Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

In support of the University of British Columbia’s mission to be one of the world’s very best universities, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) strives to elevate achievement and enhance the education of graduate students in a global context.

The role of the Faculty is to support graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and the entire UBC graduate community in pursuit of a personal, professional and academic experience second to none. Among other responsibilities, G+PS seeks to ensure a transparent, consistent and equitable administration of graduate programs and awards, evaluation and quality assurance of graduate programs, advocacy for graduate and postdoctoral needs within the larger academic community, assistance with individual student and postdoctoral problems, and the provision of outstanding opportunities for professional development of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in their role as supervisors.

At G+PS, we have been defining graduate education as 'the formation of scholars* who make a difference for good in the world'. Here, 'formation' entails learning, but also cultivating habits of heart and mind, and developing a professional identity and sense of purpose. The scholarship pursued refers to the broad activities that bring knowledge, rigour, and creativity to the extension and transformation of knowledge, whether that is inside the academy, outside its walls, or crossing between.

At the Vancouver campus, there are close to 3600 doctoral students and 6200 master's students, the fourth largest graduate student population among Canadian universities.  About 30% of master’s students, and 44% of doctoral students at UBC are international.

G+PS plays a central role in the strategic direction of graduate education at UBC.  It facilitates discussion on campus about the future of graduate education, provides an information hub for all topics related to graduate education, celebrates the achievement of graduate students and alumni, and provides advocacy for graduate students & Postdoctoral Fellow needs.

In its administrative capacity it provides services to units and graduate students across all academic faculties on the Vancouver campus – from recruitment of new students along the entire lifecycle to graduation and beyond. Services include: orientation, health and well-being, professional development, program administration, and thesis/dissertation support among other things.

G+PS is the home of the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP), a unique graduate program that allows scholars to design their own curriculum under supervision of supervisors from any unit.

The university also hosts 850 postdoctoral fellows. UBC-appointed postdoctoral fellows can be found in over 90 departments and at affiliated sites including BC Cancer Agency, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital, the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital.

* term taken from Walker et al (2008), The Formation of Scholars. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


Research Highlights

UBC offers over 300 Graduate Degree Programs in nearly every academic field imaginable, and opportunities to pursue cutting-edge transdisciplinary study that crosses traditional boundaries. There is sure to be a program offered that aligns with your interests.

UBC attracts $580 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 8,800 projects and UBC researchers file over 230 patents a year. Many programs have state-of-art new buildings and facilities. At UBC you will work side by side with passionate scholars as you delve into the most meaningful questions of our world.

Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.


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
2012 Dr. Bunjun studied organizational power relations at Vancouver Status of Women from 1971 to 2008. Using intersectional feminist analysis, she argues that organizations are not neutral, but rather sites of colonial encounters. Based on her findings, she proposes a nuanced understanding of power and entitlement, and a more ethical Affirmative Action Policy. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. McElroy studied the impact of war and displacement on early childhood in northern Uganda. Her research illuminates the disruption of traditional strategies for protecting and nurturing children, leaving them exposed to developmental risk even during resettlement. Findings highlight needed interventions for vulnerable infants and young children. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2011 Dr. Connelly investigated the acoustical characteristics of vegetated roofs, and their contribution to the ecological performance of buildings and to urban soundscapes. She developed methods to evaluate the effectiveness of greening rooftops, to reduce noise and introduce natural sounds for the benefit, health, well-being and liveability of our cities. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2011 Dr. Cabarcas studied the capacity of small farmers in two Ecuadorian indigenous communities to reduce pesticide environmental health risks. The study described important contextual barriers such as inequitable land distribution, unfavourable market policies, and limited state support. He uncovered local and global mechanisms of health inequities. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2011 Dr. DeBeck examined street disorder and illicit drug use in Vancouver. Her research provides compelling evidence that structural and environmental level interventions in the areas of housing, employment and supervised drug consumption facilities are likely to significantly reduce street disorder and have a positive influence on public health. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2011 Dr. Terpstra explored innovation implementation in an interorganization tobacco cessation network using complexity theory. Her research demonstrates the value in using a systems paradigm and qualitative data to study implementation phenomena. The findings of her study can be used to improve tobacco cessation efforts in North America and globally. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2010 Dr. Turner developed a way to evaluate the usefulness of measuring electrical resistance at the skin surface to facilitate measurement of outcomes from energy-based healing of pain. An ohmmeter detected activity at acupuncture points and could differentiate between pain and no pain groups. This protocol may be seen as a bridge between Western and Chinese Medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2010 Dr. Sharman studied the recruitment and retention of Community Health Workers in small cities, towns, and rural communities on Vancouver Island. Her research was informed by a commitment to fostering the design of health human resources policies that include the perspectives of marginalized workers. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2010 Dr. Small examined the influence of the setting where drugs are injected upon drug-related harm among injection drug users in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. He found that social and environmental forces specific to particular drug use settings play a key role in shaping injection-related risks, highlighting the importance of environmental and structural interventions for efforts to prevent HIV and reduce drug-related harm. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2009 Dr. Bailey's study was an attempt to discover the therapeutic influence members have on each other in a therapeutic enactment group. Very little research exists on this topic and this study sought to discover the contributions members make to each others' learning. He found that members in a group improve each other in a therapeutically positive way. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)