The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in education is the highest level of academic degree conferred by the university. Our doctorate program is recognized internationally.

The process of acquiring your doctorate is one of the most valuable training in creativity, critical inquiry, negotiation skills and professionalism. By earning your PhD degree, you gain transferrable skills in any career path you choose and employers will want to benefit from your research competencies.

Some of our doctorate graduates continue to become professors in universities, while others pursue their career in industries or in a government setting, based on research and innovation. Other employment opportunities are:

  • Researcher in national and international institutions
  • Educational policy developer
  • Program or Curriculum developer

The admission requirements for our PhD program set the minimum standards for success in the program, but there are additional selection criteria presented here, in section C, 'Research Programs'. 

Before submitting an application to this program, you may want to consider these steps as well as contact a potential thesis supervisor


Counselling Psychology

The concentration in Counselling Psychology will expand your theoretical knowledge and practical skills in both personal counselling and career development.The programs also include a clinical training component.

How to become a member of a professional association?

Students who meet specific requirements and hold an MEd or a MA in Counselling Psychology may be eligible to join the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario or the College of guidance and career counsellors of Québec.

You are responsible for ensuring that your curriculum in Counselling Psychology, namely all the courses and clinical rotations you take, corresponds exactly with the specific requirements of these professional associations and colleges. We cannot guarantee that students who hold a degree in Counselling Psychology will be eligible for membership in a professional association or college.

We recommend that you contact the accreditation authorities in these associations and colleges, for further information.

Career and Employment Opportunities

Our graduates work in educational institutions or in private practice, as career counselors in the government, or under employee assistance programs. Others practise in not-for-profit organizations like addiction treatment centres and youth centres. Some are also employed in mental health clinics or hospitals, while others choose to open their own practice.

Examples of job titles are: 

Psychotherapist, Mental Health Counselor, School Guidance Counselor (BEd required).  


Course and Research Themes 

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bullying and victimization
  • Conscience
  • Counselling and psychotherapy
  • Counsellor education and supervision
  • Mental health
  • Mindfulness
  • Social neuroscience
  • Spirituality and positive psychology

This concentration is offered  at the master's level: MEd and MA.

Admission to the PhD program is suspended until future notice. 

Before, applying for admission, please consult our admission process and deadlines


More information

Health Professions Education

Are you passionate about health sciences and the medical field? Are you looking to give new life to your career or to take on new challenges? Would you like others to benefit from your knowledge and experience? Then why not consider our Health Professions Education concentration to confirm your expertise as a health sector practitioner or educator.


This concentration is jointly offered by the faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences, and provides the tools you need to truly become an education leader in the health professions

The concentration aims to give health sector professionals the tools to become skilled educators and to encourage health education researchers to develop innovative educational programs for the health professions.

The Health Professions Education concentration is offered in French and English within the D., MEdMA and PhD.


Possible themes of study

  • Cultural and individual differences in teaching and learning
  • Curriculum design and product development 
  • Health professions teaching strategies
  • Interprofessional education
  • Learning assessment 
  • Principles of adult education 
  • Program evaluation 
  • Technology and education

More information

1- Health Professions Education programs 1 - uOttawa  

2- Health Professions Education programs 2 - uOttawa 

Leadership, Evaluation, Curriculum and Policy Studies

This concentration offers a unique opportunity to further your scholarly and professional development as an administrator, educational leader, educator and researcher, with attention given to the importance of social and linguistic context.

Possible themes of study

  • Leadership in educational institutions and in other organizational, professional and community settings where enhancing learning for the social, cultural, digital and economic needs of the 21st century is at the core of your mission.
  • Evaluation, including program evaluation (e.g. performance appraisals, participatory evaluation, evaluation capacity building), measurement (e.g. psychometrics, test theory), testing (e.g. standardized testing, licensing) and assessment (e.g. classroom assessment, large-scale assessment).
  • Curriculum and policy studies, including analysis of the theories and educational movements that inform our understanding of curriculum and policy in education and in relation to your role as administrator, educator, and researcher in public, private and non-governmental organizations.

This concentration is offered in the MEdMEd Online (in French only)MA and PhD.

Apply for admission.

Societies, Cultures and Languages

Societies, cultures and languages all shape education and are shaped by education. In this concentration, you engage with the social, historical, cultural and linguistic dimensions of education. You consider issues of power, diversity, gender and marginalization in education.

Your studies may be based on sociological, historical or linguistic foundations; they may draw on a variety of contemporary perspectives, including comparative and international education, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, critical theory and post-colonial theory.

Possible themes of study

  • Cultures and literacies
  • Education and minorities
  • Education and society
  • Historical studies of education
  • International development and global education
  • Second language education (Look at the descriptive One Pager for Second language education.)
  • Sociology of education

This concentration is offered  in MEd, MA and  PhD.

Apply for admission.

Studies in Teaching and Learning

Please note that, as of May 2016, this concentration will offer the MEd Online in English.  For additional information, please contact the Faculty’s Graduate Studies Office.

How do people learn? How do people teach? How are teaching and learning related? This concentration offers you the opportunity to explore these questions by engaging with current research and scholarship as it applies to teaching and learning processes from early childhood to adulthood.

You can study learning and teaching processes across the curriculum in a range of contexts, such as classrooms, informal settings, professional organizations and the workplace.

Possible themes of study

  • Adult education
  • Educational technologies
  • Inclusive education
  • Learning and teaching in specific curriculum subjects (e.g. mathematics, science, social studies, arts, health and physical education)
  • Professional learning and professional development
  • Theories of learning and teaching

This concentration is offered in MEd, MEd Online (as of May 2016)MA and PhD.

Apply for admission.

Canadian Studies

Because of the University of Ottawa's strength in relevant areas, bilingual character and location in the nation's capital, it is uniquely positioned to offer a program leading to a specialization in Canadian Studies at the doctoral level. The program is especially designed for doctoral students in selected programs in the humanities and the social sciences who wish to enrich their education in a particular discipline by including an interdisciplinary component.

This program is offered in the PhD program only.

Apply for admission.

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