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
2018 Dr. Ziemsen developed a learning model that allows students to produce films online and in a virtual world using a process called machinima. Her goal was to help democratize film education. She engaged in her research as an a/r/tographer, by directing and producing two films and developing an online film production curriculum. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2018 Dr. Tong worked closely with community partners to conduct a study on the physical activity and mobility of foreign-born older adults in South Vancouver. Her mixed-method project was done in five languages and advances our understanding of the health behaviours of marginalized older adults who have often been excluded from academic research. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2018 Dr. Rivers investigated school connectedness and problem substance use among street-involved youth in British Columbia. Results differed by gender and in the presence of known risk factors faced by youth. His research advances the understanding that increasing positive school connectedness could decrease levels of problem substance use. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2017 Dr. Selman examined the lasting impact of the compassion of strangers. She describes how it broadens perspectives of strangers, builds gratitude, and positively alters one's sense of self. She presents her work as an a/r/tographer, an innovative means of demonstrating the value of addressing and appreciating the role of compassion in our lives. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2017 Dr. Beausoleil's research addresses how Canada can create a more innovative society. She experimented with UBC's strategic design method to develop a way of teaching the core thinking competencies required to be an innovator and devised a way to measure levels of innovativeness in individuals and organizations. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2017 Dr. Wolowic studied digital technology use among Nisga'a and Tsimshian youth before and after the arrival of Facebook and cell phones in their small city. Her research shows how this urban Indigenous community uses Facebook to re-express traditions and respond to challenges created by colonialism. Her collaborations also created images that circulated among the community in digital and material forms. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2016 Dr. Mockett developed the Mindfulness-Integrated, Resilience, Trauma-Informed and Social Pedagogy (MIRTS) Curriculum - A holistic curriculum for professionals working with young people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and substance use issues. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2016 Dr. Puurveen explored the experiences of nursing home residents with advanced dementia who were nearing the end of life. She found that care staff and families attended to the residents' dignity, personhood, and relationships in skilled and respectful ways. These findings provide direction for improving person-centred end-of-life dementia care. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2016 Dr. Landry examined the academic field of writing studies in Canada. She defined this field based on scholars' demographic data, institutional locations, identities, and experiences. This research has the potential to improve the ways in which students learn to write and to increase legitimacy for those who work in writing studies. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2016 Dr. Ouellet examines the history of Metis families evicted from Jasper National Park. He illustrates how these families are linked to the wider discourse concerning Metis rights and identity. This research highlights the diversity in Metis identity and outlines a way forward in truth telling and reconciliation between Parks Canada and Metis groups. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)