Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
The Department of Anthropology advances the study and constructive understanding of human diversity and commonality, across the globe and throughout the long span of human existence. We pursue this aim through excellence in research, teaching, and community collaboration, grounded in multiple analytical and interpretive methods that share a commitment to field-based inquiry. Interdisciplinary contacts are encouraged, and links are maintained with departments and programs such as Asian Studies, the Institute of Asian Research, Linguistics, History, Geography, Sociology, and the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies.
What makes the program unique?
We are the second oldest anthropology program in Canada, with more than six decades of research and teaching to our name. Our students are supported by a dedicated staff and faculty and access to outstanding research resources, such as the Museum of Anthropology and Laboratory of Archaeology. Today, UBC anthropology faculty and students conduct original research throughout BC and around the world.
UBC offers graduate study in the fields of socio-cultural anthropology (including legal, medical, and ecological anthropology, oral and expressive culture, religion, globalization, and applied anthropology), linguistic anthropology, anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, and museum studies. Faculty research interests include North America, Asia (Russia, India, Japan, and Korea), Mesoamerica, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa. The program provides training in quantitative, qualitative, archaeological and museum methods.
Extensive research facilities are available in the Museum of Anthropology, and in the Laboratory of Archaeology. The UBC Library has excellent collections to support program interests, as well as a large collection of microform theses and dissertations, and the Human Relations Area files. Anthropology has a dedicated graduate computer lab with a wide range of software to support quantitative and qualitative research.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Prior degree requirements
Applicants should have completed a MA in Anthropology, although the program may in special circumstances admit students with a Masters degree in a related subject.
18 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 17 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationRitsumeikan Asia Pacific University (2)
University of Dhaka
Universite de Montreal
Simon Fraser University
University of Tsukuba
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationGitxaala First Nation
Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre
Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation
Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearcher
Heritage Research Coordinator
Director, Senior Archaeologist
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,600.60||$2,811.98|
|Tuition per year||$4,801.80||$8,435.94|
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$899.00 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,453.00 (check cost calculator)|
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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This program has a graduation rate of 64% based on 22 students admitted between 2003 - 2006. Based on 16 graduations between 2012 - 2015 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 6.24 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 8 April 2016]. 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: 8 April 2016].
Affiliated Faculty Members
Barker, John (Local and global religion, history of Canadian anthropology, ethno-history, the anthropology of art and the impact of international environmental organizations upon indigenous peoples)
Blake, Thomas Michael (Archaeological research, origins and spread of maize agriculture in the Americas, exploration of Coast Salish identities as expressed in house structures and village settlement layouts extending from about 3000 years ago)
Bloch, Alexia (Migration and Transnationalism, Anthropology of Gender, Statelessness, Ethnographic Methods and Writing, Socialist Cultures and Projects of Modernity, Eurasia, Peoples of Siberia)
Creighton, Millie (Japan, Japanese descent communities (Nikkei or Nikkeijin), Korea, Inter-Asian Relations, Identity, Consumerism, Popular and Mass Culture, Gender, Minorities, Work and Leisure)
Davis, Wade (Latin America, passionate defender of all of life)
Gordillo, Gaston (Space and violence, affect, ruins and ruination, critical theory and continental philosophy, object-oriented ontologies, resistance to agribusiness, Latin America, Argentina, the Gran Chaco)
Jing, Zhichun (Archaeology of Early China Archaeology Geoarchaeology Ancient Civilizations, Archaeology of early China, geoarchaeology, human impact on ancient environments, archaic states and early complex societies, systematic regional survey and analysis, quantitative analysis, environmental archaeology, provenance of archaic jades)
Kamat, Vinay Ramnath (Medical anthropology, global health, Tanzania, childhood malaria, India, outsourcing of clinical drug trials)
Kramer, Jennifer (Visual culture and art of the First Nations)
Martindale, Andrew (Northwest Coast British Columbia, settlement patterns, economics, social organizations Archaeology and indigenous oral records Colonialism and culture contact, European-Indigenous interactions, historical archeology, political economy)
Menzies, Charles (fisheries crises, traditional ecological knowledge, local ecological knowledge, social inequality, neo-liberalism, Tsimshian, Brittany, Ireland, maritime communities, coastal communities, ethnoecology, First Nations land claims, Natural resource management, fish, political economy, aboriginal)
Miller, Bruce (Anthropology of Law, ethnography, ethnohistory of Coast Salish of BC and Washington, Indigenes worldwide, state-Indigenous relations)
Moore, Patrick (Anthropological linguistics, languages of North America, sub-Arctic ethnography, ethno-history, gender, First Nations Languages, Literacy and Orality, Oral Traditions, Dene (Athbaskan Languages and Cultures), Codeswitching, Gender, Indigenous Activism, and the Anthropology of Media)
Muehlmann, Shaylih (Environmental politics, linguistic anthropology, drug trafficking, indigeneity, water scarcity, the anthropology of the awkward, US-Mexico borderlands, Mexico)
Pokotylo, David (Heritage Conservation, Archaeological methods and theory, archaeology of western North America (Plateau and subarctic), cultural resource management, public archaeology, quantitative techniques, lithic technology, ethno-archaeology, paleolithic in East Africa)
Robertson, Leslie (Indigenous and settler historiographies, colonial regimes of difference, spectacle and narrative, and political histories of resistance in settler nations, afterlife of historical colonialism, forms of power and representation in the context of urban marginalization (drug use, sex work, health, and violence) )
Rowley, Susan (Archaeology, Arctic, Museums, Public archaeology, oral history, ethnohistory, material culture)
Shaw, Patricia (First Nations languages; endangered languages, First Nations Languages)
Shelton, Anthony (Mexican and Andean visual culture, critical museology, development of folk art, aesthetics)
Shneiderman, Sara (Himalayas, Nepal, Tibet, India, Nepal’s constitutional process, political and social change, ethnicity and religion, inequality and poverty, affirmative action, indigenous peoples )
Turin, Mark (Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, First Nations)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Cathrena Narcisse
"Dr. Narcisse examined the outstanding land issue in British Columbia from the indigenous perspective. She found that while the circumstances of colonialism were prevalent, the oral history about the inherent indigenous land ownership has remained consistent over several generations." (November 2016)
- Dr. Chris A Arnett
"Dr. Arnett studied the cultural occurrence of rock art and how it was used by Nlaka'pamux of the British Columbia Plateau. His research showed that while rock art was a form of intervention against colonization, it later shifted to the preservation of local traditions. This work will be of benefit to Indigenous people throughout the world." (November 2016)
- Dr. Lara Shelley Rosenoff Gauvin
"Dr. Rosenoff Gauvin studied how rural villages in Northern Uganda move on after decades of war and internal displacement. Emphasizing the importance of land rights in post-conflict contexts, she asserts that in wars where victims are also the perpetrators of violence, "justice" prioritizes living together again and rebuilding indigenous governance and community." (November 2016)
- Dr. Mascha Gugganig
"Through the concepts of 'learnscapes', Dr. Gugganig investigated the diverse forms that education takes across three different contexts on the island of Kaua'i. Her work increases our understanding of indigenous education, knowledge production on land, public understanding of science, and how these processes and institutions co-evolve in the notion of education." (November 2016)
- Dr. Eric James Guiry
"Dr. Guiry studied the historical implications of animal trade and husbandry. His research showed how dietary analyses at the atomic level can be used to reveal new insights into the social and economic roles of domesticated animal species in colonial trade systems of North America and Australia." (November 2016)