Advice and information for potential applicants

The University of Waterloo Clinical Program encourages applications of all qualified students. We welcome diversity in terms of cultural or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, and physical disability.

Admission to the Clinical Psychology Program is highly competitive:

  • The program receives approximately 172 applications per year (average based on the last six admission cycles)
  • We typically makes offers of admission to 4-6 students per year.

Successful applicants typically have:

  • An Honours Bachelor’s degree with an Honours thesis
  • An undergraduate GPA above 85%
  • Strong reference letters from professors and research supervisors
  • A well-written personal statement that highlights their research interests and experiences, and, importantly, fit with the prospective lab and faculty supervisor
  • Other notable achievements (e.g., awards, publications, presentations, clinical experience)
  • Submitted applications for Master’s-level scholarships (e.g., Canada Graduate Scholarship, Ontario Graduate Scholarship)

GRE Scores are no longer required for admission to the Clinical Psychology Program.

The faculty in our program have a broad range of clinically relevant research interests. To find a detailed account of each faculty member’s research interests please visit the Clinical Psychology Faculty section of our Admissions web page.

The following table provides information about our typical applicant pool and incoming class:

Applicants 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-2022 2022-2023
Number of applicants 129 148 136 186 242 193
Number offered admission 5 10 8 6 5 7
Number of incoming students 5 4 6 5 4 4
Incoming class          
Psychology Undergrad mean 87 89 90 88 91


Number of incoming students with external scholarship support 3 2 2 1 3 2

Although our clinical program is designed for the Ph.D. degree, typically students admitted to the clinical program spend their first two years working toward a Master’s degree before moving into the Ph.D. 

Minimum Guaranteed Funding

No student receives less than the minimum funding package offered to students in the Faculty of Arts.

Demographic Characteristics and Other Statistics on our Current Students

  • In 2022-23, 77% (23/30) of our full-time clinical graduate students (excluding those on residency/internship) received external funding through OGS or one of the tri-council agencies (SSHRC; CIHR; NSERC). No student receives less than the minimum funding package offered to students in the Faculty of Arts
  • Of the clinical students currently enrolled in the program (2022-23), 89% (34/38) identify as female and 11% (4/38) as male. Current students range in age from 24 to 38, with an average of 29 years. Students in the program have a range of backgrounds, such as Chinese, Italian, East Indian, British, Israeli, African American, Serbo-Croatian and Canadian.
  • Our program places equal emphasis on research and clinical work. Our current graduate students have an average of 9 conference presentations, and 3.6 peer-reviewed publications. As well, they will accumulate at least 3000 hours of clinical work by the time they complete our program.
  • Over the last five years, our average time to completion for the Ph.D. is 7.9 years (excluding one outlier). This number includes the year-long predoctoral internship year.
  • Statistics on student residencies/internships over the last six years (2018-2023):
    Those who obtained paid internships: 20/20 students = 100%
    Those who obtained CPA (or APA) accredited internships: 19/20 students = 95%
  • In the last six years (2018-2023), two student have left the clinical program after obtaining a Master's degree.
  • In the last six years (2018-2023), 12 out of 12 of our graduates have become licensed psychologists, or are currently in the process of becoming licensed.