My decision to study at UBC was entirely based on the opportunity to work with my co-supervisors: Dr. Vicky Bungay & Dr. Susan Cox. It is an honour and a privilege to learn from such distinguished, engaged, and innovative scholars.
The Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP) at the University of British Columbia was established in 1971, the first of its kind in Canada. It is one of the only Canadian programs to offer doctoral degrees in interdisciplinary studies, and is possibly one of the largest of its kind in North America.
The main purpose of the ISGP is to enable qualified graduate students to pursue advanced interdisciplinary research exceeding the provisions of existing departmental programs. There are no restrictions regarding the topic and in many cases the student draws upon expertise from several distinct faculties. The prospective student has to bring together three or four qualified faculty from different departments or units. Because there are no constraints on which fields are brought together, there are virtually no two students in the same sub-field. The ISGP is designed only for a highly motivated and superb student who can steer an independent course.
ISGP gives you the opportunity to:
UBC offers a progressive environment that welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to research. When I started to live in Vancouver, I could trace UBC's existence in the social and political spirit of the city. This connectedness gave me a sense of community and made me realize that UBC could open a window to further explore how meaningful action and research could be possible.
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.
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:
Overall score requirement: 90
Overall score requirement: 6.5
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.
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.
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.
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
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.
IMPORTANT: In order to ensure stability and appropriate level of support from your supervisory team, it is crucial that at least one of your proposed co-supervisors is a G+PS member who is tenured or tenure track faculty member holding the rank of Assistant/Associate/Full Professor (verify by entering name here).
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|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)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
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.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided (either by the ISGP or by faculty supervisors) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
72 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 66 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
|2019||Dr. Nyce studied traditional Nisga'a leadership through times of imposed cultural and ecological change. She focused on Nisga'a wisdom passed down over millennia through the sharing of Nisga'a adaawak, the stories, legends and history, and the ayuukw, the ancient Nisga'a laws.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||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.|
|2018||Dr. Park studied the return experience of Indonesian migrant women workers who worked as domestic workers in Asian urban centres. By gathering and working with stories told by the Indonesian returnee women, Dr. Park uncovered and highlighted their contribution to the understanding of transnational migrant lives and women's life in cities.|
|2018||Dr. Ziemsen developed a learning model that allows students to produce films online and in a virtual world using a process called machinima. Her goal was to help democratize film education. She engaged in her research as an a/r/tographer, by directing and producing two films and developing an online film production curriculum.|
|2018||Dr. Tong worked closely with community partners to conduct a study on the physical activity and mobility of foreign-born older adults in South Vancouver. Her mixed-method project was done in five languages and advances our understanding of the health behaviours of marginalized older adults who have often been excluded from academic research.|
|2018||Dr. Rivers investigated school connectedness and problem substance use among street-involved youth in British Columbia. Results differed by gender and in the presence of known risk factors faced by youth. His research advances the understanding that increasing positive school connectedness could decrease levels of problem substance use.|
Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to design their own graduate program by bringing together three or four qualified faculty from different departments or units. Because there are no constraints on which fields are brought together, there are virtually no two students in the same subfield.
UBC offers a strong interdisciplinary program where I have met and engaged in dialogue with an incredible cohort of academics from all sorts of disciplines, backgrounds and research approaches. The continuous support and guidance from my supervisors have made a positive impact on my academic...
UBC has been incredibly supportive to me during my Master's of Science (2017) and now for my PhD. This support has been financial in the form of fellowships, academic in the presence of world class teachers and fellow students, as well as physical - providing fantastic research facilities in an...
UBC uniquely offers an Interdisciplinary Studies PhD program where I worked with two co-supervisors to design a doctoral degree that built upon my work experience. I was able to pick classes tailored to my research goals. I also have been lucky to be co-mentored within the School of Public and...