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
Clark, Luke Department of Psychology Gambling, Problem Gambling, Addiction, Decision-Making, Reward, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms involved in gambling behaviour and disordered gambling
Claxton, Dana Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory film, video, photography, single- and multi-channel video installation, and performance art
Coleman, Katharina Pichler Department of Political Science International organizations, international relations, international security/peace operations, interntional rules, noms and legitimacy, sun-Saharan Africa
Cooper, Elisabeth Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies Archaeology of greater Mesopotamia
Copeland, Brian Vancouver School of Economics International trade, environmental economics, interaction between globalization, the environment, and the sustainability of renewable resources
Corrigall-Brown, Catherine Department of Sociology Social Movementssocial movements, political sociology, social psychology, identity
Coulthard, Lisa Department of Theatre & Film film theory and violence; film sound and violence, contemporary American and European cinemas, continental philosophy and Lacanian theory
Coulthard, Glen Department of Political Science First Nations politics – national; political theory
Cousland, Robert Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies classical Greek mythology, Jewish-Hellenistic litereature, Greek mythology and religion, religion and comporary music, film and literature
Creese, Gillian Department of Sociology, Institute for Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice Women topics, Intersections of gender, sexuality, racialization and class, Processes of immigration and settlement in Canada, Gender, racialization, work and trade unions
Creighton, Millie Department of Anthropology Japan, Japanese descent communities (Nikkei or Nikkeijin), Korea, Inter-Asian Relations, Identity, Consumerism, Popular and Mass Culture, Gender, Minorities, Work and Leisure
Cruz, Cesi Institute of Asian Research, Department of Political Science political economy, focusing on the interplay between electoral incentives and development outcomes in consolidating democracies. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods, social network analysis, surveys, and field experiments
Curat, Herve Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Grammatical semantics of modern French, linguistic analysis of texts, structural analysis, Claude Levi-Strauss, Jean de La Fontaine, native mythology of the Americas
Currie, Dawn Heather Department of Sociology Adolescent femininity
Daigle, Michelle Department of Geography
Dalziel, Pamela Department of English Victorian-literature, Victorian-culture, visual-representation, illustration, gender-studies, religion, interdisciplinary-studies, textual-criticism, scholarly-editing, Thomas-Hardy, Charles-Dickens, George-Eliot
Dancygier, Barbara Department of English Linguistics, grammar
Dauvergne, Peter Department of Political Science Refugee law, Immigration law, citizenship law, Global governance and emerging powers, environmental politics, asian
Davis, Henry Thomas Department of Linguistics First Nations languages
Davis, Wade Department of Anthropology Latin America, passionate defender of all of life
De Angelis, Franco Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies Ancient Greek world history, environment, urbanism, developmnet of societies, colonization, economics, ancient literature
De Grandis, Filomena Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies Spanish American modern and contemporary literature, cultural studies, Latin American Leftist Utopias, Genre of the Essay
De Longis, Anita Department of Psychology Social Determinants of HealthHealth psychology, stress, coping, social support, couples, marriage, families, chronic illness
De Villiers, Jessica Department of English Linguistics
Dechaine, Rose-Marie Department of Linguistics Native American languages; Algonquian language family, Cree, Blackfoot, Ojibwe; French / English bilingualism policy; formal linguistics; generative grammar (Chomsky); West African languages (Niger-Congo, Yoruba, Igbo, Edo); Nigerian languages; literacy vs. oralcy; language planning re: French, Indigenous languages, Speech/gesture coordination, syntactic interface relations


Graduate Student Profiles

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

Marc Tadaki

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
The difference that space makes in the implementation of environmental policy

Eshantha Peiris

Doctor of Philosophy in Music, Emphasis Ethnomusicology (PhD)
Up-country Drumming in 20th-century Sri Lanka: a Social History of an Evolving Musical Vocabulary

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

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

Claire Fogal

Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
Western Canadian Evolutions of Decroux and Grotowski in Theatre Pedagogy, Practice and Performance

Valerie Berseth

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
Reconcilable differences? Integrating Indigenous and Western knowledge

Szu Shen

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
The Routes of Uranium and Its Impact on Indigenous Communities in Canada and across the Pacific

Kelsey Johnson

Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)
Social and economic geographies of blood plasma donation in the United States

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