Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)
ISGP is a unique program that gives students the freedom to create their own individualized graduate program based on specific research interests. It allows students to bridge two or more academic disciplines.
ISGP gives you the opportunity to:
- pursue interdisciplinary research that is individually designed by the student
- "think outside the box"
- select courses and research supervisors from every department at UBC
- participate in interdisciplinary lectures, workshops and seminars
- apply for funding for exceptional students
- participate in interdisciplinary lectures, workshops and seminars.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
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 November 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.
72 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 66 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 (11)
Simon Fraser University (7)
Western University (Ontario)
Swinburne University of Technology
University of Alberta
Providence University College
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationVancouver Coastal Health (2)
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Child Health BC
St. Michael's Hospital
BC Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health
Nigel Haggan & Associates
Government of Canada
The White Mountain School
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationConsultant (5)
International Chief Evaluator, President
Veterinarian, Animal welfare advocate
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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
Monday, 29 April 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 203
Monday, 17 June 2019 - 9:00am - 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.
Kerr, Thomas (harm reduction, injection drug users, HIV / AIDS, safe injection site, addiction, HIV/AIDS, injection drug use, health policy and service evaluation, and community-based research methods)
Kornelsen, Jude (providing an evidence base to inform decisions on the planning of rural maternity services; advancing our understanding of women)
Kuhl, David (understanding compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma, burnout, moral distress, grief, and psychological well being in health care providers)
Kwon, Brian (Spinal cord injury)
Loock, Christine Ann (Brain, Behaviour & Development; Social Pediatrics; Health Inequities; Child-health medical-home: children/families, integration / patient care / community services; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; Pediatric Sleep Disorders)
Ogrodniczuk, John (Mental Health and Society, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Personality Disorders, Group Psychotherapy, Men’s Mental Health, Alexithymia, Athletes)
Shannon, Kate (epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, sex work, public health, community health, gender epidemiology, health prevention, social determinants of health, community-based research, gender inequities, sexual health, vulnerable populations, structural determinants, qualitative evaluations, HIV/STI prevention, Social determinants of sexual health, HIV/AIDS and access to care among marginalized populations, particularly youth, sex workers, and women at-risk and living with HIV)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Cluny Serenella South
"Dr. South examined how prosocial behaviour towards others is impacted by an individual's sense of self and belonging status. She found that people who were more independent were less prosocial towards animal out-groups, if they felt a strong sense of belonging. This finding has implications for cause marketing and especially for animal charities." (November 2018)
- Dr. Nicole Rielle Capler
"Access to cannabis for medical purposes is a constitutional right in Canada. Dr. Capler's research explored patients' experiences accessing medical cannabis under different regulatory frameworks. She considered whether access was reasonable, and the impact it had on their lives. Her work has implications for the newly legalized recreational context." (November 2018)
- Dr. Beth Ann Clark
"Dr. Clark studied how transgender youth, parents and health care providers made decisions about initiating hormone therapy. Findings address gaps in understanding of health, and ethical decision-making processes that affected access to needed health care. This work will support practices aimed at improving health outcomes of trans youth and their families." (November 2018)
- Dr. Margaret Isabel Hall
"Dr. Hall examined current and alternative approaches to adult guardianship - the framework that helps protect vulnerable adults. She developed a model that is consistent with legal principles and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This work responds to the problems arising in the context of dementia and old age." (November 2018)
- Dr. Lisa Kim Viljoen
"Dr. Viljoen's study looked at creating and comparing trauma-informed behaviour plans to regular behaviour plans for primary school children with a history of adverse childhood experiences. While results were inconclusive, the research suggested trauma-informed practice would be most effective using a school-wide model." (November 2018)