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
2013 Dr. Wylie examined the barriers to health care faced by ethnically diverse communities, and how they are addressed by institutions and agencies in Vancouver and Montreal. She found that most strategies focus narrowly on language issues. She concluded that in order to have inclusive health care organizations, we need to address the full range of barriers. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Warnes studied "the festival" in the Collected Works of the philosopher Martin Heidegger. He showed how the festival is in play in the poet Friedrich H”lderlin, and in ancient Greek philosophy and religion. His work will be valuable to scholars in contemporary continental philosophy. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2013 Dr. Kelson spent 12 months doing research in a BC long-term care facility. She learned that staff face multiple challenges, such as time constraints, in the quest to deliver person-centred care. The study showed that residents long for social connections and greater access to everyday activities to give their life meaning and create a sense of home. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Sarwal examined ways in which International Cancer Control Congresses affect the way cancer, a key global health challenge, is being addressed. Through her investigations, she developed and applied a method for evaluating the impact of such capacity-building efforts. Initial findings show that the Congresses facilitated change, fostered communities of practice and aided in knowledge transfer. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Green examined how sustainability commitments made by BC universities have influenced introductory economics curriculum. The economy depends upon the environment, but Green found the economic theory taught in first year economics is oversimplified and neglects this dependence. He showed that such courses do little to help students understand sustainability. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Haggan demonstrated a broad-based demand for the immeasurable values of love, cherishing and protecting, in our relationship with the sea. A concept of the secular sacred can ensure that basic human values of gratitude, generosity and renewal are as well-represented as science and economics in dialogue about farmed salmon and the Enbridge pipeline. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Virani examined barriers to predictive testing facing individuals in rural communities who are at risk for the inherited brain disorder, Huntington disease. She developed a novel telehealth testing protocol for predictive testing and showed that this model improves access to testing, without compromising quality of care and support. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Chan used Organization Theory to study professional practice change in health care. She examined the role of physician engagement and inter-organizational collaboration in bringing about practice change among family physicians. Her case study showed that professional boundaries were able to shift among family physicians involved with the Division of Family Practice in BC. Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
2012 Dr. Zamorano developed a comparative reading of Octavio Paz's poetics in light of existential philosophy. His reading shows that Paz's belief in the poetic essence of being has links to the tenets of Martin Heidegger and José Ortega y Gasset. Such comparisons help to clarify Paz's ambiguous statements on Mexican identity, the poetic existence of individuals and his critique of modernity Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
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)