Overview

Forestry graduate students learn from a dynamic and diverse group of researchers who educate and communicate how forests and the products that are created from them contribute to the well-being of all living things. The health and sustainability of forests and the people who depend on them underlies everything we do. We are among the best institutions globally in forest-related education and research and are also unique in the breadth of expertise we possess, which allows us to integrate new knowledge across many disciplines.

PhD in Forestry students can be found all over the world; they are important ambassadors for UBC Forestry and demonstrate just how diverse and international in scope the research is that is undertaken in our Faculty. We have approximately 130 doctoral students in any given year, which is about 40% of our total Forestry graduate student population. In addition to being part of the Faculty of Forestry, PhD students are also considered members of one of our three Faculty departments, based on their supervisor's affiliation.

What makes the program unique?

The Faculty of Forestry offers excellent courses and cutting edge research across a spectrum of disciplines related to forestry, and opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Graduate students work with leading scientists in state-of-the-art facilities within the Forest Sciences Centre and at any of two research forests. 

We are one of the largest graduate units on campus, with over 300 students enrolled in our 7 degree programs. We attract students from around the world, with over 40 countries represented in our community. Given the global nature of modern forestry, the experience our students gain by working with colleagues from around the world is a subtle but effective means of creating the global citizens that UBC aspires to produce.

 

Program Structure

The major requirement for the PhD in Forestry is completion of a research dissertation which meets the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate & Post-doctoral Studies. Advancement to Candidacy must be achieved within 24 months of the start of studies, the requirements of which include a comprehensive examination. Course work is not required for the Forestry PhD, although many doctoral students do complete courses (either for credit or audit) as recommended by their supervisory committee.

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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

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

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.

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:

100
23
24
23
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

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.

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 Forestry (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
Securing the interest of a prospective faculty supervisor is a vital step in the PhD, MSc and MASc application process, and interest must be confirmed before you submit the online application. Using the prospective supervisor list at <https://forestry.ubc.ca/students/graduate/programs/doctor-of-philosophy/phd-how-to-apply/>, carefully review faculty members whom you consider to be the best match with your research interests. Make a short-list of prospective supervisors and contact them to see if they are accepting new students. Remember that faculty members receive many inquiries, so generic e-mails may not receive a response. Make your correspondence stand out: tell potential supervisors about your background and interests and how this relates to their research area. As part of your conversation with a prospective supervisor, it is important to discuss funding. UBC Forestry requires that supervisors have a minimum funding package planned for the student prior to an Offer of Admission being issued. Your online application should only be submitted after a prospective supervisor has confirmed to you that they are interested in reviewing your application.

Prior degree requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess a master's degree in Forestry or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the master's to the Ph.D. program is permitted under Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations. Exceptional students may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program from the bachelor's level.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

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.

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
03 February 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 November 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 November 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 November 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 November 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2021

January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2021

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

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.

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 PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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 and Research Assistantships

Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities.

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

154 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 2 are in non-salaried situations; for 12 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 140 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 (12)
University of California - Davis (2)
University of New Mexico (2)
University of Toronto (2)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2)
University of Waterloo (2)
University of Alabama
Oklahoma State University
Okanagan College
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST)
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
FPInnovations (6)
Government of British Columbia (3)
Government of Canada (3)
United States Forest Service (2)
CONICET (2)
Government of Yukon
Bonar
Security Company
BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (5)
Manager (4)
Researcher (4)
Senior Scientist (3)
Scientist (3)
Director (2)
Consultant (2)
Content Development Manager
Director, Murie Science and Learning Center
President and Owner
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 Forestry (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications3250332634
Offers1730241623
New registrations1527231520
Total enrolment124134132130132

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 65.48% based on 84 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 61 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.00 years and the maximum time is 8.00 years with an average of 5.21 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: 10 March 2020]. 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.

  • Aitken, Sally (forest genetics, climate change, Climate change, conservation, ecology, genetics, genomics)
  • Alila, Younes (Hydrology, Flood, Water Resources, Water Structures, Forest Hydrology, Forest management, hydrological engineering)
  • Arcese, Peter (Ecology, Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology)
  • Avramidis, Stavros (wood physics, momentum, heat and mass transfer in wood, wood dielectrics, wood drying optimization, dielectric heating, drying, phytosanitation, wood thermodynamics, non destructive evaluation, NIR wood species ID, application of neural networks to properties prediction, modeling of wood drying, cell-wall architecture, sorption characteristics of wood)
  • Boedhihartono, Agni (biodiversity, Communities and Livelihoods, conservation, Forest management, Land-use Change, social science, sustainability, Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods)
  • Bohlmann, Joerg (plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions)
  • Bulkan, Janette (aboriginal forestry, biodiversity, climate change, communities and livelihoods, conservation, corporate responsibility, forest management, forest policy, international trade, social impact, social science)
  • Bull, Gary (international forest policy, environmental services markets, carbon markets, Government and economic systems)
  • Burton, Cole (Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Ecological Trends, Animal, Biodiversity and Biocomplexity, Landscape and Restoration, Environment Management and Protection, Wildlife Management, Mammal Ecology, Biodiversity conservation, Ecological Monitoring, Population and Community Ecology, Landscape ecology)
  • Carroll, Allan (climate change, mountain pine beetle, bark beetles, forest disturbance, integrated pest management, insect ecology, population dynamics, insect-plant interactions, Climate change, conservation, ecology, ecosystems, forest biology, forest management)
  • Chanway, Christopher (Soil microbiology)
  • Cool, Julie (modelling, wood products, wood science, wood)
  • Coops, Nicholas Charles (Telemetry (Remote Sensing, Radar), Space Techniques, Forestry Technology and Equipment, Plants and Forests)
  • Cranston, Emily (Nanomaterials, Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Layers, Polymers, Colloidal and Autoassembled Systems, Bio-based materials and nanocellulose, Atomic force microscopy (forces, adhesion, friction, imaging), Colloid and interface science, Polymer chemistry, Cellulose nanocrystals)
  • Dai, Chunping (Bamboo, Bio-products, Wood Products, Wood Science, Wood Technology)
  • Daniels, Lori (forest plants and trees; forest history; forest management; environmental protection and natural resource use, Climate change, ecology, fire regimes)
  • Davies, Jonathan (Phylogenetics & Biodiversity. Development and application of phylogenetic methods in ecology and conservation biology)
  • Day, Susan (Plants and Forests, Landscape and Restoration, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Environment Management and Protection, urban forestry, urban soils, urban ecology)
  • El-Kassaby, Yousry (Applied Genetics, Tree domestication, Seed orchards’ genetics, Tree breeding, genomics, conservation)
  • Ellis, Simon (Wood processing and manufacturing, Wood quality, anatomy, wood products processing program)
  • Eskelson, Bianca (Plants and Forests, Statistics and Probabilities, Resources Management, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Forest Biometrics, Forest Modelling, Disturbance Effects)
  • Evans, Philip David (Wood anatomy, wood durability, wood products, wood technology)
  • Gergel, Sarah (Aboriginal forestry, biodiversity, climate change, communities and livelihoods, conservation, ecology, remote sensing, sustainability)
  • Grayston, Susan (Climate change, microbiology, soil science )
  • Griess, Verena (Resources Management, Plants and Forests, Landscape and Environmental Organization, sustainable forest management, forest management planning, decision support systems, forest economics, mixed species, near natural/ close to nature forestry, plantation forests, silviculture)

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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
2019 Dr. Skaien studied the relationship between natural selection and genetic variation through observing local deer and seablush, a flowering species native to western North America. Her results illustrate the effect of natural selection by browsing deer on this species' ability to persist in the face of natural and human-induced environmental change.
2019 Dr. Thistlethwaite analysed the application of genomic based methodologies to conifer breeding. She used thousands of genetic markers to predict key economic traits, for the purpose of making selection decisions. Her research highlights areas for investment which will foster more dynamic and fruitful breeding programs in the future.
2019 Dr. Polinko completed his research in the field of silviculture. Using models of branch development and tree growth, his research was the first to quantify the costs associated with managing forests for visual quality or wildlife habitat. Understanding these costs will help with decisions regarding the sustainable management of forests around the world.
2019 Dr. Vabi examined the link between public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility. He identified conditions under which partnerships can be used to responsibly and efficiently drive community development. This research highlights one way corporations can successfully achieve sustainable development goals.
2019 Dr. Lima studied logging activities in the Brazilian Amazon. She assessed selective logging patterns using remote sensing tools and was one of the first studies to analyze the new European satellite Sentinel-2. Findings will inform the academic community and governmental institutions concerned with forest monitoring and law enforcement.
2019 Dr. Chavardes explored how drought influenced fires over time and space in western Canadian forests. He used weather and climate records, statistical models, tree-ring science, and fire-scar records to understand historical associations between droughts and fire. This work helps landscape managers foresee how future fires can be impacted by climate change.
2019 Dr. DeBoer examined whether, why, and how businesses approach environmental sustainability initiatives in the US pulp and paper industry. This research advances our understanding of the factors that influence the adoption and implementation of environmental initiatives, as well as compliance with environmental regulation.
2019 Dr. Mpidi Bita evaluated the structural performance of tall wood buildings following extreme events, such as explosions and natural catastrophes. His research provides design guidance which may be used by structural engineers to ensure that buildings remains stable for sufficient time to allow for evacuation.
2019 Dr. Defrenne showed that tree species can adjust to climate through their fine roots and associated symbiotic fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi. Her research on Douglas-fir suggests that the success of Douglas-fir as climate changes and stress increases may be dependent on maintaining strong associations with local communities of mycorrhizal fungi.
2019 Dr. Barron explored the multiple ways suburban trees can be configured to maximize a range of benefits for the local community. Using a scenario approach that was informed by local residents, urban forest practitioners, and academics, she concluded that future forests can thrive in more dense suburban landscapes.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

Specialization

Forestry offers advanced study in natural and social science, management, and economic aspects of forestry and wood science, in an interdisciplinary setting.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-KE
 

Apply Now

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

January 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
03 February 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 July 2020
International Applicant Deadline
15 July 2020

May 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 November 2020
International Applicant Deadline
15 November 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 March 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 March 2021

January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 July 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 July 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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