I am thinking of one day doing a PhD in the area of counselling psychology in Canada, however my masters program does not have a thesis option and having done a thesis is a requirement it seems for almost all PhD programs. I would be willing to write one independently or do other research if it would be accepted?

1 Answer 1


While it wouldn't be, formally, a thesis, you can always write and publish your research. That would actually be preferable to a thesis that might get buried in university files.

But you probably need some guidance in going about it the first time. I'd suggest that you talk with a trusted faculty member to see if you can get advice and feedback if you want to do that.

But if a thesis-based degree is actually a hard requirement, you may need to study elsewhere, as you probably won't convince your university to change its policies.

However, your dilemma surprises me, assuming you are now studying in Canada and wish to stay there. I wonder if you have accurate information about the requirements for entry. If you do, I wonder why master's level place would be out of sync with what is required for doctoral education.

I would understand it better if you are studying outside Canada and want to later study there, but still wonder why they would have such rigid requirements.

  • However, this might not suffice for entry to a PhD program, if it specifically requires that you have completed a thesis-based masters program. Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 18:43
  • 2
    @NateEldredge, I wonder, actually, if that is as prevalent as the OP suggests. It seems more rigid than is my general experience. But, yes, it wouldn't be the same.
    – Buffy
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 18:46

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