Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work (PhD)
The PhD in Social Work at UBC is a research degree. Built around a small number of common courses, the program draws on the diverse range of courses available across the campus to advance the student's individualized plan of study. Part-time Doctoral Classification is available for domestic students.
What makes the program unique?
Our students come from around the world and are supervised by faculty with expertise in their particular field of study. No student is admitted without the commitment of a designated supervisor.
Meet a UBC representative
October Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadorswebinar
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.
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
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 Date01 August 2019
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.
8 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 7 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 EducationLangara College (2)
Mount Royal University
University of Northern British Columbia
Vancouver Island University
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationProvincial Health Services Authority
Providence Health Care
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationSocial Worker
Practice Leader for Social Work
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese 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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|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)|
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.
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.
Charles, Grant (Psychosocial oncology, intellectual disabilities, family interventions and at risk youth)
Kruk, Edward Andrew (Family and Child Services, Social Determinants of Child and Youth Development, Family, Drug Abuse, child and family policy and practice, family mediation, co-parenting after divorce, addiction)
Marshall, Sheila (Life Cycles ( Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, etc.), Parent-Child Relationships, adolescent social identity, parent-adolescent interactions, adolescent well-being)
O'Connor, Deborah (family support to frail or mentally impaired seniors; formal support services, Dementia, the interface between living with dementia, family care, and the use of formal support services)
Riano-Alcala, Pilar (Lived experience of violence, Historical Memory and the politics of commemoration and witnessing, Forced migration (internal displacement and refuge), Critical and participatory methodologies, Community organizing, everyday resistance and social repair, Public art)
Stainton, Timothy (Developmental Disability, Disability, Social Policy, History of Developmental Disability, Philosophy of Welfare)
Yan, Miu Chung (Issues related to settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees, labour market experience of new generation youth from racial minority immigrant families, and community building roles and functions of neighbourhood-level place-based multiservice organizations )
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Jonathon Steven Breen
"Success in employment for people with disabilities is often hampered by the negative attitudes of others within the workplace. Dr. Breen's research has resulted in his development of a questionnaire to measure these attitudes. The results of these measurements will aid in planning and determining the success of workplace training interventions." (May 2019)
- Dr. Patricia Ann Johnston
"Dr. Johnston worked with Inuit mothers in Nunavut to examine child welfare in relation to changes families experience due to mining in the territory. Her research informs standards, legislation, policies and programs to protect Inuit children and youth in ways that respect and incorporate Inuit culture and traditional knowledge." (November 2018)
- Dr. Jasmyne Vanessa Rockwell
"Dr. Rockwell explored older adults' experiences of moving to assisted living: a relatively new model of housing and support for older adults in BC. By comparing participants' stories with the larger values and regulations of assisted living, Dr. Rockwell identified areas for improvement, as well as promising practices to help residents settle in." (May 2018)
- Dr. Kathryn Margaret Murray
"What is meant when we promote the idea of development? Dr. Murray explored political meanings of "development" in one site of social struggle-a public hearing on building heights in Vancouver's Chinatown. She offers an activist method for unpacking the social, material and historical dynamics through which such clashing public truths are produced." (November 2017)
- Dr. Kristin Carol Kendrick
"Dr. Kendrick examined the role of relationships in sexual assault disclosures. She found that survivor relationships with peers to whom they described their assaults shaped the responses survivors received. By further understanding responses to disclosures, this research provides insight into how to improve support to sexual assault survivors." (November 2015)