Resources for the 4-Year Psychology Applied Emphasis Program
Students in the 4-year Psychology Applied Emphasis program do one field placement, working at a community agency 8 hours/week from September to April for course credit.
The degree helps students to be “market ready” for work upon graduation and/or to be well prepared for graduate school programs in areas such as counselling. Students need to be in their second year in order to apply to this field placement program.
Visit the current academic calendar, to learn more about admission requirements, application dates and how to apply.
The following resources may be helpful to you:
Find out how to apply to the Applied Emphasis program here, as well as what you can expect to encounter during the program.
Resources for the Graduate Diplomas and Certificates in Psychological Assessment
If you are interested in the graduate diplomas and certificates offered in Psychological Assessment, this resource may be helpful to you.
Is this program right for me?
CUE’s program focuses on personality testing, intellectual and neuropsychological assessment, and forensics. It also focuses on adult and child psychopathology, diagnostics, and professional ethics. It is intended for three subsets of students: (1) those interested in becoming psychological assistants or psychometrists, (2) those interested in enhancing their applications to graduate school or academic credentials, and (3) graduate students and Registered Psychologists interested in expanding their knowledge and deepening their assessment experience, diagnostic skills, report writing, and familiarity with psychological testing.
NOTE: Psychological assistants and psychometrists are not licensed/registered and work under direct supervision of psychologists. These professionals have specific competencies and skill sets including, for example, technical knowledge of test administration and scoring, measurement theory, and awareness of testing ethics. They do not independently interpret Level-C test scores and write up the results. Level-C tests, such as intelligence tests, are professionally protected and tightly regulated. They have specific user qualifications and require additional training and supervision above and beyond the program.
For more information, please see International Test Commission guidelines.
Am I qualified to apply?
Minimum qualifications include a 4-year bachelors degree, masters, or doctorate in psychology, as well as psychology-related experience in helping/human services. Three-year bachelor’s degrees are not acceptable. Although degrees in semi-related fields are considered (e.g., counselling, education), degrees in psychology are strongly preferred.
Additional admission requirements may be found here (pp. 6-7)
What is the application deadline for domestic students?
June 30th for fall term, and November 1st for winter term.
What is the “normal” or typical course load?
You can take as many as courses as you want per term. If, however, you take 5 or more courses at a time, which is not recommended in the graduate program, you will receive a precautionary warning message.
How much does the diploma/certificate cost?
Costs vary depending on the number of credit hours taken per term and mandatory fees (e.g., practicum fees). For domestic students, it costs $382CDN/credit hour.
See specific, up-to-date costs, including costs for international students, here.
After earning a diploma or certificate, can I register as a Psychologist?
No. Diplomas and certificates in psychological assessment do not meet College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP’s) academic requirements for registration. They do, however, bolster your registration credentials, provided you already have a psychology-related masters and/or doctoral degree from a recognized, degree-granting institution.
See additional registering and credentialing information here.
After earning a diploma or certificate, can I independently use Level-C psychological tests, like the WISC-V and PAI-2?
No. Although you can use Level-A and Level-B tests, you cannot use Level-C tests independently. To independently use Level-C tests, you need to be Registered as a Psychologist. You also need requisite supervised assessment experience (e.g., 400 hours minimum).
Where do students typically do practicum placements?
Typically, students do practicum placements in instructors’ clinics and offices. In some cases, students only assess volunteer “clients.” In other cases, they assess actual, treatment-seeking clients. Please contact individual instructors directly regarding placements for their courses.
How many different assessment courses are offered?
CUE currently offers 16 assessment-based diploma and certificate courses, including 12 didactic courses and four practica. Course offerings are, however, subject to change.
For specific course-related information, including prerequisites, please refer to the Information Booklet.
How large are classes?
It varies by course. Didactic courses have up to 20 students in them, and practica courses have up to 8 students.
How are classes structured and evaluated?
It varies by course instructor. Please contact individual instructors directly regarding class structure and evaluation procedures.
Is the program taught in-person, on-line, or hybrid?
The program is taught in person and on campus. That said, some hybrid courses are now being taught. The program is not, though, an online-only program.
What types of psychological assessment experiences can I get?
Students get a wide range of assessment experiences and learn a variety of skills, including behavioral observation, clinical/diagnostic interviewing, psychological testing, mental status examination, use of screening instruments and rating scales, integrative report writing, and test feedback and consultation.
Major psychological tests learned include, among others, the PAI-2, MCMI-IV, WAIS-IV, WISC-V, and RBANS.
After taking the practicum courses, can I declare competency in psychological assessment, per College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) guidelines?
No. CAP guidelines require 400 hours of supervised practice to declare competency – over and above basic entry-level training. Even if you take all four (4) practica courses, you still will not have enough hours. You also will not have enough direct, face-to-face supervision hours, per CAP requirements.
To what extent are students’ assessments supervised?
All student assessments are supervised. Although supervision varies by instructor it typically involves a combination of weekly in-person face-to-face supervision, remote supervision, or group supervision.
How long does the program take?
Program length varies, depending on individual student circumstances. But please know, you do not have to complete all of your courses in one academic year. You may, if you want, take courses over multiple terms and years.
Can students take courses via “open studies” and/or audit courses?
No. You must be admitted to the certificate or diploma program to take CUE’s graduate courses. Admitted students can, however, audit courses with the instructor’s permission, as well as permission from the Registrar’s Office.
Can students transfer courses to CUE as part of the program?
It depends. Please refer to section 13.1.2 of the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar regarding transfer credit, course exemption, and course substitutions for Graduate Studies programs.
If you are considering course transfers, please contact the Director of Training, Dr. Hanson. He will determine their appropriateness. If they are comparable in process and course content, they will be forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Schmidt, as well as the Registrar’s Office, for approval consideration.
As an international student, can I take part in IRCC co-ops and work-integrated learning experiences, like practicum?
No. International students are required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to have a special permit to complete practicum placements. This permit is known as a co-op work permit. For students to be eligible for co-op work permits, practica must be mandatory requirements for program completion.
At CUE, assessment practica are optional – they are not required to complete the program, which negates international students’ eligibility for work permits. You may, though, choose from CUE’s 12 other didactic courses.
If interested, you can read more about co-op work permit requirements on the IRCC website.
If you have other questions regarding international student status (e.g., Post-Graduate Work Permits), please contact CUE’s International Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need a criminal background check, including vulnerable sector clearance?
Yes. Criminal background checks, including vulnerable sector clearance, is required for practicing psychology in Alberta.
Clearance is not only required for fully Registered Psychologists, but also for those in training and/or under supervision, like students in CUE’s diploma and certificate programs. When students take practicum courses, they are engaged in face-to-face interactions with clients, many of whom fall under vulnerable sector definitions. Students may, for example, interact with clients who are a danger to themselves or others.
Thank you for your interest in CUE’s Certificate and Diploma programs!
If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Bill Hanson, RPsych, Professor and Director of Training, Clinical Psychology, at email@example.com.