Doctoral Degree Requirements

Ph.D. Requirements

The program’s emphasis is on the training of psychological scientists, regardless of the training stream. The Ph.D. program consists of graduate seminars and courses, comprehensive examinations in an area of specialization, and a dissertation based on a research project.

Coursework and Comprehensive Examination

Note that training streams may require coursework above and beyond the departmental requirements listed below. Additionally, training streams may require coursework that fulfills a department requirement in a specific way (e.g., by requiring students to take a specific advanced research methods course relevant to that subdiscipline). Please be sure you are aware of any requirements specific to your training stream by consulting with the relevant area chair.

Note that the requirements described below assume completion of the coursework required for students continuing on from our department’s MSc program. If you did not complete an M.Sc. in our department, additional coursework may be required based on your previous education and training. Please be sure you discuss this issue with the head of your training stream and the graduate chair.


A Ph.D. student must take the equivalent of 1.5 full substantive graduate course credits and complete the comprehensive examination milestone by the end of Year II of the PhD program.

**At least one full course or two half-courses must be taken in Year I of the program. 

**One of the required half-courses must be in statistics, experimental design, or computational foundations.  This course must come from this list

**Other courses may fulfill this requirement, including advanced coursework taken during the M.Sc. that exceeded the minimum required. Students must obtain approval of any alternatives from their supervisor, other supervisory committee members, the chair of their training stream, and the graduate chair of the department.

**The Comprehensive Examination,, is to be completed by the end of Year II of the program.

**Additional Ph.D. coursework as required by the training stream.



Details regarding the dissertation can be found here Thesis Guide.


Residency Requirement

Note that the minimum residence requirement is six terms of full-time study as a Ph.D. student, but completion of the degree may require a period extending beyond this minimum.