Clinical

Gain the knowledge and skills to help advance clinical psychological science.

We view clinical science as composed of research efforts and practice directed toward:

  • the promotion of adaptive functioning
  • assessment, understanding, amelioration, and prevention of human problems in behaviour, affect, cognition or health
  • the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence

Our doctoral program in clinical psychology is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association.

Program & Admission Details

The doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of British Columbia is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association. If you are interested in learning more about our accreditation status, please contact the Director of Clinical Training, Paul Hewitt, at phewitt@psych.ubc.ca or the Accreditation Office at the Canadian Psychological Association.

Accreditation Office
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 702
Ottawa, ON K1P 5J3
accreditationoffice@cpa.ca
(613) 237-2144 x320 or 1-888-472-0657 x328
Initial accreditation: 1986-87
Next site visit due: 2021-22

As of 2012, CPA signed the First Street Accord which is a mutual recognition agreement on accreditation.

The program is designed to assist students acquire the knowledge base and skills set outlined in the objectives below:

Goal 1: Identify as a psychologist in the clinical science tradition.

  • Identification with and appreciation for the discipline of psychology as a foundation for scientific inquiry and practice
  • Knowledge of a broad domain of psychological theories and research
  • Commitment to integration of science and practice as a means of furthering human welfare

Goal 2: Contribute to the knowledge base in domains that enhance clinical psychological science, including potential interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Knowledge of research methods and statistics
  • Knowledge of theories and scientific bases of psychological tests and measurement
  • Ability to objectively evaluate research
  • Competence in preparing research proposals
  • Competence in independent research relevant to clinical psychological science
  • Dissemination and communication of research findings to a broad audience

Goal 3: Develop competence in knowledge and skills required for functioning in academic and/or clinical settings including a lifelong commitment to clinical science.

  • Knowledge in conceptual and empirical foundations of psychopathology, assessment and interventions
  • Knowledge and skills in ethical and professional standards in academic and clinical settings
  • Knowledge of cultural and diversity aspects of psychology
  • Ability to use the evidence base in assessment, program evaluation, and development of treatment or action plans with diverse client groups
  • Professional communication skills, including teaching and supervision

Students in the program have a range of backgrounds:

  • Of the students currently enrolled in the program, 31% are male, and we encourage more men to apply
  • Current students range in age from 23 to 36 years, with an average of 29 years
  • Although most were accepted shortly following undergraduate degrees in psychology, other students have entered the program with backgrounds and professional degrees in areas such as political science, economics, and biology
  • Most students in the program describe themselves as Canadians of European descent, but about 50% report other ethnic backgrounds, most commonly Asian
  • Students represent diversity in sexual orientation, nationality, family status, and disabilities
  • 55% of the students in the program speak a language in addition to English, including French, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish

Academic Year2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-18
Positions/Training Capacity74665
Applications - at BA level130114111126105
Applications - at MA level81331
Interviewed/Short-Listed71078
Offered Admission74666
Offers as % Applications (Automatically Calculated)5%4%5%4%4%
Accepted Offer/Enrolled64465
Males12211
Self-Identify as Diverse (i.e., minority, disability, LGBTQ)3130
From Outside of Province31321
From Outside of Canada00200
External Scholarship/Fellowship30022
Internal Scholarship/Fellowship44334
First Year Tuition & Fees$5,452$5,540$5,562$5,786$5,787

Academic Year2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-18
Graduated - Fall33665
Graduated - Spring01100
Self-Identify as Aboriginal00000
Average Time to Completion in
Years - Post BA-entry
8.38.87.377
Average Time to Completion in
Years - Post MA-entry (or N/A)
7.2
Total Number of Graduates in
Preceding 7 Years
2221232830
Males01112
Licensed017202426
Licensed as % Graduates
(Automatically Calculated)
81%87%86%87%

Among 15 clinical students who have received their PhD from our department from September 2010 to April 2015, the mean time to completion including the internship year, was 7.71 years (SD=1.15). These figures do not include time students were on leave from the program for medical or parental reasons.

Over the past five years, no students have left the program before obtaining the Ph.D. for any reason, including personal situations as well as academic reasons.

The Psychology Department commits to providing a base of $17,500 per year of financial support for MA students for two years ($18,000 for PhD students for four years) through a combination of fellowships (internal or external), teaching assistantships and research assistantships.

This support, plus attendance at a funded internship, covers the typical student’s graduate education. On average during 2014-2015, clinical graduate students received $29,198 (sd=$8.838) in support.

Recruitment fellowships, the most common type of support offered to incoming graduate students, are $17,500 for one year. Teaching assistantships pay $11,578 for MA students and $12,032 for PhD students for 12 hours/week over the course of two semesters; partial TA positions are available. First year tuition costs are $5,787.

Estimated costs of graduate studies at the MA level include tuition and student fees (includes a transit pass) and basic medical/dental insurance. Graduate students will also require a personal laptop, which must be purchased at their own expense. In addition, students incur personal living expenses, which vary by lifestyle choices.

Detailed information about costs of attending UBC as a graduate student can be found on the Faculty of Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies website.

The clinical program receives approximately 130 applications each year and typically makes offers of admission to four to seven students each year. The program encourages applications from qualified students from a diverse range of backgrounds and refrains from systematically excluding students on the basis of personal factors not relevant to probability of success in graduate school, including race, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or physical disability.

Admission to the Clinical program is highly competitive; preference is given to applicants who have demonstrated interest in the scientific basis of clinical psychology as well as practice.

All students must complete an empirically-based master’s thesis prior to being accepted into the PhD program. Students who plan to terminate their studies at the master’s level are not accepted into the clinical training program, and the master’s program is not designed to prepare graduates for independent practice. Applicants with master’s degrees in non-clinical specialty areas and/or from other universities are not automatically admitted to the clinical PhD program. Equivalence of degrees is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Being the recipient of a fellowship substantially increases an applicant’s chances to be admitted. Application deadlines for fellowships are between September and December of the preceding year. Agencies that should be considered by clinical applicants are SSHRC, CIHR, and NSERC as well as various provincial and specialty agencies (like the Cancer Society or Heart Foundation). Foreign students are eligible for university-based fellowships, and in some cases Commonwealth Fellowships or Government of Canada Awards; applications for the latter two must be made through the applicant’s native country.

In compliance with British Columbia’s Criminal Records Review Act, students in the Clinical program must pass a criminal records check before admission and every 5 years thereafter. The Criminal Records Review Act is designed to help protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse or exploitation. Offers of admission to the Clinical program are contingent upon applicants consenting to and passing the criminal records check, which covers offences deemed relevant for those working with children and vulnerable adults. For information about which sections of the Criminal Code are designated as relevant offences, consult the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Applicants will receive detailed information about the criminal records check at the time of conditional admission.

Aboriginal Students who are thinking of applying to the Clinical Psychology program and have questions can contact Paul Hewitt, the Director of Clinical Training, at phewitt@psych.ubc.ca.

Program Outcomes

Reflecting our emphasis on clinical science, graduate students in the clinical program are successful in research. On average, our current graduate students in clinical psychology have 4.93 publications, and they have authored or co-authored 12 papers presented at professional conferences.

Excluding students who are on internship, 11 (33%) currently hold competitive external research fellowships, and an additional 45 of students are current recipients of competitive university fellowships.

At the time of graduation, 100% of our graduates in the past five years have had at least one publication (mean = 5.95 publications), and 100% had presented their research at a professional conference at least once (mean = 11.33 conference presentations).

Academic Year2013-142014-152015-162016-172017-18
Total Full-Time Students3636333439
Total Part-Time Students00000
Males79121112
Age Range22-4523-4623-3123-3223-36
Self-Identify as Diverse (ie,
minority, disability, LGBTQ)
1616111217
Co/Authors of Papers at
Professional/Scientific Meetings
2530292722
Co/Authors of Articles in
Referred Journals
2727282725
Members/Affiliates in
Professional/Scientific Societies
2729323033
Teaching Assistantship2427272518
Research Assistantship78141813
External Scholarship/Fellowship1611181914
Internal Scholarship/Fellowship1316171213
Worked more than 20 Hours/week00000
Withdrew from Programme00000

Of 18 recent graduates from our program, 14 are already registered as psychologists and the remainder are in process or will not pursue registration as it is not required for their employment. None has been unsuccessful in seeking registration.

Seven of 17 recent graduates from our program are employed in settings that involved at least some research activity, along with clinical service provision. Ten are employed in clinical positions or have opened a private practice, and one works for government.

Graduates from our program hold faculty positions at Concordia University, Dalhousie University, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, York University, and University of Toronto.

In addition, other recent graduates hold positions outside of universities that nevertheless involve a significant amount of scholarly activity. These positions include hospital-based jobs on mental health units that have a dual mission of research and clinical service such as BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and London Health Sciences Centre.

On average, our recent graduates have authored or co-authored 3.70 publications since graduating.