Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
Theoretically, experimentally, and observationally oriented Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in a number of key areas of geophysics. Current interests include topics in observational and theoretical glaciology; climate variability; geodynamics of the crust, mantle, and core of Earth and other planets; geological fluid mechanics; volcanic processes; origin and structure of planetary magnetic fields; reflection seismology; time-series analysis and wavelet processing; inversion methodologies with application to reflection seismology, mineral exploration, and environmental studies; computational electrodynamics; seismology with observational programs in crustal and upper mantle studies; earthquake studies focused on understanding past and current tectonic processes in Western Canada; and theoretical model studies to investigate wave propagation in laterally heterogeneous media.
In 2012 the new Earth Sciences Building was completed. The $75 million facility was designed to inspire collaboration and creativity across disciplines.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2019
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.
18 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 18 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationUniversity of British Columbia
Columbia University in the City of New York
University of Ottawa
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationBlack Tusk Geophysics (3)
Arcis Seismic Solutions (2)
High Power Exploration
Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Computational Geosciences Inc.
Oyu Tolgoi LLC
Baziw Consulting Engineers Ltd.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationGeophysicist (3)
Geologist, Research scientist
Lead Backend Developer
Advanced Geophysical Software Developer
Senior Earth Scientist
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese 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.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$930.14 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)|
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.
Completion Rates & Times
Upcoming Doctoral Exams
Thursday, 5 December 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200
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.
Bostock, Michael (structure of the Canadian upper mantle, Geophysics, formation and evolution of the first continental landmasses, the structure and dynamics of subduction zones)
Haber, Eldad (Scientific computing and its application to geophysical and medical imaging)
Jellinek, Mark (Volcanology, Geodynamics, Planetary Science, Geological Fluid Mechanics)
Johnson, Catherine (Lunar geophysics, Evolution of Mars' Magnetic Field and Atmosphere)
Radic, Valentina (Climate Changes and Impacts, Glaciology, Meteorology, Climate Science)
Schoof, Christian (Ice and Snow, Transformation and Evolution of the Earth Surface, Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulic, Asymptotic and Classical Applied Analysis, Differential Equation, glaciology, ice sheet dynamics, glacier hydrology, applied mathematics)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Anna Magdalena Mittelholz
"Dr. Mittelholz explored the magnetic field environment of Mars, addressing the crustal, ionospheric and magnetospheric fields from satellite data. Her work also addressed the longevity of the ancient dynamo field, a constraint on Mars' early thermal evolution." (May 2019)
- Dr. Lindsey Justine Heagy
"Dr. Heagy studied the use of electromagnetic data for monitoring hydraulic fracturing operations. Her work contributed to the understanding of electromagnetic fields and fluxes in settings with steel-cased wells, as well as the development of open-source software tools for building models of the subsurface from geophysical data." (May 2019)
- Dr. Patrick Timothy Albert Belliveau
"Dr. Belliveau developed algorithms that produce three-dimensional images of the interior of the earth from remotely collected electrical and magnetic measurements. These images help scientists understand the Earth's interior." (May 2019)
- Dr. Anna Grau Galofre
"Did rivers ever flow on Mars? The remnants of channels on its surface suggest they did. Dr. Grau Galofre showed that although rivers existed, the majority flowed beneath hundreds of meters of glacial ice. This discovery may help to understand the climate and hydrology of ancient Mars and to focus the search for life outside of our planet." (November 2018)
- Dr. Zhilong Fang
"Dr. Fang studied how to use seismic data to create an image of the Earth's interior. He developed a technique to achieve this goal without knowing the original signal characteristics. This technique can help oil and gas industries make better exploration decisions." (November 2018)