Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement
Museum of Vancouver
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.
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.
The PhD program provides students with the opportunity to structure a course of study towards specific intellectual and practical interests. A student first gains full standing as a doctoral candidate within the Department by completing the following requirements:
Once they have attained candidacy, students then proceed with research and preparation of a PhD dissertation. The candidate completes the degree upon successfully defending their dissertation in the University examination. Students are expected to attain their degrees within six years.
In this session, we'll provide advice on applying to grad school and answer your questions. Ask us anything about applying to grad school at UBC!
This is a general session from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and is not program-specific.
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.
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:
Overall score requirement: 100
Overall score requirement: 7.5
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
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.
The most important first step in applying for admission to our graduate program is finding and approaching a potential supervisor in the department. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the research you are interested in completing as a graduate student and to determine if there is a good ‘fit’ with faculty expertise. Please be aware, however, that all admissions decisions are made by committee and are only communicated after the application deadline following full review of all submitted applications.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
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.
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
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.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
18 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 17 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
|2018||Dr. Gomez-Ramirez examined on-street sex work and transgender politics in Mexico City. She used a critical trans and sexual labour lens to understand how social class and informal vending practices shape the realities of low-income trans women. Her work contributes to rethinking common understandings about the key issues that affect transpeople today.|
|2018||Dr. Letham studied the intersections of human settlement and shoreline change over the last 15,000 years around Prince Rupert Harbour, British Columbia. He reconstructed sea level history to identify early archaeological sites and studied how ancient human use and modification of shorelines transformed social organization on coastal landscapes.|
|2017||Dr. Mohibullah examined how legacies of the 9/11 attacks, particularly Islamophobia, affected the senses of self and place of Muslims living in New York City. Her research linked questions of citizenship, identity, place and affect, and challenged the misconceptions that Muslims are monolithic and that Islam is an inherently violent belief system.|
|2017||Dr. Fessenden looked at food-waste and hunger through the lens of an activist group, Food Not Bombs. She introduced the concepts of direct action project and social movement (dis)organization to understand this anarchist-inspired group and its potential to address hunger and poverty in empowering ways.|
|2017||Dr. Whitt studied the politics of climate change in the Andean highlands of Bolivia. He explored how daily spatial experiences, like intensified floods, mud, and lightning, shape local environmental politics. He argues for conceptualizing people's responses to climate change as ongoing negotiations with changing space.|
|2017||Dr. Cooper explored patterns of human dietary variation through stable isotope analysis of hair samples from modern and archaeological populations. Her research shows the applicability of hair isotope analysis in understanding current and past human diets.|
|2017||Dr. Arora studied Sikh women living in the Widow Colony slum after the 1984 Sikh massacre in Delhi, India. She found that a city's spatial configuration impacts gender violence, and that violence has long-term effects on the body, memory, and kinship. She also examined how religious practices aid healing, and 1984's importance in the Sikh diaspora.|
|2016||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.|
|2016||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.|
|2016||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.|
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, Korea and China), Mesoamerica, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa.
UBC is a world-recognized institution and they have an excellent Anthropology department. I first came to UBC for my MA; I stayed for my PhD because of UBC’s intellectual community. I have a supportive supervisor – very important for a PhD! – and I have been lucky to have been able to connect with...
One of the reasons I chose to study at UBC was the research environment and the people I can work with. Notably, not only at the Department of Anthropology which I belong to, but also across the campus, there are many inspiring, leading, and distinguished faculty and graduate students studying...
I was drawn to UBC because of the many curators and researchers partnering with the Museum of Anthropology. MOA has a notable reputation for critical and self-reflective scholarship, as well as many years of ethical and collaborative engagement with First Nations. The combination of rigorous museum...