Top 12 Universities for Psychology Masters in Canada (2024)

If you are looking to pursue a Masters in Psychology in Canada, then you’ve made a good decision. The government of Canada committed to promoting positive mental health for everyone, especially in the post-pandemic world. In May 2022, the government announced an investment of CA $12 million for different projects across the country. This decision has turned the spotlight on Psychology as a discipline and increased the demand for psychologists.

How to become a Psychologist in Canada?

Who is a psychologist? What is the scope of this profession? How does one become one in Canada? Let us take a look.

Before we jump into the “how”, let us mark one key distinction: Psychiatrists vs Psychologists vs Therapists in Canada.

Psychiatrists Psychologists Therapists
Degree Medical Doctor Research Doctor (PhD)/ Master’s degree Masters/ PhD
Main Role Illness diagnosis and treatment with medication Can assess, diagnose and help through counselling therapy or psychotherapy Primary provide talk therapy to help deal with emotional or behavioural issues
Regulations After a medical degree and specialising in psychiatry, you must be registered with the respective provincial medical regulatory authority. After a degree and the required number of hours of practice, you must be registered as either a counselling psychologist or a clinical psychologist under the respective provincial body of the Canadian Psychological Association. “Therapist” / “Counsellor” is an unregulated term in many provinces. However, terms such as “psychotherapist” or “counselling therapist” require proper registration and licensure depending on the province.
Medication Can prescribe medication Cannot prescribe any medication Cannot prescribe any medication

How can one become a licensed psychologist in Canada?

Step 1: Choose the right-subfield in psychology that best matches your interests. This can include options such as School psychology, Forensic psychology, Sports psychology, Clinical Psychology and so on.

Step 2: Complete your bachelor’s and master’s degree from a Canadian institution. If you have completed your degree outside of India but want to practise in Canada, you can apply to the Canadian Psychological Association and undergo an  Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Step 3: Gain the required work experience, depending on the province.

Step 4: Sign up and work towards your doctoral degree. In many provinces a PhD is required to be a licensed psychologist. However, in provinces such as Alberta or Sasketchawan, you can be registered with a Masters degree. Remember this regulation is in place only if you want to use the term “Psychologist” after your name. There are other career options you can look into, if you do not want to pursue a PhD.

Step 5: Complete your supervised hours, working under a registered psychologist. The number of hours required varies with province. You can typically complete it in 1 year.

Step 6: Pass the final licensing examination, as required by the province.

Why Study MSC in Psychology in Canada?

Canada has been a popular study for international students,especially Indian students, considering the number of world-class universities, diverse population, high quality of life and lower tuition fees, and ease of immigration processes when compared to other English-speaking nations.

This multicultural global ed destination has over half a million international students and is one of the best global learning ecosystems. Liberal governmental policies, great quality of life, top-notch healthcare, and cutting and edge research are just some of the reasons why you must consider Canada as a top destination for pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology.

If you are looking at the discipline of psychology, in particular, Canada is renowned for top-tier research institutions and flexibility of learning. A typical Master’s program in Canada is either one or two years long. The scope of the discipline is also immense. You can specialise in niche areas such as clinical psychology, cognitive sciences, neuroscience, child psychology, counselling psychology, psychoanalysis, and so on.

Having gained a postgraduate degree from Canada, the doors will open for you, with exciting career prospects, in the education, healthcare, and wellness sectors. The average salary of a postgraduate student of psychology from Canada is also relatively higher, estimated at around US $50,000 – US $85,000 per annum. After your education, you still have the choice between joining the skilled workforce or pursuing your research further through any of the Ph.D. programs.

If you are looking at psychology courses in Canadian universities, particularly at the Master’s level, you have a choice to make. Psychology programs can be M.A. (Master of Arts), M.Sc (Master of Science), or M.A.P (Master of Applied Psychology). Each of them has its own scope of study and research areas, based on the specialization.

If, however, you are not looking at Canada, then the UK is also a great option for Msc in Psychology (in case that’s where your interest lies).

Eligibility for masters in Psychology In Canada

If you are an international student applying for Masters’s in Psychology in Canada, you will need to fulfill some of the basic and programme-specific requirements. The following eligibility criteria are typically considered for admission.

  • 10 + 2 years of schooling plus a 4-year bachelor’s course
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or in a related field.
  • CGPA of 70 – 80% in the undergraduate program, good academic standing at the undergraduate level
  • Basic research experience in psychology or an allied subject at the UG level
  • Standardised test scores such as a GRE
  • English Proficiency Tests such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • Proof of finances
  • Supporting documents such as a CV, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation, Academic transcripts, and visa applications.

Did you know that Psychology is one of the toughest degrees to study?

What are the best universities for psychology masters in Canada?

Let us now dive into the list of top universities for master in psychology in Canada. We will be looking at the fees, eligibility criteria and the courses offered by each of the universities.

S.No QS World University Ranking University Location
1 15 University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
2 22 University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
3 28 McGill University Montreal, Quebec
4 101-150 Western University London, Ontario
5 101-150 York University Toronto, Ontario
6 151-200 McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario
7 151-200 Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario
8 151-200 University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta
9 151-200 University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta
10 151-200 University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario
11 151-200 University of Montreal Montreal, Quebec
12 201-250 Simon Fraser University Burnaby, BC

Note: The table is based on 2023 QS WUR for Psychology. TC Global Insights will update this table when 2024 subject-wise rankings are published.

1. University of Toronto

Ranking 15th in the list of world universities, the University of Toronto is one of Canada’s largest universities. Since 1827, this university has established itself as a pioneer in research and teaching. The Psychology department is renowned, keeping itself updated to incorporate new research and address new challenges in the discipline.

Why is it good to study here?

The M.A. program at the University of Toronto is a rigorous academic enterprise training students in experimental psychology. This year-long program is structured to introduce students to statistics and research design so that they can continue into the doctorate program. Even if you don’t, you are expected to complete a research project and thesis during the course of your postgraduate study. The University of Toronto also allows candidates to apply directly to their doctorate program in psychology after their Bachelor’s. The areas of specialisation include behavioural neuroscience; perception, cognition, and cognitive neuroscience; developmental; social, and personality.

Fees CAD 30,350 per year


  • Applicants must satisfy the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies such as the GRE and the TOEFL/ IELTS
  • Applicants must have an appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognised university with a minimum A– average (or first-class standing) in the last two undergraduate years, and the equivalent of 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in psychology including statistics and adequate research performance.
  • It is assumed that all students entering the MA program intend to continue in the Ph.D. program.

Courses Offered

M.A. in Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. Program. Students are considered for direct admission into the Ph.D. programs.

2. University of British Columbia

Since 1915, the University of British Columbia has been providing quality education to aspiring students across the globe. Over 20% of their admissions, in both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, are international students looking for better prospects in higher education. The school has been the alma mater of 8 Nobel laureates and ranks 22nd in the world for psychology.

Why is it good to study here?

The Psychology program at UBC was introduced in 1915 and has been growing ever since. It has a top-ranked research program when it comes to Psychology and emphasises seven sub-disciplinary specialisations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality. The Department of Psychology at UBC is well funded and has interdisciplinary tie-ups with Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Arts, the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. The university also offers multiple specialisations for you to choose from.


CAD 13,650 per year, on an average. The counselling psychology programme is around $16,200 per year.


Standard Graduate Application eligibility criteria such as:

  • Valid Bachelor’s degree in psychology or allied field
  • GRE
  • English Language Proficiency Tests such as IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL

Courses Offered

  • Master of Education in School and Applied Child Psychology
  • Master of Arts in School and Applied Child Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology
  • Master of Education in Counselling Psychology
  • Doctorate Programs

3. McGill University

Located in Montreal, McGill University was founded in 1821. One of Canada’s foremost places for research and learning, over 30% of its student body is international.

Why is it good to study here?

The aim of McGill’s Psychology program is to provide students with an environment in which they develop skills and expertise that will serve them during a professional career of teaching and research as a psychologist. The research interests of the Psychology Department include behavioural neuroscience, clinical psychology, cognition & cognitive neuroscience, developmental science, and health psychology, to name a few. The department also has tie-ups with hospitals in and around Montreal for graduate students to undertake research in hospital settings.


The total tuition fee is around CA $29,592.


  • Honours or majors degree (B.A. or B.Sc.) in Psychology
  • Students applying to the clinical program must complete 42 specific undergraduate credits in psychology as specified by the Order of Psychologists of Quebec
  • GRE and Psychology Subject Test is not mandatory but the scores will be considered.
  • Additional requirements such as a personal statement, CV, letters of reference, and application summary

Courses Offered

  • M.A. Psychology (with Thesis)
  • M.Sc Psychology (with Thesis)
  • Ph.D. Psychology
  • Ph.D. Psychology in Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Ph.D. Psychology in Language Acquisition
  • Ph.D. Psychology in Psychosocial Oncology

4. Western University

Since its founding in the late 1870s, Western University has aimed at giving each of its students “The Western Experience”. Its 12 faculties and three affiliated university colleges offer its more than 36,000 students a choice of 400 study programmes. Earlier known as the University of Western Ontario, the school went through a rebranding process in 2012 and is now commonly known as Western University.

One of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, with annual funding in excess of $240 million, the school has a history of excellence in fundamental and applied discovery.

Why is it good to study here?

One of the top ten universities to pursue a psychology degree in Canada, this university located in Ontario offers research and graduate studies in many areas of psychology. The department has world-renowned faculty members, excellent support staff, and facilities, all within a beautiful campus. The Psychology program at Western offers four clusters of excellence from which you can choose one, depending on your interests and career paths: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive, Developmental and Brian Sciences, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and Social, Personality, and Developmental Psychology. Having been admitted, you can also consider part-time options to balance other professional requirements.


Around CAD $23,000 for tuition, on average per year, for three terms of study.


  • Four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • A grade average of 78% and above or B+ and above
  • GRE not required

Courses Offered

  • M.Sc in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Psychology

5. York University

A multi-campus university located in Toronto, York University is a space for excellent learning and research. With over 350,000 global alumni, this university is committed to making a positive change in the global ethos. The university offers flexible degrees so you can choose your majors and minors to fit your passions.

Why is it good to study here?

Each year, The University of York admits about 40 students to its graduate program in psychology. The candidates can choose from any of the seven specialised areas. The department is also considerate of extenuating circumstances and is open to allowing students to work part-time. A student pursuing a Master’s at York University typically proceeds to pursue a Ph.D.


CAD $20,000 on average for tuition fees, per year.


  • Honours degree in psychology with B+ or higher
  • must have completed one full course in introductory psychology
  • GRE scores (not compulsory from 2023 admissions)

Courses Offered

  • M.A. Psychology – 2 years, full-time
  • Ph.D. Psychology – 5 years, full time

6. McMaster University

Located in Hamilton, Ontario, McMaster University offers over 100 doctoral and Master’s level programs across disciplines. This research-based university is a great option for you to consider pursuing your Master’s in Psychology


Why is it good to study here?

The department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB) at McMaster University offers an MSc program and a Ph.D. program in Psychology. The goal is for these programs to introduce students to the issues and questions in the field of experimental psychology, and train them on the theoretical basis and research approaches used to study psychological questions. In the Ph.D. program, a Research and Clinical Training stream is specially curated. It trains students within a scientist-practitioner model. The typical areas of research in the Master’s program include animal behaviour, cognition and perception, Developmental Psychology, Evolution, Social Behaviour, and Systems and Behavioural Neuroscience.


CAD $17,100 per year for tuition fees


  • Honours Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in psychology or a related discipline for the two-year master’s program
  • A research thesis for completion
  • A candidate must be enrolled full-time.

Courses Offered

  • M.Sc Psychology
  • Ph.D. Psychology
  • Psychology (Ph.D. – Research and Clinical Training stream)

7. Queen’s University

An inclusive space, Queen’s University is highly ranked for student experience and interdisciplinary courses. Graduating from this university located in Kingston gives you unparalleled access to job opportunities around the world.

Why is it good to study here?

Queen’s University offers graduate and doctorate programs in psychology in four key areas: Clinical, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, and Social-Personality. The idea is to emphasise research skills and scholarship so that the graduates are ready for their careers in governmental agencies, healthcare, private practice, and so on. The programs are a carefully curated blend of academic research and practical application so that every graduate can carve his/ her own niche.


CAD $15,200 per year


  • Bachelor’s honours degree in psychology, or in an appropriate adjacent area, such as cognitive science or social behaviour in order to be competitive.
  • Significant undergraduate research experience
  • Practical research experience as an RA or lab coordinator
  • Excellent skills in writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning

Courses Offered

  • The Department of Psychology has Graduate Programs at both the M.Sc. and the Ph.D. levels in four areas. The Master’s programs are two years long.
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social-Personality Psychology

8. University of Alberta

One of the top five Canadian institutions, the University of Alberta has over 500 graduate programs offering over 250 specialisations. Here is why you can consider the U of A for your Master’s in Psychology.

Why is it good to study here?

You can choose among M.A, M.Sc, and Doctoral programs, specialising in a variety of areas of psychology, including behaviour, systems, and cognitive neuroscience; cognition; comparative cognition and behaviour; developmental science; and social and cultural psychology. The university also provides graduate assistantships for students who maintain academic excellence.


The full-time yearly programme fee is around CA $9,800


  • relevant undergraduate with an admission GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE scores (can we waive with the express permission of the supervisor)
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 90
  • The original statement of Research

Courses Offered

  • Master of Arts (Psychology)
  • Master of Science (Psychology)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology)

9. University of Calgary

Established in 1966, the University of Calgary boasts about 30,000 undergraduate students. Ranking 264th globally, this university has a research-oriented approach pushing the boundaries of knowledge to the cutting edge.

Why is it good to study here?

The graduate program in Psychology at the University of Calgary is a thesis-based program. It gives you a chance at a particular specialization along with research methodologies. The department specialises in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Social and Theoretical Psychology, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences. You can also choose to pursue an interdisciplinary course on Medical Imaging.


Indian students are required to pay a tuition fee of CA $2,803 per term for a thesis-based graduate and doctoral programmes.


  • Minimum of 3.4 GPA on a 4.0 system
  • four-year UG course in psychology or related discipline
  • Research proposal/ statement of purpose
  • TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores.

Courses Offered

  • M.Sc Psychology

This is in no way an exhaustive list. You can further look up Concordia University in Montreal, the University of Ottawa, and Dalhousie University in Halifax for their psychology programs to have more options. Most of these universities listed above offer graduate assistantships and fee waivers to ease your financial burden of pursuing a graduate program.

10. University of Waterloo

In 1957, the University of Waterloo was first founded as a school of engineering. Today, the school has over 180 graduate and doctoral programs that make international students flock to Waterloo. The alumni from the University of Waterloo are researching mental health, treating mental illnesses, improving approaches to education, and creating healthier workplaces.

Why is it good to study here?

The Department of Psychology offers three types of programs at the graduate level. You can choose one of the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology
  • Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Applied Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.

In these degrees, you can choose to specialise in Clinical, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Industrial Organisation, and Social Psychology. The length of the program is two years and it is a research-intensive course that allows you to continue into the doctorate program.


CAD $25,537 per year for tuition on average.


  • an Honours Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in Psychology with at least an 80% overall standing, in the last two years.
  • Completed Department of Psychology Application.
  • Results from the Graduate Record Examination (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic scores).
  • Candidates may be admitted to a Master’s program or directly to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program.
  • Clinical and Social applicants are typically accepted into an MA program, while Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, and Industrial Organisational students are typically accepted into a Ph.D. program).
  • Candidates accepted to the MA program are expected to continue to a Ph.D. program.

Courses Offered

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology
  • Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Applied Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology.

11. Université de Montréal

Founded in 1878, the University of Montreal was established with the goal of providing higher education to students from all over. It’s outstanding teaching, rigorous research, and talented students keep UdeM among the world’s top universities year after year.

Why is it good to study here?

The Department of Psychology offers Graduate programs that prepare students for careers in further research or professional practice. A degree from the University of Montreal allows you to join Ordre des psychologues du Québec. Once you are part of the order, you can then work in healthcare, social services, education, private companies or clinics, or in colleges and universities.


CAD $31,000 for tuition per year, on an average, for three terms of study.


  • CGPA of 3.5 or above in the undergraduate course
  • Specialised Bachelor’s in psychology or allied course
  • English Language Proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL

Courses Offered

  • MA in Psychology – Research
  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Research
  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Clinical
  • Ph.D. in Psychology – Research and Intervention

12. Simon Fraser University

Spread across Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver, Simon Fraser University offers an excellent environment for research and graduate studies. More than 5,500 students are currently enrolled in their graduate programs, with approximately 30% of international graduate students in attendance.

Why is it good to study here?

Simon Fraser University offers two graduate programs in the discipline of Psychology. The psychology graduate program offers specialisations in Cognitive & Neural Sciences, Developmental History, Quantitative & Theoretical, Law & Forensic Psychology, and Social Psychology.

You can also choose to specialise in Clinical Psychology and undergo training in one of these four options: Clinical-General, Clinical-Child, Clinical-Neuropsychology, or Clinical-Forensic Psychology.


CAD $2,500 per term. Typically, there are three full terms in a year.


  • a bachelor’s degree from SFU or its equivalent from a recognized institution
  • a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.33 scale, or 3.33 on a 4.33 scale (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. All graduate work is also considered.
  • proof of English Language proficiency

Courses Offered

  • M.A. Psychology
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology
  • Ph.D. Psychology
  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology

MA Psychology in Canada vs MSC Psychology in Canada: What are the differences?

In the top universities listed above, you must have noticed that there are some universities that offer an MA (Master of Arts), some an MSc (Master of Science) in Psychology or even both. So what exactly is the difference there?

As the titles of the degrees themselves suggest, the former takes a more humanities and social science approach to psychology, while the latter takes on the scientific route. Psychology as a discipline straddles the gap between sciences and humanities in its ultimate goal of understanding the human mind. The difference in the degrees is a difference in the approach.

Let us make it clear, the differences in curricula are not watertight. In either of the programs, you will be introduced to the biological or the socio-cultural components of psychology. The difference lies in the magnitude of emphasis placed on them. The best thing to do is to read through the university’s curriculum and see if the courses and specializations interest you, before making a choice.

From a career standpoint, a potential recruiter is only going to look at your experiences and the professional expertise that you can offer. They are not going to be particularly concerned with whether your Master’s degree is going to be followed by Arts or Science.

Apply to any university without stress

Explore courses and start your journey here.

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Once you’ve done this, visit to pick a Relationships team closest to you and choose a slot that works well for you for an e-meet with our team and you’ll be on your way to pursuing a Master in Psychology in Canada!

Let’s shape your future together 🌍😊

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