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.

Information on research areas offered in the department, as well as admissinos-related information, can be found on the department website. Read the department program webstie carefully before contacting the department with specific questions that are not addressed on the website.

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.

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

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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

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.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Yes

GRE required?

Required by all applicants

Prior degree requirements

A thesis-based MA or MSc in Psychology is required for applicants applying for the PhD program.

Other Requirements

The GRE general test is required for all applicants; teh GRE subject test is recommended but not required.

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

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 02 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020

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.  Refer to our website at https://www.psych.ubc.ca/graduate/funding/ for additional information on funding opportunities.

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$1,665.26$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
Applications89120729279
Offers1620102713
New registrations1519102713
Total enrolment8581798471

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: 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Monday, 4 November 2019 - 9:00am - Room 200

Trish (Patricia L) Varao Sousa
Measurement of Mind Wandering in Natural and Unnatural Settings

Thursday, 12 December 2019 - 12:30pm - 2563, Douglas T. Kenny Building, 2136 West Mall

Julia Winter Van de Vondervoort
Young Children's Social and Moral Evaluations of Third-Party Helpers and Hinderers

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 (Social Determinants of Health, 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 (Cognition, Sensation and Perception, 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 (Hormones and Growth Factors, Depression, Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis, Cognition, Postpartum Depression, Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding, Aging Process, Alzheimer's Disease, Learning and Memory, 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 (Cognitive Development, Moral Judgement and Duty or Obligation Morals, Infant / Child Development, Foundations of Religious, Mystical, Mythical and Moral Thoughts, 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 (Aging Process, Social Aspects of Aging, Stress, Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health, Health and well-being across the adult lifespan and into old age, individual differences in goals)
  • 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.)
  • Lehman, Darrin (East-west differences, stressful life experiences)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Samuel Peter Rumak
    "Dr. Rumak studied auditory brain processes in recreational cannabis users. He found that cannabis users had slower attentional processing under difficult task conditions. He also found that cannabis users had superior working memory performance. This research suggests that the lasting effects of cannabis use are more nuanced than previously assumed." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Sophie Nicole Lanthier
    "Dr. Lanthier studied how people use a speaker's eye gaze, hand gestures, and vocal signals to infer, tune out or be attentive to what a speaker says. This knowledge will aid in the design of more effective learning environments, and will help us to develop a better understanding of human communication and social interaction." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Anita Sarah Hibbert
    "Dr. Hibbert examined how current mood state impacts ratings of self-reported personality traits. Her findings help clarify the interplay of emotion and self-perceptions, and increase confidence in the use of self-report measures of personality across varying affective contexts." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Antonya Marie Gonzalez
    "Dr. Gonzalez examined the development of race attitudes and gender stereotypes. She found that biases can affect children's behaviour as early as preschool but negative bias can be reduced through counter-stereotypical examples. Her research presents a strong case for developing bias interventions as early as possible." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Michael Macfarlane Barrus
    "Dr. Barrus examined gambling behaviour. His work demonstrated that gambling cues such as flashing lights cause rats to make risky choices, and that gambling and normal decision-making rely on different networks of brain regions and brain chemicals. This research helps us to understand why gambling becomes addictive for some people." (May 2019)

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
01 September 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2019
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2019

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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