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

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: 100

Reading

23

Writing

24

Speaking

22

Listening

23

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 November 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 November 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 November 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 November 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 November 2022

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2023

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 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 , 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.

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$110.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,767.18$3,104.64
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,301.54$9,313.92
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,057.05 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,366.20 (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 PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 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 $22,000 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, 92 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 $37,950.
  • 57 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 57 students was $8,921.
  • 70 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 70 students was $17,633.
  • 91 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 91 students was $14,744.
  • 18 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 18 students was $24,565.

Study Period: Sep 2020 to Aug 2021 - 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

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

 20212020201920182017
Applications4357325033
Offers2632173024
New registrations2429152723
Total enrolment149138124134132

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 63% based on 67 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 56 graduations between 2017 - 2020 the minimum time to completion is 3.00 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 5.14 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: 7 April 2022]. 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: 19 October 2021].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 - 12:30pm - Room 4001, Forest Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall

Xinyi Huang
Dissecting Ionic Effects of Soil Salinity on Canadian Native and Hybrid Willows (Salix spp.)

Thursday, 7 July 2022 - 9:00am

Ingrid Jarvis
Understanding the Human Health Benefits of Urban Green Space Across the Life Course by Integrating Epidemiological and Novel Geospatial Approaches

Thursday, 4 August 2022 - 12:30pm

Pramila Khatri Chhetri
Modelling Forest Carbon Dynamics in Two Physiograpic Regions of Nepal

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 - 9:30am - 4001, Forest Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall

Paul William Hacker
Evaluating the Spatial Distribution of Plant Function in Prairie-Oak Savanna using Spectroscopy

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 (Global change biology; Ecology; Conservation Biology; Evolutionary Biology; conservation finance)
  • Avramidis, Stavros (Physical properties of wood, thermodymamics)
  • Barbeito Sanchez, Ignacio (refining novel silvicultural practices; establishment and management of forests under global change)
  • Boedhihartono, Agni (Forestry sciences; 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 (Forestry sciences; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Ecological Trends; Animal; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Landscape and Restoration; Environment Management and Protection; Biodiversity conservation; Ecological Monitoring; Landscape ecology; Mammal Ecology; Population and Community Ecology; Wildlife Management)
  • 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 (Forestry sciences; Telemetry (Remote Sensing, Radar); Space Techniques; Forestry Technology and Equipment; Plants and Forests)
  • Cranston, Emily (Nanoparticle synthesis, properties and applications; Bio-based materials and nanocellulose; Atomic force microscopy (forces, adhesion, friction, imaging); Colloid and interface science; Polymer chemistry; Cellulose nanocrystals; Bioproducts; Foams, emulsions, aerogels)
  • Dai, Chunping (Forestry sciences; 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 (Forestry sciences; Plants and Forests; Landscape and Restoration; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Environment Management and Protection; urban ecology; urban forestry; urban soils)
  • El-Kassaby, Yousry (Forestry sciences; Applied Genetics; conservation; genomics; Seed orchards’ genetics; Tree breeding; Tree domestication)
  • Ellis, Simon (Wood processing and manufacturing, Wood quality, anatomy, wood products processing program)
  • Eskelson, Bianca (Natural resource management; 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)

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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
2022 Dr. Copes-Gerbitz (Raybould) explored the relationship between people, forests, and fire through time in British Columbia. Her research shows that fire has long been an important natural and cultural process but that transformative change is needed to ensure we can all equitably coexist with fire in the future.
2022 Dr. Woo assessed changes in forest carbon caused by wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and interior British Columbia using propensity score matching methods. She established guidelines for implementing quasi-experimental methods for ecological data, especially for spatially located forest inventory data.
2022 Dr. Tibebu developed the physical fractal diffusion model based on geometric fractal structure of wood. It reveals that the moisture transport phenomenon strongly depends on the fractal dimensions of wood. This research outcomes contributes to improving the wood drying process and boosting bioeconomy development.
2022 Providing forestry students with outdoor learning opportunities in forested landscapes is increasingly challenging with urban expansion. Dr. Coupland examined if local urban forests could provide additional outdoor learning opportunities. This research aims to increase in situ forestry education and aid in curriculum development.
2022 Dr. Lewis studied the reproduction of inequalities in Thailand's state forests through a poststructuralist examination of illegal logging. Dr. Lewis showed that the continued logging of natural forests in Thailand was a manifestation of structured inequalities and sovereign violence imposed on the forest landscape and Indigenous Peoples.
2022 Dr. Gamlen-Greene studied the population dynamics of two amphibians of conservation concern - the Western Toad and the Northern Red-legged Frog, in Haida Gwaii and southwest BC. She found Haida Gwaii toads are genetically unique and less diverse and may be vulnerable to spreading introduced frogs. Her findings are informing conservation.
2022 Dr. Su's work will help the world oil sector reduce its carbon footprint. He showed that lipids, such as used cooking oil, can be co-processed at refineries with fossil fuels, significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping BC, Canada and the world meet its climate mitigation targets.
2022 Dr. Acquah assessed the effects of thinning on the dynamics of uneven-aged interior Douglas-fir stands in central British Columbia over a 21-year period. She found that the treatments enhanced the rate of stand development in a number of ways compared to unthinned controls. This study helps in planning future thinning treatments in this stand type.
2022 Dr. Larocque characterized soil chemistry and soil biological communities in the salmon forests of British Columbia. These studies advance our understanding of the interconnection between marine and terrestrial environments.
2021 Dr. Greene examined the fire histories and developmental processes of dense, dry forests in southeastern BC. He found that Indigenous fires shaped historical fire regimes, and today's dense forests are novel byproducts of European colonization. His study advances forest management that aims to enhance forest resilience to fires and climate change.

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Sample Thesis Submissions

Further 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

Classification

 

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.
 

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 July 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 July 2022

May 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 June 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 November 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 November 2022

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 March 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 March 2023
 
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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