Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)

Overview

PhD students in the Department of Computer Science may focus their research in the following areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence: computer vision, decision theory/game theory, knowledge representation and reasoning, intelligent user interfaces, machine learning, natural language understanding and generation, robotics and haptics.
  • Computer Graphics: animation, imaging, modeling, rendering, visualization.
  • Data Management and Mining: business intelligence, data integration, genomic analysis, text mining, web databases.
  • Formal Verification and Analysis of Systems: analog, digital and hybrid systems, VLSI, protocols, software.
  • Human Centered Technologies: human computer interaction (HCI), visual, haptic and multimodal interfaces, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), visual analytics.
  • Networks, Systems, and Security: high performance computing/parallel processing, networking, operating systems and virtualization, security.
  • Scientific Computing: numerical methods and software, differential equations, linear algebra, optimization.
  • Software Engineering and Programming Languages: development tools, foundations of computation, middleware, programming languages, software engineering.
  • Theory: algorithm design and analysis (including empirical), algorithmic game theory, discrete optimization, graph theory, computational geometry

What makes the program unique?

The UBC Department of Computer Science has many contacts in the computing industry. A strong rapport between the industry and research communities is beneficial to both, especially in cases where the department focuses its research to developing real-world applications.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Information Technology
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Computer Science
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

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

GRE required?

Not required

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
16 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
16 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time PhD students will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD program. The funding package consists of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.  This support is contingent on full-time registration as a UBC Graduate student, satisfactory performance in assigned teaching and research assistantship duties, and good standing with satisfactory progress in your academic performance. CS students are expected to apply for fellowships or scholarship to which they are eligible. 

UBC has launched Canada's first Blockchain training pathway for graduate students. The Graduate Pathway on Blockchain and Decentralized Trust Technologies will be a 12-credit non-degree training program that augments existing Master's and Phd programs. Additional funding may be available for students as part of the Blockchain pathway.

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.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

111 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 106 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


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)
McGill University (3)
University of Waterloo (3)
University of Manitoba (2)
Swansea University
Stanford University
University of Utah
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
University of Saskatchewan
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Google (12)
Microsoft (4)
Amazon (3)
Intel Corporation (3)
Disney (2)
Oracle Labs (2)
IBM (2)
Tasktop Technologies (2)
Tableau (2)
OriGene Technologies Inc.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (5)
Software Engineer (5)
Senior Software Engineer (4)
Chief Technology Officer (3)
Product Manager (3)
Software Development Engineer (2)
Senior Data Scientist (2)
Senior Research Engineer (2)
Advisory Engineer
Senior Research Scientist
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.

Alumni on Success

Barry Po

Job Title
Senior Director, Product & Business Development
Employer
NGRAIN

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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
Applications246151142129111
Offers2216151114
New registrations13131269
Total enrolment7876787683

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.92% based on 52 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 35 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 6.06 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].

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.

  • Beschastnikh, Ivan (cloud computing, distributed systems, software engineering, software analysis)
  • Carenini, Giuseppe (Artificial intelligence, user modeling, decision theory, machine learning, social issues in computing, computational linguistics, information visualization)
  • Conati, Cristina (artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, affective computing, personalized interfaces, intelligent user interfaces, intelligent interface agents, virtual agent, user-adapted interaction, computer-assisted education, educational computer games, computers in education, user-adaptive interaction, Artificial intelligence, adaptive interfaces, cognitive systems, user modelling)
  • Condon, Anne (Algorithms, Molecular Programming)
  • Evans, William (theoretical computer science, computational geometry, graph drawing, program compression)
  • Feeley, Michael (Distributed systems, operating systems, workstation and pc clusters)
  • Friedlander, Michael (numerical optimization, numerical linear algebra, scientific computing, Scientific computing)
  • Friedman, Joel (Computer Science Theory, Algebraic Graph Theory, Combinatorics)
  • Garcia, Ronald (programming language semantics, design, and implementation, including language support for library-centric and modular software development, generic and generative programming, and domain specific languages and libraries. )
  • Greenstreet, Mark (Dynamic systems, formal methods, hybrid systems, differential equations)
  • Greif, Chen (scientific computing, numerical linear algebra, iterative linear solvers, constrained optimization, numerical solution of partial differential equations)
  • Harvey, Nicholas (randomized algorithms, combinatorial optimization, graph sparsification, discrepancy theory and learning theory; algorithmic problems arising in computer networking, including cache analysis, load balancing, data replication, peer-to-peer networks, and network coding.)
  • Holmes, Reid (computer science, software engineering, software testing, software quality, open source software, software development tools, software comprehension, static analysis)
  • Hu, Alan (formal verification, formal methods, model checking, software analysis, post-silicon validation, security, nonce to detect automated mining of profiles)
  • Hutchinson, Norman (Computer Systems, Distributed Systems, File Systems, Virtualization)
  • Kiczales, Gregor (MOOCs, Blended Learning, Flexible Learning, University Strategy for Flexible and Blended Learning, Computer Science Education, Programming Languages, Programming languages, aspect-oriented programming, foundations, reflections and meta programming, software design)
  • Lakshmanan, Laks (data management and data cleaning, data warehousing and OLAP, data and text mining, analytics on big graphs and news, social networks and media, recommender systems)
  • Leyton-Brown, Kevin (Machine learning, Game theory, Auction theory, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms)
  • Little, James (Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics)
  • MacLean, Karon (human-computer interaction, haptic interfaces, human-robot interaction, design of user interfaces)
  • McGrenere, Joanna (human-computer interaction, personalized user interfaces, universal usability, interactive technologies for older users and people with cognitive disorders, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), computer science)
  • Mitchell, Ian (safety critical systems, assistive technology (mobility), robotics, scientific computing, cyber-physical systems, Mathematical software, computational science and engineering, hybrid and cyber-physical systems, verification and validation, reproducible research, level set methods, robotic path, planning)
  • Munzner, Tamara (visualization, information visualization, visual analytics, data science)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Dereck J Toker
    "Dr. Toker's research on user-adaptive information visualizations is at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction. His work leveraged eye tracking to show how adaptive interventions could be devised to support users according to their individual needs and differences." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Anamaria Crisan
    "Dr. Crisan examined how 'big data' used by public health systems should be visually represented for decision making. She developed software tools and methods that can help people analyze, see, and understand complex data used to monitor and control disease outbreaks." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Prashant Sachdeva
    "Dr. Sachdeva designed techniques for biomechanical simulation of the human hand. He modelled the dynamics of tendons wrapped on bones. He developed anatomical simulation software capable of modelling human hand function driven by muscles. Such a model may be used to explain the role of different muscles and ligaments in coordinating movement." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Mihir Sudarshan Nanavati
    "Dr. Nanavati examined how modern high-performance servers can safely be shared across multiple applications. He then developed systems that enabled high resource efficiency on these shared servers, while isolating applications and providing them with virtual hardware abstractions, all with performance comparable to dedicated hardware." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Mohamed Osama Ahmed
    "Dr. Ahmed worked on developing better optimization algorithms. Optimization plays a key role in building more efficient artificial intelligence systems. Through Dr. Ahmed's work, machine learning systems can be trained faster and use less computer memory. This work has a lot of applications such as computer vision and natural language processing." (May 2019)

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

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

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
16 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2019
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2019

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
16 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2019
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2019
 

Supervisor Search

 

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