Overview

You're ready to work at the forefront of pharmaceutical sciences advancement. Take your education to the next level with a PhD at UBC Pharm Sci. It's where you'll work shoulder to shoulder with other world-class experts in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, contributing knowledge, developing solutions, and shaping the future of health care. Come to work every day at one of the world's most inspiring campuses, where you will find exceptional mentors and supervisors, and state-of-the-art facilities.

What makes the program unique?

At UBC Pharm Sci, our research has shaped our outstanding international reputation. This is the place to collaborate with some of the world's foremost pharmaceutical experts, generating relevant, evidence-based and industry-focused research that makes a positive impact on broader society.

At UBC, we welcome diversity. Students come to us from a wide range of educational backgrounds and home countries. More than 50% of our graduate students come from other parts of the world, including the US and countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. We offer orientation events to help new students integrate into life here in Vancouver, at UBC and within the Faculty. And our Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Society (PharGS) will make you feel right at home.

 

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Health and Medicine
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
22
22
22
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Highlights

Pioneering research for the first drug-eluting coronary stent was accomplished by our Faculty
The Neglected Global Diseases Initiative was developed in our Faculty. (http://ngdi.ubc.ca)
Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation was developed in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (https://core.ubc.ca/)

Research Focus

Genomics and individualized therapy. Epidemiology. Nanomedicine. Pharmacology. A MSc or PhD in pharmaceutical sciences is the entry point to countless fields of research and teaching. Graduates of UBC Pharm Sci have gone on to fine-tune treatments for diseases like tuberculosis, lecture internationally about female contraceptives, study the regulation of cardiac metabolism following diabetes, optimize medication dosages for organ transplantation, and improve mental health outcomes through a better understanding of antipsychotics.

We are developing focused Graduate Training Programs that will allow MSc and PhD students to tailor their research and educational environments to suit their needs.

Research Facilities

We moved into the new Pharmacy building in 2012 which houses modern, modular labs designed specifically for the type of research intended for the space. Our classroom facilities has been fitted with the necessary technology to facilitate new modes of learning.

The Faculty houses a modern mass spectrometer facility of pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism studies and a Sequenom Mass-ARRAY system for genotyping and DNA methylation studies.

Application Notes

To be considered for admission to the Pharm Sci PhD program, we must receive your COMPLETE application by February 15th. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

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 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 February 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 February 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 February 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 22 February 2021

Funding Sources

All (domestic and international) students accepted into our PhD program can expect to be paid a minimum of $25,000 per year, provided they maintain their eligibility as a UBC graduate student. This comprises what we call a "guaranteed stipend" of $23,000, plus Graduate Support Initiative funding (provided to our MSc and PhD students who do not hold external funding), which is currently approximately $2,000 per year for the first four years of the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program. The stipend will be paid on a semi-monthly basis in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and/or a Graduate Research Assistantship.  Please be aware that due to the high cost of living, the guaranteed stipend most likely will not be enough, therefore, we strongly suggest students also plan to have their own personal funding in addition to the stipend.

 

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

48 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 42 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
University of British Columbia (5)
Roosevelt University (2)
University of Antwerp
University of Aberdeen
Memorial University of Newfoundland
University of Georgia
University of Alabama
University of California - Los Angeles
Dalhousie University
Simon Fraser University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (2)
DynaLIFE
STEMCELL Technologies
Ember Therapeutics
Roche
Walmart Pharmacy
Rexall
Pfizer Canada Inc.
Sanofi Pasteur
Ipsen Biopharmaceutical, Inc.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Scientist (3)
Manager (2)
Principal Scientist
Pharmacist
Clinical Chemist
Project Leader
Pharmacy Manager
Director
Medical Scientist
CNS Medical Affairs
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

Genomics and individualized therapy. Epidemiology. Nanomedicine. Pharmacology. A PhD in pharmaceutical sciences is the entry point to countless fields of research and teaching. Graduates of UBC Pharm Sci have gone on to fine-tune treatments for diseases like tuberculosis, lecture internationally about female contraceptives, study the regulation of cardiac metabolism following diabetes, optimize medication dosages for organ transplantation, and improve mental health outcomes through a better understanding of antipsychotics.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications4451463230
Offers65853
New registrations65741
Total enrolment3735393635

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 87.5% based on 16 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 15 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 2.66 years and the maximum time is 6.66 years with an average of 5.02 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: 10 March 2020]. 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: 27 October 2019].

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.

  • Burt, Helen Mary (Nanotechnology, non-sized drug carriers, nanoparticulte drug delivery)
  • Cairns, Brian (Neuropharmacology, Oro-Facial Pain, Pain, Electrophysiology, pain mechanisms, headache, temporomandibular disorders, sex-related differences, peripheral analgesics)
  • Chang, Thomas (Drug Metabolism, Pharmacology, Nuclear Receptor, Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes, Cytochrome P450, Gene Expression, Gene regulation)
  • Collier, Abby (Drugs in children, Drugs in pregnancy, Developmental pharmacology, Drug metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, primarily of the phase II (conjugation) enzymes, focused on pregnancy and pediatrics)
  • Conklin, Annalijn (Chronic Diseases in Elderly, Gender Epidemiology, Health Policies, Professional Practices, Obesity, Social Determinants of Dietary and Metabolic Disorders, Community Health / Public Health, healthy ageing, social nutritional epidemiology, obesity & CVD risk factors, food and nutrition policy, Indigenous health, gender and health equity, healthcare quality improvement, disease management evaluation)
  • Coughtrie, Michael (Drug metabolizing enzymes)
  • De Vera, Mary (examining how eHealth technologies can support new and existing models of care to improve care delivery and patient outcomes; exploring patients' perspectives and experiences with medication taking and adherence; and evaluating the use and impacts of medications among pregnant women, particularly with inflammatory conditions.)
  • Frankel, Adam (Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Bioactive Molecules, Organic Molecules and Biomolecules, Proteins, Protein Biochemistry, arginine methylation, post-translational modifications, drug discovery, yeast, autophagy, Chemical Biology)
  • Giaever, Guri (Model organisms, human therapeutics, high-throughput cell biology, drug synergy, technologies for understanding relationship between chromatic structure and transcriptional regulation)
  • Hafeli, Urs (Pharmacokinetics, Imaging, Radiotherapy, Immunotherapy, Development of Drug Delivery Systems, Radiopharmaceuticals, Radioimmunotherapy, Magnetic Targeting, Targeted Drug Delivery, Novel polymers, Nanoparticles, Microspheres, Microneedles, Bioconjugates)
  • Harrison, Mark (measurement and valuation of health, health technology and policy assessment, and preferences for healthcare interventions; evaluation/re-evaluation of the type of health care that is provided, the point in the treatment pathway, and the way in which it is delivered)
  • Hedtrich, Sarah (Nanotechnologies, Structural Tissue Engineering / Biomaterials, Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases, Skin, Novel therapies for inflammatory and genetic diseases of human epithelia, Tissue Regeneration and Wound Healing, Topical drug delivery and Nanomedicine, New Biomedical Approaches - Alternatives to Animal Testing)
  • Jarvis-Selinger, Sandra Ann (Education, human learning, development, and instruction, education innovation, konwledge translation, teaching excellence, curriculum design, technology)
  • Karim, Ehsan (Epidemiology, Pharmacoepidemiology, Statistics and Probabilities, Data mining, Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference, Community Health / Public Health, Model Building, Computer Science and Statistics, Causal inference, Biostatistics, Statistics, Machine Learning, data science, Survey sampling)
  • Kumar, Ujendra (Somatostatin hormone, molecular pharmacology, Somatostatin, , Hormones, somatostatin, locomotor and cognitive function, neurodegenerative diseases, drugs)
  • Lalji, Fawziah (Pharmacoepidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Vaccination, Antibiotics and Resistance, Tuberculosis)
  • Li, Shyh-dar (drug delivery, pharmaceutics, nanomedicine, biopharmaceutics)
  • Loewen, Peter (Cardiovascular Diseases, Arrhythmia, Thrombosis and Embolism, Heart Failure, Pharmacoepidemiology, Stroke, Health Care Technologies, Professional Practices, Hematology, Decision Making, atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention therapy, adherence to medication, Shared decision-making, pharmacy practice, knowledge translation of evidence to patient care, patient education, clinical prediction rules, prediction of stroke and bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients, patient decision aids, patient complexiometry, healthcare communication technologies, use of mobile technology for clinical decision-making, hospital pharmacy practice, quality of care, quality drug therapy)
  • Lynd, Larry (health economics, orphan drugs, pharmaceutical policy, respiratory medicine, epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, rare diseases )
  • McCormack, James (Knowledge translation and evidence-based practice)
  • Nislow, Corey (genomics and develops biotechnology tools to address both fundamental and applied biological questions; Parallel genome-wide chemical genomic screens; High throughput cell-based screens; Next Generation Sequencing)
  • Page, Brent (Cell Signaling and Cancer, drug discovery, Drug development, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Cancer, Target Engagement, Cell signaling)
  • Rodrigues, Brian (Diabetes, Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, Energy Metabolism, Cardiovascular metabolism, Endothelial cell - cardiomyocyte crosstalk, Vascular Endothelial Growth factors)
  • Ross, Colin (Biomedical Technologies, Gene Therapy, Drug Metabolism, Transgenic Model, Pharmacogenomics, Gene-based therapeutics, Precision Medicine)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Maryam Zamiri
    "Current HIV treatment can effectively manage infection, but it is not a cure. Hence, there is a need for new kinds of anti-HIV drugs. Dr. Zamiri discovered two anti-HIV molecules active in both wild and drug resistant HIV strains. Her research suggests a mechanism of action different from the current HIV drugs and may inform future therapies." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Nelson Gorrin
    "Dr. Gorrin constructed a model based on his conversations with people with asthma and measured how participants in two asthma studies reported their medication usage. The integration of his findings helped to understand why some people don't take the medication and how to encourage regular medication usage." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Dana Marie Lambert
    "Dr. Lambert investigated causes of pain in fibromyalgia and determined that specialized immune cells in the brain may play a critical role. She also created two novel molecules which act on the endocannabinoid system to reduce the pain-causing actions of these immune cells. Her work may form the basis of a new therapeutic strategy for chronic pain." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Ana Koperniku
    "Drug discovery can be lengthy, complicated and requires extensive resources. Working in partnership with the pharmacy and chemistry departments, Dr. Koperniku explored access to pharmaceutically relevant small molecules. Her work advances the optimization of pharmaceuticals and informs improved patient care. Her past and future dedication is to serve humanity." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Jialin Xu
    "Aberrant telomere length maintenance can lead to premature aging disorders. Dr. Xu studied genetic modifiers of telomere maintenance and revealed their contributions to the variable manifestations in telomere biology disorders. This study will help to build individualized models for the prediction of short telomere-associated disease presentations." (May 2019)

Sample Thesis Submissions

 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 February 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 February 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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