Overview

Psychology is a diverse discipline that attempts to understand the basis of behaviour, thoughts and emotions. Psychology at UBC was introduced as a single course in 1915 and was initially offered by the Department of Philosophy. Over the years, the number of courses and instructors grew until we officially became the Department of Psychology in 1958.

What makes the program unique?

UBC’s Department of Psychology is a top ranked research department in Canada and in the world. Our 58 faculty members and 132 full-time graduate students and postdoctoral fellows conduct research across the spectrum of psychology, representing seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.

We have a thriving undergraduate program, with over 1800 students working toward their BA degree and over 130 studying for their BSc degree.

The strength of our graduate programs lie in the highly productive research faculty, well-organized programs of study, extensive opportunities for student-faculty interaction, and rich offering of research specializations. Our faculty are well known for their research expertise in happiness, language acquisition, gambling, child development, gender roles, environmental behaviour, neuroscience, and many other areas of psychology. Our research programs are well funded by major national granting agencies, and our faculty are committed to research excellence and interdisciplinary collaborations within UBC’s Faculties of Medicine, Science and Arts, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and many other institutions around the world.

Quick Facts

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

Video

Research Information

Research Focus

We offer research-intensive graduate studies in seven sub-disciplinary specializations: Behavioural Neuroscience, Clinical, Cognitive Science, Developmental, Health, Quantitative Methods, and Social/Personality.

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

Criminal Record Check

Students going into Clinical Psychology will require a criminal record check.

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

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
01 September 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2019
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2019

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

112 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 106 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 (9)
Simon Fraser University (5)
Concordia University (2)
Washington State University (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland (2)
Sheridan College (2)
McGill University (2)
University of Sydney
University of Saskatchewan
Saint Louis University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
BC Children's Hospital (3)
Vancouver Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Centre (2)
Leap Clinic (2)
Cognitive and Interpersonal Therapy Centre
Colorado Department of Education
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Central & Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust
Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services
Vancouver Coastal Health
Fraser Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Psychologist (17)
Registered Psychologist (3)
Clinical Psychologist (2)
Research Associate (2)
Senior Research Manager
Therapist
Psychometrician
Psychologist, Clinician Scientist, Assistant Professor
Neuropsychologist
Psychologist/Clinic Director
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

The PhD in Psychology is designed to prepare students for employment in academic or private sector settings. Recent graduates have taken positions as a public policy quantitative analyst, tenure track faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, research scientist, and practicing clinical psychologist.

Alumni on Success

Kristina Uban

Job Title
Post Doctoral Researcher
Employer
Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Justin Park

Job Title
Senior Teaching Fellow
Employer
University of Bristol

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
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)$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
Applications12072927984
Offers2010271315
New registrations1910271314
Total enrolment8179847168

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 87.04% based on 54 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 52 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 2.99 years and the maximum time is 9.00 years with an average of 4.97 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].

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.

  • Alden, Lynn (Cognitive processes in the anxiety disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder, adult-onset Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, cognitive-behavior therapy)
  • Baron, Andrew (cognitive development, infancy, childhood, adolescence, racism, race, stereotypes, cooperation, bias, innateness, science education, multiculturalism, gender, ethnicity, neuromarketing, attitudes, preferences, psychology )
  • Biesanz, Jeremy (personality, Personality, interpersonal perception, accuracy, personality coherence, quantitative methods)
  • Birch, Susan (Social perspective taking, social learning, social cognition, imitation, nonverbal behavior, confidence, communication, decision-making, impression formation, child development My primary area of expertise is the study of children and adults’ social perspective taking abilities (i.e., their abilities to reason about other peoples’ mental states–their intentions, knowledge, and beliefs) and how their abilities to take another person’s perspective impacts how they form impressions of others, learn from others, communicate with others, and informs a range of socials. Of particular interest is a) how children make inferences about what is credible information to learn (e.g., how they decide whether someone is a credible source of information based on how confident that person seems) and b) how a widespread bias in perspective taking referred to as ‘the curse of knowledge bias’ (a difficulty reasoning about a more naive perspective as the result of being biased by one’s current knowledge) can impair communication (both written and in person) and decision-making across a range of fields (politics, law, education, economics, medicine, etc.)., Development of language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children)
  • Chen, Frances (social behaviour, relationships, social support, stress, coping, conflict and negotiation, social neuroscience, neurobiology, neuroendocrinology. )
  • Christoff, Kalina (brain, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, prefronal cortex, fMRI, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, executive functions, problem solving, reasoning, thinking, mind-wandering, attention, consciousness, real-time fMRI, trauma and PTSD, Cognitive and neural basis of human thought, reasoning and problem solving)
  • Clark, Luke (Gambling, Problem Gambling, Addiction, Decision-Making, Reward, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms involved in gambling behaviour and disordered gambling)
  • De Longis, Anita (Health psychology, stress, coping, social support, couples, marriage, families, chronic illness, Health)
  • Dunn, Elizabeth (Happiness, money and spending decisions, self-knowledge)
  • Eich, Eric (Mood congruence and mood dependence in learning and remembering, memory impairments associated with bipolar affective illness, the cognitive correlates of dissociative identity disorder, and subjective, behavioral, and neural differences between field (first-person perspective) and observer (third-person perspective) memories)
  • Enns, James (attention, action kinematics, social perception)
  • Floresco, Stanley Bogdan (Neural circuits subserving learning and executive functions, behavioural and electrophysiological analyses of limbic-cortical-striatal interactions involved in decision making and behavioural flexibility, animal models of schizophrenia and drug addiction)
  • Galea, Liisa Ann Margaret (hippocampus, sex differences, neuroplasticity, estrogens, women's health)
  • Graf, Peter (Memory, Prospective memory, Morality of Memory, Memory and Aging, Cognitive changes across the lifespan, Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive, Alzheimer's)
  • Hall, David Geoffrey (Lexical and conceptual development, semantic development, language acquisition)
  • Hamlin, Kiley (Infant moral cognition, infant social cognition)
  • Handy, Todd (aging and cognition, aging and exercise, cognitive neuroscience, attention, migraine, fMRI, Cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, attention and its impairment in clinical populations, mind wandering, and real-world human behaviour)
  • Heine, Steven (Culture and human nature in psychology, culture, how people strive to maintain a sense of meaning in their lives when they encounter anomalies which they are unable to make any sense of, how people understand essences and genetic foundations for human behavior )
  • Hewitt, Paul (perfectionism, Therapy Perfectionism, personality vulnerability, depression, suicide in adults and children)
  • Hoppmann, Christiane (Health and well-being across the adult lifespan and into old age, individual differences in goals)
  • Johnston, Charlotte (Family and parenting issues issues that arise in families with members who have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & others)
  • Kingstone, Alan (Human cognition and social attention in complex settings behavioral, neuropsychological, and functional neuroimaging research)
  • Klonsky, Elisha (Suicide, emotion, self-injury, impulsivity, borderline personality, clinical assessment, integration of psychological science and practice.)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Erin Evelyn Buckels
    "Dr. Buckels' research explored the psychology of subclinical, everyday sadism. She developed a self-report questionnaire that predicts cruel behaviours such as online trolling, deficits in interpersonal accuracy, and callous judgments about harm and suffering. This research challenges assumptions that sadism is always sexual or criminal in nature." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Janet Kaldas
    "Dr. Kaldas studied perfectionism in patients. She examined how the need to appear perfect impacted patients' interpersonal relations and the process of group psychotherapy. This work can help inform clinicians on how to better attend to and address perfectionistic patients, allowing them to benefit more from psychotherapy." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Sabrina Chia-Hsuan Chang
    "Dr. Chang examined the role of culture in human sexuality. Her research highlighted sexual diversity of minority groups previously assumed to be homogeneous. Findings revealed that mechanisms protecting relationships from infidelity differ between individualistic and collectivist cultures, and demonstrated that unconscious attitudes predict sexual behavior." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Nicolas Bedo
    "Dr. Bedo studied cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on how children's brains develop the ability to read. His research examined how brain networks coordinate to make reading happen and how this differs in kids who struggle with reading. His research offers insights into how reading programs affect brain development and how this training can be improved." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Thomas Wiens
    "Dr. Wiens examined how psychologists can assess management-level job candidates for problematic personality traits and help organizations predict job performance. He also showed how such problematic traits can hinder manager's workplace relationships and disrupt their leadership effectiveness." (November 2018)

Further Program Information

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-UY
 
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2019
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2019

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

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