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

In the Chemistry department Faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, undergraduates and staff members work cooperatively in a collegial environment to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems related to energy, health and sustainability.

Research areas in the department cover a wide range of subject matter, including applied chemistry, chemical synthesis, biological chemistry, environmental chemistry, chemical analysis, materials chemistry, chemical physics and theoretical chemistry.

What makes the program unique?

All students admitted into our graduate program will receive a competitive stipend. Tuition fees are paid for all qualifying PhD students, as part of complete multi-year funding packages that also include funding via Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA).

Outstanding facilities and resources accommodate more than 500 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty that call the Department of Chemistry home. The Department has one of the most comfortable and up-to-date research spaces in North America.

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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

23

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

23

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 required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 July 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 August 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 August 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 July 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 August 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 August 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 Chemistry (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.

Research Information

Research Focus

Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program. Applicants who are interested in quantum materials may consider the QuEST program.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application FeeNo application fee$60.00
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 Ph.D. program in Chemistry will receive a funding package of at least $26,000 for each of the first five years of their program (contingent on satisfactory teaching and research performance). 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 salary, Ph.D. students receive full tuition awards paid for by funds from the Graduate Student Initiative and the Faculty of Science for the first five years of the program.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 131 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 $34,519.
  • 116 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 116 students was $7,213.
  • 123 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 123 students was $12,337.
  • 8 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 8 students was $5,156.
  • 131 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 131 students was $13,384.
  • 17 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 17 students was $21,961.

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

192 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 3 graduates are seeking employment; 5 are in non-salaried situations; for 31 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 153 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 (9)
Harvard University (4)
University of Saskatchewan (2)
University of the Fraser Valley (2)
Simon Fraser University (2)
University of Oklahoma
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NUST)
University of South Australia
Kyushu University
University of Prince Edward Island
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Gilead Sciences (3)
Zymeworks Inc. (2)
Scripps Research Institute (2)
Sciex (2)
Agensys Inc. (2)
Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (2)
Theravance Biopharma Inc. (2)
GlaxoSmithKline (2)
PACEAS Technologies
Clinical Research Institute of Montreal
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Scientist (8)
Research Scientist (7)
Research Associate (3)
Principal Scientist (2)
Director (2)
Lawyer (2)
Investigator (2)
Research Scientist II (2)
Senior Research Scientist (2)
Senior Chemist
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 Chemistry (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
Applications232478590260229
Offers5047765646
New Registrations2934473226
Total Enrolment200207209191194

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 91% based on 118 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 96 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 4.1 years and the maximum time is 9.22 years with an average of 5.61 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

Tuesday, 30 July 2024 - 4:00pm - Room 200

Madhureeta Das Gupta
Precise Length and Morphology Control of Metal-Containing Supramolecular Assemblies

Wednesday, 14 August 2024 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Mostafa Hagar
Isolation and Structure Elucidation of Caveamides via Hybrid Genome-Mining and 15N-NMR Screening

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 Chemistry (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.

 

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.

  • Algar, Russ (Luminescent Materials; Bio/Chemical Sensing; Materials synthesis and biofunctionalization; Understanding the nanoparticle interface; New energy transfer configurations for sensing and imaging; Point-of-care diagnostic devices; Intracellular sensing)
  • Andersen, Raymond (Chemicals produced by marine organisms)
  • Berlinguette, Curtis (Combinatorial Chemistry; CO2 conversion and utilization; clean energy; advanced solar cells; electrochromic windows; dynamic windows; hydrogen fuels production; catalysis; robotics and automation; machine learning / artificial intelligence)
  • Bertram, Allan (Atmospheric sciences; Chemical sciences; Atmosphere (Including Chemical Aspects); Physical and analytical chemistry of atmospheric aerosols)
  • Bizzotto, Dan (Electroanalytical chemistry; Electrochemistry; Colloid and surface chemistry; Electrochemical Systems; Surface Characterization; Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Layers; Sensors and Devices; Electrochemical and Fuel Cells; biosensors; electrocatalysis; fluorescence microscopy; interfacial analysis; self assembled monolayers; spectroelectrochemistry)
  • Borduas-Dedekind, Nadine (Chemical sciences; atmospheric chemistry; chemical mechanisms; atmospheric ice nucleation; Biogeochemistry; mass spectrometry; Photochemistry; indoor chemistry; atmospheric aerosols; singlet oxygen)
  • Brumer, Harry (Biochemistry; Chemical sciences; Genomics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; biomass; carbohydrates; cellulose; Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis; Enzymes; microbiota; plant cell walls; polysaccharides)
  • Burke, Sarah (Scanning probe microscopy, organic materials, nanoscale materials, surface physics, photovoltaics )
  • Chen, David (Instrumentation)
  • Chou, Keng Chang (Chemical physics)
  • Cooke, Ilsa (Role of icy dust grains in interstellar chemistry; Constraining aromatic and carbon chemistry during star formation; Observational Astronomy)
  • Dake, Gregory (Organic, bioactive, metal as catalyist)
  • Gates, Derek (Inorganic chemistry, materials science, polymer chemistry, catalysis)
  • Grant, Edward (Spectroscopy, molecular electronic structure, Chemical physics)
  • Hariri, Amani (Biological chemistry, Integrated Biosensors, Ultrasensitive sensor platforms for low abundance molecular detection, Aptamer switches for multifunctional stimulus-responsive Nano-systems)
  • Hein, Jason (discovery, design and study of new organometallic and organocatalytic reactions; investigating complex systems where multiple pathways compete, partitioning the active catalyst among many possible pathways)
  • Hepburn, John (Chemical physics)
  • Huan, Tao (Bioinformatics, n.e.c.; Analytical spectrometry; Metabolomics; Separation science; Cancer progression and metastasis; Human nutrition and metabolism; Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry; Machine Learning; Bioinformatics)
  • Hudson, Zachary (Synthesis of materials; Functional materials in materials chemistry sciences; Organic chemical synthesis; Optical properties of materials; Luminescent materials; Organic electronics; Polymer chemistry; Organic chemistry; Organic light-emitting diodes)
  • Jetter, Reinhard (Analytical Chemistry; Plant Ecophysiology; Plant Biochemistry; Molecular Genetics; Biological Chemistry)
  • Krems, Roman (Theoretical chemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy, Dynamics of few- and many-body molecular systems in electromagnetic fields)
  • Li, Hongbin (Biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, single molecule studies, biological, atomic force, polymer chemistry)
  • MacFarlane, Andrew (Chemical physics, Electronic and magnetic properties of crystalline solids, especially strongly correlated materials such as the cuprate high temperature superconductors)
  • MacLachlan, Mark (Supramolecular inorganic chemistry; Inorganic materials; Supramolecular organic chemistry; Synthesis of materials; Functional materials in materials chemistry sciences; Supramolecular Chemistry; Nanomaterials; Biomaterials; Cellulose nanocrystals; Chitin; Materials Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry)
  • Mehrkhodavandi, Parisa (Chemical sciences; Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds; Polymers; Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis; Bio-based polymers; Bioproducts; catalysis; Green Chemistry; Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry and Characterization)

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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
2024 Dr. Rees developed and characterized dextran-coated nanoparticles and nanoparticle assemblies for bioanalytical applications such as the specific labelling of cancer cells. These materials were very brightly fluorescent, stable, non-fouling, and will help enable point-of-care diagnostic technology that will make molecular medicine more accessible.
2024 Dr. Wei used biochemical and biophysical approaches to investigate the biosynthetic enzymes employed in the assembly of nitrogen-containing natural product molecules, including ±-amino acids Piperazic Acid and Azaserine, and nitroimidazole antibiotic Azomycin. The elucidated novel pathways and key steps lead to strategies for medicinal treatment.
2024 Dr. Maschmeyer-Tombs examined the use of benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a tool to monitor chemical reactions. He evaluated the use of different sampling methods and applied his findings to study a variety of chemical reactions, demonstrating how similar approaches can be used in industrial pharmaceutical research.
2024 Dr. Otani conducted a study on molecular complexes at low temperatures using spectroscopic techniques. Her realization of a signature of molecular superfluidity predicted by theory but not yet realized and the nature of chiral molecules offers valuable insights into atomic, molecular, and condensed matter.
2024 Dr. McNutt studied the hormone somatostatin and its role in slowing the growth of breast cancer. She demonstrated that two similar subtypes of breast cancer respond variably to treatment with somatostatin. This research underscores the multiple mechanisms responsible for cancer growth and may contribute to the development of new therapeutics.
2024 Dr. Liu delves into the creation of innovative platforms and methodologies to study one-pot multistep reaction. His work enabled an automated control and analysis system for one-pot telescoped reactions and proposed an efficient optimization strategy for complicated multistep syntheses.
2024 Replacing plastics with green alternatives is a tough nut to crack. Dr. Goonesinghe introduces new methods to convert simple molecules into complex biodegradable materials using quirky new indium catalysts. His work unveils the huge potential of these tragically underappreciated elements, paving the way for better catalysts and greener plastics.
2024 The terrestrial plants possess a cuticle which comprises a mixture of ubiquitous waxes that have important physiological roles. Dr. Gozdzik investigated the cuticles of several plant species to infer biosynthetic mechanisms for non-ubiquitous specialty wax compounds which furthers the understanding of the roles and origins of those wax compounds.
2023 Dr. Yin developed new methods to improve mass spectrometry based proteomic research. His work enabled more comprehensive and accurate measurement of proteins, thus contributing to a deeper understanding of the state of biological systems studied. The methods he developed has potential future applications in advancing disease diagnosis and therapeutics discovery.
2023 Dr. Luo developed engineering approaches to apply a protective polymer coating onto the blood vessels of organs that interact with the immune system to improve organ quality and transplantation success. The protective immunomodulatory coating can be adapted for other immune functions, opening up possibilities for the development of novel therapies.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Specialization

Chemistry covers a wide range of subject matter, from synthetic organic chemistry to chemical physics and theory, including inorganic, organic, analytical, biological, physical, theoretical, nuclear, environmental, and materials chemistry.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-D6

Classification

 

Apply Now

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

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 July 2024
International Applicant Deadline
31 July 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

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