Department of Educational Psychology

Master's Program - Thesis-Based Route

Program Description

Counselling Psychology is a helping profession devoted to preventing, remediating and ameliorating emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and interpersonal difficulties as well as enhancing human potential and quality of life. These aims are achieved through the integration of science with practice and the development of awareness and skills to work with diverse populations from individual, social and organizational perspectives.

The Thesis-Based Counselling Psychology program is intended to train competent practitioners who have solid professional and research abilities that enable them to adapt to the changing and diversifying roles of a psychologist. The program is based on the scientist-practitioner model of professional practice. It is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills and judgment necessary to function effectively as a psychologist in a variety of settings and to undertake Ph.D. studies.

Entrance Requirements

In order to be considered for admission into the Master’s Program in Counselling Psychology applicants must:

  1. have obtained a four-year baccalaureate degree in psychology or education, or its equivalent, offered by a recognized degree-granting institution of higher education in Canada, a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States, or a University in another country acceptable to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

  2. have successfully completed at least 21 credits of undergraduate coursework in psychology (or educational psychology), including at least 3 credits of senior undergraduate coursework in each of the following areas:

    • Biological bases of behaviour (e.g., physiological psychology, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, psychopharmacology)
    • Cognitive-affective bases of behaviour (e.g., learning, sensation, perception, cognition, thinking, motivation, emotion)
    • Social basis of behaviour (e.g., social psychology; cultural, ethnic, and group processes; sex roles; organizational and systems theory)
    • Individual behaviour (e.g., personality theory, human development, individual differences, abnormal psychology)

    Senior undergraduate coursework is defined as coursework that is not introductory in nature or content and typically begins with 3xx or 4xx in the course.
  3. have acquired practical experience in the application of psychology (e.g., crisis line volunteer, youth worker),
  4. provide three letters of reference; two of which must be from someone knowledgeable about the applicant’s scholarly abilities and potential, and one of which must be from someone knowledgeable about the applicant’s counselling abilities and potential,
  5. provide a two-page statement of intent indicating general areas of research and applied interest, previous academic and practical activity, and plans upon graduation.
  6. complete a Supplementary Application Form.

Admissions decisions are based on 6 core criteria: (1) academic record, (2) depth and breadth of psychology courses taken, (3) relevant research and applied/volunteer experiences, (4) letters of recommendation, (5) quality of writing and statement of intent, and (6) overall match with program goals and faculty interests. Admissions are also based on inferred scientist-practitioner sensibilities (i.e., interest in—and awareness of—the scientist-practitioner training model in counselling psychology, as well as the commitment to balancing and integrating research and practice and monitoring one’s development and effectiveness over time). Applications are reviewed by two faculty members and rated on a 5-point scale. Those with the highest average ratings are considered for admission.

If you are interested in applying to the thesis-based Counselling Psychology MEd program, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before applying.

Program Requirements

The program is comprised of (minimum) 10 three-credit courses, and a thesis.

1. Required Core Courses *27

  • EDPY 501, Introduction to Methods of Educational Research *3
  • EDPY 507, Measurement Theory I *3
  • EDPY 521, Foundations of Assessment *3
  • EDPY 533, Basic Skills, Issues, & Attitudes in Counselling I *3 (P)
  • EDPY 534, Basic Skills, Issues, & Attitudes in Counselling II *3 (P)
  • EDPY 536, Ethical & Professional Issues in Psychological Practice *3
  • EDPY 538, Theory & Practice of Group Counselling *3
  • EDPY 597, Psychopathology and Diagnosis *3
  • EDPY 597, Assessment Practicum in Counselling Psychology *3 (P)


Practicum Courses (P)

Please note that for the practicum courses listed above, considerable time is required in addition to the regularly scheduled lecture and seminar. Further information about practicum requirements will be specified in class.

2. Elective Course Credits *3

One Required Research Course option *3 (e.g., EDPY 503, Qualitative Methods; EDPY 505, Quantitative Methods)

3. Thesis

During their M.Ed. program, students will complete a thesis. The thesis should involve conducting a valid research study under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis is intended to prepare students to undertake the doctoral dissertation and is carried out under the guidance of a supervisor who will assist in identifying a research question, designing the study, and writing-up the thesis.

4. FGSR Requirements

The Graduate Ethics Training can be found at:    https://www.ualberta.ca/graduate-studies/current-students/academic-requirements/ethics


Length of Program

This program is normally taken over two academic years. The maximum time allowed for completion is four years.