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.

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Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Meet a Representative

Virtual Office Hours

Date: Thursday, 10 December 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online session. They'll be providing admissions advice and answering your questions. They'll also be joined by some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors to talk about graduate student life at UBC.

Virtual Office Hours

Date: Friday, 11 December 2020
Time: 08:30 to 09:30

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online session. They'll be providing admissions advice and answering your questions. They'll also be joined by some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors to talk about graduate student life at UBC.

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

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

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 12 January 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 12 January 2022

3) Prepare Application

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.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

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

4) Apply Online

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

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$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)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (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.

Financial Support

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.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications5248394932
Offers713386
New registrations55 54
Total enrolment1066107

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 88.89% based on 18 students admitted between 2010 - 2013. Based on 11 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 4.00 years with an average of 2.19 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: 10 March 2020]. 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: 29 October 2020].

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.

  • Amijee, Fatema (Metaphysics; Modern Philosophy; feminist philosophy; History of Analytic Philosophy)
  • 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 (Philosophy of sciences and technologies; Environmental philosophy; Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Probability, Confirmation, 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)
  • Brownlee, Kimberley (Applied Ethics; Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice; Ethics and Health; Human Rights and Liberties, Collective Rights; Social Aspects of Aging; Loneliness; Social Human Rights; Belonging; Virtues and Vices; Civil Disobedience and Conscientious Objection; Philosophy of Punishment)
  • 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; Creative Writing)
  • 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 )
  • Prueitt, Catherine (Epistemology and Methodology; Asian Philosophy; Metaphysics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of mind/cognitive science)
  • 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 Information

Specialization

Philosophy offers courses in most major areas of the discipline, including epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, political and social philosophy, philosophy of art, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, logic, philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mathematics, and history of philosophy.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGMMAA-T0
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

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

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
08 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
08 January 2022
 
Supervisor Search
 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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