Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
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.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
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 Date01 October 2019
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.
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 EducationUniversity 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 EducationGoogle (3)
Centre for Human Drug Research
Contact Energy Ltd.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationData Scientist (3)
Software Engineer (2)
Lead Software Creator
Applied Research Mathematician
Senior Software Engineer
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese 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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year||$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)|
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.
Completion Rates & Times
Upcoming Doctoral Exams
Tuesday, 5 March 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 203
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 Analysis, Quantum Phenomena, 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)
Cautis, Sabin (Geometry)
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 (Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases, Mathematics, Epidemiology, 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 (Mathematics, Modelization and Simulation, Cell Signaling, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Differential Equation, cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases)
Feldman, Joel (Mathematical Analysis, Constructive Quantum Field Theory)
Feng, James Jingtao (Fluid Mechanics, 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 (Mathematics, 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)
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)