Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Interdisciplinary Studies
Program Components
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


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?


Career Outcomes

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 Education
University of British Columbia (11)
Simon Fraser University (7)
Western University (Ontario)
Capilano University
Ryerson University
Swinburne University of Technology
University of Alberta
Providence University College
Stanford University
Dalhousie University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Vancouver 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 Education
Consultant (5)
International Chief Evaluator, President
General Partner
Developmental Consultant
Veterinarian, Animal welfare advocate
Project Manager
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,600.60$2,811.98
Tuition per year$4,801.80$8,435.94
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$899.00 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,453.00 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

New registrations141210158
Total enrolment8076757469

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 81% based on 21 students admitted between 2003 - 2006. Based on 33 graduations between 2012 - 2015 the minimum time to completion is 2.00 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 5.13 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 8 April 2016]. 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: 8 April 2016].

Affiliated Faculty Members

  • 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)
  • Kwon, Brian (Spinal cord injury)
  • Ogrodniczuk, John (Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Personality Disorders, Group Psychotherapy, Men)
  • 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. Gloria Michelle Puurveen
    "Dr. Puurveen explored the experiences of nursing home residents with advanced dementia who were nearing the end of life. She found that care staff and families attended to the residents' dignity, personhood, and relationships in skilled and respectful ways. These findings provide direction for improving person-centred end-of-life dementia care." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Velma Joy Mockett
    "Dr. Mockett developed the Mindfulness-Integrated, Resilience, Trauma-Informed and Social Pedagogy (MIRTS) Curriculum - A holistic curriculum for professionals working with young people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and substance use issues." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Dana Landry
    "Dr. Landry examined the academic field of writing studies in Canada. She defined this field based on scholars' demographic data, institutional locations, identities, and experiences. This research has the potential to improve the ways in which students learn to write and to increase legitimacy for those who work in writing studies." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Roberto Agustin Calderon Aramburu
    "Public places, like coffee shops, where we come together to socialize are known as "Third Places". Dr. Calderon introduced the concept of Third-placeness to articulate how the social, public and physical aspects of these experiences can be supported by digital technology across time and space. His research challenges the conventional understanding of Third Places." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Richard Andre Ouellet
    "Dr. Ouellet examines the history of Metis families evicted from Jasper National Park. He illustrates how these families are linked to the wider discourse concerning Metis rights and identity. This research highlights the diversity in Metis identity and outlines a way forward in truth telling and reconciliation between Parks Canada and Metis groups." (November 2016)

Further Program Information


September 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
01 November 2017
Canadian/US Applicant Deadline
15 January 2018
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2018

Program Information

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