Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
UBC has granted Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in sociology since 1970, although the first sociology course was taught at the university as long ago as 1921. Students in the Ph.D. program in sociology at UBC have the opportunity to specialize in any one or more of the Department's seven major areas of specialization:
- Environment, Community and Social Movements;
- Family and Life Course;
- Gender and Sexuality;
- Health and Healthcare;
- Knowledge, Culture and Power;
- Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; and
- Work, Economy and Globalization.
What makes the program unique?
UBC sociology has a strong tradition of publishing research that matters. A sample of recent and award-winning books include: Gillian Creese's The New African Diaspora (U. Toronto Press); Amin Ghaziani's There Goes the Gayborhood? (Princeton U. Press), Renisa Mawani's Colonial Proximities(UBC Press), Becki Ross Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver (U. Toronto Press), and Wendy Roth's Race Migrations (Stanford U. Press).
UBC sociology has a strong history of engaging in community and service oriented learning projects, providing students with hands-on learning experiences carrying out research for partnering organizations in and around Vancouver (e.g. RainCity Housing, SPEC, City of Vancouver, Neighborhood House Association, Be The Change). There is a strong co-op tradition, and the Department also runs the Immigrant Vancouver Ethnographic Field School (in conjunction with the Department of Anthropology).
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
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.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
27 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 25 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 EducationUniversity of Ottawa (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Western University (Ontario)
Trinity Western University
University of Edinburgh
University of Alberta
University of Washington
University of British Columbia
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationFaculty Association of Simon Fraser University
Transplant Research Foundation of British Columbia
Environmental Resources Management
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationDirector (2)
Owner of Berton College
Interim Executive Director
Founder, Wellness Educator
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||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (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.
Completion Rates & Times
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.
Abrutyn, Seth (Suicide, Sociological Theory, mental health, social psychology, Emotions, youth)
Berdahl, Jennifer (Ostracism, Harassment and Bullying, Gender and Diversity in Organizations, Power and Status in Groups, Harassment, Work-Family Interface)
Corrigall-Brown, Catherine (Social Movements, political sociology, social psychology, identity)
Creese, Gillian (Women topics, Intersections of gender, sexuality, racialization and class, Processes of immigration and settlement in Canada, Gender, racialization, work and trade unions)
Elliott, Sinikka (Family, Inequality, Gender, Sexuality, Qualitative Research Methods, Intersectionality, Social Policy)
Fu, Qiang (a multidisciplinary perspective on institutional changes, social networks and mental health over the urban space; comparative and temporal analysis of civic engagement and identity; child and youth well-being (e.g., obesity and school bullying); developing)
Fuller, Sylvia (precarious employment; inequality; work; gender and work; immigration, Work and Labour, Inequality, Gender, Economic Sociology, Social Policy, Welfare state restructuring)
Ghaziani, Amin (LGBT issues, sexuality, gay and lesbian rights, gay communities, gay politics, gay neighborhoods, Sexualities, social movements, cultural, cities)
Guppy, Neil (Social Contexts, sociology, social inequality, sociology of education, gender relations)
Hanser, Amy (Work and employment; gender; consumption/consumerism; contemporary Chinese society, Culture and markets, inequality, gender, consumption, service work, China)
Hirsh, Elizabeth (Law, Structures and Organization, Inequality, Gender and Race Discrimination, Work Organizations, Law)
Johnson, Phyllis (Allocation of financial and human resources by families coping with stressful circumstances, including immigration and resettlement, family separation, unemployment, and conflicts between work and family responsibilities)
Kemple, Thomas (Social and cultural theory, history of social sciences, literary and interpretive methods, aesthetic sociology, visual representation of concepts and arguments)
Kennedy, Emily (Environment and Society, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Sustainable consumption, Food, social class, Gender)
Lauer, Sean (Marriage, immigration, and a resource industry)
Lauster, Nathanael (Population, Housing, Urban Studies, Crowding, Home & Housing, Technology & Environment, City Building & Regulation, Family, Demography, Health)
Martin-Matthews, Anne (Aging and lifecourse, health and society, health and social care services especially home and community care, intersections of formal and informal care, especially involving the nexus of the public and private spheres, transitional life events such as widowhood)
Mawani, Renisa (Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Colonial Legal History, critical theory, Race and Racism, Oceans and Maritime Worlds, Time and Temporality)
Qian, Yue (Family, Gender Relationship, Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Demography, sociology, Family Studies, Gender Studies)
Richardson, Lindsey (Sociology of health and illness, substance use, HIV/AIDS, urban health, sociology of work and economic life, health disparities )
Ross, Becky (Qualitative/historical methods, feminist/gender/anti-racist, family sociology)
Roth, Wendy (race, ethnicity, immigration, Latinos, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, multiracial populations, multiracial identity, interracial marriage, U.S. Census, school shootings, Race, Ethnicity, and Classification, Immigration, Genetics and Society, Inequality, Research Methods)
Tindall, David (environmental movement, social movements, environmental protest, social protest, social networks, social aspects of climate change, Aboriginal protest about natural resources and environmental issues, social surveys, polling, environmental politics, environmental attitudes, environmental values, opinion about the environment, protest about pipelines, protest about oil sands, protest about tar sands, wilderness, wilderness preservation, use of social media in social protest, use of social media in social movements, social media and social networks, social aspects of forestry, climate change policy, news media, social psychology of environmental issues, Envionmental sociology, social research methods, aboriginal forestry, social science)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Jing Zhao
"Dr. Zhao investigated the fertility processes of Chinese immigrants in Canada. Her Embodied Dynamic model explains institutional, relational, and situational dynamics that shape how people cope simultaneously with immigration and childbearing. She argued how immigrants are received and screened channel them into different reproduction paths." (November 2019)
- Dr. Cary Zhiming Wu
"Dr. Wu investigated whether people are trusting because of how they are raised or if they constantly adjust their trust in response to life experiences. He examined moving from a high to a low trust place and how mothers and fathers play different roles in shaping trust of their children. This research shows that people learn to trust early in life through socialization and that learned trust persists into adulthood." (November 2019)
- Dr. Patrick John Burnett
"Dr. Burnett's research examined how past experiences of people who pay for sexual services in Canada inform their behaviours. His analysis revealed the diversity of this population and their role in shaping safety outcomes. This research will inform health and safety policy changes in the sex industry." (May 2019)
- Dr. Andrea Nicole Polonijo
"Dr. Polonijo studied how income, education, and race-ethnicity shape inequalities in human papillomavirus vaccination. Her research identifies the importance of vaccination policy, mother-daughter communication, and community-focused attitudes for both creating and preventing social inequalities in vaccination among adolescents." (November 2018)
- Dr. William Ronald Keats-Osborn
"Dr. Keats-Osborn examined the collaborative work involved in generating works of literary journalism. He clarified how reporters and editors develop conventional procedures by anticipating how their work will be received. His research illustrates important links between the production and consumption of culture." (November 2018)