Masters in Counseling Psychology: Top Colleges, Course, Admissions, Cost, Scope and Salary
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. `
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/College||Course Specialization Offered|
|#18||University of Toronto||MA|
|#34||University of British Columbia||MA|
|#136||University of Alberta||M.Ed.|
|#201-250||University of Calgary||MSc|
|#250-300||Simon Fraser University||MEd|
|#401-500||University of Victoria||MA|
|#1000+||University of Lethbridge||MEd|
|#3000+||Trinity Western University||MA|
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/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.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.
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:
|University||TOEFL (minimum score)||IELTS (minimum score)|
|University of Toronto||93||7|
|University of British Columbia (UBC)||90||6.5|
|University of Alberta||93||7.0|
|Simon Fraser University (SFU)||93||7.0|
|University of Calgary||97||7.0|
|Trinity Western University (TWU)||105||7.5|
|University of Lethbridge||86||6.5|
|University of Victoria||95||7.0|
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:
- Transcripts: Official, unofficial, or certified copies of the transcripts must be sent along with the applications.
- Proof of language proficiency: Test scores (IELTS/TOEFL)must be directly submitted from the agencies to the universities.
- Standardized test scores: GRE/MAT test scores must be directly submitted to the university.
- 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.
- Resume/CV: A detailed, updated resume must also be sent along with the application package.
- 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.
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:
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**|
*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.
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|
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:
|University of Toronto||Ontario Graduate Scholarship|
School of Graduate Studies University-wide Awards
|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|
|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
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:
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.