Admissions Values Statement:
The University of Waterloo Clinical Program is committed to continual evaluation and improvement in admission processes such that equity and diversity are promoted. Having diversity in our graduate program will support a broader process of creating a socially responsive clinical psychology profession that addresses the needs of our society, including those who have historically been underserved. Moreover, diversity in life experiences and perspectives within our program will enrich the learning of all individuals involved in our training community. To this end, we are committed to adopting a more holistic approach to our admission process wherein applicant suitability is defined by a broad set of criteria that go beyond narrow markers of aptitude that may exclude those students with less privilege (e.g., volunteer experiences such as unpaid research experiences). We value aspects of applicants’ life experience and community engagement that would enhance their application. Within our application procedures, we seek to identify and reduce biases (e.g., group interviews, standardized questions), as well as to ensure accessibility (e.g., virtual interviews). We encourage and welcome Canadian citizens and permanent residents from a diverse range of backgrounds to apply to our program.
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.
Checklist for preparing your application to our program:
2. Apply for External Scholarships (e.g., SSHRC, OGS) the fall before you hope to start graduate school.
This is not required, but highly recommended.
3. Identify one or more prospective supervisors by checking which clinical faculty will be accepting a student.
Our list of faculty accepting students and their research interests are listed below.
Clinical Psychology-Specific Application Instructions
In addition to the broader departmental application requirements, applicants to the clinical psychology program should follow the guidelines below:
As you prepare your personal statement, which is a departmental application requirement, we ask that you follow the guidelines below that have been tailored to our clinical psychology admissions process.
Important Note: The personal statement instructions on Quest are standard department-wide. You will be asked to include information on your goals for graduate study, career goals, and to provide a list of scholarships and other recognitions. In addition to these areas, you must also provide the information listed below, specifically required for application to the clinical area.
Personal Statement Requirements
Please describe your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology at the University of Waterloo in particular, your goals for graduate study/career goals, your relevant experiences and qualities, as well as your primary research interests. See below for more detailed instructions.
2,000 word maximum
(about two pages, single-spaced)
- Goals and Reasons for Pursuing Clinical Psychology: Please describe your personal goals for graduate study and your future career, the reasons you wish to pursue graduate studies in clinical psychology, and the reasons you are interested in attending the University of Waterloo.
- Experiences, qualities, and accomplishments: Please describe research, academic, professional, extracurricular, and/or personal experiences and accomplishments that make you interested in, well-suited for, and prepared for a graduate degree in clinical psychology at the University of Waterloo. Please be sure to describe the nature of your past research experiences, and also any leadership, community service, and/or clinically-relevant experience (e.g., crisis line). If relevant, you should also list any awards, honours, and distinctions you have received, and any knowledge translation activities/outputs you have been involved with (e.g., publications, presentations, blogs).
- Research interests: We encourage you to highlight your interest in one or more clinical psychology faculty members (first checking they are accepting a student; see below), and ideally a second or third if possible. You may comment on what appeals to you about each faculty member’s research and how you might like to build on this work. Please be sure to only list faculty listed below as a primary supervisor and not adjunct or faculty from other departments or areas. Only the faculty listed below are taking students in our program for the upcoming year.
- Lived experience and diversity (optional): We invite you to describe the unique perspectives you may bring to our program and the field through your lived experience. You may also describe your vision for how research and practice in clinical psychology can become more inclusive, just, and equitable.
- Scholarships, prizes, honours, or other recognitions: Please include a list of scholarships, prizes, honours, or other recognitions you have earned. Provide the title(s) of any publication(s), major paper(s), or thesis of which you are an author or co-author (if published, give citation). This can be in addition to the awards and knowledge translation activities requested above. Please feel free to include these all in one comprehensive list.
What to Expect after you Submit your Application:
Our admissions process operates in a rolling manner. You could be contacted as soon as early January about an interview, or as late as April. Unless you receive a letter that your application has been denied, you can assume that your application is still under consideration. Although we hope to be in touch with top applicants in January, various factors make it such that some outstanding applicants may hear from us until later in the winter.
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.
Clinical Psychology Faculty
Faculty Researcher: Dillon Browne
Influence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma, and socioeconomic status on human development
Faculty Researcher: Tara McAuley
Nature and development of executive control in children, and the relation of executive skills to psychopathology
Faculty Researcher: Elizabeth Nilsen
Development of cognitive and communication skills in typically and atypically developing children
ADULT ANXIETY STUDIES
Faculty Researcher: David Moscovitch
Cognitive-behavioural mechanisms underlying the nature and treatment of social anxiety
Faculty Researcher: Christine Purdon
Development and persistence of anxiety and compulsions
TREATMENT AND INTERACTION
Faculty Researcher: Allison Kelly
Role of shame and self-criticism in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, and of compassion in its prevention and alleviation
Faculty Researcher: Uzma Rehman
The role of interpersonal processes in sexual satisfaction and functioning
Faculty Researcher: Jonathan Oakman
Scientific and practical utility of single-case designs in psychotherapy
Clinical faculty members welcome e-mail inquiries from prospective applicants. However, applicants should know that their application materials will only be reviewed through the formal admissions process in December. Similarly, due to the volume of applicants, faculty can only meet with applicants who are short-listed to receive an interview during this process.
"The clinical faculty clearly care about students, appreciate student feedback, and work towards improving the program"Alex
"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
"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
"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