Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)

Overview

Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Research carried out both independently and in collaboration with federal government laboratories occurs in many different oceanographic regimes, including coastal BC fjords, the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia, open ocean regions of the Subarctic Pacific, and many other locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The types of problems that can be studied include fundamental questions about the flow of stratified fluids at scales ranging from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers, applied research in estuaries, coastal, and deep-ocean processes, general ocean circulation and climate change issues, marine chemistry, geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, natural product chemistry, marine viruses, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology and physiology, and primary production of the sea. The Department is well equipped to carry out research in the field (using either its own boat or larger vessels in the oceanographic fleet), at the laboratory bench, and in the numerical heart of a computer. Most problems involve aspects of all three.

Students in Oceanography may select courses, depending on their interest, from the following areas of specialization:

  • biological oceanography
  • marine chemistry and geochemistry
  • physical oceanography and atmospheric sciences

Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses outside their area of specialization. Courses related to Oceanography are also offered in the Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.

Quick Facts

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

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Research Information

Research Facilities

In 2012 the new Earth Sciences Building was completed. The $75 million facility was designed to inspire collaboration and creativity across disciplines.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
22
22
23

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
7.0

GRE required?

Not required

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

17 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 15 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
Oregon State University (2)
Dalhousie University
Douglas College
University of Victoria
Princeton University
Oregon Health and Science University
Universidad Santo Tomás
University of Connecticut
University of California - Santa Cruz
University of British Columbia
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
Government of Canada
Hakai Institute
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (2)
Visiting Scientist
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.

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

 20172016201520142013
Applications6136105
Offers13331
New registrations13331
Total enrolment2121181920

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 58.33% based on 12 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 7 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 5.00 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 6.54 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: 29 September 2017].

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.

  • Allen, Susan Elizabeth (Oceans and Inland Waters, Prediction and Climatic Modeling, physical oceanography, coastal oceanography, forecast models, coupled bio-physics and chem-physics and all three models)
  • Andersen, Raymond (Chemicals produced by marine organisms)
  • Crowe, Sean (Geobiology, biogeochemistry, microbial evolution)
  • Francois, Roger (Marine Geochemistry, Climate Change)
  • Maldonado, Maite (Phytoplankton Trace Metal Physiology)
  • Orians, Kristin (Chemical Oceanography, Trace metals in seawater)
  • Pakhomov, Yevhenii (Feeding ecophysiology of aquatic invertebrates and fishes, Antarctic ecology, Antarctic krill biology, Tunicate biology, Fishery ecology, Stable isotope ecology)
  • Pawlowicz, Richard (Oceans and Inland Waters, ocean physics, properties of seawater, geophysical fluid dynamics, nonlinear waves)
  • Suttle, Curtis (Marine Environment, Microbial Diversity, Marine Microbiology, Environmental Virology, Biological Oceanography, Viral Discovery, Viruses, Phage)
  • Tortell, Philippe (Biological / Chemical Oceanography, Climate-active Trace Gases, Primary Productvity, Polar Marine Ecosystems)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Jan Felix Finke
    "Dr. Finke investigated the abundance and genetic diversity of marine viruses. He also studied the composition of viral communities and how the dynamics of viral replication is affected by in situ environmental conditions." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Anna Magdalena Posacka
    "Dr. Posacka examined the biogeochemical cycle of copper in the ocean. Her research identified major processes that influence copper concentrations in the Northeast Pacific and highlighted the importance of copper nutrition in marine bacteria. This work provides insights into how copper regulates biological processes in the ocean." (November 2017)
  • Dr. David William Capelle
    "Dr. Capelle investigated the role oceans play in controlling atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. His work identified the key processes responsible for the production and transport of the potent greenhouse gases nitrous-oxide and methane in coastal British Columbia waters and how they may respond to climate-driven ocean change." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Nina Schuback
    "Phytoplankton are the forests of the ocean. Invisible to the naked eye, these organisms take up as much CO2 and evolve as much O2 as all the plants on land combined, which makes them a crucial component of our planet's climate. Dr. Schuback's work helps to more accurately estimate rates of 'phytoplankton primary productivity' in the oceans." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Bart De Baere
    "Dr. De Baere developed a continuous-flow chemical leaching module, known within the department as the 'Belgomatic'. This novel instrumentation has been used to study the behaviour of minerals as they dissolve into a solution. The technology from this work has been applied to help predict drainage quality from mine waste." (May 2016)
 

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January 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
01 April 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 June 2018
International Applicant Deadline
30 June 2018

Program Information

Application Enquiries

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