Please note that our program focuses on research and experimental psychology. We do not offer any training in clinical or counselling psychology.
For information about clinical psychology at the University of Toronto, please contact the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
For information about programs in counselling & clinical psychology, counselling psychology, developmental psychology & education, and school & clinical child psychology at the University of Toronto, please contact the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Applications to our graduate program must be submitted directly to the School of Graduate Studies through the Online Admissions Application, which will open in mid-September 2020. Applications are due December 1, 2020 for entry September 2021. We have only one application cycle per year and do not admit students in January or May.
We encourage applications from individuals who belong to historically underrepresented groups, including Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour (BIPOC); first-generation students; LGBTQ2S+ individuals; and people with disabilities.
Effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle (for entry to the program in September 2021), we are no longer admitting students to our M.A. program. Applicants may only apply to our Ph.D. program, either into our new 5-year direct-entry Ph.D. stream (if applying directly from an undergraduate degree), or into our existing 4-year Ph.D. stream (if applying with a related Master’s degree).
The minimum requirements for admission to the graduate program are:
- A four-year bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, with high academic standing from a recognized university. (International applicants can use the International Degree Equivalencies Tool to see which international credentials are required for doctoral admissions at UofT.)
- At least an A- (3.7 GPA, or first class standing) in the final two years of full-time study, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level.
- The equivalent of at least 6 full-year courses (e.g., 12 semester-long courses) in psychology, including statistics and some laboratory experience. Please note that applicants with a strong background in mathematics, physical or biological science, neuroscience, cognitive science, engineering, linguistics, or computer science are encouraged to apply even if they have completed fewer than the suggested number of psychology courses.
- Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English by completing one of the tests listed below. This requirement should be met at the time of application. More information about approved English-language proficiency tests can be found on the School of Graduate Studies’ website.
- The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score 93, with minimum score 22 in both writing and speaking
- The IELTS (International English Language Testing System): minimum score 7.0, with at least 6.5 for each component
- The COPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English): minimum score 76, with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing component
- The CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment): minimum score 70 total, with at least 60 in each part
- The School of Continuing Studies’ “International ESL - Academic Preparation” course: minimum score B in Level 60
Please note that effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle (for entry to the program in September 2021), we will not be requiring that applicants submit General GRE scores (as previously required). The Psychology subject test is also not required. This requirement has been waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that GRE scores are not optional to submit; we will not accept General or Psychology subject GRE scores.Because the number of applicants always exceeds the number of available places, meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission.
All programs of study lead to the doctoral degree in psychology. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree may apply to our direct-entry Ph.D. program, while applicants with a related Master’s degree may apply to our Ph.D. program. Applicants to both streams must satisfy the minimum admission requirements listed above.
Applicants should not apply to both the Ph.D. and direct-entry Ph.D. programs. We are able to offer applicants admission to either of these programs, as eligible, with one application.
- Log in to the School of Graduate Studies’ Online Admissions Application system. New applicants will need to register; returning applicants must log-in with their 12-digit applicant number and password. Please note that the system is scheduled to open and begin receiving applications on October 15, 2020. We encourage applicants to begin collecting the required materials in the meantime (i.e. obtain your transcripts, write a statement of interest, update your CV, contact referees to ask if they will provide references for you, etc.).
- Provide the personal information, program of study and academic history information as requested.
- Be prepared to submit contact information for two referees. Be sure to inform your referees of the application deadline (December 1) and that they will receive an automated email request from the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, requesting their reference letter. Please note that your referees will not receive this email until you submit payment.
- Submit your application payment. Payment is processed centrally at the School of Graduate Studies. We cannot waive application fees.
- Upload supporting documents (all supporting documents should be uploaded in PDF format):
- Scanned copies of official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. We do not accept WES packages. Applicants from Canadian universities may submit unofficial copies of their academic record together with the legend from the student web services of their institution. Please note that although the Admissions Committee will make its decision based on unofficial transcripts, official hard copies of all transcripts may be required at a later date in the admissions process. Final offers of admission will not be released until official transcripts have been received.
- CV (please see the Helpful Information section).
- Academic Interest Form, which will appear on the Online Admissions Application system after you have submitted payment. Alternatively, you can download the form here (Academic Interest Form_Fall 2021.pdf) and upload it in the correct section. For information about how to contact faculty members, please see the Helpful Information section.
- Statement of interest describing your research interests, your interest in graduate school, and why you are specifically applying to our program. For information about how to write a statement of interest, please see the Helpful Information section.
6. If applicable, demonstrate your proficiency in English by completing one of the approved tests (listed above) and submit scores to the School of Graduate Studies.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application is complete and all supporting documents are submitted by the deadline. It is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of the deadline.
Application deadline: December 1, 2020
Please complete the personal and academic information of the online application, pay the application fee, and submit all supporting documents by this date. This includes all official transcripts, your CV, the completed Academic Interest Form, your statement of interest, two reference letters, as well as your English language scores, if applicable. As documents are received, they will be marked as such on the application system. After all documents are received, your application will be reviewed for admissibility. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your documents in the online application and to follow up with your referees if reference letters are not received in advance of the deadline. Referees will not receive the automated email to upload their letter until the application fee is paid. We recommend that applicants pay the application fee well in advance of the deadline so that referees have sufficient time to complete their reference.
Please see the Helpful Information section for a suggested timeline outlining when to contact faculty members, secure referees, write the statement of interest, and order transcripts.
The program provides financial support to all graduate students in the funded cohort. Students entering the five-year direct-entry Ph.D. program will receive funding for five years. Students entering the four-year Ph.D. program will receive funding for four years. This support is in the form of scholarships, fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. For the 2020-21 academic year, the minimum level of support is $21,000 plus tuition & fees. This amount, however, is conditional on satisfactory academic and research performance.
To qualify for funding, students are required to apply to any awards or scholarships for which they are eligible.
To hold in the first year of their Ph.D. program, domestic applicants are encouraged to apply for the Canadian Graduate Scholarship Master’s (CGS-M) Program to either NSERC, SSHRC, or CIHR. International applicants will automatically be considered for the Connaught International Scholarship, and are encouraged to apply for any other funding opportunities external to the University of Toronto for which they are eligible.
For further information on scholarship and award opportunities and information about how funding works in research stream programs, please see the School of Graduate Studies' page on Awards & Funding, and the Faculty of Arts & Sciences' page on Graduate Funding.
I have completed a bachelor’s degree. Do I need to complete a Master’s degree before applying to your Ph.D. program?
No, applicants who have completed, or are currently completing, a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply to our new direct-entry Ph.D. program. This is a 5-year program intended for applicants who have not already completed a Master’s degree. Students who have completed a Master’s degree are eligible to apply to our existing Ph.D. program which is 4 years in length.
I have completed a Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline. Am I still eligible to apply to the four-year Ph.D. program?
Applicants with a Master’s degree in Psychology or a cognate discipline (including mathematics, physical or biological science, neuroscience, cognitive science, engineering, linguistics, or computer science) will be considered for admission to the 4-year PhD program, whereas applicants with a Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline will be considered for admission to the 5-year direct-entry Ph.D. program. Such decisions will be made by the Graduate Director. Please note that we are able to offer applicants admission to either of these programs, as eligible, with one application.
Does your program offer Master’s degrees in psychology?
Effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle, we are no longer accepting students to our 1-year Master’s program. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree can apply to our new direct-entry Ph.D. program.
If I begin the direct-entry Ph.D. program and decide to leave the program before finishing, can I earn a Master's degree?
Generally, students transferring from a Ph.D. to a Master's program must complete all of the normal Master's degree requirements, or their equivalent, in order to be awarded the Master's degree. These transfers are made on the recommendation of the graduate unit and must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. We will support these requests in exceptional circumstances only and therefore cannot guarantee the approvals of such requests.
Do I require transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions I have attended?
Yes, transcripts are required from each post-secondary institution you have attended. Applicants with documentation in a language other than English must provide accompanying notarized English translations. We accept electronic copies of official transcripts for your online application, however, if you are made an offer of admission, you will be required to supply official hard copies of all transcripts.
Can I provide more than two (2) reference letters?
No, the online application system permits the submission of only two (2) reference letters. Academic referees, who can speak to your research and academic abilities, are preferred.
I have made a mistake entering my referee’s contact information. What should I do?
Please contact email@example.com to request that a change be made. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.
Are there reference letter forms?
No, our program does not have specific forms for referees to complete. After you have confirmed your application information and submitted payment, the system will email your referees and ask them to provide references. They will be asked to complete a web-based open-field form and submit it through the online application system after logging in to the system through a unique link provided by the School of Graduate Studies via email.
How do I submit the Academic Interest Form?
Please submit the Academic Interest Form in PDF format. The document can be saved by following the “Submit” link on the document status page on the online application.
I have submitted one of my supporting documents as a Word document instead of a PDF? What should I do?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request that your submitted document be deleted so that you can re-submit in PDF format. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.
Do I need to have a supervisor confirmed before I apply?
No, applicants do not need to have a confirmed supervisor before they apply to the program; however, ultimately, applicants are not admitted to the program unless a faculty member agrees to supervise them and take them on as a graduate student. If you are interested in working with specific professors, please add their names to the appropriate section of the Academic Interest Form. You may also choose to go into further detail about your possible future research with specific professors in your statement of interest (see the Helpful Information section).
Do you have a list of professors who will be accepting graduate students for the 2021-22 year?
No, we do not keep a current list of professors who will be accepting graduate students for the 2021-22 year. We recommend that you look on professors’ personal or lab websites for this information, or contact them directly to inquire (see the Helpful Information section for more information about contacting faculty members prior to applying).
Are GRE scores optional to submit, even though this requirement is waived for the 2020-21 admissions cycle?
No, GRE scores are not optional to submit. We will not be accepting, nor reviewing, General or Psychology subject test GRE scores.
I have started an application on SGS' Online Admissions Application system, but I am unable to select the Psychology Ph.D. or direct-entry Ph.D. program for the Fall 2021 start session. What do I do?
As noted in the 'How to Apply' section above, the system is scheduled to open and begin receiving applications on October 15, 2020. We encourage applicants to begin collecting the required materials in the meantime: obtain your transcripts, write a statement of interest, update your CV, contact referees to ask if they will provide references for you, etc. As soon as the system opens on October 15, you wil be able to begin an application, pay the application fee, and begin uploading the required materials.
If I have a question about my application, who should I contact?
If you have a question about your application, please contact our Graduate Administrator at email@example.com. In all correspondence related to your application, please provide your 12-digit applicant number. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.
|Application opens via SGS' Online Admission Application system||October 15, 2020|
|Application deadline||December 1, 2020|
|Recruitment events/interviews||January 28 & 29, 2021|
|Notification of admission decision via Online Admissions Application system||Late February/early March 2021|
|Deadline to accept offers of admission||April 15, 2021|
|Program begins||September 1, 2021|
Prior to submitting your application, you may use the downloadable checklist to ensure all application items have been completed. Please see the “Suggested Timeline” section for help on when to begin working on each item. All required items of the checklist must be completed prior to submission, with the exception of the optional items. More information on the application items can be found below. Please note that this checklist is for personal use only; please do not attach a copy to your application.
Creating a CV
A Curriculum Vitae is like an academic résumé. Curriculum vitae is a Latin phrase that translates literally to “the course of one’s life” and is abbreviated as “CV.” Commonly, a CV will begin with your name and contact information and then follow with a section on education, employment, awards or honours, a list of any publications or presentations, and service/volunteer/activism/leadership roles you have held. The biggest difference between a CV and a résumé is that you are supposed to list each thing on your CV as a single line (i.e., without elaboration or explanation) whereas a résumé is usually annotated (e.g., where you might include a few sentences describing your roles or experiences on a work project). Here are some good resources on writing CVs and converting résumés to CVs:
Writing a Statement of Interest
The goal of the statement of interest is to describe the research that you want to do in graduate school and your preparation for it.
When writing your statement, it is best to think of the key points that you want to convey and write a few sentences to one paragraph for each point. A good statement of interest should include the following information:
- Your research interests; either broadly, or specific research questions you’d like to investigate in graduate school
- A brief summary of your past research or academic experiences that have prepared you to undertake the proposed research, with an emphasis on your roles in projects and the contributions that those projects made
- A brief summary of what interests you about the research being conducted in the lab(s) of professor(s) whom you identified on your Academic Interest form
- Your academic and research skills that you will be bringing with you to your graduate lab from your undergraduate training
- Any relevant volunteer or work experience
- Your career vision and/or long-term goals and how UofT, and in particular, the Psychology Graduate Program, will help you achieve these goals
- A closing statement that summarizes what you ultimately want to contribute to the world through your research
Statements of interest should be between one and two pages of single-spaced text and should be uploaded to the Online Admissions Application system in PDF format.
For more some more helpful tips on how to write a statement of interest, please see this blog from the American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psn/2016/09/graduate-school-applications.
Finding a Potential Supervisor
Each successful applicant to the Ph.D. program will be accepted into a lab led by one of the Psychology Graduate Program’s faculty members. This means that both the Admissions Committee and individual faculty members play a large role in determining which students will be accepted into the program. Indicating faculty members’ names on the Academic Interest form will flag their interest in your application. Please note that although you may indicate interest in faculty members through your Academic Interest form and Statement of Interest, all applications are available to all faculty members for review, so you may receive an indication of interest from a faculty member who you did not include in your application materials.
If you are interested in a particular faculty member’s research, we would also encourage you to contact that faculty member during the application process. It is usually a good idea to contact faculty members in advance of applying to your desired program since 1) you can determine whether they are planning to take on new students, and 2) the faculty member may share other useful information that isn’t posted online. It is always best practice to first check the individual faculty member’s lab website before reaching out to them. This is because most faculty members will have lab-specific information regarding any relevant skills or interests that their ideal applicant should have (e.g., programming), and how best to contact them (e.g., lab email address vs. personal email address).
We strongly recommend you check out the following information on Tufts Psychology Department Graduate Program webpage: https://ase.tufts.edu/psychology/graduate/prospectives-advisor.htm. Here you will find an excellent overview of useful information about best practices for contacting faculty members, including a template email you may want to use, and what to expect after you reach out to faculty members.
(Tufts University. (2020). Finding a faculty advisor. https://ase.tufts.edu/psychology/graduate/prospectives-advisor.htm)