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

Apply Now

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

Meet a UBC representative

Graduate Students with Families

webinar
Date: Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
If you have a partner and/or a family and are considering graduate school at UBC, join us for this online info session. Topics include resources for families, including partners, general information on child care, registering for school, looking for a place to live, and fun and affordable activities for kids of all ages. Current graduate students with family will be on hand to help answer questions.

Great Grad School Applications

webinar
Date: Friday, 23 November 2018
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.

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 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2019

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 16 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2019

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. 

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$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
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. 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

 20172016201520142013
Applications151142129111131
Offers1515111411
New registrations1312696
Total enrolment7678768381

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 74.07% based on 54 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 33 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 4.33 years and the maximum time is 7.66 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: 9 March 2018]. 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: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Thursday, 22 November 2018 - 9:30am - 238, ICCS, 2366 Main Mall

Yufeng Zhu
Optimal Mapping with Topology Change for Animation and Geometry Problems

Monday, 26 November 2018 - 12:30pm - x836, Institute for Computing Information and Cognitive Systems / Computer Science, 2366 Main Mall

Julieta Martinez-Covarrubias
Algorithms for Large-Scale Multi-Codebook Quantization

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 - 12:30pm - 238, Institute for Computing Information and Cognitive Systems / Computer Science, 2366 Main Mall

Michael Philip Wathen
Preconditioners for Incompressible Magnetohydrodynamics

Monday, 10 December 2018 - 12:30pm - X836, ICICS Building, 2366 Main Mall

Mihir Sudarshan Nanavati
Operator, Number Please: Mediating Access to Shared Resources for Efficiency and Isolation

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 - 1:00pm - Room 146, Institute for Computing Information and Cognitive Systems/Computer Science, 2366 Main Mall

Sharan Rajesh Vaswani
Structured Bandits and Applications: Exploiting Problem Structure for Better Decision-Making under Uncertainty

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - 9:00am - X836, Institute for Computing Information and Cognitive Systems / Computer Science, 2366 Main Mall

Seyed Mehran Kazemi
Representing and Learning Relations and Properties Under Uncertainty

Thursday, 13 December 2018 - 12:30pm - x836, ICICS X Wing, 289-2366 Main Mall

Mohamed Osama Ahmed
Practical Optimization for Structured Machine Learning Problems

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 (Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science, Computer Sciences and Mathematical Tools, 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 (Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science, Resource Allocation, Computer Science and Statistics, Machine learning, Game theory, Auction theory)
  • Little, James Joseph (Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics)
  • Mackworth, Alan (vision; robotics, Intelligent systems, programming)
  • MacLean, Karon (Information Systems, 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)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Jean-Sebastien Legare
    "Dr. Legare studied the many privacy concerns associated with using modern cloud services. He has developed novel application design methods to improve the privacy of user data. His methods allow for cloud services that offer verifiable guarantees that user data will, in the long term, remain available, confidential, or anonymous." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Shuochen Su
    "Dr. Su studied end-to-end computational imaging systems using numerical optimization and machine learning. By introducing time-resolved image formation models for color and depth cameras, his algorithms tackled some of the challenges in machine perception. Dr. Su's research opens the door to many exciting directions in computational photography research." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Yifan Peng
    "Dr. Peng studied a variety of computational imaging modalities. He developed lightweight but powerful computational cameras and mix-and-match holographic displays. This research illuminates the insights on incorporating optics and computation algorithms to better record, understand and deliver visual information." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Samad Kardan
    "Dr. Kardan proposed a framework for adding personalized support to educational tools such as interactive computer simulations. It relies on user data and data mining to automatically provide hints to students when they need them. Experimental evaluations show that this framework can make the existing educational tools significantly more effective." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Jake Taylor Wires
    "Dr. Wires investigated software techniques for efficiently processing very large data sets. As part of his research, he built a high-performance storage system that dynamically optimizes how hardware resources are allocated as workload requirements evolve. His work reduces the time and money required to perform data-intensive analysis tasks." (November 2017)

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 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2018

January 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2018

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

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