Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD)

Overview

UBC iSchool’s Ph.D. program is a four-year funded program that combines coursework with focused independent study and research. Students have ready access to faculty members and advisors and benefit from unique opportunities at a research-intensive university. The Ph.D. program is designed to provide advanced research education for outstanding students who have already obtained a Master of Archival Studies (MAS) degree or a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) or an equivalent related degree.

We are home to a community of researchers actively engaged in the investigation of questions of vital importance to society in the age of information. At the broadest level, we are concerned with the recorded artifacts of human experience: their creation, collection, organization, preservation, and use. Increasingly, these artifacts - books, documents, images, data, etc.- are created and/or preserved in digital formats that can be widely disseminated and used. Our collective work aims to ensure that this legacy of human experience, housed in both traditional and newer digital forms, is preserved, shared and explored, so that individuals and communities can continue to draw upon it to deepen their understanding of themselves and their communities and make new discoveries about our world. 

Our main areas of study are: human information interaction and design, knowledge organization, digital archives/ media, language processing, data and more

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Information Technology
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Library, Archival and Information Studies
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts
School
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Research Information

Research Highlights

- Award-winning faculty, recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for their contributions and leadership in library, archival and information studies research
- Research projects funded in excess of $1M annually
- Partner in the Designing for People research cluster, a multidisciplinary approach in people-centered design for interactive technologies, with several faculty contributing to the development of the program
- Faculty lead major research initiatives: InterPARES project for archival standards and digital records preservation and Blockchain@UBC research cluster

Research Focus

Social Media, Human-computer interaction, information interaction and information design, Cultural heritage, Records and information management

Research Facilities

PhD students are provided a lab space specifically for work and research in the school. The iSchool has an additional computer lab and bookable spaces with high-tech equipment for use in usability studies, conducting user research and analysis and more.

Requirements

Document Requirements

Faculty sponsorship of applications is not required; however applicants are encouraged to identify potential supervisors based on faculty research areas

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

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 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 06 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 06 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 06 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 06 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 06 January 2020

Funding Sources

As of September 2018, all full-time students who begin the iSchool Ph.D. program will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their Ph.D. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.

International students are eligible for the international tuition award of $3,200 per year for four years.

The school strives to support doctoral students in applying for external funding opportunities, which helps fund further years of study.

UBC has launched Canada's first Blockchain training pathway for graduate students. The Graduate Pathway on Blockchain and Decentralized Trust Technologies will be a 12-credit non-degree training program that augments existing Master's and Phd programs. Additional funding may be available for students as part of the Blockchain pathway.

Career Outcomes

9 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 7 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 Ghana
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kuwait University
University of Toronto
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
National Central Library
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Attorney, Privacy Consultant
Library Coordinator
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$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
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)
* 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
Applications122022148
Offers26943
New registrations15832
Total enrolment2422201413

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 5 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 years and the maximum time is 6.66 years with an average of 5.86 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: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 20 September 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200

Elizabeth Shaffer
Social Media in the Canadian Government: An Exploratory Study of Emerging Practice

Monday, 23 September 2019 - 9:00am - Room 203

Adam Jansen
Technological Features of Preservation Systems that Support the Authenticity of Digital Records

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.

  • Abdul-Mageed, Muhammad (Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Computational Linguistics, Social Media Mining, Arabic)
  • Bullard, Julia (Information Systems, Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.), classification systems, metadata, values-in-design)
  • Douglas, Jennifer (Personal archives; Writers’ archives; Archival arrangement and description; History and evolution of archival theory; Online communities and archives; Archival representation)
  • Duranti, Luciana (Personal archives, Writers' archives, Archival arrangement and description, History and evolution of archival theory, Online communities and archives, Archival representation)
  • Freund, Luanne (Information, Information Systems, Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.), New Technology and Social Impacts, information retrieval, human information interaction, open data)
  • Kwakkel, Erik (Audiovisual, Visual, Audio and Written Communications, Communication Contexts, Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.), History of the Book, Reading, Medieval Manuscripts, Paleography, Codicology, Digital Humanities, Cultural Heritage, History of Libraries)
  • Meyers, Eric (youth online behavior, information seeking, web search, libraries, public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, learning, virtual worlds, collaboration, social networks, new media, digital literacy, information literacy )
  • Nathan, Lisa (Impacts of New Information Technologies, New Technology and Social Impacts, Individual and Collective Ethics, Climate Changes and Impacts, Information Ethics, Ethics of Care, Sustainability, Information Policy, Indigenous Information Initiatives, Value Sensitive Design, Design, Values in Design, Generative Justice, Collapse | Adaptive Informatics)
  • O'Brien, Heather (New Technology and Social Impacts, Public Communication, Media Influence on Behavior, Right and Access to Information, Impacts of New Information Technologies, user engagement, user experience, community engagement, information seeking and retrieval, information access, cognitive processes related to information searching and evaluation)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Weimei Pan
    "Dr. Pan's research focused on the management of electronic records as evidence and information in Chinese enterprises in the cloud context. She found that, while there are issues with the methods used for evidence protection and verification, efforts to exploit the informational content of records for business needs are increasing." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Colleen Victoria Addison
    "Dr. Addison examined the avoidance of health information in people with health concerns. She showed that limiting methods, such as filtering and delegating, were particularly common in cases where people felt fear, disinterest, or distrust. Her work will contribute to our understanding of how we manage and experience health issues." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Elaine Mei Yee Goh
    "Dr. Goh studied how archival legislation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Singapore influence the implementation of records management programs. She found that archival legislation lacks clarity and that there are complexities in making changes. Her findings provide insights for a revised legislation to improve the management of public records." (May 2016)
  • Dr. Jessica Elaine Bushey
    "Dr. Bushey explored how smartphones and social media sites are transforming photography. Her research examined the impact of technologies and social practices on the ownership and privacy of personal photographs and online images as legal evidence and archival sources. This research will inform how we share and store photos in social media sites." (May 2016)
  • Dr. Nancy Elizabeth Black
    "Dr. Black investigated how online students search for information. She found creative strategies were used to manage information searching, evaluate the information retrieved, cope with competing priorities, and resolve difficulties. Her study sheds light on an under-investigated phenomenon and will influence online learning practice and delivery." (May 2015)
 

Apply Now

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

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
06 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
06 January 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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