Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Course Guide

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada is a two-three year program best suited for psychology graduates looking for a highly specialized stream. A master in counseling psychology in Canadian Colleges is available as an MA, MS, as well as MEd. degree. Annual cost (including tuition and other living expenses) for the program costs around 34,000 USD to 50,000 USD (25 lakhs to 34 lakhs) for an international student. 

    Counseling psychology is concerned with using principles of psychology for enhancing and promoting well-being, positive growth, and mental health. After pursuing a masters degree in counseling psychology, most students acquire the job of a therapist. Students can also choose to pursue a doctoral degree in the same field post completion of the program. Though admissions are highly competitive, a masters in counseling psychology in Canada can help secure jobs with cushy-median salaries with a package up to 160,000 USD. The minimum entry-level package may range between 55,000 USD to 75,000 USD a year. This means you begin your career with earning somewhere around 41 LPA to 56 LPA.  

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Top Universities

    Some of the top-ranking Canadian universities offer masters in counseling psychology. The type of degree available and the Times Higher Education Rankings of these universities along with the program fees is given below:

    World Ranking (THE) University/College Course Offered Program Fees (USD)
    #18 University of Toronto M.Ed. 25,800
    #34 University of British Columbia MA 20,500
    #42 McGill University MA 17,000
    #136 University of Alberta M.Ed. 15,800
    #201-250 University of Calgary MSc 28,500
    #201-250 Western University MA 11,000
    #250-300 Simon Fraser University MEd 13,500
    #401-500 University of Victoria MA 3,000
    #1000+ University of Lethbridge MEd and Masters in Counseling 12,300
    #3000+ Trinity Western University MA 30,000
    #4000+ Adler University MA 43,200

    Looking to pursue a masters degree post completion of your bachelors in psychology, you may be interested in masters in psychology in Canada as well. 

    Masters in Counseling Psychology: Course Structure

    Securing masters in counseling psychology in Canada is a great option for specializing in post a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The course duration is mostly 2-3 years. Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada is available as both thesis-based and course-work based degrees.

    Curriculum: Theories of counseling, basic skills & interventions, career counseling, interviewing skills, the study of behavioral disorders, research in counseling psychology, trauma theory & practice, couple and family counseling, are some of the major course offerings. Elective course offerings are also available in some universities.

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Admissions

    The admission in a master’s in counseling psychology in Canada requires international applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. This means the minimum score requirement is around 83-86% and the grade required is B.

    Application: Applications can be made online through university websites or official graduate admission portals. International applicants must apply before deadlines to ensure that the Canadian study permit is processed in time.

    Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Counseling Psychology

    The admission requirements specific to universities and courses available for aspirants of masters in counseling psychology in Canada are as follows:

    Degree/Requirement Resume Work Experience Personal Statement LOR GRE score
    M.A. May or May not be required Mostly required Required 2-3 May be required
    M.Ed. Required Required Required 2-3 Not required
    M.S./M.C Required Not required Required 2 Recommended, optional

    Note: The requirements may vary for a specific degree depending upon the university opted for. Applicants must visit the university program page for details on the admission requirements.

    University-Specific Eligibility

    International applicants from non-native English speaking countries must submit proof of language proficiency. The test scores for IELTS and TOEFL can be submitted as the language proficiency proof. The minimum test score requirements for various universities along with UG  academic requirements are given below:

    University Academic Requirement TOEFL (minimum score) IELTS (minimum score)
    University of Toronto B+ in final year of UG 93 7
    University of British Columbia (UBC) B+ or 76% in UG 90 6.5
    University of Alberta UG in relevant subject 93 7.0
    McGill University 3.2 on a scale of 4.0 in UG 86 6.5
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in UG 93 7.0
    University of Calgary 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in UG 97 7.0
    Trinity Western University (TWU) B grade in UG 105 7.5
    Western University 4 years UG degree with at least 70% 86 6.5
    University of Lethbridge B+ in UG 86 6.5
    University of Victoria UG in a relevant subject 95 7.0
    Adler University 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in UG 92 7.0

    Documents Required

    The application package for applicants includes not only the application form but also the additional supporting documents. Some of the additional documents required along with a masters in counseling psychology applications are as follows:

    1. Transcripts: Official, unofficial, or certified copies of the transcripts must be sent along with the applications.
    2. Proof of language proficiency: Test scores (IELTS/TOEFL)must be directly submitted from the agencies to the universities.
    3. Standardized test scores: GRE/MAT test scores must be directly submitted to the university.
    4. Supporting Documents: These include personal statements, statements of purpose, letter of intent, research statement, etc that are required along with the applications. These documents detail the reason for an international student opting for a specific course at that university.
    5. Resume/CV: A detailed, updated resume must also be sent along with the application package.
    6. Writing Samples: Applicants may be requested to send writing samples along with applications. Simon Fraser University and Adler University are the two universities that request for writing samples.

    Interview: Interviews of the applicants are required for admissions at TWU, University of Lethbridge, and Adler University. The admission decisions for these universities are highly dependent on the applicant’s performance in the interview.

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Admission Decisions

    Admissions were offered to a mere 15% applicants in UBC for the 2018 class. Similarly, Calgary offered admissions to only 12.8% applicants. There has been a decrease in the acceptance rate observed over the years. The previous year’s acceptance rate for UBC was 24% (17-18) and 39 (2016-17). The acceptance rate for Calgary for the 16-17 term was twice as much as 18-19 term.

    The admissions for masters in counseling psychology in Canada are not only strict but are also holistic. However, for the universities with additional requirements like an interview, GRE scores, or writing samples, the decisions are highly based on these. Applicants must note that merely fulfilling the admissions requirements does not guarantee admissions because of the competitive admission policies.

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Cost of Study

    Studying in Canada for international applicants means a lot of expenses like application fees, test fees, health insurance, travel, stay, tuition, etc. These expenses can be broadly divided into three categories- Pre-arrival, tuition, cost of living post-arrival in Canada. The details of the expenses are as follows:

    Pre-Arrival Costs

    The pre-arrival costs for studying abroad include costs like application fees, visa application fees, cost of various competitive exams, airfare, etc. The details for these are as follows:

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    Program Application Fees 113-150*
    Visa Application Fees 235**
    Health Insurance 10,000
    IELTS Fees 185-190
    TOEFL Fees 160-250
    GRE Fees 205-230
    GMAT Fees 250
    Airfare 450-1400

    *Depends on the university

    **150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fees.

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Counselling Psychology in Canada

    The range of tuition fees for an international student pursuing a masters in counseling psychology in Canada varies greatly. Given below is a graph representing the difference in the tuition fees in different universities.

    Tuition Fee

    Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Canada varies across provinces. It is also dependent on factors like accommodations, meal-options, type of university (private or public), etc. The average minimum costs spent on while pursuing a masters program in Canada are given below:

    Type of Expense Cost in USD/year
    Books and Material Up to 15,000
    Food and Beverage 3000-5000
    Accommodations 4,500-10,500

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada with Scholarships

    The cost and expenses involved in studying masters in counseling psychology in Canada for an international student are high. Scholarships for international students can help them in funding their education, travel or other expenses. Some of the university-specific scholarships are given below:

    University Scholarship Amount (USD)
    University of Toronto Ontario Graduate Scholarship
    School of Graduate Studies University-wide Awards
    11,280/session Varies
    University of British Columbia Total Scholarship for women
    Spring Graduation Awards Competition
    International Tuition Award
    McGill University Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship 37,800 for up to three years
    University of Alberta University of Alberta Thesis/Course-based
    Masters recruitment Scholarship
    Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship
    16,550 for the first term only. (non-renewable scholarship)
    SFU Graduate Entrance Scholarships
    Graduate Dean Entrance Scholarship
    Western University Ontario Graduate Scholarship 11,280/session
    University of Calgary Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship 37,800 for up to three years
    TWU President’s Scholarship
    Provost Scholarship
    Dean’s Scholarship
    The amount for all the three scholarship varies depending on the course load
    University of Lethbridge Graduation Program in Education Entrance Scholarship
    ULeth Graduate Scholarships
    1000 150-5000

    Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada: Career Prospects

    A graduate degree in counseling psychology allows the students to secure a position in sectors like military, correction facility, forensics, teaching, hospitals, schools, etc. The rise in awareness of mental health has resulted in the progression of this area of study. Unprecedented growth along with a rise in the demand of the professionals is observed.

    A comparison of maximum and minimum salary package for postgraduate working in the field is given below:

    Salary comparison

    The table given below includes the description of the job profiles available for the postgraduates of counseling psychology.

    Jobs Description Median Salary/year (USD)
    Career & School Counselor Career Counselors help in the establishment of career paths for individuals based on their weaknesses and strengths. School Counselors work along with the students and families to help them cope with academic difficulties. 59,680
    Clinical Social Worker Provide community outreach. They may work along with government or non-government organizations to give back to the society 77,157
    Clinical Psychologist Largest employment area for graduates, helping in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for mental illness and disorders 97,451
    Neuropsychologist Specialized trained individuals who closely study the brain functions and responses. They are capable of predicting brain-behavior relationships 97,451
    Mental Health Counselor A therapist dealing with clients of all ages with problems related to personal, mental and emotional life. 70,589
    Substance Abuse & Behavioral Counselor Usually employed in correctional facilities, substance abuse counselors help the addict to overcome mental, physical, emotional, and mental reliance on drugs. 62,548
    Health Psychologist Employed in research or clinical settings for improvement on the understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health 78,000
    Professor in Clinical Psychology Educated future aspirants for counseling psychology 86,157

    Masters in counseling psychology was established in Canada in 1987 as a specialization within Canadian professional psychology. This lucrative course is available to psychology graduates that can last for two to three years. The course not only helps in securing a high paying job but also in giving back to society. Therapists, researchers or professors can help in remediation, counseling, and psycho-education.


    Ques.What can be done with a masters in counseling psychology in Canada?

    Ans. Post completion of a masters degree in counseling psychology can work as a child welfare worker, school counselor, psychologist and therapist as MS in counseling psychology trains you for a variety of settings.

    Ques. How much does a masters in counseling in Canada cost?

    Ans. The cost of pursuing a masters in counseling psychology in Canada ranges between 5000 USD to 50,000 USD depending on the choice of program, university and other options.

    Ques. How much does a counseling psychologist earn in Canada?

    Ans. A counseling psychologist can earn an average annual salary of 59,000 USD with a basic hourly wage of 25 USD.

    Ques. What are the universities in Canada offering masters in counseling psychology?

    Ans. Some of globally ranking Canadian universities like University of Toronto, McGill University, University of British Columbia, and University of Alberta are among the top universities offering master in counseling psychology in Canada.

    Ques. What is the eligibility for pursuing masters in counseling psychology in Canada?

    Ans. You are requried to have a bachelors in psychology or relevant field with a grade B or B+. International students are also required to fulfill IELTS and TOEFL score requirements for pusuing masters in counseling psychology in Canada. The IELTS score required ranges between- 6.5 to 7.5 and TOEFL score requires is 86 to 105