Best Clinical Psychology Programs in Canada

Top Clinial Psychology Schools in Canada

Have you always wanted to cure the minds of individuals who are ‘diagnosed’ with mental disorders and psychiatric·problems? If you have the guts and the spunk to go head to head with the world’s most ‘unpredictable’

patients – maybe throw yourself in the line of a violent tantrum or two as you help them recover along the way – then a degree in Clinical Psychology is what you are looking for.

In this article series will provide you a comprehensive overview of the best clinical psychology programs in Canada.

If you want to be the ‘best’ clinical psychologist in Canada, then it is a must for you to study in a renowned institution that specializes in the said discipline. Read on to learn more about the country’s crème de la crème – the school that offers the best clinical psychology program in all of Canada.

What is Clinical Psychology?

Clinical Psychology is defined as the practice of understanding, predicting and alleviating a person’s discomfort, disability and maladjustment. It aims to promote human adjustment and adaptation, as well as development.

Clinical Psychology covers different aspects of the individual, ranging from intellectual to behavioral, to emotional, biological and social.

What Do Clinical Psychologists Do?

Clinical psychologists apply their skills and knowledge to all kinds of patients – from kids to seniors – to help

prevent minor psychological problems and treat those who require institutionalization. They also work with the patient’s families, other groups and organizations in order to combat such psychological problems.

University of Waterloo: One of the Best

When it comes to clinical psychology, the University of Waterloo is considered as one of the best (if not the best) in Canada. Founded in 1963, Waterloo’s accredited Clinical Psychology Ph.D training program was developed in order to hone excellent practitioners according to the Boulder Model.

Ever since its inception, the Department of Clinical Psychology has dedicated itself to the highest level of education for its students. And, for half a century, it has managed to produce graduates who excelled in the fields of clinical practice, research, and education.

Why Choose the University of Waterloo?

Education and clinical exposure make for a great clinical psychologist. For this reason, it is a must that you enroll in the finest educational institution in Canada.

That is where the world-renowned University of Waterloo comes into play.

Here are several reasons why the best place to hone your Clinical Psychology skills is at the University of Waterloo:

1) Accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA.)

It was one of the first schools to be accredited by the CPA, in 1986. ·It was also accredited by American Psychological Association prior to the First Street Accord (Mutual Recognition Agreement.) Recently, it was granted reaccreditation by the CPA last April 2013. As per the committee findings, the association lauded the “integration of research, theory and practice,” which represents the major strength of the department.

2) Highly-selective program.

As one of the top universities in Canada and the world, the University of Waterloo prides in its rigorous screening program which admits 4-6 students out of an average of 130 qualified applicants.

3) Strong mentorship system.

Students are assisted and honed by research supervisors and research teams in their lessons and studies.

4) Closely-supervised psychotherapy experience.

University of Waterloo students are given a chance to immerse themselves in psychotherapy, with focus on Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Live and video hour-by-hour supervision are observed in order to analyze the students’ performances.

5) Broad range of specializations among the faculty members.

The success of the student is of course, measured by the ability and skill of his educator. In Waterloo, learners can develop their potentials to the fullest with the assistance of expert faculty members in the different fields, such as shame and self-criticism, executive control in children, social anxiety, cognitive and communication skills, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders, to name a few.

6) Active in-house Psychology Clinic.

The university is home to the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR), where the latest clinical practices and relevant researches concerning Clinical Psychology are observed applied.

7) Off-campus practicum experience.

University of Waterloo students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios through off-campus internship programs.

8) Wide access to research participants.

The University features a Research Experiences Group that can help students obtain subjects in their researches. Add to that, the professors too have connections with agencies and departments that can assist the learners in their search.

9) Ample research space.

Students and faculty members are given enough laboratory area for research and other pertinent activities.

10) Excellent computer support.

Easy software and program assistance are available to both students and faculty members.

What Students, Employees and Faculty Members Have to Say

While the University of Waterloo’s Clinical Psychology program boasts of excellent education, research and internship opportunities, the foremost factors that make it ‘great’ are its students and faculty members. Here are what they had to say about the institution, as per

“You get to work with the brightest minds in the nation.”

“The department is always at the helm of cutting-edge research.”

“Many opportunities for personality and skill development.”

-······ Faculty members, employees and research assistants

“I was given the opportunity to conduct hands-on research.”

“Quiet and tranquil learning environment.”

“We have access to innovative technology.”

-······ Clinical Psychology students

Positives and Negatives of the Program

As a respected institution specializing in Clinical Psychology, there are many positives associated with the university program. Here are several strong points that will endear you to Waterloo:

  • Its Psychology program is among the top 150 programs in the entire world, according to
  • CPA Accredited.
  • Comprehensive psychotherapy experience and immersion for students.
  • Numerous specializations and research disciplines among faculty members.
  • Respected in-house Psychology Clinic (CMHR) for practicum.
  • Access to new technology and resources.

As with the philosophy ‘yin and yang’: with every positive, there is a negative. While sparse in number, there are some drawbacks to enrolling in Waterloo’s Clinical Psychology program.

  • Location is not easily accessible. Waterloo in Ontario, Canada is a small town; there are not a lot of happenings and events around the area. (However, if you are focused on studying Clinical Psychology, this will be of little, if no inconvenience to you.)
  • Competitive admission process. As it has been said, only an average of 4-6 students out of 130 qualified applicants are accepted in the University. While this might sound taxing, being admitted in the University means that you will receive high-quality psychology education.
  • Sparse internal funding for scholarship. Most financial aid grants are obtained by students through extraneous companies and organizations.

Diagnosing and treating mental problems and disorders, while challenging, can be an exhilarating experience. With its strong curriculum, respected professors and up-to-date facilities, there is without a doubt that the University of Waterloo offers the best Clinical Psychology programs in all of Canada.

Relevant Links:

  1. The Best Psychology Programs in Canada – Part 1 (UofT Psychology School)
  2. The Best Psychology Programs in Canada – Part 2 (McGill Psychology)
  3. The Best Psychology Programs in Canada – Part 3 (UBC Faculty of Psychology)
  4. Best Clinical Psychology Programs in Canada
  5. Top 5 Highest Paying Psychology Jobs

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