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Clinical-Development Area Application Checklist

Make sure you have the following information ready when applying:

  1. Letters of Recommendation. A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required, but an additional third letter is preferred. It is ideal if one of these is from a research/academic reference and the other from a clinical supervisor familiar with your abilities. A third reference letter from either a research/academic or clinical supervisor may also be submitted. Academic references are very important, and having one strong clinical reference that attests to your professionalism and interpersonal skill can be advantageous. Letters of Recommendation may be completed online by your referees once you have submitted your application, or you can have them complete a hard copy version of it. Graduate admissions songtly encourages all references to be done online. If for some reason this is not possible, then a hard copy can be used. Do not do both. If your letters of recommendation are completed as a hard copy, follow the instructions on how to submit a hard copy letter to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. You can also contact Lori-Anne Santos to inquire about the hard copy if you have trouble accessing it.
  2. Non-refundable application fee (paid online) OR Credit Card information submitted with application. If you do not have a credit card and/or cannot apply online, you can request a hard-copy application form by calling 416-736-5000.
  3. TWO official sealed copies of transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended OR if you are a York University graduate, provide your student number to initiate a transcript request. Transcripts are considered official when sent directly from the issuing institution(s) in unopened, sealed envelopes. In some instances, the issuing institution(s) may mail the transcripts to you in unopened, sealed envelopes to submit with your application package. This is acceptable for the graduate application process and transcripts will be considered official. Opened envelopes will be considered unofficial. Photocopied, faxed or verified true copies are not considered official documents.
  4. Official Degree Certificate in countries where Degree Certificates are issued separately (i.e. Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Pakistan etc.). Official copies MUST be submitted. Applicants should check International Credentials on the following website: http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/graduate/equivalency.
  5. A Statement of Interest. The Statement of Interest is an important part of the application. It should contain information about your past clinical and research experience, why you want to attend our Clinical-Developmental Area graduate program, your research interests, at least one faculty member whom you are interested in working with and why, and your career plans following graduate school. It is strongly recommended that you contact potential faculty members to see if they are available to supervise a graduate student prior to listing them as a potential supervisor in your Statement of Interest. See our Faculty Directory to learn more about faculty members’ research interests.
  6. Curriculum Vitae. Make sure to indicate your educational and relevant employment history, any honours or scholarships you have received, any posters or publications you have been involved in, information regarding your honours thesis, and referees. We recommend that you take a look at samples of how academic curriculum vitaes are organized to format your CV effectively. At the same time, there is no one specific format required.
  7. Graduate Record Exam scores. All applicants to the Master’s Program in Psychology are required to arrange to have official scores submitted for the GRE General Test and GRE Psychology Subject Test. It is the responsibility of the applicant to schedule the examinations and request that a copy of the results be forwarded to the Graduate Admissions Office, York University. This should be done as soon as possible so that the results will be available near the closing date for applications. Our school code is 0894, York University and department name is Psychology. We do not set a minimum test score. Please use the exact same name on your GRE scores as the name on your application. Only one set of scores is required regardless of your first and second choices. More information about the GRE.
  8. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, if English was not the language of instruction for your undergraduate degree. Applicants are required to provide proof of language proficiency if their first language is not English or they have not completed at least one year of full-time study at an accredited university in a country (or institution) where English is the official language of instruction. York reserves the right to request a successful English language proficiency test result.

The university's Admissions Department also has some additional useful information and a timeline to getting ready to apply (this information is not specific to CD Area).

Submitting your Application
All application documents should be sent to the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. If your application package does not contain all required documents, your file may not get to the Psychology department. As a result, a review of your application by the professor you are interested in working with may be delayed. Here is the contact information for the York University Office of Admissions (Graduate).


Tips to Improve your Application to the Clinical Development Area

The Department receives anywhere between 120-150 applications for admission to the CD area each year; approximately 8 students may be admitted per year. Preference is given to applicants with strong academic backgrounds who appear promising as researchers and as scientist-practitioners. Here are some common elements of successful applicants:

  1. They have applied for or have a history of external scholarship funding. We strongly recommend that you apply for external scholarship funding (e.g., Ontario Graduate Scholarship and one of the Tri-Council funding agencies [CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC]) before starting graduate school, even though you may not know what you will be doing for your Master’s research. Make sure to mention any submitted funding applications in your Statement of Interest!
  2. They have contacted faculty members before applying. Let faculty members know you intend on applying, and why you think you are a good fit to work with them in their program of research. Faculty members may not respond – however even knowing you are applying can help them keep an eye out for your application.
  3. They specify whom they wish to work with. It is certainly acceptable to mention a number of faculty members (not just one), as this will increase your likelihood of being reviewed by a faculty member who will be taking a new graduate student (not every faculty member takes on a student every year). At the same time, being too broad in your research interests and in the number of faculty members whom you wish to work with makes it difficult for the review committee to know whom to direct your application to.
  4. Prior experience is an asset. Students have a history of presenting or publishing research during their undergraduate program/years, have high grades and GRE scores, and have clinical and research experience that is linked to the field of research of their potential supervisor. They often volunteer in research labs beyond what is required in doing an undergraduate thesis, and have life experiences that demonstrate maturity, interpersonal competence, initiative, and responsibility.
  5. Students have excellent letters of references. We recommend obtaining three letters of reference if possible. It is important that the referees know you well enough to answer the questions in the referral form. As a general rule however, two strong references are better than three mediocre references. Referees can be from research or clinical fields, and a mix of both can be helpful. You should definitely include your undergraduate thesis supervisor as a reference.

Updated on March 6th, 2014.