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

Overview

Graduate programs in the field of Curriculum Studies encompass, but are not limited to, investigations into: teacher education, the social construction of knowledge, the curriculum as culturally and politically situated, contemporary curriculum and instructional discourses, and the role of curriculum and curricular reform in K-12 and other learning environments. Students learn about issues of planning and development, program implementation and evaluation, and pre-service and in-service teacher education. Inquiry in the field is multi-disciplinary and includes numerous perspectives and orientations such as: cultural studies, historical consciousness, post structuralism, feminism, multicultural education, semiotics, and critical theory.

 
 
 

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

A Master's degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline.

Document Requirements

A letter of intent describing the focus of the proposed research and a sample of work demonstrating scholarly writing,

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

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 Curriculum Studies (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

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 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. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 35 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 $34,741.
  • 20 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 20 students was $4,348.
  • 17 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 17 students was $12,785.
  • 10 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 10 students was $4,727.
  • 35 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 35 students was $21,427.
  • 5 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 5 students was $14,667.

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

68 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 3 are in non-salaried situations; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 59 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 (11)
Royal Roads University (2)
Capilano University (2)
Concordia University (2)
Lakehead University (2)
University of Alberta (2)
University of Wollongong
Mount Saint Vincent University
Columbus State University
Thompson Rivers University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC School District
Alpha Secondary School
Museum of Vancouver
Government of Lesotho
TEC
Community Association for Lasting Success
Da Vinci Science Center
HR MacMillan Space Centre
Wells Fargo
Pythagoras Academy
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Teacher (2)
President
Community Artist and Contract Researcher
Teacher Principal
Senior Manager, Curatorial
VP
Science Education Manager
Personal Banker
High Commissioner to Canada
Head Start Early Education Coordinator
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 Curriculum Studies (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
Applications7168606052
Offers710111313
New Registrations67999
Total Enrolment6568717477

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 84% based on 51 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 34 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 4.1 years and the maximum time is 10.25 years with an average of 6.76 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.

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 Curriculum Studies (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.

  • Anderson, David (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Science, technology and engineering curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Specialized studies in education; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Informal Learning; Long-term Memory; Metacognition; Museum Education; Nostalgia; Science Education; Visitor Studies)
  • Clark, Penney (history education, Curriculum Studies Research, History Education and Historical Consciousness, History of Education, Pedagogy, Social Studies Education Research)
  • Code, Jillianne (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Specialized studies in education; Educational Context; Educational Technologies; Formative assessment; Immersive learning; Learner agency; Learning and Memory; Learning design; Self-efficacy; Self-regulated Learning; Situated and embodied cognition; Virtual augmented and mixed reality for learning; Virtual learning environments)
  • Cole, Peter (Indigenous Education Research; Aboriginalizing/indigenizing research methodology; Orality; Narrativity; Environmental thought; Indigenous self-determination and self-governance; Traditional Aboriginal and Indigenous technologies)
  • Gerofsky, Susan (Curriculum Studies Research, Mathematics, Media, Semiotics, Text Studies, Pedagogy, Research Design and Method, Technology; gesture; genre; mathematics and the arts; Performance Theory)
  • Gibson, Lindsay (assessment; Curriculum Studies Research; Democracy and Citizenship; History Education; Historical Consciousness; history of education; Pedagogy; Social Studies Education Research; Teacher Education Research; Teacher Research; Historical Thinking; Inquiry)
  • Goble, J. Scott (music and history; music education; conducting; choral music, Expressed an interest in chairing music exams, music education)
  • Gouzouasis, Peter (early childhood music education; computer literacy through fine arts and new media; music in mass media; especially jazz, guitar, Music education, Action Research, Artistic and Aesthetic Development, Arts Education, Assessment, Early Childhood Education, Educational Technologies, Literacy, Media, Semiotics, Text Studies, Music, Music Education Research, Non-Formal Learning, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Research Design and Method, Sociological Issues, Teacher Education Research, Teacher Research, Technology)
  • Keenan, Harper (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Gender, sexuality and education; Inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary learning and education; Colonialism; early childhood and elementary education; Educational Context; Gender; race; sexuality; teacher education; childhood; Transgender Studies; LGBT Studies; queer studies)
  • Khan, Samia (science education, teaching and learning, cognition, digital technology, learning space design, case study, higher education, Educational Technologies, Science Education, Teacher Education)
  • Kindler, Anna (art education; artistic and aesthetic development; teacher education )
  • Loutzenheiser, Lisa (Social sciences; anti-oppressive education; queer studies; curriculum theory; Youth Studies; curriculum policy; qualitative methodologies; ethnography; Gender Studies; social inequality; sexuality education; alternative education; marginalized youth; 2SLGBTQ; Race Studies in Education; Mentorship in higher education; Faculty Development)
  • Milner-Bolotin, Marina (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Science, technology and engineering curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Specialized studies in education; Educational Technologies; educational innovation; Educational technology; physics education; STEM education; STEM teacher education; Science and Knowledge; teacher education; Teacher and Student Performance Evaluation; Teaching; Teaching and Learning Systems; Technological Innovations)
  • Munoz, Joaquin (Children & Youth, Discourse Analysis, Indigenous Education Research, Literacy, Pedagogy, Teacher Education Research)
  • Nashon, Samson (Curriculum design; high school physics; primary science; teacher education; science teacher education; physics teacher education and classroom instructions, Action Research, Curriculum Studies, Metacognition and Learning, Pedagogy, Research Design and Method, Science Education, Teacher Education, Ways of Knowing)
  • Nicol, Cynthia (mathematics teacher education, culturally responsive pedagogy, Aboriginal education, care-based and problem-based learning, Math education)
  • Noori, Sofia (Refugee subjectivity, Refugee education, Mental Health & Education)
  • O'Donoghue, Donal (Art Education, Curriculum Studies, Gender, History of Education, Sociological Issues)
  • Petherick, Leanne (Curriculum Studies Research; Children & Youth; Feminist Studies; Pedagogy)
  • Phelan, Anne (Curriculum Studies, Feminist Studies, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Teacher Education)
  • Pinar, William (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Education Systems; History)
  • Renwick, Kerry (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Specialized studies in education; Critical Pedagogy; Educational Policy; Familial Contexts; Health Education; Home Economics; Human and Social Ecology; Public health; teacher education)
  • Ross, E. Wayne (Curriculum, pedagogy and didactics; Specialized studies in education; Critical Pedagogy; Curriculum Studies; Educational Approaches; Political Contexts; Social Contexts; Social Justice in Education; Social Studies Education; teacher education)

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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. Strich explored students' experiences with place at their school located in the Skagit Valley, Washington State. Students shared stories of meaningful places during walking and stationary interviews. Findings reveal place as a multi-dimensional inquiry, layered perspectives and understandings, and highly contextual to each person and place.
2024 Dr. Saito investigated students learning mathematics in English at a Canadian school and in Japanese at a weekend Japanese school. He found that multilingual learners recognize the differences in curricula between the two countries. His study helps us to understand that there are curricular and linguistic differences in mathematics across countries.
2024 Dr. Beattie elicited young children's perspectives on outdoor learning, which revealed the importance of acknowledging children's agency, creating physical connections with sticks and other natural objects, and acknowledging place as an agentic teacher to foster meaningful and effective learning across the curriculum.
2024 Dr. Baldus' research studies contribute to correspondence and art practices that acknowledge the tension between individual experience and that collective thinking which happens across different kinds of distance and variation.
2024 Dr. Zhang studied mathematics problem-solving and self-regulated learning in young students participating in after-school robotics programs. He observed that these children approached problem-solving through iterative processes, engaging in experimentation, assessing their ideas, setting goals, and self-correcting their efforts toward finding solutions.
2024 Dr. Isherwood's work considers how the exploration of LGBTQI2S+ artworks can cultivate queer aesthetic sensibilities that help educators rethink normative assumptions of gender and sexuality. Their dissertation provides practical, arts-based methods that educators can adopt now to create supportive and inclusive learning environments for all students.
2024 Dr. Santos investigated how teachers resist the deprofessionalization of teaching caused by neoliberal educational reforms. Dr. Santos' research shows how teachers reclaim their pedagogical authority using different tactics of resistance and how narratives can serve as political resources for teachers under situations of oppression.
2024 Dr. Kawamura examined the intergenerational transmission and cultural memory practices in museums. She showed the particular importance of the relational elements of museum work, and how shared memory and the representations of group identity in museums both influence and are influenced by those that work in these institutions.
2023 Dr. Fuchs examined how secondary science teachers engaged in and with research as forms of professional development. Focusing on socio-scientific issues like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, his work offers frameworks for promoting social responsibility in science learning contexts.
2023 Dr. Thomas initiated a storefront art practice for art teachers to come together as a collective to contemplate the conditions for teaching. This study contributes to the field of teacher professional practices by offering experimental art and research approaches that permit teachers to deactivate the necessity to always be in a mode production.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Specialization

Curriculum Studies encompasses, but is not limited to, investigations into: teacher education, the social construction of knowledge, the curriculum as culturally and politically situated, contemporary curriculum and instructional discourses, and the role of curriculum and curricular reform in K-12 and other learning environments. Students learn about issues of planning and development, program implementation and evaluation, and pre-service and in-service teacher education. Inquiry in the field is multi-disciplinary and includes numerous perspectives and orientations such as: cultural studies, historical consciousness, post structuralism, feminism, multicultural education, semiotics, and critical theory.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-F5
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

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