Master of Arts, Master of Education

MA, MEd in Counselling Psychology

Method of delivery:
In-person
Applications open:
November 1, 2023
Applications close:
January 15, 2024
Next start date:
September 2024

Applications closed

Get all the information you need to apply for the Counselling Psychology MA/MEd program.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

SFU Requirements

A bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 units of undergraduate/graduate courses will normally be required for admission. Academic equivalency by country.

Please note that the Counselling Psychology programs do not offer conditional or qualifying admission.

Program Requirements

Experience Prerequisite

Applicants require a minimum of approximately two years (or 400 hours) of volunteer or paid experience working in a helping related position. Any human service work would be acceptable. Typically, it is met through crisis line work or applied behavioural education support, as those are the most accessible opportunities for our applicants. Other occupations that apply include, but are not limited to teaching activities, working one-on-one advising or guiding others or working in health care, etc.

Academic Prerequisites

We consider applicants from diverse academic backgrounds.

Our minimum requirement for admissions is a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of courses.

You will need the following specific prerequisite courses:

  • EDUC 323 (or equivalent) which is an undergraduate course in counselling theories
  • EDUC 423 (or equivalent) which is an undergraduate course in counselling skills
  • 1 course in developmental psychology
  • 1 course in research methods
  • 1 course in cognitive psychology or educational psychology
  • 1 other (or additional) relevant course in any 
    • social psychology,
    • multicultural counselling or education,
    • personality theory,
    • psychopathology or 
    • abnormal psychology.  
    • A course in sociology, cultural anthropology, or women’s studies that is relevant to counselling psychology will also satisfy this requirement.

Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying to the program.  Applications must include transcripts that show grades in all prerequisite courses.

Assessing and choosing your undergraduate courses

Due to the high volume of applications and inquiries received for this program, we do not provide pre-admissions evaluation for the undergraduate course pre-requisites.

Counselling Skills Requirement:

SFU EDUC 423 (Helping Relationships) or equivalent course. To be equivalent, the course must cover basic counselling skills and must include an experiential component in which students practice counselling skills, evaluate and reflect on their use of counselling skills, and receive feedback from an instructor on their use of counselling skills (usually through the recording and transcribing mock counselling sessions with classmates).

Counselling Theories Requirement:

SFU EDUC 323 (Theories of Counselling) or equivalent course. Any course that is entirely devoted to a survey of theories of counselling and psychotherapy is a suitable equivalent.

Developmental Psychology Requirement:

Any course that provides an overview of developmental psychology or that is devoted to particular topics in developmental psychology (e.g., cognitive development, social development, developmental psychopathology) or to looking at a particular stage from the perspective of developmental psychology (e.g., infant development, childhood development, adolescent development, adulthood and aging). SFU EDUC 322 (Social Lives of School Children) and SFU EDUC 464 (Early Childhood Education) are suitable for this requirement.

Research Methods Requirement:

Any course that covers research methods (quantitative or qualitative) or design in the social sciences (including courses in statistics or data analysis).

Cognitive Psychology/Educational Psychology Requirement:

Suitable courses include those in learning disabilities, educational psychology, the psychology of memory, cognitive psychology, or learning theory.

Other Relevant Course Requirement:

At a minimum, all applicants must have courses in counselling skills, counselling theories, research methods, developmental psychology, and cognitive or educational psychology plus one additional relevant course. The additional course may be drawn from any one of the following areas: social psychology, multicultural counselling or education, personality theory, psychopathology or abnormal psychology.  A course in cultural anthropology, sociology, or women’s studies that is relevant to counselling psychology will also satisfy this requirement.

Programs that meet these prerequisities

TUITION & COSTS

Tuition (2024/25)

  • $2,107.43 (per term)

*Subject to estimated 2% fee increase each September.

SFU Ancillary Fees

Simon Fraser University assesses the Student Services fee, the graduate student activity fee, the U-Pass BC fee and the mandatory supplementary course fee to all eligible students in each term of enrollment.

More Information

HOW TO APPLY

Admission to the Counselling Psychology program is very competitive. We receive approximately 250-300 applications each year, competing for a maximum of 12 spaces. Read the information on admission requirements carefully before applying. 

Before Applying (Admission Requirements and Documents)

Review the admission requirements and begin preparing your required documents.

Reference letters must be specific to this application. Referees should include a combination of academic and professional references. At least TWO should be written by referees who are able to comment on your academic competence and to make an informed judgment about your likelihood of success in graduate study (e.g., professors). Referees are to indicate the applicant's ability to undertake advanced study in the area of interest they are applying for.

  • The following form provides an example of the specific questions that your referees will be asked to answer. You may download this form and send it to them for their reference: Blank Reference Report form.
  • The deadline for referees to submit their reference is January 15th. Insert this date of return on the form to guide the referees.

Supporting documents and references are due on the application deadline. With this in mind, please submit and pay the application fee early enough to upload your documents and allow your referees time to submit their reference.

After you submit the online application and pay the application fee you will be required to upload the following PDF documents:

  • Transcripts for each post-secondary institution attended
  • Short Essay Question
  • Letter of Intent
  • Research Statement (MA Applicants only)
  • Summary of Qualifications Form

Step 1: Apply online

Complete the Online Application for Graduate Studies at SFU

Apply Here

Important notes about the online application system/process:

  • Can take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  • You do not have to wait until you have all your supporting documents ready before applying. Graduate programs can be competitive, therefore is it recommended that you begin your application early to complete the online sections and being preparing and collecting the required documents.  
  • The online application system will allow you to partially complete the process, save, and return later.
  • The online application system is only available while applications are being accepted for each program.

Step 2: Pay application fee

Once you complete and submit Step 1 of the online application, you wil need to pay the non-refundable application fee:

  • $110 CAN (applicants with Canadian transcripts only)
  • $150 CAN (students with one or more international transcripts)

Payment must be made by credit card (Mastercard or Visa). Once the payment is approved, you will receive an email confirming that your payment was successful and inviting you to proceed to submitting references and Uploading Documents (checklist).

Step 3: Upload Supporting Documents

References are due on the application deadline and will not be accepted late. With this in mind, please submit and pay the application fee early enough to allow your referees time to submit their reference.

You will only be able to submit references and upload the required documents to complete your application after your application fee has been processed.

Upload the following required documents before the application deadline:

REFERENCES

Include the name and contact information for three references most familiar with your research and/or academic potential.

  • When entering your referees' information, choose "Education" as the type of reference.
  • When entering your referees' information, you must use their professional or institutional email address.
  • Referees will be asked specific questions on the reference form link. You may download this form and send it to them for their reference: Blank Reference Report form.
  • References must be specific to the application. 
  • Referees should include a combination of academic and professional references. At least TWO should be written by referees who are able to comment on your academic competence and to make an informed judgment about your likelihood of success in graduate study (e.g., professors).

Transcripts

You must upload a transcript (scanned, saved, etc.) for each post-secondary institution you have attended (institutions you listed in Step 3, in your online application). Ensure all pages are uploaded, including the grading scale (typically located on the back of the page or a separate sheet).

Official transcripts will only be required if you receive an offer of admission.

More info about transcripts

Letter/Statement of Intent (PDF)

In one single-­spaced page (12 pt font, 1-inch margins), outline your reasons for pursuing graduate studies and for choosing counselling as a profession. Insert your last name and first initial in the header of your document. Organize your letter of intent using the following headings:

  • Personal motivations for pursuing a degree in counselling, including significant life experience (if any) that contributed to your choice to pursue a career in counselling.
  • Goals and Plans. Describe the competences you expect to have developed by the end of your program and your plans post-degree (e.g. in what kind of settings and with what populations do you plan to work immediately after completion of the program? Five years later?)
  • Any other topics you would like the admissions committee to consider when evaluating your application.

Download a Sample Letter/Statement of Intent.

SHORT ESSAY QUESTION RESPONSE (PDF)

Applicants must write one single-spaced page (12 pt. font, 1-inch margins) on the topic: Communication Process in Counselling Practice. Insert your last name and first initial in the header of your document. The admissions committee uses this to assess applicants’ academic writing ability.

Research Statement (PDF) - MA Applicants Only

Write a paragraph or two on each of the following (maximum one single-spaced page, 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins). Insert your last name and first initial in the header of your document. Within your research statement please:

  • Include your research interests and specific topic areas you may wish to investigate in your thesis work;
  • Specify how your research interests match your proposed supervisors' research interests and expertise;
  • Include the kind of research methodology you would like to use to conduct your research.

Summary of Qualifications Form (PDF)

Download and fill out Summary of Qualification Form. Once completed, upload as a PDF.

IELTS/TOEFL Test Results (If Applicable)

Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies. Applicants applying to programs conducted entirely in French will be exempt from this requirement. International applicants will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language.

More information about English Language Requirements and test score submission

APPLICATION REVIEW TIMELINE

From the close of the application period, reviewing submitted applications takes approximately 8-12 weeks.

After the intial review, we spend a few more weeks to develop a shortlist. Once the shortlist is finalized, we will let those who were not successful know, and then invite the shortlisted candidates to participate in an interview.

Those who are succesful, will receive an emailed offer of admission from SFU Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you admit students without an undergraduate or masters degree?

No, applicants must hold either an undergraduate or masters degree to be eligible for admission to the Counselling Psychology MA/MEd program.

I have an undergraduate degree, but my early grades were not very high. Will this affect my application?

The minimum university requirement for admission to a master’s program is a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications, but with extensive experience deemed significant to the proposed area of research.

I have been out of university for a long time and do not have any recent academic references. Are three professional referees acceptable? 

Please review the blank reference form for questions that referees are asked. If your referees can answer each of those questions, then they will be an appropriate reference.

Can I change one of my referees?

Yes, however, you cannot update or change your referee information if the applicaiton deadline has passed. If the deadline has passed, contact the Program Assistant. If the deadline has not passed and you need to change one or more of your referees or correct the email address entered, refer to the following:

  1. In your Application Portal, under Step 3, scroll to the bottom of the checklist section and click the "recommendation page" link in blue
  2. Find the References heading
  3. Find the referee you wish to change or update, and click the 'Edit' button on the right-hand side next to that referee
  4. Update all necessary fields, and then click 'Save'

How do I submit transcripts?

You must upload an unofficial transcript (scanned, saved, etc.) for each post-secondary institution you have attended when you are uploading documents to your application. You cannot upload these documents until your application has been submitted, and your application fee has been paid and processed.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to submit an official transcript for each post-secondary institution. More information.

Note: Applicants who completed their former degrees at SFU are not required to submit an official SFU transcript, as these records can be accessed. More information on transcripts.

What is the selection committee looking for in the short essay question response?

Applicants must write one single-spaced page (12 pt. font, 1-inch margins) on the topic: Communication Process in Counselling Practice. Insert your last name and first initial in the header of your document. The admissions committee uses this to assess applicants' academic writing ability. This writing sample remains the property of SFU.

When will I know the selection committee’s decision regarding my application?

Application review takes approx. 8-12 weeks after the application deadline. Short-listed candidates will then be contacted for an interview; all candidates will receive an email with an admission decision.

How long will it take to complete a Counselling Psychology Master's degree?

The shortest time in which the program may be completed is 8 terms. SFU operates 3 terms per calendar year, so the shortest time in which the program may be completed is 2 calendar years plus 2 terms. SFU graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their program.

Is there a minimum fee for the master’s program?

The minimum fee for a master’s program is six full-time research term fee units (excluding the International Program and the MEd EP program). However, the minimum fee rule may be waived for students who complete all degree requirements in less than six terms of continuous full-time enrolment. Contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for information.

Students who enroll on leave are not eligible for the waiver of the minimum fee requirements.

A master’s student who has completed six terms of enrolment (excluding on leave enrolment) pays a continuing fee in subsequent terms equal to one half of the regular fee.

Will there be a new student orientation?

Yes. Before the start of the Fall term, SFU's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office schedules a general orientation for all SFU graduate students. The Faculty of Education also hosts a New Graduate Student Orientation that is usually scheduled during the first month of the Fall term. The Education Graduate Student Orientation Handbook will be distributed to new students. This publication outlines the administrative structure of the program and provides information on specific logistics such as parking, computer access, housing, registration, etc.

Is it possible to continue working during the day while completing the program?

Working during the program is possible, however, it can become harder as the program progresses. During the first year it is easy to work, as all of our courses are designed for working professionals and take place in the evening. During the second year there are two terms of Clinic hours, which require more "in class" time, and thus would require some potential rearranging of your work schedule. During the third and final year, there are two terms of practicum, which make it very difficult for you to continue working.

DO I NEED TO SUBMIT ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST RESULTS?

Students whose native primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants applying to programs conducted entirely in French will be exempt from this requirement. English language requirements.

Are there any scholarships available? What about for international applicants?

Various forms of financial assistance are available for graduate students in Education. Admission to SFU does not imply financial support. As a consequence of not being able to guarantee funding for all graduate students, the Faculty of Education stresses to all applicants, and particularly those from overseas, that they are responsible for supporting their graduate study at this institution for a minimum of two years and funding should be arranged before arriving in Canada.

Does this program require GRE for admission?

Admissions to these programs does NOT require the submission of a GRE result.

QUESTIONS?