One very important question is often asked by Psychology undergraduate students: What can I do with my degree in Psychology? While finding the answer to this question is ultimately up to you, we are pleased to offer a number of resources and programs for students, including events planned in cooperation with the Career Centre and Alumni Office.
Researching Career Choices
- For possible careers with a degree in psychology, visit our Some Career Ideas webpage and/or review our information sheet What Can I Do With A Degree in Psychology?.
- Check out potential jobs through your favourite search engine, and on job-specific sites listed on this website.
- Get connected. For example, join a professional association or LinkedIn (workshops on how to best take advantage of this online professional network are available through the Career Centre).
- Talk to people who make hiring decisions in the field you are interested in, to see which route they would recommend pursuing.
- Talk to people working in the field or fields that interest you – ask them for advise on what steps to take to achieve your goal.
- Learn about what is required (e.g. certificate course, training, skills, etc) by potential employers.
- Visit the Psych Research List website. While primarily American, this website contains various lists for paid internships, virtual graduate school information sessions, post-bac jobs, resources for applying to graduate school, and much more.
- Check out websites for graduate schools.
- Consult other sources on the web for further career advice, including the links on this website.
- Attend career events sponsored by the Psychology Department, the Psychology Student's Association and the Career Centre Events Page.
- Parents, friends, academic advisors, the career centres and teachers can provide advice.
- The media can be a source of up-to-date career information.
More about Careers in Psychology
- Canadian Psychological Association information on careers in psychology
- Canadian Psychological Association information on becoming a psychologist
- For career descriptions, profiles and job outlooks visit the Government of Canada Working in Canada website
- What are you interested in and what are the things you really enjoy? Where does your passion lie? Research, working directly with people, statistics, hands-on work, social activism, politics, to name a few.
- What are the particular talents and skills that you can bring to a job?
- What type of work environment appeals to you, be it casual, more structured, involving working closely with others or more independently, a job with a travel component, for example?
- What tasks/jobs do you, and do you not, enjoy?
- Which of your own recent job experiences have you found particularly interesting and/or rewarding?
- What do you think is going to be important to you next year and beyond? Think about your future goals.
- Careers in Psychology: Opportunities in a Changing World (Fifth Edition) by Tara L. Kuther and Robert D. Morgan (Sage Publishing, 2020)
- Opportunities in Psychology Careers by Donald E. Super (McGraw-Hill, 2008)
- Majoring in Psych?: Career Options for Psychology Undergraduates (Fifth Edition) by Betsy L. Morgan and Ann J. Korschgen (Pearson, 2013)
- Read The Five-Year Resume by Laker and Laker, and try out their career planning exercise
Careers and Jobs
Job Posting Links
- University of Toronto Career Centre provides a list of job postings for students and recent graduates
- U of T Careers posts jobs for research assistants, academic advisors and more
- Charity Village is an excellent site to search for non-profit jobs
- Career Jet for students with a bachelor's degree in psychology
- Indeed for psychology-related jobs in Canada
Government Job Sites
- Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for jobs in Ontario Ontario Public Service Careers
- Ontario Internship Program for recent graduates
- Correctional Services Canada
- Jobs with the Government of Canada
Consider working toward a diploma or certificate from a community college or university, taking advantage of the career training they offer and the practical experience they may provide.
This additional qualification may meet the needs of future employers who are looking for applicants with applied training and experience. The combination of the critical thinking skills and theory training you receive at university, coupled with applied, practical training received through a community college or certificate program, are very attractive to prospective employers and may well increase your employability.
Certificates, diplomas and post-graduate programs are often designed specifically for those who hold an undergraduate degree, making many of the programs one year or less in length. The courses are sometimes offered part-time, in the evenings, or via distance education, allowing you to combine them with paid employment. Plus, having this extra certificate may make promotion at your workplace more likely. And colleges also offer more direct assistance with job placements after completion.
Colleges and Institutes Canada maintains a member database of certificate and post-graduate programs in Canada. Check out the program or programs that fits your area of interest. For more information and a full list of programs across Canada can be found at http://www.canadian-universities.net/.
Graduates unanimously agree that working in your field as a volunteer, with a not-for-profit organization, with campus organizations, or elsewhere is invaluable. It is the best way to gain the relevant job experience that will catch the attention of future employers. And you can make a contribution at the same time. Below are some volunteering websites for you to check out, both on and off campus.
- Volunteer at the University of Toronto:
- The Centre for Community Partnerships helps students find opportunities with community agencies, organizations and municipal governments
- The Career Centre has volunteer postings to can browse
- Ulife offers involvement opportunities at U of T
- Research and Lab Positions with the Psychology Department
- Volunteer Canada provides information on volunteering and links to volunteer centres across Canada
- Charity Village is another source to search for volunteer opportunities
Careers in Psychology (UofT's Career Navigator)
Ten Thousand Coffees (UofT's Career Networking Platform)
Psych Research List (While primarily American, this website contains various lists for paid internships, virtual graduate school information sessions, post-bac jobs, resources for applying to graduate school, and much more)
Graduate School Preparation
Students should be prepared to do most, if not all, of the legwork for investigating their options for graduate school in Psychology. There are simply too many graduate programs in Psychology across North America for the Undergraduate Office to be able to answer specific questions.
First determine whether you want to stay within the city, the province, or the country. Find out what psychology programs are offered in the area(s) you would like to attend for grad school. Call or e-mail the schools you are interested in and ask them questions. Ask for information to be sent to you, or check out their web sites. The following information provided below is only a basic guide to assist you in getting started. The rest is up to you!
Students who intend to apply to graduate schools and to pursue a career in psychology will require a B or B+ average and in some cases an A- average or higher throughout their academic career with specific emphasis on the last two years. Other important factors include standardized test scores, reference letters, relevant volunteer or paid positions, and research experience.
The Psychology Students' Association (PSA) holds seminars on applying and getting into graduate school at least once or twice per academic year. Please check their web site calendar for up and coming seminars. The PSA may also have some useful books available for student consultation in their office (Sidney Smith Hall, room 509). These could include "Career Paths in Psychology", "Getting In" , and the APA's "Graduate Study in Psychology". You may want to contact them to see if these are still available.
Students in their final years of undergraduate study have the opportunity to join the Psychology Student-Alumni Mentorship Program which is designed to support Psychology undergraduate students as they explore their career and educational options beyond graduation. Many of our mentors have been through graduate school and can provide you with information and personal experience around the graduate school application process.
GRE preparation material is also available through Kaplan's courses and practise tests at www.kaptest.com/gre.For more information about the GRE, visit Preparing for Standardized Tests on this website.
One source of information which is highly recommended by our department is a book by Dr. Dave G. Mumby (Professor of Psychology, Concordia) called "Graduate School: Winning Strategies For Getting In." For more information about Dr. Mumby's book and to access his blog, you can visit his website at http://www.mygraduateschool.com/.
For what not to do when applying to graduate school, check out https://writeivy.com/kisses-of-death-in-graduate-applications-review-and-summary.
Many graduate schools require that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Some schools, usually in the U.S., also require the Millers Analogies Test (MAT). The results from these tests can sometimes be as important as grades in determining admission.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE is comprised of two different types of tests: a General Aptitude Test (which has both a verbal and quantitative component) and an Advanced Test (which is more specific to the relevant subject area of graduate study, e.g., psychology).
GRE General Aptitude Test: For practice exercises relating to this portion of the GRE one may purchase books at the U of T Bookstore as well as local bookstores. An exercise book of this sort can provide insight into the format, length, and types of questions involved. Several private companies offer GRE prep courses (e.g. Kaplan, Richardson, Princeton) as well.
While the quantitative section of the aptitude test does not entail advanced mathematics, most recommend a review of basic algebra and geometry. For the verbal section of the aptitude test, a review of basic English grammar and composition is recommended. Last minute studying (cramming) for the verbal secvtion is not particularly helpful, as the verbal section measures ability that has been developed over a long time.
GRE Advanced Test in Psychology: Students may prepare for this portion of the exam, which covers a variety of areas in psychology, by reviewing their notes and reading from undergraduate PSY courses. For this purpose an intensive review of a good introductory textbook may be particularly helpful. Not all graduate schools require that applicants write the Psychology GRE, though, so make sure that you check with each university you plan to apply to.
An information booklet on the GRE is typically available from the School of Graduate Studies, 63 St. George Street. This booklet provides information about the nature of the examination, indicates where and how to register to take the test, and includes sample questions.
One of the most important credentials a student can develop in addition to their GPA and breadth of course work is training and experience in research. One may develop research experience by (a) arranging to take PSY 299 through the Research Opportunity Program with a faculty member, while in the second year, (b) being a research assistant to a faculty member or (c) conducting one's own research under a faculty member's supervision with an Individual Project (PSY405/406). Research Specialist students will have complete a Thesis course (PSY 400Y) as part of their program.
Research experience can also be valuable in obtaining informed letters of recommendation from faculty members. Graduate School applications require at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members, sometimes three. Students may also request a letter of recommendation from their instructor of a 300-level Laboratory course, or a 400-level seminar course.
For any type of research project, one should make contacts with faculty members no later than the spring session of one's third year. Since one will usually need letters of recommendation to graduate schools in the fall of fourth year, one should have contacts well-established by this time.
Students who intend to apply to areas of psychology related to human service (e.g., counselling, clinical psychology) will find it beneficial to gain some experience and training in the helping professions. Information about volunteer opportunities is available through local mental health care facilities and hospitals, as well as other agencies. Opportunities also exist through part-time and summer employment (camp counsellors for disabled children; psychiatric aides at hospitals; etc.). It is not advantageous, however, to concentrate on gaining relevant work experience at the expense of maintaining a good academic record.
Students should take advantage of the opportunities that arise for faculty-student interaction through departmental colloquia, undergraduate psychology conventions, and involvement in the Psychology Students' Association (PSA) and their seminars and other events. These opportunities allow students to share common concerns with fellow students, graduate students and professors, and to enhance their appreciation for, and knowledge of, the field of psychology.
Are you interested in becoming an experimental or clinical psychologist? In studying counselling psychology? In pursuing further education in another area of psychology? If so, check the links below.
- Preparing for Graduate School includes tips and advice on the application process.
- Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Toronto focuses on experimental psychology.
- Clinical Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Toronto is a new clinical psychology program offered through U of T's Scarborough campus.
- The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), through their Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD) Program offers graduate studies in counselling and clinical psychology.
- University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies (SGS) offers a wide range of graduate programs in addition to psychology.
- The Canadian Psychological Association website provides a list all psychology graduate programs in Canada.
- Information about the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) can help you prepare for this graduate school entrance requirement.
- Planning Your Future (Eudaimonia) is a guide, prepared by former psych students, on applying to graduate studies in psychology.
- Psych Research List website contains various lists for paid internships, virtual graduate school information sessions, post-bac jobs, resources for applying to graduate school, and much more (primarily American).
To obtain certification with the Canadian Counselling Association, you must have completed specific graduate courses. Contact the CCA and determine if the choice of courses in your program acceptably meets their certification standards.
Scholarships are available to provide financial assistance to graduate students:
NSERC: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada website
OGS: Ontario Student Assistance Program
SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council website
CIHR: Canadian Institutes of Health Research website
These web sites provide all the information you will need in order to apply and also include application forms for download. Note that most application deadlines are early in the academic year (October/November). You can enquire about these scholarships in the Undergraduate Office (SS 4014) or find out more information, including deadlines on the Scholarships & Awards page.
Several resources exist which provide additional information on graduate study in psychology:
The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Student Resources page includes information on careers in psychology and a list of all Canadian university graduate programs.
The College of Psychologists of Ontario is responsible for the registration of qualified Psychologists and Psychological Associates. Visit their website for more information about the CPO and the steps needed to register.
The Career Centre offers a wide variety of programs and services to meet the career planning and employment needs of students and recent graduates. To access these programs and services, students are encouraged to register with the Career Centre website.
For thoses exploring options in the USA, the American Psychological Association (APA) site offers a wealth of educational and career resources. You can also visit the Psych Research List website where you will find information about graduate schools, internship opportunities and more.
**Students should also note that professors and graduate students are willing to help with questions and sometimes to share some of their own undergraduate and graduate school experiences.