Clinical Psychology

Clinical Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Helping students become expert psychologists and competent clinicians is the purpose of the Clinical Psychology (PhD Thesis) program. It aims to prepare students for research, academic and clinical careers in psychology and health care. As practitioners of an evidence-based science, faculty members guiding the program emphasize training in clinical science. The program, which highlights their commitment to empirical approaches to advancing knowledge, is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Students will take advanced topics in the practice of clinical psychology such as psychopharmacology, diversity issues in clinical psychology, clinical geropsychology, addictions, health psychology, eating disorders, consultation/supervision, program evaluation, and neuropsychology.
  • Candidacy: Students must sit a written and oral doctoral candidacy examination in the third year of their program.
  • Research Proposal: Students in the program must complete a doctoral thesis proposal for thesis research.
  • Thesis: Students will complete a thesis based on a research project/question during their time in the program.


Research, academic, or clinical career in university, health, and mental health settings.

A PhD in clinical psychology is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


9 courses, practica, and a full-time, competitive, paid internship. Internships may take place in settings across Canada.

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four to five years; six years maximum


A supervisor is required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.

A full list of supervisors accepting new students is posted on the Department of Psychology website in early Fall. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Picture of Dr. Katie Birnie

    Kathryn Birnie

    Seeking Students
    Pain; Pediatric Pain; Child Health; Patient-Oriented Research; Implementation Science; Knowledge Mobilization
  2. BCallahan

    Brandy Callahan

    Geriatric neuropsychology, Adult ADHD
  3. TCampbell

    Tavis Campbell

    Seeking Students
    Behavioral Medicine, Adherence, Health Behaviors, Chronic Disease, Motivation
  4. Linda Carlson

    Linda Carlson

    Accepting Inquiries
    Psychosocial Oncology
  5. Keith Dobson

    Keith Dobson

    Depression, Stigma, Workplace mental health, Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their effects on adults
  6. Deinera Exner-Cortens Headshot

    Deinera Exner-Cortens

    Accepting Inquiries
    Teen Dating Violence, Healthy Relationships Promotion, Suicide Prevention, School Mental Health, Program Evaluation, Implementation Science
  7. Picture of Susan Graham

    Susan Graham

    Seeking Students
    Child Development, Language and Cognition
  8. David Hodgins

    David Hodgins

    Addictive Behaviours
  9. Placeholder Profile Image

    Julia Kam

    Accepting Inquiries
    Main Research Interests, Methodological Approaches, Current Projects
  10. Sheri Madigan (headshot)

    Sheri Madigan

    Determinants of Child Development, Child Development; Clinical Psychology

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.6 GPA on a 4.0 point system.

Please note that the PhD program is highly competitive. Successful applicants will typically have a GPA higher than this stated minimum.

Minimum education

A master's degree in Psychology or equivalent.

Work samples



A statement of research and professional interests (max. 500 words), including the specification of prospective research supervisors from among current program faculty.

A research proposal.

Reference letters

Two academic letters

Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Nov. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Nov. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Department of Psychology

Psychology Graduate Program
Faculty of Arts
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Advisor

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website