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Masters in Counseling Psychology: Top Colleges, Course, Admissions, Cost, Scope and Salary

Bhavya Rawal 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. Counseling psychology is concerned with using principles of psychology for enhancing and promoting well-being, positive growth, and mental health. After pursuing the masters course, 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.

A master in counseling psychology in Canada 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 for an international student. The admissions are highly competitive but a degree in counseling psychology can help students secure jobs with cushy-median salaries. `

Course Structure

Securing masters in counseling psychology in Canada is a great option for specializing 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.

Top Universities offering Masters in counseling Psychology in Canada

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 are as below:

World Ranking (THE)University/CollegeCourse Specialization Offered
#18University of TorontoMA
#34University of British ColumbiaMA
#42McGill UniversityMA
#136University of AlbertaM.Ed.
#201-250University of CalgaryMSc
#201-250Western UniversityMA
#250-300Simon Fraser UniversityMEd
#401-500University of VictoriaMA
#1000+University of LethbridgeMEd
#3000+Trinity Western UniversityMA
#4000+Adler UniversityMA

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.


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 degrees available in counseling psychology are as follows:

Degree/RequirementResumeWork ExperiencePersonal StatementLORGRE score
M.A.May or May not be requiredMostly requiredRequired2-3May be required
M.Ed.RequiredRequiredRequired2-3Not required
M.S./M.CRequiredNot requiredRequired2Recommended, 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.

Language proficiency

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 are given below:

UniversityTOEFL (minimum score)IELTS (minimum score)
University of Toronto937
University of British Columbia (UBC)906.5
University of Alberta937.0
McGill University866.5
Simon Fraser University (SFU)937.0
University of Calgary977.0
Trinity Western University (TWU)1057.5
Western University866.5
University of Lethbridge866.5
University of Victoria957.0
Adler University927.0

Documents Required for Admission in Canada

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.

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 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

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 ExpenseCost (USD)
Program Application Fees113-150*
Visa Application Fees235**
Health Insurance10,000
IELTS Fees185-190
TOEFL Fees160-250
GRE Fees205-230
GMAT Fees250

*Depends on the university

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

Tuition Fees for Canadian Universities

The range of tuition fees for an international student pursuing a master’s 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 ExpenseCost in USD/year
Books and MaterialUp to 15,000
Food and Beverage3000-5000

Masters in Counseling Psychology in Canada with Scholarships

The cost and expenses involved in studying abroad 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:

UniversityScholarshipAmount (USD)
University of TorontoOntario Graduate Scholarship
School of Graduate Studies University-wide Awards
11,280/session Varies
University of British ColumbiaTotal Scholarship for women
Spring Graduation Awards Competition
International Tuition Award
McGill UniversityVanier Canada Graduate Scholarship37,800 for up to three years
University of AlbertaUniversity of Alberta Thesis/Course-based
Masters recruitment Scholarship
Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship
16,550 for the first term only. (non-renewable scholarship)
SFUGraduate Entrance Scholarships
Graduate Dean Entrance Scholarship
Western UniversityOntario Graduate Scholarship11,280/session
University of CalgaryVanier Canada Graduate Scholarship37,800 for up to three years
TWUPresident’s Scholarship
Provost Scholarship
Dean’s Scholarship
The amount for all the three scholarship varies depending on the course load
University of LethbridgeGraduation 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.

JobsDescriptionMedian Salary/year (USD)
Career & School CounselorCareer 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 WorkerProvide community outreach. They may work along with government or non-government organizations to give back to the society77,157
Clinical PsychologistLargest employment area for graduates, helping in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for mental illness and disorders97,451
NeuropsychologistSpecialized trained individuals who closely study the brain functions and responses. They are capable of predicting brain-behavior relationships97,451
Mental Health CounselorA therapist dealing with clients of all ages with problems related to personal, mental and emotional life.70,589
Substance Abuse & Behavioral CounselorUsually employed in correctional facilities, substance abuse counselors help the addict to overcome mental, physical, emotional, and mental reliance on drugs.62,548
Health PSychologistEmployed in research or clinical settings for improvement on the understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health78,000
Professor in Clinical PsychologyEducated future aspirants for counseling psychology86,157

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.

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