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PsyD from Canada to the USA?


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I am planning on becoming a clinical psychologist, but I have very little interest in academia or programs that are highly research oriented. I would prefer my doctorate degree to be as practical as possible and from speaking with a few people here and there, it appears as though a PsyD would be the ideal degree for someone like myself. However, we have very few options for this degree in Canada (and ever fewer are accredited), so I am considering looking into programs in the USA. I have a few Q's tho...:


1.) Is it a common thing for Canadians/Americans to go to the other country to study to become a clinical psychologist?

2.) Would I be stuck practicing in the USA for my life, or could I come back to Canada if I wanted to? 

3.) What else should I be considering lol?




Edited by 1234thumbwar
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  • 2 weeks later...

In regards to selecting programs, it would be helpful to figure out where you would like to eventually practice to determine if it is the right for you, regardless of country. For example, in a few provinces only a Masters is required to register as a psychologist. In the US, a doctorate is required to become a psychologist but with a Masters you can work as a counselor. Therefore, which degree is going to allow you to work where you want to go? As well, some doctorate programs require a Masters to apply and others can be directly applied to from a Bachelors. I can't entirely comment on the commonality of students studying in other countries but as a Canadian that just finished studying in the US I have met a few other Canadians at the small private school I was at.

In Alberta (where I'm from), the College of Alberta Psychologists is the organization that I would need to register with. Their website lists courses and other requirements I have to complete to begin the process. I was able to compare the courses from my degree to their requirements. As well, it helped that my program was CACREP-accredited (a US accreditation for counseling programs) which gave me more opportunities to work in the US if I wanted to stay. I also spoke with my advisors and the program was suitable for transfer back to Canada. Perhaps you can contact the program ahead of time and ask them. For other provinces and their requirements, you can check out this website: http://www.cpa.ca/practitioners/practiceregulation/. You can also contact them about transferability.

I would consider reaching out to clinical psychologists in your area and asking them about their experience in a PsyD program and what the advantages and disadvantages were for their position. I've met a few psychologists with a PsyD and they all received their degrees from the US but some programs may be better than others. Lastly, I found the "insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology" book by Sayette, Mayne, and Norcross incredibly helpful. Although it is primarily geared towards US schools, PsyD programs are included. There is also information for each specific school on practice or research orientation, GRE and GPA means, number of applicants/admissions offers/incoming students, financial assistantships, demographic information on students, average years to complete program, and more. The book is even updated every year. The book provided me with so much more information than I would have even thought of considering when I first applied. The even better part is there are tips on selecting schools and mastering the interview.

I hope this helps!

Edit: I attached an image of a page of the book I recommended to show you how it is set up.

The Insiders Guide.png

Edited by bluesky020
Added an image.
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