Application Information

Please note that our program focuses on research and experimental psychology. We do not offer any training in clinical or counselling psychology.

For information about clinical psychology at the University of Toronto, please contact the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

For information about programs in counselling & clinical psychology, counselling psychology, developmental psychology & education, and school & clinical child psychology at the University of Toronto, please contact the Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Applications to our graduate program must be submitted directly to the School of Graduate Studies through the Online Admissions Application, which will open in mid-September 2020. Applications are due December 1, 2020 for entry September 2021. We have only one application cycle per year and do not admit students in January or May.

Effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle (for entry to the program in September 2021), we are no longer admitting students to our M.A. program. Applicants may only apply to our Ph.D. program, either into our new 5-year direct-entry Ph.D. stream (if applying directly from an undergraduate degree), or into our existing 4-year Ph.D. stream (if applying with a Master’s degree).

The minimum requirements for admission to the graduate program are:

  1.  An appropriate four-year bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, with high academic standing from a recognized university.
  2.  At least an A- (3.7 GPA, or first class standing) in the final two years of full-time study, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  3.  The equivalent of at least 6 full-year courses (e.g., 12 semester-long courses) in psychology, including statistics and some laboratory experience. Please note that applicants with a strong background in mathematics, physical or biological science, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, or computer science are encouraged to apply even if they have completed fewer than the suggested number of psychology courses.
  4.  Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction was not English are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English by completing one of the tests listed below. This requirement should be met at the time of application. More information about approved English-language proficiency tests can be found on the School of Graduate Studies’ website.

Please note that effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle (for entry to the program in September 2021), we will not be requiring that applicants submit General GRE scores (as previously required). The Psychology subject test is also not required. This requirement has been waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that GRE scores are not optional to submit; we will not accept General or Psychology subject GRE scores.

Because the number of applicants always exceeds the number of available places, meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission. 

All programs of study lead to the doctoral degree in psychology. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree may apply to our direct-entry Ph.D. program, while applicants with a Master’s degree may apply to our Ph.D. program. Applicants to both streams must satisfy the minimum admission requirements listed above.

Applicants should not apply to both the Ph.D. and direct-entry Ph.D. programs. We are able to offer applicants admission to either of these programs, as eligible, with one application.

  1. Log in to the School of Graduate Studies’ Online Admissions Application system. New applicants will need to register; returning applicants must log-in with their 12-digit applicant number and password. Please note that the system is scheduled to open and begin receiving applications on October 1, 2020.
  2. Provide the personal information, program of study and academic history information as requested.
  3. Be prepared to submit contact information for two referees. Be sure to inform your referees of the application deadline (December 1) and that they will receive an automated email request from the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, requesting their reference letter. Please note that your referees will not receive this email until you submit payment.
  4. Submit your payment. Payment is processed centrally at the School of Graduate Studies. We cannot waive application fees.
  5. Upload supporting documents (all supporting documents should be uploaded in PDF format):
    • Scanned copies of official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. We do not accept WES packages. Applicants from Canadian universities may submit unofficial copies of their academic record together with the legend from the student web services of their institution. Please note that although the Admissions Committee will make its decision based on unofficial transcripts, official hard copies of all transcripts may be required at a later date in the admissions process. Final offers of admission will not be released until official transcripts have been received.
    • Current resume or CV.
    • Academic Interest Form, which will appear after you have submitted payment. Alternatively, you can download the form here and upload it in the correct section. 
    • Statement of Interest describing your research interests, your interest in graduate school, and why you are specifically applying to our program. You may highlight any information you think is relevant to your application (research/training experience, work experience, long-term goals, etc.). Typical statements are between one and two pages of single-spaced text. 
  6. If applicable, demonstrate your proficiency in English by completing one of the approved tests (listed above) and submit scores to the School of Graduate Studies.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application is complete and all supporting documents are submitted by the deadline. It is recommended that documentation be submitted well in advance of the deadline.

Application deadline: December 1, 2020

Please complete the personal and academic information of the online application, pay the application fee, and submit all supporting documents by this date. This includes all official transcripts, your CV, the completed Academic Interest Form, your statement of interest, two reference letters, as well as your English language scores, if applicable. As documents are received, they will be marked as such on the application system. After all documents are received, your application will be reviewed for admissibility. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your documents in the online application and to follow up with your referees if reference letters are not received in advance of the deadline. Referees will not receive the automated email to upload their letter until the application fee is paid. We recommend that applicants pay the application fee well in advance of the deadline so that referees have sufficient time to complete their reference. 

The program provides financial support to all graduate students in the funded cohort. Students entering the five-year direct-entry Ph.D. program will receive funding for five years. Students entering the four-year Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree will receive funding for four years. This support is in the form of scholarships, fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. For the 2020-21 academic year, the minimum level of support is $21,000 plus tuition & fees. This amount, however, is conditional on satisfactory academic and research performance.

To qualify for funding, students are required to apply to any awards or scholarships for which they are eligible. For further information on scholarship and award opportunities and information about how funding works in research stream programs, please see the School of Graduate Studies' page on Awards & Funding.

I have completed a bachelor’s degree. Do I need to complete a Master’s degree before applying to your Ph.D. program?

No, applicants who have completed, or are currently completing, a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply to our new direct-entry Ph.D. program. This is a 5-year program intended for applicants who have not already completed a Master’s degree. Students who have completed a Master’s degree are eligible to apply to our existing Ph.D. program which is 4 years in length. 

I have completed a Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline. Am I still eligible to apply to the four-year Ph.D. program?

Applicants with a Master’s degree in Psychology or a cognate discipline will be considered for admission to the 4-year PhD program, whereas applicants with a Master’s degree in an unrelated discipline will be considered for admission to the 5-year direct-entry Ph.D. program. Such decisions will be made by the Graduate Director.

Does your program offer Master’s degrees in psychology?

Effective the 2020-21 admissions cycle, we are no longer accepting students to our 1-year Master’s program. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree can apply to our new direct-entry Ph.D. program. 

If I begin the direct-entry Ph.D. program and decide to leave the program before finishing, can I earn a Master's degree?

Generally, students transferring from a Ph.D. to a Master's program must complete all of the normal Master's degree requirements, or their equivalent, in order to be awarded the Master's degree. These transfers are made on the recommendation of the graduate unit and must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies. We will support these requests in exceptional circumstances only and therefore cannot guarantee the approvals of such requests.

Do I require transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions I have attended? 

Yes, transcripts are required from each post-secondary institution you have attended. Applicants with documentation in a language other than English must provide accompanying notarized English translations. We accept electronic copies of official transcripts for your online application, however, if you are made an offer of admission, you will be required to supply official hard copies of all transcripts.

Can I provide more than two (2) reference letters? 

No, the online application system permits the submission of only two (2) reference letters. Academic referees, who can speak to your research and academic abilities, are preferred.

I have made a mistake entering my referee’s contact information. What should I do?

Please contact to request that a change be made. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.

Are there reference letter forms?

No, our program does not have specific forms for referees to complete. After you have confirmed your application information and submitted payment, the system will email your referees and ask them to provide references. They will be asked to complete a web-based open-field form and submit it through the online application system after logging in to the system through a unique link provided by the School of Graduate Studies via email. 

How do I submit the Academic Interest Form? 

Please submit the Academic Interest Form in PDF format. The document can be saved by following the “Submit” link on the document status page on the online application.

I have submitted one of my supporting documents as a Word document instead of a PDF? What should I do?

Please contact to request that your submitted document be deleted so that you can re-submit in PDF format. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.

Do I need to have a supervisor confirmed before I apply?

No, applicants do not need to have a confirmed supervisor before they apply to the program; however, ultimately, applicants are not admitted to the program unless a faculty member agrees to supervise them and take them on as a graduate student. If you are interested in working with specific professors, please add their names to the appropriate section of the Academic Interest Form. You may also choose to go into further detail about your possible future research with specific professors in your Statement of Interest.

Do you have a list of professors who will be accepting graduate students for the 2021-22 year?

No, we do not keep a current list of professors who will be accepting graduate students for the 2021-22 year. We recommend that you look on professors’ personal or lab websites for this information, or contact them directly to inquire.

Are GRE scores optional to submit, even though this requirement is waived for the 2020-21 admissions cycle?

No, GRE scores are not optional to submit. We will not be accepting, nor reviewing, General or Psychology subject test GRE scores. 

If I have a question about my application, who should I contact?

If you have a question about your application, please contact our Graduate Administrator at In all correspondence related to your application, please provide your 12-digit applicant number. Please note that we cannot make changes to your application until payment has been submitted.

  • October 1 – Application opens via the Online Admissions Application system
  • December 1 – Application deadline
  • Late January – Recruitment events
  • Late March/early April – Notification of outcome of application via the Online Admissions Application system
  • April 15 – Deadline to accept offers of admission
  • September 1 – Program start-date