Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)


The Ph.D. program prepares graduates who will provide leadership in the generation, integration, and implementation of knowledge aimed at improving health and health care. Our graduates have expanded spheres of influence in academic institutions, practice settings, and policy arenas. Students join a community of scholars where supervisors are committed to supporting educational programs that meet students’ interests and growth in scholarly engagement with the nursing discipline. All doctoral students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination, an oral candidacy examine, and a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements. Program applicants are admitted based on outstanding achievement in their master's program; evidence of leadership potential for research and scholarship; self-direction; and goals that fit with program resources. Canadian students must hold practicing nurse registration in BC or another province. International students must meet general eligibility criteria for nurse registration in BC. Transfer from the M.S.N. to the Ph.D. program occurs based on Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations.

What makes the program unique?

This exciting program prepares researchers and leaders to advance research knowledge, and the dissemination and application of findings to nursing and health care. Students join research supervisors in a community of scholars (other students and faculty members) to develop a program that takes them to new levels of knowledge and skill with career relevant competencies. In addition to core courses, students are encouraged to gain advanced expertise in research methods and other skills through rich course offerings, seminars, colloquia, conferences and independent studies available at UBC. Interdisciplinary collaboration is promoted.

Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Health and Medicine
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Program Components
Faculty of Applied Science
School of Nursing


TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


GRE required?

Required by all applicants

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

34 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 0 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 33 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 (10)
University of Manitoba (4)
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
University of Calgary
Western University (Ontario)
University of Calgary in Qatar
Jordan Univeristy of Science and Technology
Brandon University
University of Alberta
McGill University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Fraser Health (2)
St. Paul's Hospital
Provincial Health Services Authority
Vancouver Coastal Health
Providence Health Care
Seabird Island Band
First Nations Health Authority
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Nurse Practitioner (2)
Clinician Scientist, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Chief Nursing Officer
Research Liaison Officer
Clinical Nurse Specialistist
Health Policy and Quality Officer
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.
Career Options

Graduates of our PhD Program have advanced competencies in nursing research and scholarship, research team participation and management, interdisciplinary collaboration, teaching, entrepreneurship, and translating results to action. They are innovative in their approaches to finding solutions to problems in nursing and healthcare delivery. Our graduates follow a long tradition of being recognized leaders in the field of nursing, who are working to advance the profession for future generations. Graduates take leadership roles within the health authorities or business and faculty positions at university and colleges worldwide.

Alumni on Success

Sandra Lauck

Job Title
Clinician Scientist
St. Paul's Hospital

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 registrations75154
Total enrolment3733313938

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 81.25% based on 16 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 14 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.00 years with an average of 6.35 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

Thursday, 19 April 2018 - 9:00am - Room 200

Carla Theresa Hilario
Applying Integrated Knowledge Translation to Address Mental Health Among Young Immigrant and Refugee Men in Canada

Thursday, 19 April 2018 - 12:30pm - Room 200

Wellam Felix Yu Ko
Radical Prostatectomy and Work: Men's Perspectives

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.

  • Baumbusch, Jennifer (long-term residential care, family caregiving, Intellectual Disability, nursing care of older adults )
  • Boschma, Geertje (History of nursing and health care, with special emphasis on mental health and mental health nursing)
  • Brown, Helen Jean (Maternal-infant and women)
  • Browne, Annette (Health inequalities, indigenous peoples, women's health, cultural safety, primary health care interventions to improve health outcomes, marginalized populations, health policy)
  • Bungay, Victoria (sexuality, sex work, harm reduction, drug use, intersectionality, ethnography, communication technologies, community based research, Health inequities affecting men and women working in the commercial sex industry and people who are street-involved, leadership, public health nursing, mental health, sexual health, HIV, and harm reduction programming)
  • Campbell, Suzanne (Community Health / Public Health, Health Promotion, Interpersonal Communication, Educational Technologies, Health Care Technologies, Modelization and Simulation, Social Determinants of Health, Global Health and Emerging Diseases, Adult Education and Continuing Educationsimulation nursing education, interprofessional health professional education, health communication, lactation support, leadership in nursing, global maternal-infant-child health)
  • Currie, Leanne (Nursing, Software Development, Decision Making, Computer Architecture, Artificial Intelligence, Biomedical TechnologiesBiomedical and Health Informatics, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, Human Computer Interaction and Design)
  • Dahinten, Susan (Social determinants and processes of child development, identification, intervention and the prevention of developmental problems)
  • Garrett, Bernard Mark (Health Care Technologies, Ethics and HealthVirtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality, Evidence-basedPpractice, Deception in Healthcare, Healthcare Regulation)
  • Hall, Wendy Anne (transition to parenting and the related areas of infant sleep and breast feeding; effects of infant behavioural sleep problems on infants and their parents and developing interventions to assist parents to manage those sleep problems)
  • MacPhee, Maura (professional development, higher education, patient safety, systems analysis, leadership and management, pediatrics )
  • McPherson, Gladys (addressing health equity within one First Nations community)
  • Oliffe, John (Suicide prevention, depression, smoking, mental health and illness, men's health, prostate cancer, masculinity, fathers, incarcertion, support groups)
  • Phinney, Alison (Capacities of older people for successfully coping with the functional consequences of aging and disease)
  • Rodney, Patricia (Healthcare ethics; Nursing ethics; Nursing workplaces; Healthcare equity; Ethics and policy; Moral distress and moral climate)
  • Saewyc, Elizabeth (Homeless or street involved youth, sexual minority youth, sexual exploitation of youth, discrimination, trauma and resilience., Youth health issues, stigma, violence, trauma, adolescent health, protective factors, sexual minority, homeless, immigrant, indigenous)
  • Thorne, Sally (Nursingcancer care, chronic illness)
  • Varcoe, Colleen (How the inequities of ethnicity, class, place and ability are central to violence against women, enhancing practice and policy in the context of violence and inequity)
  • Wong, Sabrina (Primary Health Care, Primary Care, vulnerable populations, marginalized groups, ethno-cultural, patient experiences, quality of care, Organization and delivery of health care, informing practice and system level interventions that seek to decrease health inequalities among Canadian residents, including people who face multiple disadvantages in accessing and using the health care system such as those who have language barriers and live in poverty)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Lillian Mei Kuen Hung
    "Dr. Hung studied the impact that the physical and social environment has on people with dementia. She developed a Team Engagement Action Model (TEAM) to bring patients, families, and a team of staff across disciplines together to make positive change in acute care. Her work offers practical strategies for improving dementia care in hospitals." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Laura Michelle Housden
    "Dr. Housden examined nurse practitioner-led group medical visits (GMVs) in primary care for patients with chronic conditions. Meta-analysis found GMVs had positive effects on clinical outcomes. Analysis of case-studies indicated GMVs disrupted power differentials between patients and providers, yet contributed to challenges in nurse practitioners offering group appointments." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Farinaz Havaei
    "Dr. Havaei studied how the organization of nursing care influences the quality of nursing care and patient outcomes. Her findings showed fewer essential tasks left undone when nurses work independently versus in teams; and fewer negative patient outcomes with an all-RN nursing staff. These findings will help with future nurse workforce planning." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Elaine Marie Moody
    "Dr. Moody examined nurses' practice of judging the cognitive functions of older people in hospital. She found nurses make complex judgments based on interactions with patients, shared nursing knowledge, and social norms related to documentation systems. The research highlights the invisibility of nurses' knowledge, and points to ways to improve care." (November 2015)
  • Dr. Shari Ann Laliberte
    "Dr. Laliberte explored the influence of socio-economic processes on the mental health of young people. She studied the experiences of thirty youth between fifteen and twenty-eight years of age and from diverse backgrounds, in relation to mental health policy. Her work offers guidance for youth mental health promotion from a socio-economic perspective." (November 2015)

September 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
22 September 2017
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2018
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2018

Program Information

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