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 Indigenous 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; 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

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Meet a Representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Tuesday, 07 December 2021
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors. In this open session, the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver, and the application process.

This session is an open Q&A in which we’ll work to answer as many of your questions as possible. Our Graduate Student Ambassadors will be sharing their insight on academic and student life at UBC. 

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Thursday, 09 December 2021
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Graduate Student Ambassadors. In this open session, the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver, and the application process.

This session is an open Q&A in which we’ll work to answer as many of your questions as possible. Our Graduate Student Ambassadors will be sharing their insight on academic and student life at UBC. 

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: 90

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2021
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2021

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2022
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2022
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 December 2022
Transcript Deadline: 22 December 2022
Referee Deadline: 22 December 2022

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 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.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

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/graduate/phd-co-op/

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,052.34 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,126.20 (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.

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.
Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 15 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 $47,684.
  • 14 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 14 students was $11,938.
  • 13 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 13 students was $11,528.
  • 15 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 15 students was $21,883.
  • 2 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 2 students was $35,000.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - 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

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.  Our PhD graduates hold faculty positions at universities including Carelton University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Houston.

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

 20202019201820172016
Applications4928374145
Offers57685
New registrations13534
Total enrolment2930293234

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 64.52% based on 31 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 12 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 7.23 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: 22 April 2021]. 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 October 2020].

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)
  • Bryce, Benjamin (Historical studies; Argentina; Canada; Education; health; migration; Race and ethnicity; The Americas; Transnational history)
  • 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 (Historical studies; 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 (European history (except British, classical Greek and Roman); History of Central and Eastern Europe; Environmental History)
  • Hanser, Jessica (Early Modern Britain; Economic History; Great Divergence; Drugs in History; China and the West; Qing China; Slavery; British Empire; Microhistory; Global History)
  • 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)
  • McCormick, Kelly (Asian history; Visual theory, visual culture and visual literacy; Modern Japan; History of Visual and Material Culture/Photography; History of Technology; History of Gender and Sexuality)
  • Menkis, Richard (Canadian history; Historical memory; Jewish history; Holocaust studies)
  • Miller, Bradley (Historical studies; British Empire History; Canadian history; Criminal Justice History; International Law and International Relations; legal history; North American History; Political History)
  • Morton, David (urban Africa; architecture and planning in history; informal settlement, housing, and citizenship; Mozambique in the twentieth century; Portuguese colonialism)
  • Murphy, Anne (Asian history; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Religion; Literary or Artistic Work Analysis; Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies; cultural history; Early Modern Studies; Punjabi Studies; South Asian Studies)
  • 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)

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
2021 Dr. Rocks traced Chinese involvement in transnational anarchist networks with anarchists in Europe and the Americas. He revealed that anarchism and anarchist practice offered sympathetic Chinese means to imagine and act to build worlds beyond the pathways of nation, state, colony, empire, and Marxist-Leninist or Fascist internationalism.
2021 Dr. Longstaffe studied the history (1960s-1980s) of marginalized women in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. She offers a new view of gendered and racialized poverty, homelessness, and violence, and the efforts of diverse women to resolve these issues. Her work shows that marginalized women were the most effective at finding solutions to their problems.
2020 Dr. Corbett examined the history of punctuality in modern Britain to better understand its development as a value. Tracing the use of the word punctuality, he found that the pressure to be 'on time' is rooted in moral valuations of debt, credit, and trust, which emerged in early eighteenth-century Britain.
2020 Dr. Taylor examined the relations between North Korea and Latin America during the Cold War, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the historical development of North Korean foreign policy, and providing a new, transnational perspective on the political and intellectual history of the Latin American Left.
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. 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.
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.
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.

Pages

Further 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

Classification

 

Apply Now

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

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2021

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 May 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 December 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 December 2022
 
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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