Psychology (PhD Program)

Steven Cronshaw, Professor Emeritus
Kenneth Prkachin, Professor Emeritus
John Sherry, Assistant Professor and Acting Chair
Sherry Beaumont, Professor
Han Li, Professor
William Owen, Professor
Paul Siakaluk, Professor
Annie Duchesne, Associate Professor
Loraine Lavallee, Assistant Professor
Nick Reid, Assistant Professor
James Climenhage, Adjunct Professor
Tammy Klassen-Ross, Adjunct Professor
Elizabete Rocha, Adjunct Professor
Julie Howard, Senior Lab Instructor IV
The PhD in Psychology at UNBC provides breadth in the substantive and methodological areas of Psychology, with a focus on health and human psychology. The PhD provides advanced research and experiential training so that graduates gain skills beneficial to academic and related areas. 
More specifically, the objectives of the PhD program in Psychology is to develop scholars and researchers who can contribute to the larger body of scientific knowledge of psychology through research and have an advanced level of understanding of the psychological sciences, including comprehensive knowledge of contemporary theory and evidence in Psychology and a high level of methodological expertise.


Applicants must have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, at least one of which must be in Psychology with a research-based thesis.
Students interested in applying for the PhD in Psychology are responsible for ensuring that all application materials are received at UNBC by the application deadline:

  • a letter of interest;
  • official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions;
  • three letters of reference from academic referees; and
  • a copy of a thesis or paper submitted for coursework.

Application deadlines are found in this calendar under Admissions and Regulations, or online at: (under Semester Dates). The Psychology PhD Program accepts students for September semester admission.
For additional information about graduate admissions or to download application materials, go to the Office of Graduate Administration website at


Students in the PhD program are required to complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework consisting of one graduate seminar:

PSYC 800-3 Graduate Seminar

Three credit hours of research practica:

PSYC 860-(3-6) Research Practicum

and two courses from the following:

PSYC 810-3 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 815-3 Social Psychology
PSYC 820-3 Health Psychology

PSYC 825-3

Cognitive Neuropsychological Assessment

PSYC 826-3

Personality Assessment

PSYC 830-3

Psychological Interventions

PSYC 835-3 Cognition and Learning
PSYC 845-3 Developmental Psychology

Required courses in Psychology are offered on a two-year schedule.
These courses provide students with the basic foundations upon which to build their PhD research. In addition, students are required to complete successfully a Doctoral candidacy examination and a PhD dissertation (PSYC 890-12). The Doctoral candidacy examination is tailored to ensure each student is adequately prepared to begin work on the PhD dissertation.
Students must have a Cumulative GPA of 3.33 (B+) or better by the end of their second semester of registration, and maintain it at B+ or better thereafter.
Students may be required to address deficiencies within their background preparation in Psychology or in their area of concentration that are identified by the Psychology Graduate Committee. Additional courses may be required.
Normally, students take a Doctoral candidacy examination by the end of the first year in the program (or 12 credit hours for part-time students). Upon successfully completing the Doctoral candidacy examination, and presenting an acceptable dissertation proposal to their supervisory committee, a student is granted PhD Candidate status, and embarks upon completion of the dissertation under the supervision of a Faculty Academic Supervisor. Normally, it is expected that the defence of the dissertation by full-time PhD Candidates take place within three years of acceptance into the program.

Updated: September 1, 2023