Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)

Overview

The Botany Department is one of the largest and strongest plant-focused departments in North America with roots extending back to the founding of UBC in 1915. Our departmental community of more than 260 consists of 40 full-time faculty members, several part-time faculty or associates, about 100 graduate students, numerous post-doctoral fellows and research associates, laboratory technicians, and a support staff of secretarial, equipment, herbarium, stores, workshop and greenhouse personnel. Our graduate students are expected to make influential contributions to scientific discovery and discourse, engage in formal and informal teaching and mentoring, and progress to careers in academia, industry, government and non-governmental organizations. The Botany Grad Student Association forms an active group, organizing talks, study sessions, field trips and a variety of social activities. Recent Botany graduates have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral and teaching/research positions in Canada, the USA and abroad (England, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, France, Sweden).

What makes the program unique?

The Botany Department offers unparalleled opportunities for research and teaching/learning with faculty members at the leading-edge of their disciplines. Specializations within Botany range from molecular genetics to climate change impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Collaborations between Botany faculty and other departments including Zoology, Chemistry, Forestry, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Michael Smith Laboratories, bring a rich array of potential topic areas for research to Botany graduate students. State-of-the-art facilities for bio-imaging, as well as a world-class herbarium and access to living collections in the Canadian Centre for the Culture of Microorganisms, add to the overall uniqueness of the Botany program.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Botany
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Science

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

92
22
22
22
22

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 February 2020
Transcript Deadline: 05 February 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 February 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 February 2020
Transcript Deadline: 05 February 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 February 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

65 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 58 graduates:


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
University of British Columbia (5)
University of Alberta (3)
University of California - Berkeley (2)
University of Texas at El Paso
Crandall University
University of Melbourne
Seoul National University
University of Toronto
Arizona State University
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
INRA IJPB
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canadian Museum of Nature
Enza Zaden
Carnegie Institution for Science
BC Ministry of Environment
Novozymes Inc.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (4)
Postdoctoral Fellow (3)
Director of Operations
Associate
Researcher Plant Physiologist
Provincial Terrestrial Ecosystems Ecologist
Regional Entomologist
Scientist
Scientist II
Scientist and Project Manager
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.
Career Options

Botany is the branch of biology that involves the study of the structure, evolution, properties and biochemical processes of all forms of plant life, including algae, fungi, ferns and trees. Also included within its scope are plant classification and the study of plant diseases, as well as the interactions of plants with people and the environment. A degree in Botany is well-suited to meet the challenges posed by biodiversity loss and impacts of climate change. Positions for people with botany backgrounds are usually in educational institutions, government and environmental organizations, and in the biotechnology industry including companies seeking new drugs and medicines, and useful genes for improvement of crop plants.

Alumni on Success

Jonathan Griffiths

Job Title
Postdoctoral Scientist
Employer
Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique

Hannes Dempewolf

Job Title
Scientist and Project Manager
Employer
Global Crop Diversity Trust

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications2728141327
Offers10119311
New registrations7107310
Total enrolment6673667376

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 88.89% based on 27 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 32 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 5.91 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 March 2019]. 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: 27 October 2019].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Monday, 9 December 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Dinesh Babu Paudel
Investigating Plant-Nepovirus Interactions: Non-Canonical Translation of Tomato Ringspot Virus RNAs and Plant Antiviral Defense Responses Associated with Symptom Recovery

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200

Di Wu
Regulation of the Pattern-Recognition Receptor Signaling in Arabidopsis: Lessons from SOBIR7-1 and MC2

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Ludovic Henri Le Renard
Interpreting Fossils of Fly-Speck Fungi Using Comparative Anatomy and Phylogenetics

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.

  • Tseng, Michelle (Ecology, Evolutionary Biology)
  • Wasteneys, Geoff (Plant Growth and Development, Microtubule Dynamics and Organization, Trafficking of Membrane Receptors and Transporters, Cellulose Biosynthesis, Plant Cell Walls in Cell Shape and Tissue Function, Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress)
  • Whitton, Jeannette (Plant evolutionary ecology, Evolution of asexuality, Evolution of polyploids, Speciation/ diversification, Species at risk, Conservation policy)
  • Zhang, Yuelin (Plant immunity, Systemic acquired resistance, ROS signaling, MAPK signaling, plant immune receptors)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Sam Starko
    "Dr. Starko explored how environmental conditions have shaped the evolutionary dynamics and ecological strategies of an important group of marine primary producers. His work spanned multiple spatial and temporal scales from large-scale patterns of evolution through deep time to the development of individual species." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Yukino Nitta
    "Dr. Nitta studied the regulation of signal transduction that occurs during plant immunity. Her work contributes to help uncover mechanisms which plants use to control the magnitude of defense responses." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Kresimir Sola
    "Dr. Sola explored how modifications of carbohydrates influence plant cell wall function. He discovered a novel mechanism that reinforces the connections between the walls of adjacent cells. His results provide insight into how plants can provide strength in specialized tissues." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Jianhua Huang
    "Dr. Huang studied how plant immunity is regulated in a small plant called Arabidopsis. He found out that plants use two sets of proteins to oppositely control the synthesis of salicylic acid, a hormone vital for plant immunity. Such knowledge will assist the development of eco-friendly strategies to protect agriculture from plant diseases." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Miranda Jade Meents
    "Dr. Meents characterized plant Golgi during secondary cell wall formation, helping to explain how many essential molecules are made in the cell. Dr. Meents also employed education research to compare different teaching techniques in cell biology classes, leading to significant improvement in problem solving instruction in courses at UBC." (May 2019)

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

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

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 February 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 February 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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