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
2015 Dr. Kealy examined the approaches used by psychotherapists in the treatment of pathological narcissism. He found that therapists modified their approaches based on patients' interpersonal difficulties. His work highlights the expertise of community psychotherapists and suggests possibilities in the treatment of narcissistic disorders. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2015 Dr. Valerio studied food greenhouses that admit light in the day, but lose heat at night. He designed a greenhouse cover that behaves like a window when it's sunny, but become thermally-insulated when it isn't. This Light Valve has the potential to make winter agriculture feasible in cold climates, by increasing the thermal properties of greenhouses. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2015 Dr. Shields studied the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of male Veterans, and factors affecting their engagement in treatment. Studying participants in a national program for Veterans he helped develop, he found male gender role pressures create barriers to treatment. His work is being used to improve services for Canadian Veterans and civilian men. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2015 Dr. Lee explored the sexual health and suffering of young women who head households in Nakuru County, Kenya. She applied a participatory approach, building on local responses to foster community and policy action. Her research highlights the critical role of social support in reducing social and health inequalities lived out by young women. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Knight explored the ethical implications of routine HIV testing practices among young men in Vancouver. In his research, he described how HIV-related stigma can be influenced by routine testing practices, as well as how young men choose to test for HIV based on relational values such as solidarity and health equity. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Wu interviewed survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China. The research showed that the survivors' memories of home-making can contribute to the creation of a sense of home in their new communities. This suggests that urban designers should use the memories of survivors to enhance the quality of post-disaster reconstruction and recovery. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Levine investigated the role of cognition and culture in sustainable development. He synthesized theory on human cognition from a diversity of disciplines into a single foundational model, and then combined this with innovative empirical methods to produce directly management-relevant insights into two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Hutchings used a critical heritage studies approach to evaluate archaeology/cultural resource management's response to coastal change. His B.C. case study demonstrated how archaeology facilitates the destruction of Indigenous landscapes. Archaeology is a technology of government that promotes the ideology of growth, development and progress. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Caspar examined how access to information is embedded in the social organization of long-term care. She found that front-line care staff lack access to care-related information and must rely on each other to accomplish their work. Administrators can use these findings to improve both the quality of work life and care in long-term care facilities. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Buchman explored how patients with chronic pain and addiction negotiate their complex therapeutic relationships with clinicians. His findings provide evidence for the importance of cultivating mutual trust and collaboration in treatment decision-making. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)