Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

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.

 

Program Enquiries

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

Meet a Representative

Finding and reaching out to prospective supervisors and referees

Date: Thursday, 23 September 2021
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

For many research-based graduate programs you’ll need to find and secure a supervisor before submitting your application. In this webinar we take a close look at how to search for a supervisor and once you have found them how to reach out. We’ll also discuss the importance of having good references as part of your application and how to identify and approach referees.

This is not a program specific event and is a general session from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  

This session will cover:

  • How to find a supervisor using UBC’s supervisor database.
  • What to consider when looking for a supervisor.
  • Who makes a great referee?
  • Advice on reaching out to referees
  • Q&A

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar is for anyone who needs to secure a supervisor as part of the graduate program application to UBC. You can check if your program of interest requires this step by looking at the program’s admission information and requirements on the program page. Find your program at grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs

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

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 April 2022
Transcript Deadline: 30 April 2022
Referee Deadline: 30 April 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 March 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 March 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 March 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 August 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 August 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 August 2022
Transcript Deadline: 31 August 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 August 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 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 feeNo application fee
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 Ph.D. program in Chemistry will receive a funding package of at least $22,000 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, 144 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 $28,097.
  • 109 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 109 students was $7,064.
  • 96 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 96 students was $14,098.
  • 143 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 143 students was $9,584.
  • 24 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 24 students was $23,004.

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

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

 20202019201820172016
Applications246219239280183
Offers5046677044
New registrations2826404034
Total enrolment201198211192182

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 89.29% based on 84 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 83 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 7.83 years with an average of 5.73 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

Friday, 24 September 2021 - 9:00am

Hyungki Kim
Development and Characterization of Quantum Dots and Other Nanoparticles for Applications in Bioanalysis

Wednesday, 6 October 2021 - 9:00am

Victoria Louise Karner
Finite Size Effects in Strongly Correlated Metal Oxides Probed by β-detected NMR

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
2019 Dr. Dettelbach demonstrated how ultraviolet light could be used to produce a silver-copper alloy that is difficult to obtain through commonly used methods. This alloy has applications toward clean energy conversion.
2019 Dr. Wang explored scientific advancement in analytical methods for the quantification of small molecule medicines and the characterization of complex biopharmaceutical substances. His study assists people in producing medicines with better safety and efficacy.
2018 Dr. Qian studied molecular interactions. He introduced a new algorithm to a conventional method to make it applicable in real life applications such as anti-cancer drug-screening technology. His research has provided a new solution to the measurement of drug-binding, and it will potentially benefit the pharmaceutical industry.
2018 Dr. Miller's research studied the atomic properties of xenon. He produced states in xenon, which are sensitive to the effects of magnetism, and probed these states using ultraviolet laser light. His research will help create xenon-based magnetic sensors that work in the near-vacuum conditions of subatomic physics experiments.
2018 Dr. Hazin developed an improved method for producing rubber used in tires. The existing process is conducted at minus 100 degrees Celsius; however her discoveries, involving the synthesis of strong Bronsted acids, show that rubber can be produced at temperatures above minus 100 degrees Celsius. Findings promise cost savings and more environmentally friendly rubber.
2018 Dr. Kumar developed novel antimicrobial peptides, which are effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. He also investigated different strategies to deliver the peptides in a skin infection model. These studies pave the way to combat superbugs in the future.
2018 Dr. Berry developed a new class of organic catalysts, and studied their mechanism of action in detail. These studies will aid in the development of better catalysts and new modes of reactivity.
2018 Dr. Matinkhoo developed the first ever synthesis of alpha-amanitin, the main toxin of the notorious death cap mushroom, since its discovery over 60 years ago. This toxin recently provided effective treatments for several cancers in mice, namely pancreatic. This work provides insight into the synthesis of targeted amanitins and derivatives thereof.
2018 Dr. Wang studied the microscopic structures and evolution of liquid crystalline tactoids formed by cellulose nanocrystals. He developed an in-situ photopolymerization method to capture these soft ordered microdroplets for direct electron microscopy observations. His work provides new insights into the early evolution of self-assembly processes.
2018 Dr. Garcia completed his doctoral studies in the field of Chemistry. He developed numerical methods that speed up the process of solving the Schrodinger equation for large molecules.

Pages

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

 
 

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 April 2022
International Applicant Deadline
01 March 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 August 2022
International Applicant Deadline
01 August 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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