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.
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, but also across the campus. There are many inspiring, leading, and distinguished faculty and graduate students studying various topics related to my research and engaging in community-based and practice-oriented projects.
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.
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||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|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)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (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.
|2016||Dr. Vivaldi conducted research among migrant indigenous people in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work shows the importance of mobility and the creation of spatial networks for confronting socioeconomic marginalization and urban segregation. This research contributes to thinking and promoting urban inclusion and indigenous decolonization.|
|2015||Dr. Komarnisky studied Mexican migrants in Alaska. She found that both locations, and a shared experience of mobility between them, are what makes these people feel at home in the world. This study adds to our understanding of migration patterns and experiences of place, and can contribute to policies that improve the lives of migrants everywhere.|
|2015||Dr. Shepard worked with several endangered language communities to examine how cultural beliefs impact ideology around language preservation. He explored issues of sovereignty, indigeneity, public dissemination of knowledge and archive management. The research identifies strategies for increasing the efficacy of Native language preservation efforts.|
|2014||Dr. Nitsan worked with the Guatemalan campaign to end violence against women, to examine tensions between theory and practice within the women's human rights discourse. She argues that, to promote transformative social change, those rights are framed in terms of dignity, grounded in women's diverse life experiences and emphasize agency and self-worth.|
|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.|
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.
For an archaeologist who works with living people on the British Columbian coast, UBC offers three attractive strengths: 1) UBC’s archaeology program is housed in the university’s Department of Anthropology, a situation that encourages anthropologically-focused archaeological work and supports it...
I see UBC as an ideal place to develop my research interests because of its outstanding faculty and interdisciplinary approach to anthropology. I feel very privileged to have the chance to work with my supervisor, Dr. Mark Turin who has 27 years of experience of working with Indigenous communities...
I have been inspired by the research, scholarship, and professionalism of UBC Faculty and PhD alumni, which I learn from and strive to incorporate into my own work. Much of the most important recent research (anthropological, archaeological, and legal) with and on Coast Salish peoples has been...
I wanted to study at UBC because of its wonderful resources at UBC: Dr. Pat Shaw and FNEL, and for the Museum of Anthropology, the X̱wi7x̱wa Library and the First Nations House of Learning. I came to UBC because it is endeavouring to embody and role model a positive relationship with Indigenous...