Admission requirements | Saint Paul University

Ph.D. in Counselling and Spirituality

School of Counselling , Psychotherapy and Spirituality

Admission requirements

Applications to the PhD program are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • A master’s degree in Counselling or in a related discipline such as practical theology, health care, psychology, social work, pastoral studies or a discipline judged equivalent to these, with a minimum overall average of 75% (B+);
  • Completion of at least one course in each of the following: research methods, professional ethics, psychopathology and treatment, theory of counselling, spirituality and religion;
  • Completion of at least three undergraduate courses in the area of spirituality and religion and one graduate course such as IPA5134, or IPA5144. Depending on the candidate’s background the Admissions Committee may require additional courses prior to admission such as IPA6120, IPA6108, IPA5106, and IPA5131;
  • A good academic performance and research potential as shown by official transcripts, major research paper, master’s thesis, research reports, publications in peer-reviewed journals, abstracts, presentations, etc. The admission dossier must include a written description in the form of a basic outline of the proposed research project;
  • At least 120 hours of supervised direct, face-to-face, contact with clients;
  • Successful completion of an admission interview with the Admissions Committee – the factors evaluated at this interview will include the relevance of the candidate’s proposed research topic, the candidate’s previous experience, the capacity of the candidate to succeed in doctoral-level studies, personal aptitude and interpersonal skills, and the availability of appropriate core faculty to direct their research;
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation, including at least one addressing clinical skills and one addressing academic strengths from a professor who has known the applicant and is familiar with the candidate’s work;
  • A statement of purpose indicating the interests, career goals, research focus, and other factors relevant to the proposed research area;
  • Identification of two potential thesis supervisors, ranked in order of preference.

Language requirement

All applicants must be able to understand, speak and write proficiently in either English or French and must have a passive knowledge (ability to read and understand university level texts) of the other language. Applicants whose first language is neither English nor French must provide proof of proficiency in one or the other.

Transfer from Master’s to PhD Program

Students in a master’s program who have achieved an 80% (A-) average in their last two years of undergraduate studies may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Completion of 5 graduate courses (15 units) with a grade of A- or better in each;
  • Satisfactory progress in the research program;
  • Written recommendation from the supervisor and the thesis advisory committee;
  • Approval by the graduate studies committee.

The transfer must take place within sixteen months of initial registration in the master’s. Following transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program must be met.