Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy (PhD)

Overview

The UBC PhD in Philosophy enables students who show exceptional intellectual promise to complete their academic training, and to embark on their own careers of philosophical research.

During their first two to three years in the program all students take courses that provide them with expertise in a broad range of philosophical topics, including value theory, the history of philosophy, and the core areas of metaphysics and epistemology. They also receive training in whatever formal research methods might be necessary for their work. Students who successfully complete the department's comprehensive examination then go on to write a dissertation, working under the supervision of a committee of faculty members, in which their own philosophical ideas are presented and explained.

Students also get the opportunity to gain experience of teaching philosophy, through work as teaching assistants in a broad range of courses.

What makes the program unique?

Students in the UBC Department of Philosophy's doctoral programme work closely with the department's faculty, and so benefit fully from our internationally recognized expertise in a unique range of philosophical fields. The department has a supportive, collegial, and philosophically inspiring culture.  Students have a range of opportunities to participate fully in its intellectual life. They are also encouraged to participate in the broader community of philosophers, with several sources of funding being available that enable students to present their research at international academic conferences.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Philosophy
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Meet a UBC representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Monday, 25 June 2018
Time: 16:00 to 17:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors Samuel Adenyanju (MSc Forestry, Nigeria), Federico Andrade (PhD Public Health, Colombia), Maria Angélica Guerrero (MA Educational Studies, Colombia), Xining (Linda) Yang (PhD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, China) and Dorine Akwiri (Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Kenya) who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

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

20 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 18 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 (3)
University of Ottawa (2)
Auburn University
Western University (Ontario)
Boston University
Queen's University Belfast
Douglas College
Florida State University
Fraser International College
Tokyo University of Agriculture
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
SAP (2)
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Specialist, Inbound Customer Engagement
Specialist, Inbound Customer Support
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

Graduates from UBC's Philosophy PhD program have taken academic posts in philosophy, and in related disciplines, at research universities around the world. They also have a broad range of research skills, which make them attractive to employers in a range of fields, especially in those relating to media and the arts.

Alumni on Success

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
Applications10889688575
Offers66568
New registrations35233
Total enrolment2625232328

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 81.25% based on 16 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 13 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 7.01 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.

  • Anderson, Scott Allen (intersection of ethics and social and political philosophy, largely focused on how to use and regulate power, coercion, and social norms; action theory and moral psychology, privacy, and problems related to the intensification of technology and information.)
  • Aydede, Murat (Philosophy of mind)
  • Ballarin, Roberta (Philosophical logic, nature and sources of necessity)
  • Bartha, Paul (logic; probability; analogical reasoning, Philosophy of science, decision theory)
  • Beatty, John Henry (Socio-political dimensions of genetics and evolutionary biology)
  • Bedke, Matthew (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Foundations of Ethics, Social Organization and Political Systems, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, metaethics, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law, epistemology)
  • Berryman, Sylvia (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Ancient Greek natural philosophy, Aristotle's ethics, ethics and global poverty)
  • Griffin, Michael (Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic )
  • Ichikawa, Jonathan (epistemology; philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophical methodology (including experimental philosophy), cognitive science, and metaphysics, especially but not)
  • Jenkins, Carrie (epistemology and metaphysics)
  • Lopes, Dominic (Aesthetics)
  • Margolis, Eric (Philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, developmental origins of human conceptual system, relationship between language and thought, exaplanation of distinctively human cognition)
  • Mole, Christopher (Philosophical issues that arise from the attempt to understand the mind scientifically, aesthetics of literature )
  • Richardson, Alan Walter (History of philosophy of science in early twentieth century)
  • Russell, Joseph Paul (Free will, contemporary compatibilism, optimism-pessimism contrast)
  • Schabas, Margaret (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, History and Philosophy of Economics)
  • Simchen, Ori (Philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of law )
  • Stephens, Christopher (philosophy of biology, philosophy of science, rationality, Why be rational?, scientific philosophy)
  • Thompson, Evan (Philosophical Foundations, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Theories and Philosophies, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Phenomenology, Asian Philosophies)
  • Wylie, Alison (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, philosophy of science, philosophy of the social and historial sciences, feminist philosophy, philosophy of archaeology, research ethics (non-medical), science studies)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Garson Leder
    "Dr. Leder developed a novel skill-based, naturalist theory of mental health." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Jiwon Byun
    "Dr. Byun examined the philosophical origin of agnosticism by analyzing underappreciated works of the inventor of the word "agnostic." Thomas Huxley, also known as "Darwin's bulldog," proposed agnosticism as a guide to knowledge. This research shows that it is not a passive, wishy-washy stance, but a constructive, confident position on evidence." (November 2017)
  • Dr. Stefan Hermann Lukits
    "When someone is unsure about the truth of a statement, they may have a partial belief; for example the belief that the probability of rain tomorrow is three out of ten. Dr. Lukits defended the claim that rational agents update their partial beliefs by ensuring that they respect evidence without gaining more information from it than necessary." (November 2016)
  • Dr. Christopher Forbes French
    "Dr. French investigated how the philosopher Rudolf Carnap understood logic as a kind of conceptual technology. The result is philosophy as conceptual engineering: scientific concepts can be designed and constructed to satisfy the pragmatic demands of scientists. His work has implications for how to view the conceptual foundations of the sciences." (November 2015)
  • Dr. C. Tyler DesRoches
    "Dr. DesRoches explored the concept of natural capital. Economists who embrace natural capital no longer view nature as storehouse of inert materials, but rather as a collection of active production processes that are furnished by nature for free. Nature is depicted as a garden containing objects purposefully arranged by humans to serve their own needs." (May 2015)

Further Program Information

 
 

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
08 January 2019
International Applicant Deadline
08 January 2019

Program Information

Application Enquiries

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.