Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)

Overview

Mathematicians use theoretical and computational methods to solve a wide range of problems from the most abstract to the very applied. UBC's mathematics graduate students work in many branches of pure and applied mathematics. The PhD program trains students to operate as research mathematicians. The focus of the program is on substantial mathematical research leading to the PhD dissertation. Students also develop their skills in presenting and teaching mathematics and its applications.

What makes the program unique?

UBC has one of the largest and most vigorous departments of mathematics in Canada. Our faculty routinely win national and international awards for their research and teaching achievements. We have an engaged and sociable cohort of graduate students who are essential members of a broad selection of active research groups. Each group holds a variety of seminars and events that allow graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visitors and faculty to enjoy regular interaction.

UBC is the headquarters for the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences (PIMS). PIMS hosts a plethora of mathematical events such as conferences and summer schools, greatly enriching the scientific environment in the quantitative sciences at UBC. Our mathematics students are also regular participants at the nearby Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery. Finally, our Institute for Applied Mathematics provides options for interdisciplinary studies for PhD students who wish to work in applied and computational mathematics.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Mathematics
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Science

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Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

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 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2019

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD Mathematics program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,256 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.

Career Outcomes

88 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 19 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 68 graduates:


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 Oregon (3)
University of British Columbia (2)
University of Notre Dame (2)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (2)
University of Manitoba (2)
University of Kansas (2)
Harvard University (2)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (2)
Autonomous University of Yucatan
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Google (3)
Sanoma B.V.
Centre for Human Drug Research
Futurice GmbH
Contact Energy Ltd.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
Contextual Genomics
MDA Corp.
Amazon
Facebook
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Data Scientist (3)
Software Engineer (2)
Actuarial Analyst
Lead Software Creator
Quantitative Analyst
Senior Analyst
Applied Research Mathematician
Education Specialist
Programmer
Senior Software Engineer
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

A great majority of our PhD graduates move on to postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions at universities and research institutes in North America and around the world. However, a significant fraction of students move into careers in industry. Students considering non-academic careers are encouraged to complete an industrial internship (for instance through the Mitacs Accelerate program - headquartered at UBC) during their studies.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
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. 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

 20172016201520142013
Applications13811093102103
Offers2015212228
New registrations1414121216
Total enrolment7273707877

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 78.18% based on 55 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 48 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 1.99 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 4.65 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: 9 March 2018]. 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

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - 4:00pm - 126, Mathematics Building, 1984 Mathematics Road

William Christopher Carlquist
A Homotopy-Minimization Method for Parameter Estimation in Differential Equations and its Application in Unraveling the Reaction Mechanism of the Min System

Friday, 8 February 2019 - 4:00pm - Room 200

Ye Liu
Theoretical and Numerical Study of Free-Surface Flow of Viscoplastic Fluids: 2D Dambreaks, Axisymmetrical Slumps and Surges Down an Inclined Slope

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.

  • Adem, Alejandro (Cohomology of finite groups, orbifolds, stringy topology, algebra, sporadic simple group, group actions, arithmetic groups, K-theory, homotopy theory, spaces of homomorphisms)
  • Angel, Omer (Probability theory, percolation, random graphs, random walks, particle processes, scaling limits)
  • Anstee, Richard (Discrete Mathematics, Extremal Set Theory, Graph Theory, Matching Theory)
  • Bachmann, Sven (Mathematical physics, Quantum statistical physics, Topological states of matter)
  • Balmforth, Neil (Fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations)
  • Behrend, Kai (Moduli spaces, Gromov-Witten invariants, string theory, Donaldson-Thomas invariants, Euler characteristics, categorification)
  • Bennett, Michael (Number Theory, Diophantine Approximation and Classical Analysis)
  • Bryan, Jim (Quantum invariants)
  • Chau, Albert (Differential Geometry and Partial Differential Equations)
  • Chen, Jingyi (Differential geometry , partial differential equations)
  • Colliander, James (hamiltonian dynamical systems; partial differential equations; harmonic analysis)
  • Coombs, Daniel (Mathematical biology, Cell biophysics, Immune cell signalling, Disease models)
  • Cytrynbaum, Eric (Bacterial cell division, Microtubule and cellular organization, Wave propagation in excitable media)
  • Doebeli, Michael Walter (Mathematical ecology and evolution, evolution of diversity, adaptive speciation, evolution of cooperation, game theory, experimental evolution in microorganisms)
  • Edelstein-Keshet, Leah (cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases)
  • Feldman, Joel (Constructive Quantum Field Theory)
  • Feng, James Jingtao (Complex fluids, Biophysics, Mathematical biology)
  • Fraser, Ailana (Differential Geometry, Geometric Analysis)
  • Friedlander, Michael (numerical optimization, numerical linear algebra, scientific computing, Scientific computing)
  • Friedman, Joel (Computer Science Theory, Algebraic Graph Theory, Combinatorics)
  • Frigaard, Ian (Fluid mechanics (visco-plastic fluids))
  • Froese, Richard Gerd (Mathematical Physics, quantum mechanics, spectral theory, scattering theory)
  • Ghioca, Dragos (Drinfeld modules, isotrivial semiabelian varieties, Lehmer inequality)
  • Ghoussoub, Nassif (Mathematical sciences, R&Ed policies, developing science in Africa, Non-linear analysis and partial differential equations)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Navid Ghadermarzy
    "Dr. Ghadermarzy studied the problem of completing multi-dimensional arrays, i.e., tensors from noisy or 1-bit measurements of a subset of their entries. Tensor completion is applicable whenever the data has missing or corrupted entries which can be the result of a faulty sensor or when taking measurements is too expensive. He proved optimal bound on the minimum required number of measurements for certain classes of tensors." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Cole Michael John Zmurchok
    "Dr. Zmurchok used mathematical models to show that links between forces and chemical signalling in cells can lead to cell size fluctuations. His research suggests mechanisms at play in waves of contraction in a developing tissue, highlighting the importance of feedback between forces and signalling in models for cell dynamics." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Ka Fai Li
    "Dr. Li studied the Kahler-Ricci flow on non-compact manifolds. He investigated conditions under which the solutions exist, and studied the existence time of the solutions." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Hon To Hardy Chan
    "Dr. Chan studied differential equations, refining an existing method and developing new techniques for finding solutions, which, as an application, provides a counter-example in an open problem known as fractional De Giorgi conjecture." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Robert Fraser
    "Dr. Fraser studied harmonic analysis and geometric measure theory. He considered questions involving packing families of surfaces into zero-volume sets and locating patterns of points in these sets. This research connects the study of fractal sets in Euclidean spaces with the study of fractal sets in other spaces." (May 2018)

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

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September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
31 December 2018

Program Information

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