The UWaterloo PhD program in Clinical Psychology prides itself in its ability to maintain a standard of excellence in clinical and research training while effectively adapting to meet the current standards of our profession. 


As a program fully committed to the scientist-practitioner model, we provide state-of-the-art, in-house training in evidence-based practice and clinically-informed research. Our graduates are confidently prepared for a wide range of rewarding careers in Clinical Psychology research and practice.  

one person puts a research device on another's head

If you are in your final year of undergraduate study and interested in Clinical Psychology, you would first apply to the MA program. If accepted, you would complete your MA studies, and then seamlessly continue to our PhD program. 

We also occasionally admit students that already have an MA from another university.

Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment

Through our Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment, our students receive state-of-the-art training and supervision in assessment and treatment across the lifespan. Our program has strong partnerships with agencies and service providers in the community. In addition to core faculty, our students receive supervision from highly talented adjunct faculty who practice in a variety of clinical settings. All students receive carefully supervised in-house training in psychoeducational and diagnostic assessment, and evidence-based treatment of a wide range of difficulties in children, adolescents, and adults. We are also proud to offer opportunities for training in family therapy, couples therapy and group therapy, and specialized rotations in operational stress injuries, in assessment of people newly arrived in Canada who are seeking refugee status, and in gold-standard assessment of autism spectrum disorders.

Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment

Faculty research interests:



 two hands touching

Dillon BrowneInfluence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, and socioeconomic status on human development (Faculty researcher: Dillon Browne)

Tara McAuleyNature and development of executive control in children, and the relation of executive skills to psychopathology (Faculty researcher: Tara McAuley)

Development of cognitive anElizabeth Nilsend communication skills in typically and atypically developing children (Faculty researcher: Elizabeth Nilsen


atoms connected together

Cognitive-behavioural David Moscovitchmechanisms underlying the nature and treatment of social anxiety (Faculty researcher: David Moscovitch)

Christine PurdonDevelopment and persistence of anxiety and compulsions (Faculty researcher: Christine Purdon)


heart with a pulse line in it

Allison KellyRole of shame and self-criticism in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, and of compassion in its prevention and alleviation (Faculty researcher: Allison Kelly)

Uzma RehmanThe role of interpersonal processes in sexual satisfaction and functioning: Uzma Rehman)

Scientific and practical utilJonathan Oakmanity of single-case designs in psychotherapy (Faculty researcher: Jonathan Oakman)


Applying to the PhD program in Clinical Psychology

We are looking for students to help advance our understanding of mental health difficulties, and are motivated to use empirical methods to satisfy their curiosity through research.

Check out our tips for applying:


Do your homework

Read about our program and the faculty whose work interests you. We aim to select students who will thrive in our program and be a good fit to work in our faculty members' labs.


Explain why our program is a good match for you

When writing your statement, be specific about what aspects of the program and which areas of research resonate with you and why. Use your own words. 


Convey your research interests

Your statement should carve out the research questions or ideas that excite you most. Show how your research interests connect to the work of the faculty member with whom you'd like to work.


display board

Show off your research skill

Explain your previous research interests and share your research questions, hypotheses, research findings, etc. 


Grammar, spelling and professionalism matters

Communicate clearly and ensure your document flows; remove unnecessary adjectives. Proofread your statement carefully!


External funding

Apply for external funding when you are putting together your Clinical Psychology PhD application.



"The clinical faculty clearly care about students, appreciate student feedback, and work towards improving the program"

Alex, Fourth year

"I love the supportive and collaborative culture of the Clinical Psychology program at UW. This is a place where I instantly felt at home and it has been a privilege to work towards my goals alongside some of the nicest and brightest people I have ever met, under the expert guidance of leaders in this field!"

Vanja, Second year

"I’m appreciative of the psychotherapy supervision opportunities afforded to us at UWaterloo. Supervision (hour-for-hour and supported by video recording) is provided by both core faculty and adjuncts from the community, working from varied treatment modalities, and has been an immensely helpful training experience."

Beth, Sixth year

"My favourite part of the Clinical Psychology program is the breadth of experiences we gain. I have had the opportunity to learn diverse methods of therapy, conduct independent research, and practice as a student clinician. I feel that the program has helped me to become a well-rounded scientist-practitioner."

Siobhan, Fourth year 

Additional information