Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)
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.
While it is not necessary to secure a firm commitment from a faculty member before applying, applicants are encouraged to contact professors about their potential availability to supervise. If an applicant is recommended for admission, a supervisor will be assigned. However, if there is no supervisor available, it will not be possible to be admitted into the program.
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 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 May 2020
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.
- International Students receive an international tuition award worth up to $3,200 per year.
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.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
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 EducationCalifornia State University - Fresno
Free University Berlin
University of South Alabama
Vancouver School of Theology
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationVF Ltd.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationResearch Consultant
Regional Marketing Manager
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||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (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
Friday, 7 February 2020 - 4:00pm - Room 203
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)
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)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Jonathan David Bergsma Henshaw
"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." (November 2019)
- Dr. Sarah Arminda Garrity Basham
"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." (November 2019)
- Dr. Mary Carol Matheson
"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." (May 2018)
- Dr. Geoffrey Kenneth Bil
"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." (May 2018)
- Dr. Thomas Richard Peotto
"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." (May 2018)