The Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development (AP&HD) at OISE/University of Toronto

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1 The Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development (AP&HD) at OISE/University of Toronto Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ s)

2 APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ s) For more information about the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development and our programs please visit our website at Our 5 programs: CHILD STUDY & EDUCATION (CSE - Page 5) COUNSELLING & CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (CCP) (Page 7) COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY (CP) (Page 9) DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY & EDUCATION (DPE - Page 10) SCHOOL & CLINICAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY (SCCP - Page 12) General Questions: What is the deadline to apply? The deadline for all AP&HD programs except DPE (MEd) is Monday, December 1 st, The deadline for DPE MEd applications is March 31 st, Can I be admitted if my grades don't meet the minimum requirement? No. Who decides if my grades meet the minimum requirement? OISE's Registrar's Office checks that each application is complete and decides whether it meets the minimum academic requirements. Do I need to complete the GRE when applying to any of your programs? For the Counselling & Clinical Psychology MA Program (CCP), minimum admission requirements include scores on the General and Subject (Psychology) tests of the General Record Examination (GRE). (Institution code: 0982). How are my grades used to assess whether I meet the program s requirements? Are all of my courses counted? The Registrar s Office uses the grades from the applicant s final year or the equivalent of the final year in its assessment for the academic standing to be used as the basis for admission to OISE graduate programs. First, they determine if the applicant is or was full-time or part-time in the final year. Full-time is defined as taking at least 4 full courses. If full-time, all the grades from the last year are averaged to calculate the academic standing, even if a student has taken more than 4 full courses. If part-time, the most recent senior level (400 and 300 level) courses (at least 5 full course equivalents) are averaged to calculate academic standing. Please note that only academic or liberal arts courses are used to calculate academic standing. Does admission to this program require a full course load in the 4th year of my undergraduate program? If this is not required, is it suggested? In other words, is a student disadvantaged if he/she has taken 3.5 credits in 4th year instead of 4? 2

3 Admission does not require a full course load in the 4th year of your undergraduate program. There are no implications of taking 3.5 versus 4 courses in your last year. I have a BEd degree will my marks in that program or in subsequent Additional Qualification courses be considered? Overall, a degree that has suitable breadth, depth and, where appropriate, an affinity to the OISE graduate program to which you are seeking admission. Occasionally, a degree may not be considered an appropriate basis of admission because it does not contain sufficient liberal arts content (aka academically-oriented courses). Courses with a significant professional training component, practical component, studio component, performance component, or sports component are not counted as liberal arts. Generally, in a bachelor s degree the established standard is at least 75% liberal arts content. What is academic upgrading? If your bachelor s degree was not completed with the required academic standing you may wish to consider academic upgrading. Normally, such an upgrading program: - consists of 2.5 full courses at the senior-level (e.g. third or fourth year) - consists of academic (i.e. liberal arts) courses (e.g. BEd study or professional training or courses with a significant practical component are not acceptable) - must be completed at a recognized university - must be completed with an average standing equivalent to mid-b or better with no grade lower than B- OISE courses undertaken as a Special Student are generally not appropriate for academic upgrading purposes. Lastly, it s important to note successful completion of an upgrading program does not guarantee admission; all applications are considered in competition. I applied last year. Do I have to submit new reference letters and transcripts? Yes, official transcripts and reference letters need to be submitted again. If I transfer universities, do I need to provide transcripts from both? Yes. If I am applying to departments in two different university faculties (e.g. Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development at OISE and the Department of Psychology in Arts and Science), do I need to complete two applications? Yes. Different faculties require that students complete different applications. Most faculties (OISE included) allow applications to apply to different programs or departments within the faculty. At OISE, it is possible to list up to three different choices. In other words, you can apply to up to three graduate studies programs within OISE. I am applying from outside of Canada. Are there extra requirements for international students? International students may be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. More information is available at: ernational_applicants.html. There is also specific information regarding financial support for international students. What if one of my referees does not have an address? It is strongly recommended that referees submit their letters online. If online submission is not possible, letters can be sent by regular mail to the Registrar s Office. 3

4 How important is the statement of intent? The statement of intent is one of the most important parts of your application. It is your opportunity to describe your past experiences related to the program to which you are applying, how those experiences led to your current interests in graduate students in this area, and, if you are applying for the MA or PhD program, your specific research interests and which two or three professors you would be most interested in working with. Should I contact professors with whom I'd like to do research? If you are applying to an MA or PhD program, it is important to identify the professor or professors whose research interests you share and refer to those professors in your statement of interest. You can find a list of the professors and their research interests on the department's website, To better understand their research, you can look up and read some of the research articles the professors have written. You may also want to send them a short , introducing yourself and confirming that they will be accepting new students in the year in which you plan to apply. However, making contact with professors is not necessary, and does not convey a special advantage to students. During admissions, we rank all applicants and create a short list of the best students. We then work to find supervisory matches for these students. Sometimes, having knowledge of a particular applicant makes a difference at this point (for example, a professor may need to choose between two prospective graduate students who have both made the shortlist). However, professors do not accept students who have not made it to the short list, even if they have a prior relationship with the student. Will applying to more than one program within AP&HD increase my chances of acceptance? No, applications to more than one program within AP&HD are discouraged. Because all AP&HD's programs offer very different experiences and career paths, applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully select the program to which they wish to apply. Applying to more than one program may suggest to the Admissions Committee that you are unsure of your interests. Will I be able to transfer if I don't get into the program I want? No, AP&HD does not support requests to transfer between programs. 4

5 1. CHILD STUDY & EDUCATION (CSE) (MA) When is the application deadline? The application deadline is on December 1 st, How do I apply to this program? The application process is on-line. Information can be accessed at: What are the admission requirements? Applicants must have an appropriate Bachelor s degree (normally a 4-year degree) from a recognized university. Minimum of a mid-b average in your final year of study (approximately 73-76%) Experience working with groups of children, particularly paid work experience What degree will I graduate with? Graduates will receive the Master of Arts in Child Study and Education (MA) degree. They will also receive Ontario elementary teacher certification that qualifies them to teach from JK to grade 6. What is the advantage of getting an MA degree? Graduates with an MA degree who complete a Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) can pursue graduate studies at OISE (and possibly other universities) as well as consider opportunities for a career in research. Graduates with an MA degree will be placed in a higher teacher pay category than BEd graduates. Do you require a thesis in this program? We do not require that you write a thesis during this program. However, students interested in research or the possible pursuit of a PhD should undertake a Qualifying Research Paper (QRP). What undergraduate degree is acceptable? We accept students from all undergraduate programs. (Note: Programs with non-academic courses like art and music should make sure that their degree has at least 75% academic course content overall.) Do you require an interview? Yes, eligible applicants will receive an interview in February. What do I need to submit with my application? All documentation is to be submitted online. Official hard copy transcripts are also required. Official transcripts Academic letter of reference Professional letter of reference Statement of intent Resume, including a list of all experiences working with children. Successful applicants will need to have obtained the following prior to the first day of classes/first day of placement: Criminal reference check Voluntary Sector Screening incorporating a Mental Health Act Search. Take steps to get one in May to ensure that it will be processed in time for the start of your placement. T-Card University of Toronto address UTORid 5

6 How many references do I need? You need two references - one academic reference from a professor and one professional experience reference from an employer who has directly witnessed your work with children. How much professional experience working with children do I need? There is no finite requirement in terms of hours or years. You should list all of your experiences working with groups of children. Include both paid and volunteer positions. Is there funding for this program? Some MA programs at OISE are funded, however since this program is considered a professional program it does not qualify for the OISE funding. However, there are many award and bursary application options available to students as well as paid work opportunities. Contact Larisa Lam for more information at How many applications do you get each year? Each year we receive approximately 200 applications. How many students do you accept into the program? We accept approximately students each year. More Questions? If you have any additional questions about Jackman ICS or the CSE MA program, please contact Larisa Lam by at 6

7 2. COUNSELLING & CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY (CCP) (MA, PhD) What are the Counselling and Clinical Psychology fields? They are: Clinical & Counselling Psychology (MA, PhD) Clinical Psychology (MA, PhD) This is offered by the graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) I have been out of school for many years, and my GPA from my undergraduate degree would not meet the minimal requirement of your master's programs. However, I do believe that my rich work experience would make me a good candidate for your program. Would you recommend that I still apply? The admissions committee does not consider applications that do not meet the minimum grade requirements. You could, however, undertake academic upgrading by completing a year of senior courses at the undergraduate level. This would demonstrate your academic ability and would improve your GPA. More information: What variety of counselling experiences meet the application requirement? There are countless opportunities for applicants to obtain counselling experience within their own communities. Generally speaking, paid work experience or volunteer experience in a variety of contexts working with people should meet this minimum one-year requirement. Viable institutions in which to gain experience include working or volunteering with distress centres, shelters, helplines, hospices, clinics, and specialized community programs and networks. Working in commercial settings such as businesses, banks, travel agencies, etc. would not be considered relevant, even though the work might involve contact with the public. The following list includes examples of counselling experience that successful applicants in the past have obtained. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, but merely a representative example of the varied experiences that applicants possess: 1. Community Mental Health: Staff Nurse 2. Women's Sexual Assault Helpline: Volunteer 3. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Addictions Counsellor 4. Distress Centre: Volunteer Crisis Counsellor 5. Centre for Victims of Torture: Volunteer Coordinator 6. Concurrent Disorders Outpatient Clinic: Head Nurse 7. Women's Shelter: Re-establishment Counsellor 8. Hospice: Volunteer Bereavement Support Coordinator Note: we do not have the resources to approve or recommend a particular position or setting for interested applicants. You must use your discretion and best judgment to choose an experience opportunity that complements our program focus and your academic / professional goals. My undergraduate degree was not in psychology (or was a psychology minor). Can I complete the Master of Arts pre-requisite undergraduate psychology course categories as a non-degree student? It is recommended that potential applicants earn a BA in psychology, rather than pick up the course load equivalent as a non-degree student. While non-degree credit courses would meet the minimum eligibility requirements, top-tier applicants will have had an undergraduate psychology major and extra-curricular work through a thesis course, assisting in research projects, and/or conference/seminar presentations. Those without a psychology undergraduate program may be interested in our Master of Education programs. My master's degree is not in Clinical and/or Counselling Psychology, but is in a related field (e.g. another area of psychology, social work, criminology, etc.). Am I qualified to apply for admission to the PhD program in 7

8 Clinical and Counselling Psychology? For entry into the PhD, generally only other master's programs in psychology (i.e. clinical psychology) can be equivalent to OISE's MA in Counselling Psychology for entry. Interested applicants in related disciplines should compare their own background to the OISE's MA to judge equivalency. My master's degree did not require a thesis. What must I do to prove that I am able to engage in research work at the doctoral level? You must complete a QRP. A QRP (Qualifying Research Paper) is a requirement for admission to a doctoral program when the applicant has not completed a master s thesis. The purpose of the QRP is to demonstrate that the applicant is capable of conducting research at the level required of a Master s thesis. If an applicant without a Master s thesis is admitted to a doctoral program, it will be stipulated that the admission is conditional. The applicant will then be required to submit a QRP. Applicants are not required to submit the QRP prior to being accepted. Submitting research that the applicant has conducted previously can fulfill the QRP requirement. However, the QRP must be a product of their own individual effort and must be authored by solely by the student. Alternately, applicants can submit a research proposal that demonstrates their ability to conceptualize and plan a research project. This proposal would typically be written under the supervision of a faculty member (who will be assigned to the student) in the counselling program. Applicants would not be required to actually collect data. The QRP requirement must be fulfilled by the time the applicant begins classes. Two references are required for an application to the MA or PhD program. Should these be academic or professional? Two academic references are appropriate, each to speak to your scholarship and research skills. Applicants are encouraged to use their best judgment when choosing the most appropriate referees for their program of interest. I am an international applicant. How can I be sure that my degree will be admissible? Unfortunately, our department does not address the specific issues that concern international applicants. However, the OISE Registrar's Office has an information page available. OISE Registrar's Office - ional_applicants.html More Questions? More FAQ s about admission requirements, application instructions and program information can be found in the Prospective Students section of our website. If you have any additional questions about CCP/CP Programs please contact Todd Will by phone at (416) or by at Questions regarding the Clinical Psychology stream should be directed here: 8

9 3. COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY (CP) (MEd, EdD) What are the Counselling Psychology fields? They are: Counselling & Psychotherapy (MEd, EdD) Guidance & Counselling (MEd) One of the requirements for admission to the MEd is one year of relevant work experience. How do you define 'relevant' and how strict is the 'one-year' minimum? Relevancy implies a fit to our program focus and your academic/professional goals. Applicants are expected to draw connections from their experiences to our program in their statement of intent. See above for representative examples. The one-year minimum is a general time frame. The admissions committee does not prefer consecutive over periodic, nor distinguish between part-time vs. full-time hours. Applicants must use their best judgment in determining that sufficient exposure to counselling practices and settings have prepared them for our programs. Two references are required for an application to the MEd or EdD program. Should these be academic or professional? For an application to the MEd programs, one academic reference and one professional reference is preferred. Applications to the EdD program would benefit from two academic references. Applicants are encouraged to use their best judgment when choosing the most appropriate referees for their program of interest. I am an international applicant. How can I be sure that my degree will be admissible? Unfortunately, our department does not address the specific issues that concern international applicants. However, the OISE Registrar's Office has an information page available. OISE Registrar's Office - ional_applicants.html 9

10 4. DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY & EDUCATION (DPE) (MA, MEd, PhD) What's the difference between the MA in DPE and the MEd in DPE? The MA program is designed for students who have a strong interest in becoming researchers or academics. It is an intense full-time program in which, in addition to coursework, students do something like an apprenticeship with a professor, working in his or her research laboratory and collaborating with the professor and other students. Most students who complete the MA go on to apply to PhD programs at OISE or elsewhere. The one-year Master of Arts program comprises six half courses and a thesis and is a full-time program. The MEd program is intended for students who want to be better-informed practitioners and focuses on learning about the latest research and theories. It may be completed part-time or full-time. The MEd program comprises ten half-courses with no thesis required and it may be undertaken on a full or part-time basis. How can I use an MEd? The MEd program provides a supportive and engaging professional learning community where you can make connections between your professional practice and current theory and research. It can also lead to many different career paths such as educational consulting in many settings such as museums, government, non-profit agencies and business corporations, policy analysis, educational leadership and administration and teaching at the post secondary level. The MEd program does not lead to either elementary or secondary school teaching certification or counselling certification and does not provide the research experience necessary for doctoral studies if any of these is your goal, please contact us about OISE/UT s other programs. Do I need to be a teacher to gain admission to the MEd program? You do not need to be a teacher to be accepted to the MEd program. Our students are professionals interested in increasing their knowledge of the science and practice of child development or current policies and practices related to working with learners with special education needs. They can come from many professions such as early childhood educators, policy analysts, teachers, special needs consultants, autism specialists and early childhood program supervisors. How many references do I need? The M.Ed. requires two references, ideally academic, but if you have been out of school for a period of time you can submit either one academic and one professional reference or two professional references. How is a flexible-time PhD in DPE different from a full-time PhD? The Developmental Psychology and Education program offers both a full-time and a flexible-time PhD program option. The flexible-time PhD has two options: the general flex PhD in DPE and the flex PhD Early Learning Cohort. Applicants must declare the option for which they are interested in applying. The admission requirements for the full-time and flexible-time options are almost the same. The one difference is that applicants to the flexible-time PhD must be currently in a career related to the proposed field of study, have a desire to continue with their current career, and have the capacity to secure blocks of time to enable concentrated study (e.g., through the employer s leave policy or study incentive system). Full-time PhD students must complete their degree within six years. Flexible-time PhD students must complete their degree within eight years. Students in the flex PhD program must register full-time for the first four years of their program, and can then switch to part-time status, with departmental approval. Do I need to contact faculty members prior to applying, and/or identify a faculty member to work with? If you are applying to the MA and PhD program, it is important to identify the professor or professors whose research interests you share and refer to those professors in your statement of interest. You can find a list of the professors and their research interests on the department's website, 10

11 To better understand their research, you can look up and read some of the research articles the professors have written. You may also want to send them a short , introducing yourself and confirming that they will be accepting new students in the year in which you plan to apply. However, making contact with professors does not give a special advantage to students. During admissions, we rank all applicants and create a short list of the best students. We then work to find supervisory matches for these students. Sometimes, having knowledge of a particular applicant makes a difference at this point (for example, a professor may need to choose between two prospective graduate students who have both made the shortlist). However, professors do not accept students who have not made it to the short list, even if they have a prior relationship with the student. What is unique about the DPE PhD? In addition to providing students with strong training in research in human development and education, we provide students with exposure to the applications of research in the real world. For example, students have the option of fulfilling their Comprehensive requirement by completing an internship in a policy or other applied setting. More Questions? If you have any additional questions about the DPE program and the flex-time PhD program please contact Jennifer Cho at (416) or by 11

12 5. SCHOOL & CLINICAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY (SCCP) (MA, PhD) My background training is in child & youth studies education. Can I still apply to the SCCP program? Admissions information states that to be eligible to apply to SCCP, applicants must have an undergraduate psych degree or its equivalent. The psych component of the four year degree is defined as a minimum of 6 full courses in psych including: 3 full courses in psych at the senior level (3rd or 4th year); 1 full course in research methods; 2 other full courses in psych at the junior or senior level. We acknowledge that students in programs such as early childhood education are well suited to the SCCP program in terms of background knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the professional body responsible for licensing Psychologists and Psychological Associates in Ontario, requires that students have a background in psychology. Students coming from related programs might speak with their undergraduate programs administrator about psychological equivalents of their courses (i.e., in some programs, courses are cross listed in both Early Childhood and Psychology) and provide an official outline of these equivalences as part of their application. How competitive is the application to the SCCP program? Applications to the SCCP program are very high and thus admission is very competitive. We generally receive over 150 applications for the 6-8 spots we have in our MA program. Students who complete their MA in the SCCP program get preferential consideration when they apply to the PhD, so there is rarely more than 1 PhD spot open to applicants from other programs. The number of applications we receive for these PhD spots varies considerably year by year. Who are potential supervisors for SCCP students? It is important to note that faculty from across the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development supervise students in the SCCP program. In addition, some students are supervised by adjunct faculty who work in mental health settings, such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Hospital for Sick Children. Do you accept students on a part-time basis? No. I understand that I need to include one professional reference letter. Who is eligible to write this letter? Your professional reference letter can come from anyone who has knowledge of your ability to work with children and families. Examples may include a supervisor at a volunteer setting or summer camp or an employer at a setting where you worked with children or families as part of your job (e.g., daycare centre, community recreation program). I have been out of school for a number of years and it is going to be very difficult for me to provide two academic reference letters. What should I do? Ideally, we would like to have two references from academic referees. However, it is sometimes impossible for students to get letters from academic supervisors many years in the past. In a case like this, it is important for applicants to invite referees who are able to speak to their ability to handle the academic demands of graduate school. Ideally, it would be someone who has supervised you doing program development, evaluation or research. This referee should be able to speak to your ability to do things such as conceptualize problems, integrate literature, develop research questions, consider methodology and other academic-like tasks. More Questions? If you have any additional questions about SCCP programs, please contact Diana Robinson by phone at (416) or by 12

13 Revised: September 18,

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