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The Faculty of Arts at UBC brings together the best of quantitative research, humanistic inquiry, and artistic expression to advance a better world. Graduate students in the Faculty of Arts create and disseminate knowledge in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Creative and Performing Arts through teaching, research, professional practice, artistic production, and performance.

Arts has more than 25 academic departments, institutes, and schools as well as professional programs, more than 15 interdisciplinary programs, a gallery, a museum, theatres, concert venues, and a performing arts centre. Truly unique in its scope, the Faculty of Arts is a dynamic and thriving community of outstanding scholars – both faculty and students. 

Here, our students explore cutting-edge ideas that deepen our understanding of humanity in an age of scientific and technological discovery. Whether Arts scholars work with local communities, or tackle issues such as climate change, world music, or international development, their research has a deep impact on the local and international stage.

The disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in our classrooms, labs, and cultural venues inspire students to apply their knowledge both to and beyond their specialization. Using innovation and collaborative learning, our graduate students create rich pathways to knowledge and real connections to global thought leaders.


Research Facilities

UBC Library has extensive collections, especially in Arts, and houses Canada’s greatest Asian language library. Arts graduate programs enjoy the use of state-of-the-art laboratories, the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology and the Belkin Contemporary Art Gallery (admission is free for our graduate students). World-class performance spaces include theatres, concert venues and a performing arts centre. 

Since 2001, the Belkin Art Gallery has trained young curators at the graduate level in the Critical and Curatorial Studies program in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory. The Master of Arts program addresses the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art.

The MOA Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) undertakes research on world arts and cultures, and supports research activities and collaborative partnerships through a number of spaces, including research rooms for collections-based research, an Ethnology Lab, a Conservation Lab, an Oral History and Language Lab supporting audio recording and digitization, a library, an archive, and a Community Lounge for groups engaged in research activities. The CCR includes virtual services supporting collections-based research through the MOA CAT Collections Online site that provides access to the Museum’s collection of approximately 40,000 objects and 80,000 object images, and the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) that brings together 430,000 object records and associated images from 19 institutions.

Research Highlights

The Faculty of Arts at UBC is internationally renowned for research in the social sciences, humanities, professional schools, and creative and performing arts.

As a research-intensive faculty, Arts is a leader in the creation and advancement of knowledge and understanding. Scholars in the Faculty of Arts form cross-disciplinary partnerships, engage in knowledge exchange, and apply their research locally and globally.

Arts faculty members have won Guggenheim Fellowships, Humboldt Fellowships, and major disciplinary awards. We have had 81 faculty members elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and several others win Killam Prizes, Killam Research Fellowships, Emmy Awards, and Order of Canada awards. In addition, Arts faculty members have won countless book prizes, national disciplinary awards, and international disciplinary awards. 

External funding also signifies the research success of our faculty. In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the Faculty of Arts received $34.6 million through over 900 research projects. Of seven UBC SSHRC Partnership Grants awarded to-date, six are located in Arts, with a combined investment of $15 million over the term of the grants.

Since the 2011 introduction of the SSHRC Insight Grants and SSHRC Insight Development Grants programs, our faculty’s success rate has remained highly stable, and is consistently higher than the national success rate.

Graduate Degree Programs

Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Arts.


Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2009 Through a quantitative analysis of surveys conducted during 35 elections in seven countries, Dr. Bittne examines the nature, origins (including partisan stereotypes), and impact of voters' perceptions of party leaders. This is the most comprehensive study ever on the topic Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Wang examined how Canadian firms operate in China in the resource, manufacturing and service sectors. She found that Canadian firms experience many challenges due to factors unique to either Canada or China. The research indicates the importance of a home country - host country framework in analyzing foreign direct investment. Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
2009 Dr. Jhangiani investigated the short-term psychological reactions of television newscasters, political leaders, and lay persons to three major terrorist attacks. This research revealed several situational and personality factors that jointly determine the severity and trajectory of individuals' psychological reactions in the wake of terrorism. Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Ferguson examined why newly established democratic governments fail. He found that economic crises, gridlocked politics, excessive civilian control of militaries, ambivalent international actors and lost public faith in democracy contributed to the failures. His research illuminates the steps necessary to preserve at-risk democratic governments. Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Wiebe interviewed young women to explore how they negotiated their everyday heterosexual experiences. She found a number of important social psychological processes at work in the women?s understandings of themselves as sexual beings. This research provides critical insight into young women?s sexual health decision making processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Schaepe studied pre-colonial Stó:lô-Coast Salish community organization. Combining archaeology and ethnography, he examined differences among housepit settlements showing changes in community organization over the last two millennia. His research suggests the indigenous development of a complex political-economic network on a regional scale. Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
2009 Dr Koop explored linkages between the local organizations of Canada's national and provincial Liberal parties. Whereas other accounts emphasize the separation of these parties, Dr Koop found and accounted for significant overlap between them. These findings illuminate the nuanced ways that political parties adapt to federal institutions. Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Caldecott used novel elicitation methods to improve our understanding of the mapping between prosodic domains and the acoustic signal. This research focusing on Lillooet Salish contributes to the documentation of an endangered First Nations language and provides converging evidence for previously untested aspects of the Prosodic Hierarchy. Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Angelbeck examined the archaeology and oral history of Coast Salish warfare. He found that, during the last sixteen hundred years, conflict intensified after periods of heightened social inequality. His research suggested that warfare among the Coast Salish served to resist concentrations of wealth and power among networks of powerful chiefs. Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
2009 Dr Barrington-Leigh used geographic statistical analysis of survey data to measure the degree to which the well-being benefit we get from consumption and wealth lies in status comparisons with the wealth of our neighbours. His work helps to challenge the widespread assumption that pursuing economic growth will tend to make society happier. Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)