PhD | Field of School and Applied Child Psychology

Our mission is to prepare school psychologists to create and use the knowledge of psychological science in ways that enhance the well-being of children, youth, and families in schools and communities.


Our graduates have a deep interdisciplinary psychological understanding of the complex relationships cognition, teaching, and learning and the factors and conditions that influence the learning process and its outcomes. They are also highly knowledgeable about the interactional effects of cognition and affect on behavior and their impact on mental health and well-being in diverse populations.

Our graduates have the knowledge, skills, and competencies to apply these understandings to inform assessment and intervention practice in the social and material environments of schools and other settings. This program prepares graduates for registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Student Profile
Amanda Kerry PhD ‘19

Field of School and Applied Child Psychology

Amanda Kerry PhD ‘19

Amanda Kerry began her career as an offender counsellor with the Correctional Service of Canada. Working in Federal institutions for adult male offenders, she learned how common it was for adults to have started on their criminal paths through lesser-degree offences, often as early as age 11 or 12.

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Qualifying Papers

As soon as you have completed your coursework, you will start your Qualifying Exam process and must be completed in one term.  Qualifying Exams are a Milestone and will not show up as a course in your Student Centre.  Once you have passed your Qualifying Exam, it will appear at the end of your transcript under the Milestones area.

Students who started the program in Fall 2012 or later are required to satisfactorily complete one qualifying paper which contains both the Methodology and Theoretical portion of the paper. The purpose of the paper is to allow students the opportunity to situate their chosen area of research in broad educational context.

Please refer to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Guide (PDF) for details on the qualifying paper, registration, submission, formatting, and grading.  When you are ready to submit your Qualifying Paper, you will need to fill out the Request for Administration of PhD Qualifying Examination Form and provide the Graduate Programs Pffice an electronic copy of your paper.

Thesis Proposal and Presentation

Following successful completion of the qualifying examination and when the candidate is ready to begin work on the thesis, the Supervisor, at the candidate's request and after consulting with the faculty members concerned, will formally appoint a Thesis Advisory Committee. The committee will consist of the Supervisor and at least one additional faculty member.

Within six months following successful completion of the qualifying papers, candidates must submit a written research proposal to their Thesis Advisory Committee, and make an oral presentation to the committee in which the research problem, theoretical framework and methodology are explained and satisfactorily defended. The presentation will be open to all members of Graduate Faculty and to all graduate students. The committee must approve both the written proposal and the oral presentation before the candidate will be allowed to proceed.  Once Ethics has been cleared, the student must submit a copy of the letter received from Ethics.

If the proposed research involves human subjects, the student has to receive ethics approval from Western University Research Ethics Board before the research begins. Please see the Research Ethics page for more information.  Ethics clearance may be completed before the student completes the Thesis Proposal Presentation.

When the Thesis Advisory Committee is satisfied with a candidate's written proposal and the oral presentation made to the committee, the student may submit the proposal for approval to the Graduate Programs Office. The candidate submits one copy of their proposal and the PhD Thesis Proposal Approval form to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.

Only after all approvals have been obtained may the candidate proceed with the research and the preparation of the thesis under the guidance and review of the Supervisor and the Thesis Advisory Committee.


When the thesis has been completed and approved by the Supervisor and the Thesis Advisory Committee, the candidate may submit the thesis for examination. The candidate submits the Application for Thesis Examination and the Doctoral Thesis Supervisor Approval forms to the Graduate Programs Office. The forms have to be submitted a minimum of seven weeks prior to the defence date. The thesis is uploaded to Scholarship@Western, Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository, a minimum of six weeks prior to the defence date.

The examination includes a Public Lecture which provides both a valuable means of disseminating research findings within the academic community, and an opportunity for all graduate students of education to participate in and contribute to the scholarly discourse of the university. In accordance with the appropriate regulations, the public lecture will be advertised in the University's Western News and on the University's web site, and be open to all members of the community. The examination normally follows within 24 hours of the lecture.

Details of the examination process are located in Section 8 of Graduate Regulations.


Program Requirements:

Students who start in September 2018:

  • 6 required half-credit courses
  • Required non-credit case/professional seminar (both Fall and Winter terms each year)
  • 4 milestones:
    • Internship
    • Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (end of year 2)
    • Ph.D. Thesis (year 3 and year 4)
    • Required non-credit 600 hour practicum (throughout the program)
      • Practicum locations may not be located directly in London, applicants and students should be prepared to commute to partake in their required practicum.

Students who started between September 2015 & September 2017:

  • 11 required half-credit courses (including one half course in research methods)
  • Required non-credit case/professional seminar (both Fall and Winter terms each year)
  • 3 milestones:
    • Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (end of year 2)
    • Ph.D. Thesis (year 3 and year 4)
    • Required non-credit 600 hour practicum (throughout the program)
      • Practicum locations may not be located directly in London, applicants and students should be prepared to commute to partake in their required practicum.

Required non-credit, one-year APPIC Internship (year 4).


For course descriptions, please click here.

Program Progression information can be found here.

Potential Supervisor


Jason BrownView Profile

Claire CrooksView Profile

Alan EdmundsView Profile

Deanna FriesenView Profile

Peter JaffeView Profile

Perry KleinView Profile

Alan LeschiedView Profile

Nicole NeilView Profile

Elizabeth NowickiView Profile

Susan RodgerView Profile

Robert SandiesonView Profile

Vicki SchweanView Profile

Jacqueline SpechtView Profile

Shannon StewartView Profile


Please visit this link for Admission Requirements.


Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer) according to the full or part time status of students (not by course).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.

Please note: Fall term ancillary fees are proportionately higher for domestic students because part of this fee is the SOGS (Society of Graduate Students) Health & Dental Plan. Health & Dental Plan fees provide coverage from September through August and are collected from graduate students in September. Students who are admitted and have their own coverage will be provided information on how to "opt out" of the SOGS Health Plan.


PhD students receive a funding package that includes the cost of annual tuition plus an additional $12,000. A portion of the funding package involves either a Research Assistantship (RA) or Departmental Teaching Assistantship (DTA) requiring 10 hours of work per week for 28 weeks (September to April) in the Faculty of Education. Details of the assignments are determined in consultation with students after they have formally accepted the offer of admission from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Taking on the role of RA or DTA provides students with crucial experience for their academic career after completion of the Ph.D.

The maximum term for funding is 4 (four) years or 12 (twelve) terms. Please note that those who win major financial awards (OGS, Tri-Council or other awards valued at $15,000 or more) will be responsible for their own tuition and ancillary fees.


Instructors of onsite courses use the Sakai OWL platform, although it is not required. Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here:

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer