Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

UBC iSchool’s Ph.D. program is a four-year funded program that combines coursework with independent study and research. Students have 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 education for outstanding students who have already obtained a Master of Archival Studies (MAS) degree, a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) or an equivalent related degree.

We are home to a community of researchers actively engaged in investigating questions of vital importance to society in the age of information. At the broadest level, we are concerned with 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.

What makes the program unique?

  • Interdisciplinary nature of the faculty and their collaborators
  • Teaching opportunities for PhD students in the masters programs and Bachelor of Media Studies program.

 

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. 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.

English Language Test

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.5

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

7.0

Other Test Scores

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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Document Requirements

Applicants are encouraged to identify and contact potential supervisors based on faculty research areas.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application

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.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

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

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

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-centred design for interactive technologies, with several faculty contributing to the development of the program.
  • Learn more about current Faculty leading major research initiatives at ischool.ubc.ca/research

 

Research Focus

Human-computer Interaction, Information Interaction and Design, Cultural Heritage, Documentation, Records and Information Management, History of the Book, Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, Knowledge Organization, Digital Archives/Media and Social media.

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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Supplementary fees (once)$236.00 Mandatory program fee
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

The school strives to support doctoral students in applying for external funding opportunities. 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 $26,000 for each of the first four years of the PhD program. Additional funding may be obtained through internal and external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships and graduate academic assistantships.

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

Additional Funding Opportunities

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.

 

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 12 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $39,820.
  • 5 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 5 students was $6,205.
  • 4 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 4 students was $10,910.
  • 6 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 6 students was $2,910.
  • 12 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 12 students was $26,449.
  • 3 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 3 students was $22,778.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

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 Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

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.

Foreign government scholarships

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.

Working while studying

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

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.
Career Options

UBC's Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prepared an in-depth report tracking outcomes for more than 3,800 PhD students who graduated between 2005-13. Using a combination of survey and internet searches, information was obtained for 91% of these graduates. This approach, and the ability to link the outcomes to student data, allowed a more comprehensive and richer analysis of student outcomes than most studies of this kind. The data is publicly available on their website and features outcome comparisons by faculty and subject area.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications2132323629
Offers36544
New Registrations35333
Total Enrolment2224222023

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 67% based on 9 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 9 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 5.12 years and the maximum time is 9.79 years with an average of 6.24 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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 (AI); Deep Learning; Natural Language Processing; Machine Learning; Computational Linguistics; Social Media Mining; Arabic)
  • Bullard, Julia (Organization of information and knowledge resources; Library science and information studies; classification systems; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Information Systems; metadata; values-in-design)
  • Douglas, Jennifer (Personal recordkeeping and archives; Person-centred archival theory and practices; Grief and recordkeeping and archives; Emotions and recordkeeping and archives; Archival arrangement and description)
  • Kwakkel, Erik (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; Codicology; History of Libraries; History of the Book; Medieval Manuscripts; Paleography; History of Reading)
  • Lemieux, Victoria (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; Blockchain technology; information visualization and visual analytics; International development; Records and information management; Risk management; Transparency and the public interest (in public sector and financial contexts); Trustworthy records)
  • 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 (Media and communications; Critical studies of technology; Climate Justice; Indigenous-led Information Initiatives; Collapse | Adaptive Informatics; Values & Design; Information Ethics & Policy)
  • O'Brien, Heather (All other social sciences, n.e.c.; user engagement; user experience; community engagement; information seeking and retrieval; information access; cognitive processes related to information searching and evaluation; health technologies)
  • Shaffer, Elizabeth (intersections of race, gender, and digital infrastructures and technologies)
  • Sinnamon, Luanne Silvia (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; human information interaction; Information Systems; information retrieval; New Technology and Social Impacts)
  • Turner, Hannah (Archival, repository and related studies; Library science and information studies; cataloguing and classification; Cultural Institutions (Museums, Libraries, etc.); Impacts of New Information Technologies; information practice; museum anthropology; Science and technology studies)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2023 There are many unsolvable debates in the world. How do we use the Internet to make sense of them? Dr. Novin researched how biases on the Internet influenced student inquiries, search strategies, and decisions. He documented the cognitive methods participants used to counter biases. This will help educators with teaching critical thinking skills.
2023 Dr. Shankar explored practices with immigration data in Canada. Findings emphasize difference, interdependence, and the need for negotiation of responsibilities across groups working with immigration data. Her work offers implications to governmental and non-governmental actors for ethical decision making and the use of communities' data with care.
2023 Dr. Tulloch examined the way young people used Internet memes to process and communicate information in their daily lives. Her research highlights the importance of humour to their memetic storytelling and the implications it holds for digital citizenship education. Laughter,she argues, helps people negotiate the different values memes instantiate.
2022 Dr. Figueiredo studied how context and agency affect Brazilian school children's information searching strategies to complete homework. She found that these strategies depend on school and home resources, and interpersonal assistance. Her analysis of information searching strategies provides recommendations for designing youth digital applications.
2022 Dr. Cole examined working adults' sense of self-efficacy when learning using web search engines. They constructed a scale of self-efficacy and applied mixed methods to identify factors that contribute to User Experience professionals' sense of confidence while learning using search.
2022 Dr. Evans examined records retention and disposition in Canadian organizations. She found that by aligning information governance efforts and leveraging digital technologies, records managers, archivists, and technologists could significantly decrease the climate impacts of information and communication technology on the environment.
2020 Dr. Hofman examined the relationship between privacy and transparency, finding that recordkeeping mediates that relationship. She developed a framework for records professionals making decisions weighing privacy, transparency, and secrecy based on archival principles. Her research can improve digital technology to better protect privacy.
2020 Dr. Mabi investigated the role of information and identity for African Immigrants seeking equitable employment in Vancouver. She demonstrated that the multifaceted identities of immigrants had a significant impact on access to settlement support and employment outcomes, highlighting the value of an intersectional approach to immigrant settlement.
2019 Dr. Jansen's research analyzed technological features of preservation systems that support the authenticity of digital records. From his findings, he produced a model that can be used by memory institutions to evaluate their digital archives' ability to assess, document and maintain the authenticity of digital records over the long-term.
2019 Dr. Shaffer investigated early social media practices within the Government of Canada. Findings revealed limitations on the ability to hold the government accountable due to increased use of proprietary, for-profit, social media platforms. Her work offers insights into the frictions that develop when certain technologies are adopted into bureaucratic systems.

Pages

Further Information

Library, Archival and Information Studies provides an interdisciplinary, high-demand educational experience in which students gain rich expertise suited to hybrid library/archives environments and cultural institutions. Area of study includes First Nations Curriculum Concentrations; Data services; Librarianship; Community and culture; Information interaction and design; Information sources and services; Digital resource management; Information analysis and management; Archives and preservation; Records management; information policy.

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-OL
 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form.

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