Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)

Overview

Historians study the past to better understand the present. They analyze the forces and influences that have affected human experiences and shaped different societies over time. For more than 80 years, our graduate program has promoted this analysis from social, cultural, political, and intellectual perspectives in diverse contexts throughout the world. Our graduate students have done research in such diverse locations as the Philippines, China, Japan, India, Russia, Germany, Britain, Mexico, Cuba, the United States and Canada and in fields spanning Aboriginal History, Gender History, History of Science, International Relations, and Migration History, among others.

What makes the program unique?

The Department comprises over 30 full-time faculty members and over sixty graduate students who work collaboratively in vibrant research clusters covering all the continents and organized thematically around themes such as Culture/Power/History; Environmental History; First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous History; History of Children and Youth; History of Science, Technology, and Medicine; and International Relations. It is the center of a community of history scholars at UBC that also includes faculty members and student colleagues from other departments and research institutes across the University who have numerous occasions to meet, especially during colloquia and workshops. Faculty and graduate students have access to library resources which are among the best in North America. The UBC Library is the second largest research library in Canada, with especially strong collections in the fields of East Asia, Canada, Britain and Central and Eastern Europe.

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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:

90
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
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.

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 History (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. However, it is not necessary for applicants to contact faculty members prior to their application.

Citizenship Verification

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

Research Information

Program Components

In 2013-14, the Arts Co-op Program and the UBC Department of English launched UBC’s first Ph.D. Co-op Program. This exciting initiative allows Ph.D. students to widen their range of professional skills through paid work experience in fields such as academic administration, communications, project management, and archival, government, and non-governmental organization (NGO) research. Through Co-op, Ph.D. students will build valuable skills and experience that will extend and enrich their career options in both academic and alternative workplaces. Read more about how the Co-op Program works: https://artscoop.ubc.ca/prospective-students/phd/

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.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2020

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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. students.

Please see the following link for more information about the minimum funding policy for Ph.D. students: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/awards/minimum-funding-policy-phd-students

Sample of Ph.D. Funding Packages Represents:

Ph.D. Funding Package - 4 year of funding. Each year represents:

  • Four Year Fellowship Award Stipend (~$18,000 per year) plus tuition coverage for each year.
  • Half Teaching Assistantship (~$6,000 per year)
  • Department Fellowship (~$2,000 per year)
  • International Students receive an international tuition award worth up to $3,200 per year.
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

27 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 25 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 Education
California State University - Fresno
Free University Berlin
Douglas College
Brock University
Langara College
University Hildesheim
University of South Alabama
Jacobs University
Bishop's University
Vancouver School of Theology
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
VF Ltd.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Consultant
Regional Marketing 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

Our M.A. and Ph.D. programs in History are designed to prepare students for employment in the public and private sectors, or to pursue further studies at the doctoral or postdoctoral levels. Recent graduate students have become college and university faculty, lawyers, public policy analysts, diplomats, museum curators, librarians, archivists, journalists, school teachers, historical researchers and consultants, as well as entrepreneurs. Many of our M.A. students have continued their studies in our Ph.D. program or have joined the doctoral programs of the History Departments of Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Cambridge, among others.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in History (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
Applications2837414537
Offers76852
New registrations35342
Total enrolment3029323436

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 62.5% based on 32 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 11 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 years and the maximum time is 8.49 years with an average of 6.87 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.

  • Booker, Courtney (Early medieval europe, histiography, rhetoric, narrative, hermeneutics, literary and textual critcism, latin philology, codicology, transmission of texts, and intertextuality, drama and performativity, politcal theology and l'augustinisme politique, medievalism)
  • Brain, Robert (History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History)
  • Brook, Timothy (Chinese history, global history, war crimes, Social and cultural history of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the japanese occupation of China during WW2, historical perspectives on world history and human rights)
  • Byrne, Jeffrey (International history; Empires, decolonisation, & postcolonial history; Africa; Middle East; Revolution)
  • Cheek, Timothy (20th century Chinese history, the history of the Chinese communist party, the role of intellectuals in public life in China)
  • Christopoulos, John (Early modern Europe, History of pre-modern medicine, Social and cultural history of early modern Italy)
  • Dixon, Joy (History of gender, sexuality, and the body, history of religion, history of the social and human sciences, history of empire)
  • Ducharme, Michel (Social Organization and Political Systems, Political Ideologies, Canadian History before Confederation, Quebec History, Liberalism and Nationalism in Canada and Quebec, Canada and the Atlantic World)
  • French, William Earl (Latin American history, Mexican history (19th and 20th century), Labour and social history, Working class culture, gender)
  • Glassheim, Eagle (History of East/Central Europe, modern Germany, environmental history, the Habsburgs )
  • Ishiguro, Laura (British Columbia, Canada, and the British Empire; settler colonialism; migration; family; gender; Publications)
  • Kojevnikov, Alexei (Modern history of science, especially physics, science, society,and culture, Russia and Soviet History, Nuclear History and the Cold War)
  • Lee, Steven Hugh (Cold war)
  • Loo, Tina (Environmental history of Canada)
  • Menkis, Richard (Jews and Judaism in Canada Antisemitism in Canada Canada and the Holocaust Jewish historical memory and identity, Modern Jewish history, Canada, ethnicity and historical memory, religion and society, antisemitism, responses to the Holocaust)
  • Miller, Bradley (Canadian history, legal history, International Law and International Relations, Criminal Justice History, North American History, British Empire History, Political History)
  • Morton, David (urban Africa; architecture and planning in history; informal settlement, housing, and citizenship; Mozambique in the twentieth century; Portuguese colonialism)
  • Myers, Tamara (History of children and youth, gender/women's history, history of crime and delinquency, history of adolescence and the family, Quebec/Canada)
  • Paris, Leslie (History of American childhood, History of American summer camps, Modern American social and cultural history, childhood and youth, gender and sexuality, popular culture)
  • Peterson, Glen (China, Chinese migration (especially to Southeast Asia), Overseas Chinese and the modernization of China, Refugee movements into and out of China in the twentieth century)
  • Prange, Sebastian (History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Religious Systems, Life and Economic Production, Social Organization and Political Systems, History of Capitalism, Economic History, Trade and Trade Diasporas, Islam, South Asia, Indian Ocean)
  • Raibmon, Paige (first nations on the northwest coast, cultural representations, relocation of aboriginal peoples, environmental health on reserves, first nations history, Indigenous people and colonisation, life writing and life history)
  • Roosa, John (Social Organization and Political Systems, Human Rights and Liberties, Collective Rights, Foreign Affairs, History of Indonesia)

Pages

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. Basham studied practices of knowledge production and definitions of expertise in technical encyclopedias from seventeenth-century China. Using a military encyclopedia as a case study, she argued that Chinese readers in this period defined expertise as mastery of text-based knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to state policy.
2019 Dr. Henshaw adopted a biographical approach to study Chinese collaboration with Japan during the Second World War. Although wartime collaboration has long been denounced in China as a moral failure, Dr. Henshaw's work examines the norms of pre-war Chinese politics and situates collaboration in the longer context of 20th century Chinese history.
2018 Dr. Matheson examined efforts by a broad range of extra-governmental actors to influence foreign policy in France's early Third Republic. Their consensus building helped to enable the Franco-Russian military alliance of 1894, illustrating the role of domestic public opinion in international relations.
2018 Dr. Bil examined engagements between European and Maori plant sciences in nineteenth century Aotearoa New Zealand. He found that racist interpretations of Maori knowledge originated in work undertaken by scholars who lacked acquaintance with indigenous cultures and languages. This work contextualizes and helps to challenge present-day views.
2018 Dr. Peotto examined the origin of colonial policies of ethnic cleansing directed against indigenous peoples in British North America, from the 1630s to the 1880s. He also surveyed popular beliefs which excused or minimized mass killings of indigenous peoples, and recast bounty hunters and racist vigilantes as folk heroes.
2017 Dr. Huebel examined the identity of Jewish men in Nazi Germany through the lens of gender. His findings show how the Nazis tried to emasculate Jewish men by ways of propaganda, law and violence and how Jewish men's self-understanding of their own identity changed. This work helps us better understand the consequences of gender roles and discrimination.
2017 Dr. Galway examined how radical intellectuals in the developing world engaged with Mao Zedong Thought and how they became Communists as responses to crises in their homelands. His research explored how outside ideas are received and adapted to both respond to and cope with the intense pressures of economic, industrial, and political modernization.
2017 Dr. Davis' study uncovers the procedures and policies governing the military's acquisition and ongoing control of vast tracts of national territory in Canada and the United States. In examining how emergency war powers and land use practices took hold and were given permanent spatial arrangements, this study provides a critical overview into origins and functions of North American defense lands.
2017 Dr. Petrucci studied Japanese piracy in southern Japan from the early 16th century. She determined that Kyushu pirates contributed to the economic integration of Kyushu within regional trade and that their absorption into local militia groups facilitated the political integration of Kyushu under the Tokugawa regime.
2016 Dr. Wright studied the extermination of thousands of civilians during the Korean War. He proved that state prohibitions on mourning caused a crisis for surviving families, which led to unique forms of political resistance. Dr. Wright's research increases our understanding of state violence, human rights, and transitional justice.

Pages

Further Program Information

Specialization

History focuses on the fields of Asian, Canadian, First Nations, British and European (early modern and modern), U.S., Latin American, and Environmental History and in the History of Science.

The following thematic research clusters highlight the interests and expertise of departmental members:

  • History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Global History, Maritime History, and the History of Empire
  • First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous History
  • Environmental History
  • Ethnicity, Race, and Nationalism
  • Religion
  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Body
  • International Relations
  • Culture/Power/History
  • Children and Youth
  • Migration, Borderlands, and Transnational History
  • Politics, Political Culture, and State Power
  • Law and Society
  • Communities

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-L2
 

Apply Now

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

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2020
 

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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