Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a broad-based department with a wide range of research interests covering many key topics in contemporary physics, astronomy, and applied physics. We are a vibrant community that engages in a wide range of research directions, from probing the origin of the universe to exploring emergent phenomena in complex systems, that provide deep insights into the nature of the universe and practical solutions that will help define the world of tomorrow. Departmental research activities are supported by several computing and experimental facilities, and excellent electronics and machine shops.

Our graduate programs include approximately 200 graduate students, working on experiments and theory in research fields that include: Applied Physics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, Atomic/Molecular/Optics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter, Cosmology, Gravity, Medical Physics, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, and String Theory.

What makes the program unique?

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at UBC is noted for the excellence of its research and its high academic standards and integrity. It is one of the largest and most diverse physics and astronomy departments in Canada. We are constantly rated as one of the top Physics & Astronomy programs in the world. Much of the Department's research is enhanced by local facilities such as the TRIUMF National Laboratory, the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL), and the BC Cancer Agency, UBC, and associated teaching hospitals, in addition to many specialized research laboratories housed within the Department. There is a great deal of collaboration and overlap of interests among the various groups.

Each year, our faculty bring over $20 million in research grants. This enables us to maintain world-class research laboratories and computational facilities, attract distinguished post-doctorate researchers, and support highly skilled engineers and technicians whose expertise is critical to our research.

Quick Facts

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

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

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 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 15 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2018
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 15 April 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 April 2019

Funding Sources

Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in quantum materials may consider the QuEST program. Applicants who are interested in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization and application, and nanoscience instrumentation may consider the NanoMat program.

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

108 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 2 graduates are seeking employment; for 11 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 95 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 (7)
Simon Fraser University (2)
Goethe University Frankfurt
Stanford University
Queen Mary University of London
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Duke University
Washington University in St Louis
Beijing Normal University
Harvard University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC Cancer Agency (8)
United States Department of Energy (3)
1QB Information Technologies (1QBit) (2)
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (2)
MTT Innovation Inc. (2)
Google (2)
Coanda Research and Development Corporation (2)
FINCAD (2)
Bayer (2)
Ottawa Hospital
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Medical Physicist (10)
Data Scientist (2)
Research Scientist (2)
Engineer (2)
Director (2)
Software Engineer (2)
Staff Scientist (2)
Senior Strategy Consultant
Product Engineer
Chief Executive Officer
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.

Alumni on Success

Michael Hoff

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Employer
University of Washington

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (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
Applications97881189074
Offers2213182120
New registrations1412121814
Total enrolment108114120131130

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.56% based on 64 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 61 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 5.69 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: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 - 12:30pm - Room 203

Jeff Maki
Scale Symmetry and the Non-Equilibrium Quantum Dynamics of Ultra-Cold Atomic Gases

Thursday, 11 April 2019 - 9:00am - Room 203

Saul Cuen-Rochin
Precise Measurement of Rare Pion Decay

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.

  • Affleck, Ian Keith (Condensed matter theory, quantum magnetism, quantum impurities, high-Tc superconductivity, low dimensional magnetism, quantum wires and dots, high energy theory, impurities in metals)
  • Berciu, Mona (condensed matter theory, strongly correlated systems, polarons, bipolarons)
  • Boley, Aaron (Astronomy and Astrophysics; Planet formation, protoplanetary disk evolution, formation of meteorite parent bodies)
  • Bonn, Douglas Andrew (Condensed matter, high temperature superconductors, microwave measurements, crystal growth)
  • Bryman, Douglas (Science and Knowledge, Experimental Particle Physics, Applied physics, Physics)
  • Burke, Sarah (Scanning probe microscopy, organic materials, nanoscale materials, surface physics, photovoltaics )
  • Choptuik, Matthew (Theoretical physics, Relativity/Computational Physics )
  • Damascelli, Andrea (Electronic structure of solids, strongly correlated electron systems, low dimensional spin systems, thin films and nanostructures, transition metal oxides, high-Tc superconductors, linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopies, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron based spectroscopies., Electronic structure of novel complex systems in nanostructured materials)
  • Folk, Joshua (Quantum devices, Majorana fermions , Strongly correlated electronics, Topological phenomena, Fractional quantum Hall effect, Vanderwaals heterostructures)
  • Franz, Marcel (Condensed matter theory )
  • Gay, Colin (Experimental subatomic physics, Beyond Standard Model physics, Extra dimensions)
  • Gladman, Brett (Astronomy, Planetary Science, meteorites, astrobiology, Solar system formation and evolution)
  • Halpern, Mark (Cosmology, Cosmic background radiation, history of star formation, measuring the geometry and contents of the Universe, satellites, balloon-borne telescopes, the physics of music, Physics of music, Cosmic Microwave Background, Physical Cosmology, Star formation history)
  • Hansen, Carl (Single-Cell Analysis, Molecular Diagnostics, genomics)
  • Hasinoff, Michael (Low-energy particle physics)
  • Hearty, Christopher (Subatomic physics, Experimental Particle Physics Research)
  • Heyl, Jeremy (Quantum Phenomena, Stellar, Astrophysics, Stellar Physics, Quantum-Field Theory)
  • Hickson, Paul (cosmology, galaxies, telescopes, adaptive optics., Astronomy, astrophysics, Galaxies, clusters, instrumentation, adaptive optics)
  • Hinshaw, Gary (cosmology, cosmic background radiation, Cosmology, Measuring diffuse background radiations)
  • Jones, David (Atomic, optical and molecular physics,Ultrafast Optics, Spectroscopy)
  • Karczmarek, Joanna (String theory, Matrix models, Emergent spacetime and gravity, Noncommutative geometry)
  • Kiefl, Robert (Quantum Phenomena, condensed matter physics)
  • Kruecken, Reiner (Elementary Particles, Universe Structure, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Astrophysics, Neutrino Physics)
  • Lister, Alison (Elementary Particles, Large Hadron Collier (LHC), ATLAS experiment, Search for physics beyond the standard model, top quarks, Dark Matter, Detector development)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Qingdi Wang
    "Dr. Wang studied one of nature's great puzzles: what is dark energy which causes the accelerating expansion of our Universe? He proposed that dark energy is the vacuum energy of quantum fields, which curve the spacetime in a particular way to drive the accelerating expansion of the Universe. This work is a crucial step towards a theory of everything." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Gene Polovy
    "Dr. Polovy presented the creation, using a specialized sequence of laser pulses, and preliminary lifetime measurements of Lithium-6 molecules that are 1,000,000 times colder than outer space, in several quantum configurations." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Shadi Balandeh
    "Dr. Balandeh developed a routine to grow high-quality single crystals of barium bismuth oxide and studied their electronic structure with x-ray spectroscopy measurements and theoretical calculations. Barium bismuth oxide family exhibits interesting physical properties including superconductivity. This research showed it is predominantly the oxygen that dictates these interesting physical and electronic behaviors." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Laurent Chaurette
    "Dr. Chaurette studied the infrared sector of quantum field theories. He uncovered a long-time process for the decoherence of charged particles. This research impacts the long-standing black hole information paradox." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Dagoberto Contreras
    "Dr. Contreras investigated claims of a hemispheric asymmetry of power in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), showing some models can be ruled out with the current data, but very sensitive polarization data are required for many others. He also showed that the CMB is consistent with no parity violation at the tightest precision available with current data." (November 2018)
 
 

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018
 

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.