Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)

Overview

The UBC Masters in Philosophy provides an opportunity for excellent students to study philosophy at an advanced level; to broaden their understanding of some fundamental questions; and to acquire the skills and knowledge that are necessary for the development their own philosophical research.

There are two routes by which a Masters degree in Philosophy can be gained at UBC: a thesis-based route and a coursework based one. 

The requirements of the coursework-based route are usually met by taking ten courses, with at least six of these being taught in the department of philosophy. Completion of the thesis-based route usually involves taking six courses, and then writing a thesis. In both routes it is normal for students to complete the degree within two years. 

Students have considerable flexibility as to the areas of philosophy in which they choose to specialize. Those wishing to study the work of philosophers writing in languages other than English have the opportunity to learn the languages in question. Most of our students also gain experience of teaching philosophy, through working as a teaching assistant in a variety of undergraduate courses.

What makes the program unique?

The UBC Department of Philosophy is home to a number of internationally celebrated thinkers, with expertise in a broad range of philosophical topics, and with a variety of unique perspectives on the arts, on the biological, social and psychological sciences, on language, on knowledge, on history, and on value.  All of the department’s faculty members work closely with the students who are enrolled in our graduate programmes.

The UBC Philosophy Masters program provides a great degree of flexibility, enabling students to shape their study around their own areas of interest and expertise.   The department has a supportive, collegial, and philosophically inspiring culture.  Students have a range of opportunities to participate fully in its intellectual life. They are also encouraged to participate in the broader community of philosophers, with several sources of funding being available that enable students to present their research at international academic conferences.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Arts
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Philosophy
Program Components
Coursework + Options
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
22
21
22
21
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 12 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 12 January 2021

Funding Sources

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Options

Graduate students are attracted to the UBC Philosophy Department from around the world, and they often go on to pursue international careers when they graduate.  Many of the students who graduate from the UBC Masters in Philosophy gain fellowships that enable them to study philosophy at the doctoral level at other world-leading universities. The graduates of our program are also exceptionally well-trained in the analytic and verbal skills that employers outside of academia prize, especially in areas relating to the arts, the media, law, and politics.

Alumni on Success

Patrick Edwards

Job Title
Medical Officer / Flight Surgeon
Employer
Canadian Armed Forces

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications4839493253
Offers133865
New registrations5 543
Total enrolment661078

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 87.5% based on 16 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 15 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 3.66 years with an average of 1.92 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Anderson, Scott Allen (intersection of ethics and social and political philosophy, largely focused on how to use and regulate power, coercion, and social norms; action theory and moral psychology, privacy, and problems related to the intensification of technology and information.)
  • Aydede, Murat (Philosophy of mind)
  • Ballarin, Roberta (Philosophical logic, nature and sources of necessity)
  • Bartha, Paul (logic; probability; analogical reasoning, Philosophy of science, decision theory)
  • Beatty, John Henry (Socio-political dimensions of genetics and evolutionary biology)
  • Bedke, Matthew (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Foundations of Ethics, Social Organization and Political Systems, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, metaethics, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, epistemology)
  • Berryman, Sylvia (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Ancient Greek natural philosophy, Aristotle's ethics, ethics and global poverty)
  • Griffin, Michael (Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic )
  • Ichikawa, Jonathan (epistemology; philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophical methodology (including experimental philosophy), cognitive science, and metaphysics, especially but not)
  • Jenkins, Carrie (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Philosophy, Metaphysics, Romantic love, epistemology, Language and meaning, Philosophy of love, Creative scholarship, Critical approaches to normalcy, Art and inclusion, Interdisciplinarity and liminality)
  • Lopes, Dominic (Aesthetics)
  • Margolis, Eric (Philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, developmental origins of human conceptual system, relationship between language and thought, exaplanation of distinctively human cognition)
  • Mole, Christopher (Philosophical issues that arise from the attempt to understand the mind scientifically, aesthetics of literature )
  • Richardson, Alan Walter (History of philosophy of science in early twentieth century)
  • Russell, Joseph Paul (Free will, contemporary compatibilism, optimism-pessimism contrast)
  • Schabas, Margaret (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, History and Philosophy of Economics)
  • Simchen, Ori (Philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of law )
  • Stephens, Christopher (philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, rationality, Why be rational?, scientific philosophy)
  • Thompson, Evan (Philosophical Foundations, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Theories and Philosophies, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Phenomenology, Asian Philosophies)
  • Wylie, Alison (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, philosophy of science, philosophy of the social and historial sciences, feminist philosophy, philosophy of archaeology, research ethics (non-medical), science studies)

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
08 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
08 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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