Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

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.

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Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

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: 92

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2023
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 February 2024
Transcript Deadline: 30 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 February 2024
Transcript Deadline: 30 May 2024
Referee Deadline: 30 June 2024

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2023
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 July 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 July 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2024

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (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.

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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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 Botany starting September 2022 will be provided with a funding package of at least $29,093 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. In addition to this stipend, PhD students will receive a tuition waiver for the first 4 years of their studies. To be considered for the tuition waiver, tuition must not be funded from other sources. Please note that all financial support is subject to satisfactory performance and annual review.

For further information, visit:

https://botany.ubc.ca/graduates/financial-support-info  

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 39 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 $31,450.
  • 24 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 24 students was $9,205.
  • 32 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 32 students was $10,929.
  • 4 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 4 students was $1,084.
  • 39 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 39 students was $12,840.
  • 9 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 9 students was $16,743.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - 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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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 Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications2621222728
Offers1497813
New Registrations137568
Total Enrolment6861576163

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 88% based on 60 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 25 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 3.97 years and the maximum time is 7.17 years with an average of 5.77 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 28 June 2024 - 9:00am - Room 200

Josef Garen
Plant Carbon Metabolism and Water Use in a Warming Climate

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (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.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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
2016 Dr. Keerthisinghe investigated the role of the signalling protein MUSTACHES in plant development. She discovered how this protein controls the shape and symmetry of the cells that control gas exchange in leaves and the formation of lateral roots. This work will have important implications for understanding water use efficiency in plants.
2016 Dr. Johnson identified three novel genes that play a role in plant defense against microbial pathogens. The characterization studies undertaken by Dr. Johnson underscore the complexity inherent in the regulation of plant immune signaling.
2016 Plants possess complex immune systems to combat pathogens. Dr. Huang uncovered novel components of a protein degradation complex. He examined their roles in the regulation of immune receptor homeostasis. His research highlights the importance of the ubiquitin proteasome pathway in fine tuning immune responses in plants.
2016 Dr. Lam studied evolutionary changes that occur in genomes of plants that steal nutrients from fungi. She found that genes are lost from their genomes in a predictable manner, leading to genome compaction and restructuring. Her work provides new insights into how plants can survive without photosynthesis.
2016 Dr. Owens explored the effects of hybridization on the genomes of sunflowers. He developed a novel method for quantifying genomic composition in hybrid species. His work has implications for how hybrid species form and how genes can move between species.
2016 Dr. Guenther examined the effects of climate change, specifically ocean temperature and pH, on calcified red algae. She demonstrated that mature seaweeds were surprisingly resilient to climate stressors, but that spore adhesion declined in acidified seawater. Her findings suggests that habitat-forming seaweeds may be impacted by climate change.
2016 Dr. Tong studied how the E3 ligases and helper NLRs affect plant immunity.These studies help us to better understand how plants defend against pathogens.
2016 Dr. Tack examined the evolution of alternative splicing in duplicated genes in the Brassicaceae family, showing divergence of alternative splicing between duplicates to be the most common outcome. He found rapid changes to alternative splicing upon allopolyploidization, and that these changes in new allopolyploids are distinct from changes found in established allopolyploids.
2016 Dr. Storey studied two enzyme pathways in white spruce trees, one important to growth and development, the other to defense against pests. She found that the two had distinct expression patterns, differing between seasons, parts of the plant and in response to stress. The work broadened our understanding of the allocation of resources in spruce.
2016 Dr. Eng characterized proteins that are essential for regulating microtubule dynamics and cell morphogenesis in plants. He demonstrated that a kinesin specific motor protein has the ability to destabilize microtubules. Dr. Eng's work contributes to the understanding of the growth and development of plants at the cellular and molecular level.

Pages

Further Information

Specialization

Research in Botany extends from genomics, molecular genetics, biochemistry and physiology of plants and eukaryotic microorganisms (e.g., fungi and protists) through to cytology and development to systematics, ecology, and phytogeography. The broad areas of research possible within the program are cell biology and biochemistry; genomics and genetics, plant molecular biology; plant and algal physiology; terrestrial and marine ecology; biosystematics and evolution; development and ultrastructure; protistology; and mycology.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-C2
 

Apply Now

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September 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2023
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 February 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 February 2024

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 December 2023
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 July 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 July 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

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