Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD)

Overview

The Department of Political Science offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs that are structured around five substantive fields: Canadian politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and U.S. Politics.

We offer in the range of 25 graduate seminar courses per year and ample support for mentoring grad students in their professional development, through research collaboration, workshops, and colloquia. We have the most successful doctoral graduates of any program in Canada, judged by our record of placing graduates in academic positions in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and elsewhere.

Quick Facts

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

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Program Enquiries

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

Meet a UBC representative

October Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 10 October 2019
Time: 15:00 to 16:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors 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.

Political Science Graduate Programs Online Info Session 2019

Webinar
Date: Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
Are you thinking of a graduate degree in Political Science? The Department of Political Science is hosting an information session for prospective students who are interested in entering our graduate cohort for September 2020. The online information session will cover information about our programs, course offerings, current faculty research, career outcomes, and admissions process. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the session. The following program faculty and staff will be in attendance: Faculty members Dr. Alan Jacobs and Dr. Katia Coleman, and Grad Program Coordinator Christopher Fernandez.

Research Information

Research Focus

Canadian Politics: federalism, the Canadian electoral system, the constitution, the courts, electoral reform, parliamentary institutions, political parties, Canadian public policy, Canadian political thought, voting behaviour
Comparative Politics: democratization and democratic institutions, state-society relations, comparative public policy, comparative political economy, constitutional design and comparative political institutions, executive politics, separation of powers, governance, non-governmental organizations, and immigration politics
International Relations: International Relations Theory, International Political Economy, International Security, International Law and Organization, International Norms, Human Security, the politics of international law, and global governance
Political Theory: democratic theory, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, feminism, multiculturalism, nationalism, identity politics, critical theory, history of political thought

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

92
22
25
22
23

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

GRE required?

Required by some applicants (check program website)

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 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
19 July 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
17 July 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 07 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2021

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

47 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 44 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
McMaster University (2)
University of Toronto (2)
University of Victoria (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland (2)
University of South Florida
University of Saint Andrews
Sophia University
Macquarie University
University of the Fraser Valley
Western University (Ontario)
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Asia Pacific Foundation on Canada
Government of Canada
Government of Manitoba
Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation
Supreme Court of Canada
United States Department of Defence
Through Conversation
Employment and Social Development Canada
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Senior Policy Analyst (2)
Program Manager
Judicial Clerk
Executive
Director, Oversight
Freelance Writer, researcher
Associate Dean
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$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$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. 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

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications100106636875
Offers121471718
New registrations2116118
Total enrolment5460607173

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 79.25% based on 53 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 42 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 4.66 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 6.78 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: 22 March 2019]. 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].

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.

  • Arneil, Barbara (Identity politics, history of political thought)
  • Baier, Gerald (Canadian politics, federalism, constitutional law, courts, federal-provincial relations, Constitution, federalism and public law in Canada)
  • Baum, Bruce (Political Culture, Society and Ideology, critical social theory, feminist theory, critical hermeneutics, issues of cross-cultural interpretation, American political thought and cultural politics, political theories of Mill and Marx, philosophy of political inquiry, liberal and democratic theory)
  • Byers, Michael (International Law, International Cooperation, international relations, international law, oceans, arctic, space, war)
  • Cameron, Maxwell (Political Regimes (Democracy, Monarchy, Federalism, Parliamentarism, etc.), Social Organization and Political Systems, Comparative Politics, Latin America, Democratization, Practical wisdom)
  • Chowdhury, Arjun (Failed states, intervention, civil war, autocrats, revolution. )
  • Coleman, Katharina Pichler (International organizations, international relations, international security/peace operations, interntional rules, noms and legitimacy, sun-Saharan Africa)
  • Coulthard, Glen (First Nations politics – national; political theory )
  • Cruz, Cesi (political economy, focusing on the interplay between electoral incentives and development outcomes in consolidating democracies. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods, social network analysis, surveys, and field experiments)
  • Cutler, Frederick (Canadian Politics, Political Parties, Elections, Public Opinion, Political Psychology, Research Methodology and Statistics, Contemporary Political and Democratic Theory, American Politics )
  • Dauvergne, Peter (Refugee law, Immigration law, citizenship law, Global governance and emerging powers, environmental politics, asian)
  • Ellermann, Antje (Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Migratory Flows, Public Policies, Identity and Transnationality, Role of Governments and Institutions, Migration and Citizenship, Comparative Public Policy)
  • Harrison, Kathryn (Canadian politics, environmental politics, environmental policy, climate change, global warming, climate change policy, Canadian public policy)
  • Huebner, Kurt (European integration; euro and global currency regimes; international trade and fdi; sustainability and innovation policies; global macroeconomics;European politics, Money and currency regimes, politics and economics of European integration as well as on contradictions and complementarities of sustainability and international competitiveness)
  • Jacobs, Alan Michael (Social Organization and Political Systems, political economy, public policy, public opinion, economic inequality, research methodology)
  • Janara, Laura (Language and symbolism especially in gendered and familial thinking, politcal theory)
  • Jeong, Gyung-Ho (Social Organization and Political Systems, US politics, Congress, Legislative Politics, Foreign Policy, Trade Policy, Immigration Policy, Public Choice)
  • Job, Brian (international relations of Asia Pacific countries, especially political/security matters; Canadian political/security interests and policies vis-a-vis Asia, International security, liu institute)
  • Johnston, Richard G (Party Systems, Immigration, Multiculturalism, Canada, United States, Postwar Germany, and Political communication)
  • Jurkevics, Anna (critical theory, democratic theory, and the history of German political thought)
  • Kam, Christopher (Nature and evolution of parliamentary democracy, historical development of institutions)
  • La Selva, Samuel (Political theory, legal philosophy)
  • Li, Xiaojun (international and comparative political economy with a focus on China; Does Conditionality Still Work? China)
  • Lightfoot, Sheryl (First Nations, international relations )

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Mendee Jargalsaikhan
    "Dr. Mendee studied the democratic developments of Mongolia and Kyrgyz Republic. He showed that the absence of geopolitical interests of great powers and presence of a strong political party are important for the democratization process. His research adds to our understanding of the politics of Asian small states." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Miriam Matejova
    "Dr. Matejova examined environmental disasters and their effects on nonviolent protest. She argues that uncertainty about disaster impacts plays a crucial role in the protest mobilization process. Her findings can be used to improve disaster communication practices, and open opportunities for resolution of social conflict." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Eric Merkley
    "Dr. Merkley examined critical limits of expert influence on public opinion. He showed that news media content rarely features relevant expert consensus and that some people are more likely to reject such consensus when exposed to populist rhetoric or cues from politicians. His work will aid efforts at science communication by journalists and experts." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Mohamed Khalfan Saleh Almehairbi
    "Dr. Almehairbi examined how the United Nations Secretariat uses their informal authority to persuade member states to award funds to specific departments. This study enables a more accurate understanding of the strategies of non-state actors within international organisations, as well as how and why international organisations expand over time." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Serbulent Turan
    "Dr. Turan asked why people obey political authorities even when obedience goes against their values or interests. By using a historical analysis, he argues that past authorities engineered the socio-political isolation of their subjects to break rebellious communities into obedient individuals. Current practices of obedience reflect this past." (November 2018)

Further Program Information

 

Apply Now

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

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
19 July 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
07 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
07 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
17 July 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
07 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
07 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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