interest in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies in Psychology. We will strive to have a variety of different backgrounds and areas of interest in psychology (i.e., clinical, social, developmental, cognitive, health, behavioural neuroscience, and quantitative) represented among the program participants.

There is no minimum GPA requirement for this program. As described above, we will review applications in a holistic manner.


Interested in being a mentor?

Are you a current UBC Psychology graduate student or postdoctoral researcher? Mentor undergraduate students!


Learn more

Benjamin Cheung
Ellen Jopling
Connor Kerns
Othmane Khaled (Program Assistant)
Nancy Sin (Program Director)
Todd Handy

This program receives support from UBC's Department of Psychology and UBC's Equity Enhancement Fund and Anti-Racism Initiatives Fund.