To be human is to wonder, to seek meaning, to discover. Faculty of Arts’ graduate students create and disseminate knowledge in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Creative and Performing Arts through teaching, research, professional practice, artistic production, and performance in the context of freedom of inquiry and intellectual curiosity.

Arts combines the strengths of the humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts to serve as an interdisciplinary hub for research, learning, and innovation. Whether Arts scholars work with local communities, or explore issues such as climate change, world music, or international development, their research has a deep and broad impact on the local and international stage.

Arts has 25 academic departments, institutes, and schools spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative and Performing Arts 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 in the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences, ideas that deepen their understanding of our humanity and its central role in an age of scientific and technological discovery. The disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches in our classrooms, our labs, and in our 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.

Master's Students
Doctoral Students
Graduate Degrees Awarded


Research Facilities

The 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 participated in the training of 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 aims to address 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 dedicated to collections-based research, an Ethnology Lab, a Conservation Lab, an Oral History and Language Lab supporting audio recording and digitization, a Library, an Archives, and a Community Lounge for the use of 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 nearly 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 51 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. We consistently attract high levels of external research funding, and our success rate in the SSHRC Insight Grants and SSHRC Insight Development Grants programs is consistently higher than the national success rate.

Graduate Degree Programs

Research Supervisors in Faculty

Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Bronfman, Alejandra Department of History 20th century Carribean and Latin America, imperial and transnational history, violence and the production of knowledge, histories of race, broadcasting, wireless, sound, listening and politics
Brook, Timothy Department of History, Institute of Asian Research Chinese history, global history, war crimes, Social and cultural history of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the japanese occupation of China during WW2, historical perspectives on world history and human rights
Bullard, Julia iSchool@UBC: School of Library, Archival and Information Studies Information Systems, Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.)classification systems, metadata, values-in-design
Burgess, Miranda Department of English Arts, Literature and SubjectivityBritish and Irish Romanticism, riparian and oceanic studies, poetics, history of media and mediation, history of feeling (affect, emotion, sensation), history of literary form
Burnett, Cathy Department of Theatre & Film Movement and dance
Byers, Michael Department of Political Science International Law, International Cooperationinternational relations, international law, oceans, arctic, space, war
Byrne, Jeffrey Department of History International history; Empires, decolonisation, & postcolonial history; Africa; Middle East; Revolution
Callison, Candis UBC Graduate School of Journalism changes to media practices and platforms, journalism ethics, the role of social movements in public discourse, and understanding how issues related to science and technology become meaningful for diverse publics.
Cameron, Maxwell Department of Political Science Political Regimes (Democracy, Monarchy, Federalism, Parliamentarism, etc.), Social Organization and Political SystemsComparative Politics, Latin America, Democratization
Carpiano, Richard Department of Sociology Community, neighbourhoods, cities, social networks, social connections, social relationships, social ties, social life, health inequalities, population health, socioeconomic determinants of health, health, lifestyles, population, social research, social capital, social cohesion, demographics, public health., Health sociology, Social determinants of health, Population health, Social capital, Social networks, Neighborhoods and place-based communities, Measurement of community social contexts
Casas Aguilar, Anna Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies
Castonguay-Belanger, Joel Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies The Enlightenment and the French Revolution, History of the book and print culture, Science and literature, Québec literature and culture
Cavell, Richard Anthony Department of English Media and Society, Media Influence on Behavior, Media Types (Radio, Television, Written Press, etc.)media studies, media theory
Chang Bortolussi, Dorothy School of Music Composition
Chapman, Mary Ann Department of English Arts and Cultural Traditions, Arts and Literary Policies, Arts and Technologies, Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, Social Determinants of Arts and Letters, Artistic and Literary Marginality, Artistic and Cultural Heritage, Artist or Author Social Identity, Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles, Artistic and Literary Theories, Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Writing and Literary Experimentation, Poetry, Novel and Short Story, Essays, Gender Relationship, Audiences and Mass Media, Media and Democratization, Media and Society, Media Influence on Behavior, Civil and Social Responsibilities of Media, Stereotypes, Electoral System, Printing Art, Persuasion Strategies, Social MovementsSocial Networks
Charles, Grant School of Social Work Psychosocial oncology, intellectual disabilities, family interventions and at risk youth
Chatman, Stephen School of Music Composition
Chaudhry, Ayesha Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies, Institute for Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice Islam, Muslims, religion, gender, human rights, family and children, discrimination, social justice
Cheek, Timothy School of Public Policy and Global Affairs 20th century Chinese history, the history of the Chinese communist party, the role of intellectuals in public life in China
Chen, Jinhua Department of Asian Studies East Asian state-church relationships, monastic (hagio/)biographical literature, Buddhist sacred sites, relic veneration, Buddhism and technological innovation in medieval China, and Buddhist translations
Chen, Frances Department of Psychology social behaviour, relationships, social support, stress, coping, conflict and negotiation, social neuroscience, neurobiology, neuroendocrinology.
Chiu-Duke, Josephine Department of Asian Studies Arts and Cultural TraditionsChinese and Taiwanese history, political thought, human rights, democracy, intellectuals
Chowdhury, Arjun Department of Political Science Failed states, intervention, civil war, autocrats, revolution.
Christoff, Kalina Department of Psychology brain, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, prefronal cortex, fMRI, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, executive functions, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, mind-wandering, attention, consciousness, real-time fMRI, trauma and PTSD, Cognitive and neural basis of human thought, reasoning and problem solving
Christopoulos, John Department of History


Graduate Student Profiles

Brad Hackinen

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)
Using computational text analysis to gather new data on the behavior of various actors in political systems

Michael Fabris (Krebs)

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Assimilation, Place, and Indigenous Identity in the Era of Reconciliation
Kaitlyn Jaffe

Kaitlyn Jaffe

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
Experiences of Medical Research Participation among People who use Drugs: An Ethno-epidemiological Approach

Will Plowright

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)
Child Soldiers and Armed Non‐State Groups: Legitimacy and the Negotiation of Humanitarian Space in Intra‐state War
Emily Acheson

Emily Acheson

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Climate change, land use change, or both? How spatio-temporal modelling of the Cryptococcus gattii fungus in the Pacific Northwest may reveal determinants of emerging infectious diseases

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
Learning the Ancestral Language of My Children: Charting a Course to Fluency in Xaayda Kil

Eury Colin Chang

Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
Beyond Identity Politics: The History of Asian Canadian Theatre (1950-2010)

Serene Tianyou Qiu

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)
The Progression from Suicidal Thoughts to Suicidal Acts

Alumni on Success

Kristina Uban

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2013]
Job Title
Post Doctoral Researcher
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Joshua M Ferguson

Doctor of Philosophy in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (PhD) [2016]
Job Title
Producer, Director, Author, Activist
Turbid Lake Pictures & Self-Employed

Julie Belanger

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2006]
Job Title
Research Leader
RAND Europe

Sharon Fortney

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD) [2009]
Job Title
Associate Curator
Museum of Vancouver

Kirsten Dalrymple

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2010]
Job Title
Research Associate
University of Minnesota
photo of Melanie Badali, UBC alum

Melanie Badali

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2008]
Job Title
Registered Psychologist
Private Practice - North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic

Justin Park

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2005]
Job Title
Senior Teaching Fellow
University of Bristol

Rami Nader

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) [2005]
Job Title
North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic

Recent Thesis Submissions