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
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)
2014 Dr. Chalmers developed a theory of Ideologically challenging entertainment designed to mitigate "us vs. them" beliefs. Using this, she created and directed a theatrical production that confronted views of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Audience responses revealed that entertainment can moderate the ideologies that lead to violent conflict and genocide. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Preto conducted an ethical and legal analysis of Canada's approach to clinical trial oversight. She identified various shortcomings and examined the different implications these have across industry and academic trials. Findings will benefit policy makers working to improve clinical trial oversight, researchers and trial participants. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2014 Dr. Wierzbicki studied architectural elements that can respond to the changing needs of building occupants. These kinetic elements have the potential to improve a building's ecological and functional performance. Her approach to designing kinetic structures addresses the expectations of urbanized societies and the need for more efficient buildings. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. McNeil studied access to health and harm reduction services for people who inject drugs. He examined how social, structural, and environmental forces affect access to these services. His work highlights the need to scale up harm reduction interventions, and expand these into hospitals, to improve health equity for people who inject drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Fast conducted research with young people who were street-involved and using drugs in Greater Vancouver. Her work encouraged youth to create a series of photo essays, to explore their complex senses of place in the city, over time. The findings have implications for how we think about, and attempt to intervene in the lives of marginalized youth. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Hayashi examined the relationship between policing and the health of people who inject drugs in Bangkok, Thailand. Her research found that repressive policing did not suppress the illegal drug market and instead contributed to human rights abuses and health-related harm. Her findings support the call for more balanced approaches to drug control. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Vidal's research focussed on depression in Latin American immigrants in Canada. She applied a global mental health approach to culturally adapt a psychotherapy treatment. It is the first clinical tool designed to treat depression in immigrants in Canada. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Durgan studied people with mental and behavioural disorders in Vancouver's downtown eastside. This interdisciplinary project suggests grassroots movements, combined with a scientific approach, provide a comprehensive solution to issues that are global in scope. The findings benefit professionals working in psychiatry, architecture and philosophy. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Scott examined the ethical, legal, and social, implications of North American stem cell research. He revealed how researchers navigate regulatory and political environments and how their actions influence collaboration and productivity. These findings can inform the development of government policies, for the benefit of citizens and economies. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)