Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD)

Overview

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Interdisciplinary Studies
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

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.

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.

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.

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.

English Language Proficiency

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

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Yes

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

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.

Citizenship Verification

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

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 November 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 22 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 22 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 January 2021

Funding Sources

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.

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.

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
TandemLaunch
BC Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health
Nigel Haggan & Associates
Government of Canada
RCMP
The White Mountain School
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Consultant (5)
International Chief Evaluator, President
General Partner
Developmental Consultant
Psychiatrist
Veterinarian, Animal welfare advocate
Project Manager
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Teacher
Scientist
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.

Tuition / Program Costs

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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications2517172324
Offers913111614
New registrations911111412
Total enrolment8389798076

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 85% based on 40 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 23 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 5.82 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 March 2019]. 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Thursday, 30 January 2020 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Jummy Funke David
The Study of Epidemic and Endemic Diseases Using Mathematical Models

Wednesday, 26 February 2020 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Eleni Nasiopoulos
Examining the Effects of Real and Implied Social Presence

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.

  • 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 (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. Elena Maria Argento
    "Dr. Argento examined the interplay between drug use, violence and suicidality among a community-based cohort of women sex workers and explored the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Her research found that increased social cohesion and psychedelic use were protective against suicidality, underscoring the importance of connectedness." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Thea Miller Franke
    "Dr. Franke conducted a study on the mobility experiences of active older adults with low income in Metro Vancouver. She developed a framework that advances our understanding of how low income older adults overcome disparities and maintain their mobility. Her research will help inform decision making to improve the health and mobility of older adults." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Alissa Merielle Greer
    "Dr. Greer qualitatively examined the work and pay conditions for people who use drugs engaged in harm reduction settings. Her findings point to various economic, social, and political systems that impact these conditions. Her research advances participatory methods that promote equity for marginalized groups engaged in harm reduction work." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Shenaz Anjum Shahban
    "Dr. Shahban researched Canadian federal policy and psychological well-being. Aimed at global change, her research in the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Public Policy, led to key policy recommendations & the Federal Settlement Platform. Her work is directed to help restore Canada's place globally as an innovator in peace and human solutions." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Sabrina Mary Chang
    "Dr. Chang examined the subjective experiences of musicians engaged in free improvisation where conventional musical elements are largely forsaken. Her findings bring novel insight into how musicians navigate these performances and how free improvisation can be applied in therapeutic settings." (May 2019)

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 November 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
 

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.