Doctor of Philosophy in Geography (PhD)

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Geography
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts
 

Overview

Our program introduces students to independent research while broadening and deepening their contact with a selected aspect of Geography. Research can be conducted in these general thematic sub-disciplines: Biogeography; Climatology; Economic Geography; Environment and Sustainability; Feminist Geography; Geographic Information Science; Geomorphology; Historical Geography; Hydrology and Glaciology Indigenous Geographies; Political Geography; Social and Cultural Geography; and Urban Geography.

 

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Virtual Office Hours

Online
Date: Monday, 04 December 2017
Time: 09:30 to 10:30
Are you considering UBC for graduate school? Learn about admissions and academic requirements, application tips and more during this interactive session.

Research Information

Research Focus

Research can be conducted in, but are not limited to, these themes: Climate and Global Change; Cities; Forests and People; Geographical Analysis/GIScience; Geomorphology, Hydrology and Glaciology; Geopolitics, Biopolitics and Security; Globalization and Development; Nature, Society, and Sustainability; Social Theory; Water, Snow, and Ice.

Research Facilities

The Geography Department at UBC has had its own building with nearly 50 graduate office desk spaces and research labs combined together. One of the main resources located inside the Geography building is the Geographic Information Centre, which offers support services for Geography undergraduate & graduate students, faculty and the general public. Holdings include maps specializing in BC, atlases, books, video recordings, course reserves on geographical topics, and BC’s largest air photo collection. The holdings form a teaching, reference and research centre located in the Department of Geography.

The new Biogeomorphology Experimental Laboratory in Ponderosa Commons officially opened on January 23rd 2014, the outcome of four CFI grants amounting to approximately $3 million.
In particular, this new lab is designed to establish an experimental laboratory to conduct innovative research on the interface between hydrology, geomorphology, ecology and climate (environmental sciences). Such a lab is unique in Canada with only one or two in the U.S.; this lab will put UBC research on the frontiers of science as there are both great scope and great demand for innovative and fundamental research in environmental sciences. Doctoral students conducting research on those themes will be able to utilize the new lab for their research work.

Requirements

Document Requirements

Applicants are required to upload a copy of their CV (maximum three pages).

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Yes

Funding Sources

The Department of Geography ensures all incoming PhD students a minimum level of $22,000 per year for a duration of four years through scholarships, teaching assistant and/or research assistant positions. However, if students are successful in their scholarship applications, their financial support will be adjusted. Students without external funding are required to apply for the Affiliated Fellowship, SSHRC or NSERC scholarships (where eligible).

Career Outcomes

65 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 58 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
McGill University (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland (2)
York University (2)
University of British Columbia (2)
Northwest Indian College
University of Edinburgh
Carleton University
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Bologna
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Engineered Compost Systems
Glasgow Museums
Northwest Hydraulic Consultants
International Settlement Services of British Columbia
Ontario College of Trades
Marine Protected Areas
British Council
BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Airports Council International
Natural Resources Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Writer
Regional Aquatic Ecologist
Architect
Director of Consulting Services
Editorial
Co-owner
Policy Analyst
River Geomorphologist
Facilitator
Climate Change Programme Manager
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.
Career Options

The majority of students who completes their PhD program continue in the world of academia to become instructors, professors and postdoctoral fellows at other educational institutions. Others are hired as professionals in government, consulting agencies, non-governmental organizations and businesses.

Alumni on Success

Anne Bjorkman

Job Title
Postdoctoral researcher
Employer
University of Edinburgh

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,600.60$2,811.98
Tuition per year$4,801.80$8,435.94
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (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

 20162015201420132012
Applications3749486044
Offers1316111212
New registrations13151079
Total enrolment7771727272

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 72.92% based on 48 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 28 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.99 years with an average of 5.94 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: 12 July 2017]. 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: 29 September 2017].

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.

  • Bakker, Karen Jessica (Political economy, political ecology, environmental studies, development studies, and resource and environmental management)
  • Barnes, Trevor (Vancouver)
  • Dempsey, Jessica (wrestle with the theoretical and historical-geographical complexities of environmental politics as it shapes and is shaped by the entanglement of state, economy, science, and culture)
  • Donner, Simon (Climate change science, Climate policy, Science communication, Coastal Ecosystems)
  • Eaton, Brett (Rivers and climate change, fish habitat, disturbances)
  • Evenden, Matthew Dominic (Environmental history and water history, with a regional specialization in Canada, particularly Alberta and British Columbia)
  • Glassman, James Francis (Development Geography, Third World Urbanization, Economic Geography, Political Economy, Political Geography, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim)
  • Gregory, Derek John (Political Geography War in the miiddle east, bombing)
  • Hassan, Marwan (Routing of water and sediment, and the associated channel characteristics)
  • Henry, Gregory H (Biogeography)
  • Hiebert, Daniel Joseph (immigration, diversity, national security)
  • Hunt, Sarah (Indigenous and legal geographies; women, girls, and Two-Spirit people)
  • Klinkenberg, Brian (Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartography, endangered species (plants), conservation biology, spatial analysis, health geography, Spatial analysisl visualization, uncertainty, remote sensing)
  • Koppes, Michele (climate change, glaciers, natural hazards, landscape change, polar regions, ice-ocean interactions )
  • Kuus, Merje (transnational regulatory practices in contemporary Europe, but the empirical focus undergirds a broader interest in knowledge and power, structure and agency, in bureaucratic and policy-making settings; political identity, subject-formation, and center-periphery relations, especially in contemporary Europe)
  • Le Billon, Philippe (Geography, politics, africa, environmental, human geography, development, security)
  • Ley, David Frederick (Social and cultural geography Immigration to Canadian cities, multiculturalism)
  • McKendry, Ian (Air pollution Climatology)
  • Moore, Robert Daniel (Geophysical Disaster Computational Fluid Dynamics Centre)
  • Peck, Jamie (creative cities, urban policy, labour market and welfare programs, temporary employment, outsourcing, Economic geography, urban restructuring, labor regulation, statecraft)
  • Pratt, Geraldine (Feminist Geographies)
  • Sundberg, Juanita (Militarization and Everyday Life in the US-Mexico Borderlands, environmental dimensions of US's border security policies in the Mexican border)
  • Williams, Jennifer (ecological and evolutionary processes that shape population dynamics and species interactions, particularly in a spatial context; process-based understanding of the conservation and management of threatened and invasive species; spread of populations through fragmented landscapes and life history evolution of reproductive strategies under changing climates.)
  • Wyly, Elvin (Cartography, spatial analysis, modeling)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Wesley Llewellyn Attewell
    "Dr. Attewell explored how the United States Agency for International Development has historically practiced development as a form of security in rural Afghanistan. Through a consideration of three different case studies, his dissertation helps us better understand the banal violence of USAID's development interventions in Afghanistan." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Qinran Yang
    "Dr. Yang studied the gentrification process in Chinese cities. She examined how state actions have attracted middle-class newcomers to the inner city and penalises or reconciles current working-class residents. The study assists us in understanding the state-society relations in China." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Ashley Rebecca Dudill
    "Dr. Dudill examined fine sediment inputs to gravel bed rivers, and their effect on sediment transport, sedimentation and channel stability. The results were found to depend on the joint properties of the sediments, and have significant implications for river engineering and aquatic ecology." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Sarah Louise Davidson
    "Dr. Davidson's work focused on the effects of disturbances, such as wildfires and large floods, on mountain rivers. She developed numerical models to predict the effects of these events on stream dynamics and fish habitat. Her work is now being used in hazard prediction and management." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Jenny Hanna Francis
    "Dr. Francis investigated the experiences of refugee youth in the Canadian criminal justice system. She found that humanist ideas about the human, the subhuman and the nonhuman are crucial in interpreting their experiences. Her findings contribute to conceptual understandings of the experiences of marginalized people in Canada." (November 2016)

Further Program Information

 

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September 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2017
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 January 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 January 2018

Program Information

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