Admissions FAQ

School Psychology is a great career. There are many openings in BC and throughout North America, and starting salaries are excellent. With a Master's degree in School and Applied Child Psychology, the most common job is as a School Psychologist working in a school district and job prospects are excellent. In addition to working in schools, individuals with a degree in School and Applied Child School Psychology with PhD work in a variety of settings, including univerisities as researches and/or teaching, mental health agencies, child development centres, children’s hospitals, and private practices. With a M.Ed. degree in School and Applied Child Psychology from UBC, you would be eligible to apply for certification with the BC Association of School Psychologists. With a PhD, you would be eligible for registration as a psychologist with the College of Psychologists of BC and most other provinces and states in North America.

School Psychologists who work in schools are district employees, so salaries can vary depending on where you work. Most school districts pay school psychologists at or above the teacher range, which are averaged on the Education Canada Network web site. The training for School Psychologists would place you at six or more years of education. Many districts also provide an additional stipend for School Psychologists, so the pay is often $2000 - 5000 extra, with excellent benefits and retirement plans. In addition, there is a shortage in the field, which can work to your advantage in terms of availability and salary leverage. Salary for School Psychologists working in non-school settings such as private agencies, mental health, hospitals, etc. can vary considerably with the site.

Applicants for all SACP programs (M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D.) are required to complete the GRE general test with minimum scores of 153 in verbal and 144 in quantitative. The psychology subject exam is optional and not required. Applicants for whom English is not their primary language should write the GRE but inform the admissions committee of this fact. If you are a graduate of the M.A. program in School and Applied Psychology program within the last 5 years, you do not need to retake the GRE for your Ph.D. application.

No, you do not need to be a teacher or have a teaching certificate for the School and Applied Child Psychology program at UBC. You do need evidence of successful work experience with school age children and youth. This can be met in a number of ways, including working as a teaching assistant, behaviour analyst or interventionist, coach, classroom volunteer, or camp counsellor. Most applicants include one letter of reference from someone who can comment on their suitability for work with children and youth based on prior experience.

A minimum of 18 credits in psychology, education, special education or related disciplines including CNPS 362 or an equivalent undergraduate course in basic interviewing skills is required. Upper-level coursework (courses at the 300, 400, or 500 level) are required in the areas of both statistics and research methods. If your university does not offer upper division coursework in statistics and research methods, you need to address that you have completed advanced undergraduate level statistics in your program or at your university. Coursework in measurement is recommended but not required. More detailed information on masters prerequisites can be found on the Application Information page. Students are encouraged to have background or coursework in areas most relevant to school psychology practice (e.g., child development, learning, exceptional students, classroom management, behaviour disorders, abnormal psychology). It is not necessary to have a degree in psychology or education to apply. Students applying to the M.A. program should have some prior experience doing research (e.g. Honours thesis, work in a research lab) and identify a potential research supervisor(s) in their application.

The prerequisite is a M.A. in School and Applied Child Psychology from UBC or equivalent to UBC's coursework. If you are interested in the Ph.D. but do not have these requirements, you should apply to the masters program and then apply for the Ph.D. from within the program. Ph.D. applicants should discuss their research interests and identify a potential research supervisor(s) in their application.

The M.A. program serves as the foundation for the Ph.D. program. It is not intended for those who want to practice as school psychologists at the master’s level. The M.Ed. program is intended as a terminal degree leading to practice in school districts as a Master's level school psychologist. There are some differences in the required coursework in the M.Ed. and M.A. programs. Students in the M.A. program complete coursework in research methods and a data-based research thesis. Students in the M.Ed. program complete a 10-month internship and graduating portfolio in their 3rd year as a part of their internship.

All students are asked to identify faculty members and the areas of research and practice that are of most interest to them, as part of the application process. Ph.D., M.A. and M.Ed. students apply to the program in general and are assigned to a program advisor at the time of admission; however, given the research focus of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, availability of a suitable research supervisor and applicant fit with faculty interests and expertise is a significant consideration. A list of supervisors eligible for supervision of SACP M.A. and Ph.D. is provided below.

The following faculty in the ECPS Department have indicated an interest in serving as a supervisor for a M.A. or Ph.D. student in SACP if they are admitted to the program for fall 2019 and have a good professional fit for the research they are doing.
Dr. Laurie Ford (SACP & HDLC); Dr. Anusha Kassan (SACP); Dr. Vicki Knight (SPED); Dr. Bill McKee (SACP); Dr. Sterett Mercer (SPED); Dr. Terrance Tracy (CNPS- MA only); Dr. Kim Zebehazy (SPED)

No. All three programs (M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D.) require full-time study on campus prior to internship. Students are enrolled in two years of full-time study on campus in the master's programs and three years of resident study in the doctoral programs.

Yes. In the M.Ed. program, students take classes in May and June. M.A. and Ph.D. students may have summer coursework and clinical practicum depending on their specific program of study. M.A. and Ph.D. students also have research responsibilities in the summers.

PhD students are guaranteed funding of at least $18,000 per year for four years when admission offers are made. Though we are not able to guarantee funding for all Master's students at the time of acceptance, a wide array of funding options are available. Many students receive fellowships based on academic merit from provincial and federal agencies (e.g., SSHRC, CIHR, Ministry of Education). Other students work as Graduate Academic Assistants (GAAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). In recent years, it has been our experience that any student who desires funding is able to find it through GAA and/or GRA positions.

Summaries of admissions data for the past 5 years are presented on the UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Additional information on program admission is provided elsewhere on the SACP website. 

We admit to the M.Ed. and M.A. programs in alternating years (begin odd number years, 2019, 2021, etc) for the M.Ed. and begin M.A. even number years (2020, 2022, etc). Our typical cohort size for the M.Ed. is 6 to 8 students. For the M.A. cohort our goal is 6 students but this is dependent on available supervisors and research fit. Our goal for the Ph.D. program is 4 to 6 students but this is dependent on funding, available supervisors and research fit.