Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD)


The objectives of the Program are to educate graduate students as neuroscientists with intensive experience in at least one area of research, and to ensure that students in the Program develop a broadly based knowledge of the neurosciences. The Program aims for flexibility so that the individual needs and background of each student can, as quickly as possible, be accommodated. The core program of courses offered to entering students consists of Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology, Neurochemistry, Psychobiology, Molecular Neurobiology, and Neuropharmacology. Additional related courses are available for selection by the student and his/her Supervisory Committee. The Program is research oriented: students are expected to engage in research from the start of their studies. Research is undertaken in individual departments, over a wide range of basic and clinical Neuroscience topics.


What makes the program unique?

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary program of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. It is administered by the Chairman of the Neuroscience Advisory Committee, and comprises some 60 faculty members representing 13 departments from the Faculties of Medicine, Science and Arts at the University of British Columbia. Laboratory and teaching areas are located across the UBC campus and at the University Hospital and the Vancouver Hospital, according to the teaching and research affiliations of the Neuroscience faculty members.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Life Sciences
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Program Components
Faculty of Medicine


TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


GRE required?

Required by some applicants (check program website)

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

92 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 2 are in non-salaried situations; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 84 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 British Columbia (12)
University of Toronto (3)
China Medical University (2)
University of Nevada - Las Vegas (2)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2)
Western Washington University (2)
University of Ottawa (2)
Simon Fraser University (2)
University of Calgary (2)
Carleton University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
STEMCELL Technologies (3)
Hospital for Sick Children (2)
Johnson and Johnson Inc.
Synchronous ERP Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company
Focus Eyecare Centre
Allen Institute for Brain Science
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Postdoctoral Fellow (6)
Medical Science Liaison (2)
Senior Applications Biologist
Program Manager for PLDP
Medical Liaisons
Director of Technology and Product Development
Senior Software Engineer
Data Scientist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on
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.

Alumni on Success

Tamara Bodnar

Job Title
Postdoctoral Fellow
The University of British Columbia

Rochelle Hines

Job Title
Assistant Professor
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Carmen Chan

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher ("Research Scientist")
RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
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)$923.38 (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

New registrations1066712
Total enrolment7773788486

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 80.95% based on 42 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 20 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 8.00 years with an average of 5.86 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
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: 29 September 2017].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Friday, 6 April 2018 - 4:00pm - Room 200

Rebecca Ko
Contribution of Piezo1 in Mechanosensitive Channels to Astrocyte Calcium Signaling

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Andrea Amy Jones
Longitudinal Characterization of Psychosis Among Adults Living in Marginal Housing

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.

  • Lam, Raymond (seasonal affective disorder; winter depression; antidepressant medications; light therapy; depression; clinical guidelines; circadian rhythms; melatonin; serotonin; dopamine; noradrenaline; tryptophan; workplace depression, Depression)
  • Lam, Tania (Rehabilitation, Cranio-Encephalic and Spinal Cord Traumagait rehabilitation, exercise, neurorecovery)
  • Lang, Donna (Methamphetamine; Psychotic disorders)
  • Laule, Cornelia (Imaging, Neurological Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Spinal Cord Diseases, Pathologymagnetic resonance imaging, brain, spinal cord, myelin, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, neurological diseases)
  • Leavitt, Blair (Neurodegenerative Diseases, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, AtaxiaHuntington disease, Neurogenetics, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Frontotemporal Dementia, Mouse models of disease, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Gene Regulation, Experimental Therapeutics, Gene Silencing and Gene Editing, Gene Therapy, Medical Genetics)
  • Leung, Peter C (Reproductive and molecular endocrinology )
  • Liu-Ambrose, Teresa (CognitionHealthy Aging, Mobility, Falls, Brain Health)
  • MacVicar, Brian (Brain Research, epilepsy, astrocyte, glia, dendrites, synapse, imaging, two photon laser scanning microscopy, neurophysiology, Role of calcium, regulation of neurons, cell death)
  • Matsubara, Joanne Aiko (Alzheimer's, age-related macular degeneration)
  • McKeown, Martin (Parkinson's Diseasenovel treatments for Parkinson's, Monitoring Parkinson's , brain stimulation, biomedical engineering)
  • Molday, Robert (Proteins, cell structure, lipids, drug discovery, gene therapy)
  • Moritz, Orson (Mechanisms underlying genetically inherited forms of blindness)
  • Moukhles, Hakima (Muscle cells )
  • Murphy, Timothy (Strokes)
  • Naus, Christian (Role of gap junctions in neural development and disease, including consequences of connexin mutations on gap junction structure and function, role of these intercellular channels in diagnosis of disease and development of novel therapeutic strategies)
  • Ngan, Elton (Mood & Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia)
  • Nygaard, Haakon (potential role for anti-convulsant drugs in treating Alzheimers disease, which have shown promise in preclinical models of the disease)
  • O'Connor, Timothy (Identification of small molecules that stimulate neurite outgrowth and regeneration Examination of the role of semaphorins during embryonic development)
  • O'Kusky, John (Neuroscience, embryology, mental health disorders )
  • Oberlander, Timothy (Population epidemiological studies that characterize neurodevelopmental pathways that reflect risk, resiliency and developmental plasticity)
  • Oruc, Ipek (visual recognition of high level forms such as faces, letters and objects)
  • Pai, Dinesh (Robotics, computer graphics, medical imaging, neuroscience, sensorimotor computation )
  • Pavlidis, Paul (Bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics, genome, neuroscience, neurobiology, gene expression, microarray, computer science, machine learning, statistics, Bioinformatics and neuroscience, schizophrenia and autism)
  • Phillips, Anthony (Addictions Psychiatry, Basic Neurosciences)
  • Quandt, Jacqueline (Neuroinflammation in damage and repair relevant to multiple sclerosis and other nervous system disorders)


Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Juelu Wang
    "Dr. Wang studied the molecular mechanisms underlying selective neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Her work indicates two genes, SDC3 and FGFRL1, could be potential targets to alleviate neuronal death in these two disorders." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Paul Daniel Metzak
    "Dr. Metzak examined the changes in brain structure and function in schizophrenia patients while performing an attentional biasing task. He found that patients exhibited inefficient patterns of activity as task difficulty increased. This work contributes to our understanding of disease related brain changes in schizophrenia." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Peggy Lee Assinck
    "Dr. Assinck examined the efficacy of cell transplantation after spinal cord injury in rodents. She further examined the role of endogenous cells and their contribution to myelination after injury. This work is important for the rational development of strategies to promote recovery after spinal cord injury." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Jacqueline-Marie Ferland
    "Dr. Ferland's research investigated the importance of decision making in addiction. She found that rats who naturally made poor choices were more sensitive to cocaine and showed enhanced risky decision making after a drug experience. Her work may help to inform therapies for addiction, and will hopefully reduce stigma around the condition." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Andrea Kathleen Globa
    "Dr. Globa's work has demonstrated that drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, impact how brain cells communicate with one another at specialized points of contact called 'synapses'. Her work specifically shows that synaptic connections must be malleable or 'plastic' to promote behaviours associated with addiction in mice." (November 2017)

Further Program Information


September 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2017
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2017
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2017

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018

Program Information

Supervisor Search


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