APHD: School and Clinical Child Psychology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The mission of the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) program is to provide students with theoretical, research, and professional training in preparation for leadership in psychological practice with children, adolescents, and families in school, mental health, private practice, and research settings. The program follows a scientist-practitioner model and is designed to train students to conduct basic and applied research and provide professional training in psychological assessment, therapy, and other psychosocial and instructional interventions, professional consultation, and prevention.

Opportunities are available for research and professional work with infants, young children, adolescents, adults, and families. The degrees are intended to meet the academic requirements of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) for registration as a Psychological Associate (MA) or Psychologist (PhD).

The curriculum of the SCCP program is designed to establish a strong foundation of core knowledge and skills early in the program, with students free to specialize later on. The program reflects a mix of courses and training opportunities.

A systemic approach is the basis for the training that is provided in assessment and intervention. The knowledge and skills necessary for the practice of school psychology and clinical child psychology overlap considerably, and experience in school and clinical settings complement and enhance each other. Therefore, over the course of the program of study, students are required to undertake practica in both school and clinical child settings.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, an appropriate bachelor's degree in psychology or its equivalent and a University of Toronto MA in School and Clinical Child Psychology or its equivalent. The usual admission standard is equivalency to a University of Toronto A– or better in the master's degree. A limited number of outstanding applicants holding equivalent bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from elsewhere may be considered. However, if the master's program was not equivalent to the University of Toronto MA in School and Clinical Child Psychology, the student will be required to take additional courses to receive equivalent training.

  • Cognate course requirements. 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) at the senior undergraduate level, or 0.5 FCE at the graduate level, in each of the following cognate areas: Biological Bases of Behaviour, Cognitive/Affective Bases of Behaviour, Social Bases of Behaviour, and History and Systems of Psychology.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete 5.5 FCEs, including a doctoral practicum course and an internship course, as follows:

    • APD3202H A Foundation of Program Evaluation in Social Sciences (RM) (0.5 FCE).

    • APD3222H Approaches to Psychotherapy with Children, Youth, and Families (0.5 FCE), normally taken in Year 1.

    • APD3241H+Seminar and Practicum in Clinical Assessment and Intervention, normally taken in Year 2. The practicum portion of APD3241H+ consists of 500 hours (two days a week from September to June) and is normally taken in a clinical setting. Students must complete APD3241H+ in order to remain in good standing and be permitted to continue in the program.

    • APD3260H Psychodiagnostic Systems (0.5 FCE).

    • APD5284Y+Assessment and Intervention with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children, Youth, and Families (1.0 FCE).

    • 0.5 FCE from the Psychosocial Interventions course menu:

      • APD3224H Advanced Proactive Behavioural and Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions* or

      • APD3231H Psychodynamic Bases of Therapy*.

* Note: the course is offered every other year. Students interested in other courses that may fulfil the Psychosocial Interventions requirement must receive approval from the SCCP Program Coordinator.

  • 0.5 elective FCE.

  • APD3240H+Advanced Social and Emotional Assessment Techniques (0.5 FCE).

  • APD3242Y Internship in School and Clinical Child Psychology (1.0 FCE). The internship consists of a 1,600-hour placement, normally taken on a full-time basis over the course of a year in the final year of the student's program.

  • A comprehensive examination. The purpose of the SCCP comprehensive examination is to:

    • Ensure an adequate level of psychological knowledge for professional functioning as a practitioner, academic, and/or researcher.

    • Demonstrate an ability to integrate information at the accepted standard for a doctoral student.

  • A doctoral dissertation.

  • Students must have successfully completed all coursework, passed the comprehensive examination, and have their dissertation completed or well underway, prior to commencing their internship.

  • For each missing cognate course requirement (see Cognitive/Affective, Social, or Biological Bases of Behaviour; Admission Requirements above), students are required to take a 0.5 FCE course from the applicable course menu. A listing of approved Cognitive/Affective, Social, or Biological Bases of Behaviour courses is available from the department and in the Applied Psychology and Human Development program guidelines. Students may use their elective course to cover one of these requirements.

  • In addition to the above course requirements, students who have not taken a previous child development course must take APD1201H Childhood and Adolescent Development. Students who have not taken a previous statistics course or its equivalent must take JOI1287H Introduction to Applied Statistics (RM).

  • Students must complete APD3241H+Seminar and Practicum in Clinical Assessment and Intervention in order to remain in good standing and be permitted to continue in the program.

  • Students who are required to take APD1215H, APD1216H, and APD1218H in addition to other courses in the PhD (which is the case for most students coming into the program from elsewhere) must achieve a minimum of A- in at least one of APD1215H Psychological Assessment of School-Aged Children and APD1216H Psychoeducational Assessment, and must complete APD1218H+Seminar and Practicum in School-Based Assessment, Consultation, and Intervention in order to remain in good standing and be permitted to continue in the program. Failure to meet these criteria will normally result in a recommendation to the School of Graduate Studies to terminate the student’s registration in the program.

  • Students must register continuously and pay the full-time fee until all degree requirements have been fulfilled.

Program Length

5 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.