Funding & awards

NOTE:  If you are applying for admission to graduate studies in Psychology for Fall 2020, you are strongly advised to submit applications for scholarships. Note carefully the descriptions, eligibility, application procedures, and deadlines for each. If you have questions regarding which scholarships to apply for and/or how to apply, please contact the co-ordinator for the Psychology graduate program at your home university or the scholarship agency.

Psychology graduate student funding

As a graduate student within the Department of Psychology, you are guaranteed a set amount of internal funding which can be found in your offer of admission. However, if you are awarded an external scholarship (e.g. Canada Graduate Scholarships - Doctoral, etc.), the internal funding that you were offered is replaced by the external scholarship. Students cannot hold both types of funding in the same term. If this should happen, you will be required to pay back the internal funding.

The Psychology Graduate Student Funding document is intended to help you understand how funding is applied and the different sources of funding you may receive during your time as a graduate student at the University of Waterloo. Please note that this document is meant to be a guideline and not an official funding document. Comprehensive information about the various sources of scholarships, awards, and other funding for graduate students is available on the Awards & Funding webpage maintained by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).

Internal Funding

Those admitted who did not receive one of the external scholarships (or did not apply for them), but maintain a first-class (minimum of 80%) cumulative average and full-time enrolment (see Note 2 below for additional conditions), will typically receive the following minimum financial support packages, made up of a combination of support from the Department of Psychology and the University. 

If admitted to the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Applied Science (MASc) program

  • Guaranteed funding of $15,000 annually, an amount that includes two full teaching assistant positions (annually) in the Department of Psychology.
  • The duration of this guaranteed funding is:
    • one year for the MASc in Developmental and Communication Science (DCS),
    • two years for the MASc in Industrial/Organizational (I/O),
    • two years for all those admitted to the Master of Arts.
  • Additional financial support may also be available from other sources, including Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) and Graduate Research Studentships (GRS) funded from the supervisors’ research grants, and a variety of other internal awards. 

If admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology program

  • Guaranteed funding of $25,000 annually, an amount that includes two full teaching assistant positions (annually) in the Department of Psychology.
  • The duration of this funding is 4 years.
  • Note that certain program areas or individual faculty members may provide guaranteed funding for students that exceeds this minimum.

External funding

Psychology graduate students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for a variety of federal and provincial government, merit-based scholarships. The most important of these are the federal tri-agency scholarships and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Note: All Psychology graduate students who do not currently have external funding are required to submit an application for the relevant tri-agency scholarship and for the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) each year.

The following brief account of these scholarships provides links to the relevant GSPA webpages. It is essential to keep track of application deadlines, required application forms, and other details, as provided on these webpages.

In addition to the required application documents, students are asked to submit the departmental Publications & Presentations form to the Psychology Administrative Co-ordinator, Graduate Studies by the application deadline to summarize your publications and conference presentations for your application.

Federal Tri-agency scholarships

It is very important to check with your faculty research supervisor to determine which of the three federal agencies is appropriate for your scholarship application given the nature of your research.

For graduate students seeking funding at the Masters level, the relevant tri-agency scholarships are:

For graduate students seeking funding at the PhD level, the relevant tri-agency scholarships are:

Unusually accomplished students with a well-developed leadership profile may also consider applying to the following:

Provincial scholarships

For all graduate students seeking support at either the Masters or the PhD level, the provincial scholarships are the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (QEII-GSST).

Students who are successful in attaining a Tri-Agency CGS M, an OGS, or a QEII-GSST will also receive the following funding from the university:

  • A President's Graduate Scholarship and one full teaching assistant position for a combined amount of $10,000.
  • Depending on which external award was received, financial support would likely be at least $25,000 per year.
  • This funding package would continue into subsequent academic years as long as the external scholarship is held.

Students who are successful in attaining a Tri-Agency CGS D will also receive the following funding from the university:

  • For the first academic year, a President's Graduate Scholarship and one full teaching assistant position, for a combined amount of $15,000, would be provided by the university in addition to the scholarship payment. Thus, for the first academic year, depending on which external award was received, financial support would likely be at least $30,000 annually.
  • In subsequent years in which the external scholarship is held, additional financial support from the President’s Graduate Scholarship and one full teaching position would amount to a combined total of $10,000 annually. Thus, depending on which external award is received, financial support would likely be at least $25,000.

Scholarships for international students

The range of scholarships for international students is more limited.  See international student funding on the GSPA website for current details.

Research Travel Assistantships

For information on how to obtain financial support for presenting your research at scientific conferences, see Research Travel Assistantships for Graduate Studies.

Additional notes

  1. All the financial support packages are contingent upon all of the following:
    • maintaining continuous full-time registration in the program,
    • maintaining a cumulative grade average of at least 80%,
    • meeting the academic requirements in a timely manner,
    • actively seeking external funding, and
    • fulfilling teaching and/or research assistantship duties satisfactorily.
  2. Tuition costs can be found on our Student Financial Services webpage.

For questions on funding or scholarship applications, please contact the Psychology Administrative Co-ordinator, Graduate Studies.