Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The Deptment of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics has a long-standing reputation of excellence in the field of drug research that goes back to 1951.  Facult members in the Department are engaged in researh in areas of neural, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and clinical pharmacology, pharmacoepidemiology, acute and chronic pain management, cardio-pulmonary sciences, clinical outcomes and patient safety, equity in medicine, evidence-based medicine and knowledge translation, intensive care, transplant and transfusion medicine, neurosciences and anesthesiology, obstetric anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, perioperative technology and integration, pharmacoepidemiology, regional anesthesiology, as well as drug development.  Exceptional students with an undergraduate degree may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program.  Some students do a combined M.D./Ph.D. program for which a separate admission into the M.D. program, by the Faculty of Medicine, is required.  Students pursuing a Ph.D. will have the opportunity to interact with basic as well as clinical scientists.

What makes the program unique?

The shared research interests in anesthesiology, pharmacology, drug development and therapeutics allow students to gain broad-based exposure to fundamental as well as medically-related aspects of drug research. Research projects in the department are funded by operating grants from CIHR, NSERC, The Heart Foundation, etc. In addition, many of our students receive the highly competitive CIHR and NSRC studentship awards.

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If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

22

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 July 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 September 2024
Referee Deadline: 01 September 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 September 2024
Referee Deadline: 01 September 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2025
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2025
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 October 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 January 2025
Referee Deadline: 01 January 2025

July 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 31 January 2025
Transcript Deadline: 01 May 2025
Referee Deadline: 01 May 2025
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 28 February 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 April 2025
Referee Deadline: 01 April 2025

3) Prepare Application

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.

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

As the PCTH PhD program is research-based, students will need to find a faculty member who will supervise their research project.  As faculty can supervise a limited number of students, we strongly encourage students to contact and confirm a supervisor before submitting their application.

 

Citizenship Verification

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

4) Apply Online

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

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 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 $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 6 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $31,515.
  • 6 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 6 students was $20,226.
  • 6 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 6 students was $5,456.
  • 2 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 2 students was $17,500.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

23 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 19 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)
University of Calgary
Cardiff University
Simon Fraser University
Cairo University
University of Saskatchewan
Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia
University of California - San Francisco
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Cannevert
Cedars-Sinai
Everest Clinical Research Services, Inc.
Health Canada
Gilead Sciences
Pharmasave
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Senior Scientist
Consultant
Associate Director
Scientific Evaluator
Senior Manager
Pharmacy Manager
Postdoctoral Fellow
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

Those with a Ph.D. join the academia, drug control agencies in government and pharmaceutical industry or start their own drug development and consultancy units. 

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

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

ENROLMENT DATA

 20232022202120202019
Applications1925161813
Offers22221
New Registrations22221
Total Enrolment107877

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 93% based on 14 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 13 graduating students from the 2011 - 2014 admissions cohort the minimum time to completion is 3.07 years and the maximum time is 7.53 years with an average of 5.94 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

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

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

As the PCTH PhD program is research-based, students will need to find a faculty member who will supervise their research project.  As faculty can supervise a limited number of students, we strongly encourage students to contact and confirm a supervisor before submitting their application.

 

 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2015 Dr. Leung showed the new functional roles of two proteins, myoferlin and dysferlin, in normal lungs and in lung cancer. She found that myoferlin plays an important role in the growth and metastasis of lung cancer. Her work identifies the necessity of targeting myoferlin, to prevent the development of lung cancer and prolong the lifespan of patients.
2015 Dr. Sharma conducted research into blood vessels in UBC's Department of Pharmacology. She investigated the protective effects of a novel protein that improves blood vessel function and reduces atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in the blood vessels. Her findings suggest an alternate treatment strategy for cardiovascular disease.
2015 Dr. Leung's research focused on cardiovascular complications of diabetes. She investigated potential factors that influence contractile functions of the heart and blood vessels in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Her results provide important insights on how specific drugs can improve cardiovascular performance in the diabetic population.
2014 Dr. Wong studied the blood pressure lowering effects of beta blockers, which are used to treat chest pain. He showed that different sub-types of beta blockers lower blood pressure by different amounts and generally have no effect on pulse pressure. His research provides new information to assist physicians and patients in clinical decision-making.
2013 Dr. Whitehead evaluated a new class of painkillers. These peripheral analgesic drugs block pain at the site of origin, and do not cause patients to become sedated. . This new analgesic class is expected to have tremendous benefit for treatment of arthritis and neuropathic pain.
2013 Dr. Boyda investigated the side-effects of anti-psychotic medication and determined an underlying rationale for how these diabetic-like side-effects occur. Her research may aid psychiatrists to make more informed decisions regarding treatment and monitoring strategies, and offer patients better understanding of the medications they are taking.
2013 Dr. Rivera's work focussed on treatments for chronic pain. He examined the pharmacological properties of local anesthetics on pain sensors. Using various methods, he established a model for the regulation of the sensors by these pain blocking compounds. His work provides a foundation for new approaches to selectively target and treat chronic pain.
2012 The rhythmic beat of the heart relies on electrical signals. Dr. Sarhan studied ways in which a specific electrical signal is regulated when it is conducted along pathways known as sodium channels. Through his research he uncovered a new pathway which was found to be disrupted in patients with cardiac arrhythmia, and this confirms its physiological relevance.
2012 Dr. Fisher used British Columbian health databases to compare how long patients with rheumatoid arthritis are treated with drugs from a new group: biologic anti-inflammatory drugs. She studied ways in which patient and physician characteristics and study design influenced treatment duration. Her findings contribute to the body of research on rheumatoid arthritis.
2012 Dr. Bai investigated diesel exhaust and cardiovascular disease to extend our understanding of how particulate matter air pollution causes increased risk for heart attack. She found that exposure to diesel exhaust causes progression of atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries and lead to heart attacks.

Pages

Further Information

Specialization

Pharmacology offers training in cardiovascular pharmacology, neuropharmacology, viral pharmacology, free radical biology, and drug development. Additional training programs exist in therapeutics, evidence-based medicine, and clinical investigation which reflecting the close association between the disciplines of anesthesiology, pharmacology, and therapeutics.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-TL
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 July 2024
International Applicant Deadline
30 June 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2024
International Applicant Deadline
31 October 2024

July 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 April 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
31 January 2025
International Applicant Deadline
28 February 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

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

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