Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

As they gain knowledge from highly accomplished faculty members, students in the Psychology (PhD Thesis) program will learn specialized training and scientific methods to collect data and perform research in three areas. Brain and Cognitive Science looks at the mental processes and brain structures involved in movement, perception, learning, memory, and understanding language. Industrial-Organizational Psychology is concerned with individual and group behaviour, as well as the relationships of organization-wide variables to individuals and groups in work settings. Social and Theoretical Psychology involves social and cultural relations, as well as foundational and philosophical questions in psychology.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Topics may include research design and methodology, brain and cognitive sciences, industrial/organizational psychology and more.

  • Medical Imaging: Students take a course sequence in medical imaging in additional to the core requirements of the psychology program.

  • Industrial Organization: Students take courses in research methods and statistics, industrial/organizational psychology and more.

  • Research Proposal: Students must formally present a thesis proposal within 20 months after admission to the program.

  • Candidacy: Students are expected to complete both oral and written candidacy exams within 24 months after admission to the program.

  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.



Universities, research centers, the government, private businesses.

A PhD in 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.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not 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.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Michael Antle

    Michael Antle

    Seeking Students
    Circadian Rhythms
  2. Placeholder Profile Image

    Susan Boon

    interpersonal relationships
  3. Profile Picture

    Joshua Bourdage

    Accepting Inquiries
    Job Interviews and Hiring, Impression Management, Influence, and Leadership, Individual Differences and Personality
  4. BCallahan

    Brandy Callahan

    Geriatric neuropsychology, Adult ADHD
  5. TCampbell

    Tavis Campbell

    Accepting Inquiries
    Behavioral Medicine, Adherence, Health Behaviors, Chronic Disease, Motivation
  6. Derek Chapman

    Derek Chapman

    Seeking Students
    Personnel Recruiting and Selection, Technology use in Recruiting and Selection, Employee Turnover, Organizational Culture, Person-Organization Fit
  7. Placeholder Profile Image

    Richard Dyck

    Seeking Students
    Behavioural Neuroscience
  8. Profile picture

    Deinera Exner-Cortens

    Accepting Inquiries
    Healthy Relationship Promotion/Violence Prevention, Suicide Prevention, School Mental Health, Program Evaluation, Implementation Science
  9. Picture of Susan Graham

    Susan Graham

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

    David Hodgins

    Addictive Behaviours

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.4 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A thesis-based Master’s degree in Psychology or equivalent. An undergraduate course in statistics/experimental design

Work samples



A one-page research proposal that is used to determine research area of interest and to assess scientific thinking.

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: Dec. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Dec. 1 application deadline

For admission on January 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Oct. 1 application deadline, except for the Industrial/Organizational Psychology specialization
  • International students: Oct. 1 application deadline, except for the Industrial/Organizational Psychology specialization

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

Administration Building, Room AD255
539 Campus Place NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website


Faculty of Arts

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

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

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