Welcome to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC. We take this moment to acknowledge that these lands have been, for generations, the site of teaching and learning for Indigenous peoples. UBC’s Vancouver campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people. UBC’s Okanagan campus is situated on the territory of the Sylix Okanagan Nation.

UBC is proud of the outstanding contributions of the many Indigenous graduate students working across a wide range of academic disciplines. At UBC, you will find faculty and students deeply engaged in scholarship that impacts Indigenous communities and the world around us, in fields ranging from educations, science, law, fine arts, engineering, forestry, social work, public health, history and more. We are committed to promoting the success of aboriginal graduate applicants through funding, housing, community and many other support initiatives.

Contact us

Rehana Bacchus
Director of Academic Support and Aboriginal Coordinator
Tel: 604 822 6965

Life at UBC

UBC has a large and vibrant community of Aboriginal students, faculty members, staff and friends. There are many Aboriginal-focused programs and services on campus to support Aboriginal graduate student academic and personal success, including priority placement in student housing, financial awards and bursaries, as well as cultural events, programs and services.

The centre of Aboriginal community on campus is the First Nations Longhouse. The Longhouse sponsors many workshops, social gatherings, ceremonies and support programs throughout the year. It also is the home to the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL), a computer lab, and the Xwi7xwa Library, which has books, videos, newspapers and journals focusing on Aboriginal people in BC and Canada.

Aboriginal graduate students are also invited to join SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement), a group dedicated to fostering Aboriginal graduate student success. Join the SAGE Listerv by emailing the SAGE Provincial Coordinator at grad.sage@ubc.ca

You can learn much more about the many dimensions of Aboriginal presence at UBC through the UBC Aboriginal Portal.

Admissions for Aboriginal students

UBC is a research-intensive university with much to offer to Aboriginal graduate students. We are committed to expanding our engagement with Aboriginal scholarship.

UBC does not have a specific Aboriginal graduate admissions policy. However, many graduate programs make a point of taking into consideration the full range of academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that Aboriginal applicants bring to their preparation for graduate study. If you are unsure whether you meet minimum admission requirements, please contact the Aboriginal Coordinator in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Rehana Bacchus (rehana.bacchus@ubc.ca).

Awards for Aboriginal Students

UBC has several scholarships and other funding opportunities specifically for Indigenous graduate students, including the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship and the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship Bridge Funding. Identifying yourself as Aboriginal in your application will automatically make you eligible for some funding opportunities, so it is important you do so. This funding is not guaranteed, but your graduate program will consider you for these opportunities and possibly nominate you for specific scholarships.

Additional information on Aboriginal financial aid and awards can be found at the First Nations House of Learning and on the Aboriginal Awards page of the Student Services website.

There are also many other funding opportunities that are available broadly to graduate students, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, federal grants, and scholarships. Visit the Scholarships, Awards and Funding section of this website for awards and funding information specific to graduate students.

Please note: students without Canadian citizenship but who are members of Indigenous nations of Canada and students who are American citizens and are affiliated with an Indigenous nation that is bisected by the Canada-U.S. border may qualify for domestic tuition rates. Eligibility is determined by Enrolment Services using supporting documentation. Those without formal documentation may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Aboriginal Academic Programs

Graduate degree programs are housed within 11 disciplinary faculties at UBC. There are many Aboriginal faculty members at UBC, as well as faculty with expertise in Aboriginal areas, which provides a space for graduate students to focus their studies on issues important to Indigenous communities both domestically and abroad. Vancouver campus also offers several courses with significant Indigenous themes and content. Many Aboriginal graduate students choose the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, which allows students to carve out an interdisciplinary approach to Indigenous scholarship.

Learn more about Aboriginal academic programs

Housing for Aboriginal Students

New Aboriginal graduate students have priority for obtaining on-campus housing. This applies to single students and students with families. Please note that housing supply is limited. 

The on-campus housing application is separate from admission application. Students should apply for on-campus housing as soon as they apply to their graduate program. For more information about housing options for graduate students, visit the UBC Housing and Conferences website.

In order to get priority assignment in housing, you must self-identify as Aboriginal on both your admission and housing applications.


Aboriginal Student Orientation

In addition to Graduate Student Orientation, UBC Vancouver offers a series of Aboriginal specific orientation events to help better prepare students for academic and personal success. The Aboriginal Student Orientation on the Vancouver campus introduces all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students who are new to UBC to the First Nations House of Learning and to the Aboriginal campus community. Meet faculty, staff, Aboriginal student leaders, and current students as you get acquainted with UBC, its people, and its resources. Learn more


Having a family while doing your graduate degree provides additional challenges as you will need to combine your family life with your studies. UBC offers several childcare options for infants and children up to the age of five, as well as occasional and out-of-school care. 

Aboriginal graduate students will be given first access to available childcare spaces. We encourage graduate students who need childcare to apply early by submitting an application during pregnancy, even if they do not have an official offer of admission from UBC. In order to be given first access, students should self-identify as Aboriginal in their application. 

Explore Childcare Options

Programs & Services

Culturally appropriate resources, supports and services for Indigenous students are offered at the Vancouver campus. For a full list please see the Aboriginal Portal.

The First Nations House of Learning, in partnership with UBC Collegia, now offers Indigenous Student Collegium (ISC) at the First Nations Longhouse.


On-Campus Aboriginal-Specific Spaces

Aboriginal Student Profiles

  • Matthew Hickey

    Master of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering (MASc)
    PhD Rotation Program
  • Karen Rose Thomas

    Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)
    Coloured by Constancy: a Geochemical and Ethnographic Exploration of Ochre Use in the Salish Sea Region
  • Lyana Patrick

    Doctor of Philosophy in Planning (PhD)
    Dis/connection in 21st Century Canada: Therapeutic Planning through an Indigenous Lens
  • Michael Fabris (Krebs)

    Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
    Assimilation, Place, and Indigenous Identity in the Era of Reconciliation
  • Jennifer Grenz

    Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (PhD)
    Invasive Species and Indigenous Knowledge: Measuring Impacts on Food Security and Food Sovereignty in a Changing Climate
  • Cheryl Inkster

    Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology (PhD)
    Improving Indigenous clients' access to mental health care services by exploring mental health provider bias and discrimination
  • Scott Ramsay

    Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)
    Improving follow-up care and health related outcomes for children in British Columbia
  • Jules Koostachin

    Doctor of Philosophy in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (PhD)
    Indigenous Women in Documentary Film: Women Creating Echoes from the Centre: InNiNiNew IsKweWak KaKioChiTat KaPaSwePaNik AnTa TeTaWitCh
  • Andrea Lyall

    Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
    A Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation’s relationship with the forests: the forest is our cupboard, the sea is our fridge
  • Parker Jobin

    Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MDPhD)
    Moonlighting Proteins as Targets of Matrix Metalloproteinases