How to apply

Departmental Requirements


Admission deadline: December 1
 

Incoming students must have a 4-year honours bachelor degree from a Canadian University or its equivalent elsewhere. The honours degree should be in the area of intended study with at least a B+ average.

Candidates for the program in Clinical Psychology must have an honours degree or equivalent in Psychology. Students entering with a bachelor's degree will be registered in an MSc before being "fast-tracked" to the Clinical PhD before the end of the first year, without completing a master's thesis or obtaining a master's degree. Students entering with a graduate degree will be admitted directly to the Clinical PhD program and may be eligible for advanced standing within the program. Whether applying with a bachelor's or a master's degree, applications should clearly indicate that they are interested in being considered for the Clinical Psychology program.

Students with a bachelor's degree and wishing to enter the PhD program in Psychology or Psychology/Neuroscience should initially register in the MSc program. Applicants should clearly indicate whether they wish to be considered for the Psychology or the Psychology/Neuroscience program.

 

General admission requirements

The Faculty of Graduate Studies sets the minimum admission standards that are required for entry into graduate programs. Individual departments may require additional qualifications of their candidates, and enrolment limitations usually mean that successful applicants possess qualifications that considerably exceed the minimum requirements. For more information on additional qualifications please see the program you are applying to on the graduate program page.

Common admission criteria

Master's degree (MSc)

  • Four-year Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Degree granted by university of recognized standing

Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD)

  • First-class thesis Master’s degree or its equivalent
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B average) in the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Degree granted by university of recognized standing
  • To read more about degree requirements for admission to PhD programs, refer to section 3.3 of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.

English language proficiency

Students for whom English is not their first language and who did not complete their previous degree at an English-speaking university will need to submit proof of English language proficiency.

Dalhousie accepts a number of different English proficiency test scores:

Test Name Minimum Acceptable Score
Internet-based TOEFL 92
Written TOEFL 580
MELAB 85
IELTS 7
CanTest 4.5 (with no band score lower than 4.0)
CAEL 70 with no band score lower than 60
Dalhousie College of Continuing Education (CCE) A-


      Department GPA requirements

      Psychology GPA minimum 3.3.


      Application process

      1. Application form

      Please go the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for application information and forms. If you are applying for the Fast-Tracked Clinical PhD Program please apply for the PhD program even if you do not have a Masters.

      2. Application fee

      This payment can be made online by way of the methods listed in the body of the application itself. If you are not able to pay online, please contact the Office of the Registrar to make payment. Do not send your payment to the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.

      3. Confidential Reference Letters

      • Applicants to the Psychology stream and Neuroscience stream must submit at least two letters from two different referees.
      • Applicants to the Clinical Psychology program must submit three letters from three different referees, at least one of which must focus on the student's clinical experience and/or suitability for work in clinical psychology
      • All referees must complete a confidential referee letter form and should be encouraged to attach a more detailed letter to accompany this form
      • Reference letters may be submitted by your referees using the Dalhousie e-ref Electronic Reference System; the referee will be sent an email and directed to a secure website to  complete the reference form. It is critical that you supply a university email address for your referee (i.e., not Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or etc). Your referee will not receive an invitation to provide a letter if you do not supply a university address. It may take at least 5 days for referees to receive a link to their emails.
      • Alternatively, letters may be submitted in signed hard copy directly to our program by providing your referee with a copy of the confidential referee form available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

      The letter should be signed and sent directly to our department at the address at the bottom of the page, or you may ask your referee to provide you with a hard copy of the letter that you can send to us. The letter must be submitted in a sealed envelope with your referee’s signature across the back flap.

      4. Transcripts

      Two official copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, for all schools attended anywhere in the world, regardless of the number of courses taken, whether grades have been recorded by the time of application, and whether a degree was obtained. These must be mailed to the department at the address at the bottom of the page.

      5. GRE Scores

      IMPORTANT: GRE General test scores are required for all Clinical and Psychology applicants. Thus, if you are applying for Experimental stream in Psychology or Clinical Psychology you must submit GRE General Test Scores. 

      Only one copy is required.

      If you are applying to the Neuroscience stream (and ONLY if you are applying to this stream) AND you completed your relevant bachelor's or master's degree at a Canadian University, you do not have to submit GRE General scores.

      Notes on GRE submissions:

      • The GRE General test is required for all applicants (except those applying to Neuroscience).
      • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores are required for Clinical and Experimental Psychology applicants who: 
        a) do not hold a 4-year Honours degree in Psychology from a Canadian University; and/or
        b) are international students.


      On the grounds that the GRE Subject scores may help the admissions committee ensure that a student has the necessary undergraduate-level background and training to perform advanced studies in Psychology, the Subject GRE is recommended (but not required) for all other applicants to the Clinical and Experimental Psychology programs. The Subject GRE would be especially helpful to include if an applicant to our Clinical or Experimental stream Psychology program has a relatively weak background in Psychology and/or relatively weak grades in some undergraduate Psychology courses.

      The Educational Testing Services (ETS) asks students to specify institutional and subject codes to direct the student's grades to the appropriate school. These codes are established by ETS; students are stronghly encouraged to search the ETS website or to contact ETS directly for updated information. We also suggest ‘googling’: ETS+GRE+institution+codes and looking for the current academic year.

      6. Research Interests

      A letter from the applicant indicating his/her research and career interests. There is no page limit for this statement but it is usually no longer than 1-2 pages. This can be emailed to the department at gradprog@dal.ca.

      • Clearly specify the graduate program to which you are applying (i.e., Clinical Psychology) and mention — by name (preferably in boldface print) – any faculty members with whom you have corresponded and/or with whom you would be particularly interested in working.
      • If you have not completed an honours degree, you must detail the independent research experience and core coursework (e.g., research design, statistics) that you would like to have considered as “equivalent to honours”.

      7. Application cover sheet

      All applicants are asked to complete and include the Graduate Program Application Sheet with their application (PDF). If you are applying for the Clinical Psychology Program please click that box even if you don't have a Masters. This can also be emailed to gradprog@dal.ca

      8. Electronic Supplement

      Please see our Application Information Spreadsheet. It is an electronic form that will ask you for much of the same information that you provided on the Application cover sheet. We require this electronic form IN ADDITION to the completed cover sheet.

      9. TOEFL Scores

      International applicants whose native language is not English:  TOEFL scores are to be sent to the department.

Process of admission

The initial application evaluation process is conducted by the department to which you apply. Once your application package is complete, you can expect to receive confirmation of receipt of your application and an indication of when it will be reviewed within one month. The department will do a formal review of your application, verify your reference letters, and make a recommendation to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The Faculty of Graduate Studies performs a final review, verifies supporting documentation such as English language test scores and transcripts, and gives final approval to the application.

When the final decision is made, students will receive an unofficial email from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies followed by an official offer of admission from the University Registrar and may be requested to pay an admission deposit to reserve a seat in their program.

If you apply online, you will be able to track the status of your application online. However, final decisions on an application can only be revealed via the official letter signed by the University Registrar.

Deferred start date

Students may defer their start date up to 12 months from their original start date, provided they receive permission from their department followed by approval from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. If you wish to defer your start date, please contact your department.