At a glance:

Application and document submission deadline

  • December 1 (for admission in September of the following year)

*NOTE: all relevant documents pertaining to your application must be uploaded by December 1.  See the Department of Psychology - Application procedures page for detailed information.

Graduate research fields

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Study options

  • Thesis

Minimum admission requirements

  • A 80% overall standing, or equivalent, in the last two years of study in the previous degree is the minimum requirement for admission.
  • Please note that in most areas a Master’s degree is not required for admission into the PhD program (the exceptions are Social Psychology and Clinical Psychology).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic scores)
    • Note: the GRE requirement is being waived for the Fall 2023 intake for students applying to the following graduate research fields within the PhD in Psychology program: Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology.
    • Note: Students applying to the Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate research fields within the PhD in Psychology program are required to submit the GRE.
  • Three academic references
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if applicable. TOEFL 90 (writing 25, speaking 25), IELTS 7.0 (writing 6.5, speaking 6.5)

Approximate tuition, fees, and living costs

  • To determine the tuition and incidental fees per term for your program, visit the Graduate program tuition page on the Finance website. Once you are on the page:
    • Choose your program type: master’s & diploma programs or doctoral programs
    • Choose your residency status: Canadian/permanent resident or international
    • Choose a term (tuition amounts for future terms are posted approximately two months prior to the start of each term and incidental fees are subject to change)
    • Find your program under the appropriate faculty. Tuition amounts are listed per term, with three terms occurring over the course of a year.
  • Review the study and living costs

Due to funding restrictions, the Faculty of Arts is currently limiting the number of international students we can admit. Please contact the department's Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to applying to discuss your interest in this program.


This video by Waterloo Psychology PhD Siobhan Sutherland was a finalist in the 2019 GRADflix competition.