Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)

Overview

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.

Program Structure

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:

  • 24 months residency
  • 18 credits of coursework
  • an acceptable research proposal
  • satisfactory performance in a comprehensive examination

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.

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Program Enquiries

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Meet a Representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Tuesday, 07 December 2021
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors. In this open session, the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver, and the application process.

This session is an open Q&A in which we’ll work to answer as many of your questions as possible. Our Graduate Student Ambassadors will be sharing their insight on academic and student life at UBC. 

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Thursday, 09 December 2021
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors. In this open session, the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver, and the application process.

This session is an open Q&A in which we’ll work to answer as many of your questions as possible. Our Graduate Student Ambassadors will be sharing their insight on academic and 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

25

Writing

25

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.5

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 13 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 13 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2021

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2022
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2022
Referee Deadline: 16 December 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2022
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2022
Referee Deadline: 16 December 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 Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)
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.

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.

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.

Research Information

Research Focus

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.

Research Facilities

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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
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)
* 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.

Program Funding Packages

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.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 27 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research/academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $36,303.
  • 12 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 12 students was $9,691.
  • 12 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 12 students was $7,459.
  • 27 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 27 students was $22,261.
  • 6 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 6 students was $28,889.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
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 Outcomes

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 Education
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (2)
University of Dhaka
Universite de Montreal
Douglas College
Sungkyunkwan University
Simon Fraser University
University of Tsukuba
University of British Columbia
Carleton University
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Gitxaala First Nation
Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre
Canadian Science and Technology Museums Corporation
Alaska Marine Conservation Council
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Researcher
Research Director
Heritage Research Coordinator
Director, Senior Archaeologist
Consultant
Program Director
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These 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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

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.

Enrolment Data

 20202019201820172016
Applications4642454139
Offers47111010
New registrations46969
Total enrolment4649474343

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 77.27% based on 22 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 19 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 2.33 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 6.34 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 April 2021]. 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 7 December 2021 - 12:30pm

Emma Rose Feltes
"We Don't Need Your Constitution": Patriation and Indigenous Self-Determination in British Columbia

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
2014 Dr. LaSalle studied the history, community and landscape of Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver. She demonstrated how "nature" in the park is manufactured to forget colonial violence and to feel better about ongoing environmental devastation. Pacific Spirit is thus a site of ideology, ultimately hindering resistance to industrial capitalism.
2014 Dr. Condin studied Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal genetic disease diagnosed in boys. He examined how families cope with the illness, and their experiences testing new genetic treatments in clinical trials. His research will help to incorporate patient views into healthcare delivery, and to develop personalized treatments for rare diseases.
2014 Dr. Marsh studied fossil exhibits at the Smithsonian. She identified how they have been shaped by new communication techniques, professional cultures, and institutional divides between research and outreach in the last century. Her work has relevance to institutional ethnographers, historians, public science communicators, and museum practitioners.
2014 Dr. Baloy examined the ways in which non-Indigenous people learn about Indigenous peoples in Vancouver, a city built on unceded Coast Salish lands. She argued that settler colonialism continues to shape everyday encounters, emotions, and meaning-making. This study illustrates why meaningful reconciliation must thoughtfully engage non-Indigenous people.
2014 Dr. McKee conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the horse people of Bluegrass Kentucky in order to understand the cultural and historical connections between horse racing, animal slaughter, equine rescue, and prison educational programs.
2014 Dr. Green explored the secular and ceremonial life of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. She found that claims to territory were articulated through material and expressive culture. She also produced a series of ethnographic films about her research in collaboration with Nuu-chah-nulth people.
2014 Dr. McKechnie's dissertation examines multiple scales of Indigenous history on the Northwest Coast, with a focus on two key domains of human existence: food and settlement. His research demonstrates an enduring coherence in Indigenous oral history and resource use. This offers insight into broader patterns of everyday human history over millennia.
2014 Dr. Malone conducted research with Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, a Native American fishing community. She explored how community members conceptualize their history and relate to the water and the land. Her research contributes to Coast Salish ethnography and helps native communities assert their Aboriginal rights and title.
2013 Dr. Begum explored the health seeking practices of women with reproductive complications in rural Bangladesh. This research will help health policy-makers and public health officials to understand women's reproductive complications, and the ways women manage those complications, in order to adopt gender sensitive healthcare policies and action plans.
2013 Dr. Roth examined the Northwest Coast artware industry, which reproduces Aboriginal designs on everyday objects. She showed that, pressured by its Aboriginal stakeholders, this capitalist market is being shaped by an obligation to "give back" typical of potlatch societies, where status is gained not by wealth but through public acts of redistribution.

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Further Information

Specialization

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.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-BN

Classification

 

Apply Now

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

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
13 December 2021
International Applicant Deadline
13 December 2021

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 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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