CNPS Application Information

Selection Criteria

Selection among applicants who have met the basic criteria will be based on:

  • Academic and professional promise.
  • Personal integrity and suitability for a counselling psychology career.
  • The availability of space in the applicant’s declared area of interest (for Masters applicants) and the availability of supervisory expertise in the applicant’s declared area of research (for Doctoral applicants).
  • We are committed to accepting and training school counsellors. Therefore, we reserve several guaranteed spots for school counsellors every year.
  • The Department admits students on the basis of merit and all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. UBC is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas.

How To Apply

Individuals are able to apply to both the M.A. and M.Ed. programs. However, a separate application must be completed and a separate application fee must be paid for both the M.A. and M.Ed. applications.

M.A. and M.Ed. applicants must complete a hard copy of the CNPS Supplementary Application Form.

Admission to Master's programs in Counselling Psychology is based on the following criteria:

Academic Qualifications

Applicants to Master's programs must have completed an appropriate bachelor's degree (typically a 4 years degree). All bachelor's degree requirements must be completed by April 30th of the year of application.

An overall average of B+ of senior course work is required.*

In addition, applicants must have certain prerequisite courses at the undergraduate or graduate level prior to applying/admissions. These include CNPS 362 Basic Interview Skills (or equivalent), CNPS 363 Career Counselling (or equivalent), CNPS 365 Theories of Counselling (or equivalent), a 2nd year course in Learning/Cognitive Psychology (or equivalent), a 3rd - 4th year course in Abnormal Psychology/Behavioural Disorders (or equivalent), and an undergraduate course in statistics.

*76%/3.33 out of 4 or 4.33

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All MA applicants are NOT required to complete the GRE.  The GRE is not required but can be submitted.

Footnote: Some students may choose to submit GRE scores because they feel these better represent their academic potential than their GPA. Other students, however, may feel their GPA better—or sufficiently—represents their academic potential and will choose not to submit GRE scores.

GRE scores must be sent directly from ETS. Please note that ETS only sends out GRE scores within 5 years of test completion.

The GRE is no longer required for the M.Ed. applicants.

Relevant Work Experience

There is no required minimum amount of relevant experience.  However, relevant experience is considered when applications are adjudicated.

Research Experience

Applicants to the M.A. Program should have prior formal research experience, as evidenced by, for example, volunteer research assistant experience, an undergraduate honours degree research project, an independent study course project that involved conducting empirical research, conference presentations, or journal publications. Compatibility between faculty and applicant research interests is a very important consideration for admission.


Upon receipt of application forms, we will send an electronic letter of reference form to the named referees for them to complete electronically. These letters should be from academic instructors and/or professional supervisors (senior teachers, counsellors, administrators, psychologists) supporting the applicant's academic/professional competence, personal/professional integrity, and ability to work well with people.

Please note that you must submit all application information if you are re-applying to the program.

Other Useful Information

Admissions information sessions are scheduled in the fall. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session prior to submitting their application. See our events page for the next scheduled admissions information session.

The admissions committee members review all the above evidence in evaluating academic and counselling potential. For example, a strong grade point average and a good GRE performance will support a positive judgment of academic potential. For example, a strong grade in CNPS 362 and crisis line work/volunteer experience will support a positive judgment of counselling potential.

For more information on previous admissions rates to the CNPS MEd and MA programs please visit the below links.

Admission Rates MEd Program:

Admission Rates MA Program:

Program Duration

For both full-time and part-time students: the masters program must be completed within 5 years. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may apply for an extension from 4 to 12 months.

Applicants must satisfy the general academic requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and have completed a master's degree reasonably equivalent to the UBC CNPS M.A. with thesis or research-equivalent project and supervised training in providing professional counselling in counselling psychology or a highly related area with an overall grade average of at least 80%. Theses should be completed or expected to be completed (with supervisor verification) by June 30th of the year of application. Having a thesis completed by January 15th of the year of application is strongly preferred and will be evaluated favourably. In exceptional circumstances, a non-thesis master's degree will be considered if the student is able to demonstrate completion of thesis-equivalent research (e.g., first-authored publication in a reputable peer-reviewed journal). Applicants are also required to write the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test, and, if applicable, the TOEFL test, IELTTS test, or other test of English language proficiency approved by UBC’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Please note that you must submit all application information if you are re-applying to the program. 

Other Useful Information

For more information on previous admissions rates to the CNPS PhD program please visit the below links.

Admission Rates PhD Program:

Mandatory Criminal Record Checks

All students MUST undergo a criminal record check (CRC) before commencing CNPS 588 (normally at the start of year two). CRC paperwork can take up to 6 weeks after submission of the appropriate fee and documentation. Therefore, all students must initiate this process no later than May 31st of the year in which they are planning to take CNPS 588.

This form is for any students needing a CRC from any other Faculty of Ed department (other than TEO)

You must:

      1. Complete web form online
      2. Submit a signature on the consent form provided, as a PDF to: (that means you have to print out the form and then sign it before you send the PDF to

If you’ve completed a CRC within the last twelve months, submit a copy of your clearance letter to the Program Area Assistant.

Learn more information about Criminal Record Checks.

General departmental graduate application details are outlined on our main prospective students resource page.

CNPS Information Session – November 2022