Psychology Graduate FAQs

Can I meet with an advisor for general advice on the graduate programs in Psychology at SFU?

Due to the large number of inquiries, we are unable to schedule individual appointments with prospective applicants. Detailed application information is available here.

Can I meet with an advisor to review my application and transcripts prior to submitting my application for graduate studies?

Unfortunately, we are unable to review individual students’ application package prior to the application submission deadline.

What are the admission requirements for the graduate programs in SFU Psychology?

Typically, students admitted to our graduate programs have a Psychology Honours degree or a Psychology Major with strong research experience. Detailed application information is available here

I do not have a Psychology Honours or a Psychology Major degree. Is there a list of pre-requisite psychology courses that I could take prior to applying to the program?

There are no specific undergraduate course prerequisites for being considered but that a BA or BSc in a Psychology (preferably Honours) at a reputable post-secondary university is a minimal requirement. Experience in a research lab is also highly recommended.

Is my professional work experience taken into consideration?

As we are a research-based program, work experience does not weigh that heavily in our decisions, although it is definitely considered when in a related field.

Can I enroll in your graduate courses as a non-degree student?

Unfortunately, our classes are only open to students enrolled in our Masters/PhD program, or those who can register as per the Canadian Western Dean's agreement. 

Can I apply if my CGPA is below 3.0?

The University minimum CGPA requirement is 3.0 to apply to graduate school at SFU. Students admitted to our graduate programs are typically significantly higher (3.5 or above/4.33). While applicants generally have CGPA of 3.5 minimum, the average accepted applicant to our clinical program has about 3.9 (based on a 4.33 scale).  Our programs are competitive - the Clinical Psychology Program admission statistics can be found here.

How can I increase my CGPA?

Students with an undergraduate degree with a Major or Honours in Psychology could consider the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma.

Students with an undergraduate degree with a Major in another discipline could consider a second degree.

Is my degree from a US or International institution acceptable?

To ensure that SFU will recognize your undergraduate degree from a US or International university, please see the admission requirements (by country) on the Dean of Graduate Studies website.

Would my 3-year undergraduate degree in psychology be equivalent to a 4-year degree?

Typically, a 3-year degree from India is normally not considered equivalent to a 4-year degree. It is possible that your 3-year bachelors would be sufficient to warrant consideration of your application, and we cannot advise you regarding any other educational avenues you may pursue (post-grad diplomas, etc.) and whether they will influence the consideration of your application, but you are welcome to apply.

I have a master's degree from another institution. Can I apply directly to the PhD program?

Students with a previous master's degree (e.g., an MA that included a thesis in Psychology that was defended) can, on occasion, be admitted directly to the PhD program, but most often enter our MA program (there are coursework requirements specific to SFU Psychology). Once admitted, students can provide outlines and syllabi for courses they are requesting waivers for. These are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and courses deemed equivalent to those offered at SFU are given waivers.

Can I complete only the master's program?

Our graduate programs are oriented toward a PhD degree. Those seeking only a master's degree are discouraged from applying.  

Is the MA/PhD a combined program?

The MA Psychology program is foundational to the PhD level (sequential training/knowledge acquisition). It is not a combined MA/PhD program - students apply or transfer to the PhD program after completing the MA.

 Can I apply to more than one psychology graduate program or area of study?

We encourage you to apply to the program that best fits your future goals to give you the best chances of being admitted.

Is your psychology graduate programs offered online?

No, our graduate programs are not offered through distance education or online.

What should I include in my Statement of Intent?

This statement often centers around your research interests in psychology, your personal background, the reasons you are applying to a particular graduate program, and your career and personal objectives.

How many letters of reference do I need?

A minimum of three letters of reference from academic referees are required for admission to our graduate programs. It is best that the referees chosen can best speak to your abilities as they relate to an academic program which is why academic references are encouraged.  

Can I upload my application materials after the application deadline?

Applicants are responsible to upload their application materials by the supporting application deadline. Referees should upload their letter of reference by the supporting application deadline as well. Late or incomplete applications are not considered for admission.

What are the tuition and ancillary fees?

Our students must register each term of their graduate program (3 terms per year) and pay the full-time fee (see www.sfu.ca/students/fees.html). Additional charges each term are: Graduate Student Activity Fee, Student Services and Recreation-Athletics Fee, and a U-Pass fee.

Does SFU provide funding for graduate students?

Incoming students with a CGPA of 3.5 or above typically receive a Graduate Fellowship (currently valued at $7,000) in the summer of their first year.  In addition, many of our students are successful in receiving external scholarships through a variety of sources (e.g., SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, etc.) to assist with funding through their graduate program.  Students also hold priority when applying for TA/TMships during the first few terms in their MA and PhD programs (current values MA - $6,240/PhD - $7,390 per term) and often receive RAships with individual faculty members. Other sources of funding are available and can be explored individually by students (please review here).

Should I indicate specific faculty who I would like to work with on my application?

You should indicate at least one faculty member from the Program and Area that you are interested in on your application, but it is possible to be supervised by a faculty outside your area or to have them on your Supervisory Committee.

Can I contact a potential supervisor?

You are welcome to contact potential supervisors directly. Faculty research interests are available on our website. Please ensure that the faculty is accepting students.

How long does it take to complete the Psychology Graduate programs?

Students are expected to complete the master's program in two years and PhD takes about 3-4 years. Additional requirements for tracks in Clinical-Forensic, Clinical-Child and Clinical-Neuropsychology take another 1-2 years.

How can I strengthen my application?

Applicants may want to consult with a professor or academic advisor at their own university for advice on the application process, strategy, and selection of career directions (clinical psychology vs. social work, counselling, etc.).