Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)

Overview

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).

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

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.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

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:

100
25
25
22
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

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:

The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Deadline Details

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
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)
* 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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

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.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

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 Education
University of Ottawa (2)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Okanagan College
Western University (Ontario)
Trinity Western University
University of Edinburgh
University of Alberta
Camosun College
University of Washington
University of British Columbia
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Faculty Association of Simon Fraser University
Transplant Research Foundation of British Columbia
Pivot Legal
EMI Consulting
Environmental Resources Management
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Director (2)
Owner of Berton College
Interim Executive Director
Associate Director
Sexuality Educator
Senior Consultant
Clinician
Founder, Wellness Educator
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

There are many places to go with a Sociology degree from UBC. Alumni from our program work with Statistics Canada, with Indian and Northern Affairs, in the provincial health care sector, in an array of public service and non-profit positions, and in a range of private businesses, big and small. Alumni also succeed within academia, securing positions at leading Canadian universities (e.g., University of Toronto, Western University, University of Waterloo), as well as universities abroad.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications5531422621
Offers710534
New registrations34324
Total enrolment3231313235

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 70% based on 20 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 16 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 6.30 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: 10 March 2020]. 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: 27 October 2019].

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.

  • 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)
  • Cheong, Amanda (Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Stratification and inequality, links between legal status and the reproduction of inequality, undocumented migrants, stateless persons, and refugees, stateless children and immigration control regimes, use of documentation in the symbolic erasure and expulsion of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar, relationships between migration and legal status on health, relationship between undocumented experience and naturalization propensities)
  • 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)
  • Stecklov, Guy (Population and Development, Migration dynamics, Immigrant assimilation, Ethnic and racial identity, Research and survey methodology, Reproduction, Migration and assimilation, sub-Saharan Africa, Demographic behavior, Survey research)
  • 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)
  • Veenstra, Gerry (Social Determinants of Health, Lifestyle Determinants and Health, Arts and Cultural Traditions, racial health inequalities, social class and health, intersectionality theory and health, Bourdieusian field theory, lifestyle practices and health, culture and class)

Pages

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Hollingdale tested the hypothesis that employing more women and people of colour in finance can lead to better financial risk decisions. She found that while firms with more diverse employees in risk-management roles do have better risk outcomes, diversity policies do little to stop the hostility that many minority-employees continue to face.
2020 Dr. Haddon investigated the impact of social class on views towards inequality. He found that the working classes are concerned with inequality in both unequal and more equal societies, but as levels of inequality increase, the views of the various classes begin to converge. This may have policy implications as income inequality continues to grow.
2019 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.
2019 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.
2019 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.
2018 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.
2018 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.
2018 What does it mean to live in a multicultural society? Dr. Ho examined how participating in ethnic organizations can help individuals integrate into Canada while maintaining their ties to an ancestral country. Her work demonstrates how organizations facilitate individuals' identity development and foster connections to both the ancestral country and Canada.
2018 Dr. Piggot examined how organizations determine which strategies they should adopt in response to new climate change policies. Her work demonstrates that if the right support structures are in place, organizations can quickly come to terms with new requirements to address climate change.
2017 Dr. Dengate studied the maternity leave experiences of Canadian mothers. She found that mothers' jobs were central to both the structure of leave and the transition back to paid employment. This knowledge will aid the development of more responsive federal and workplace family policies to support women's engagement in motherhood and career.

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Further Program Information

Specialization

Sociology has specialization in the following core areas of study:

  • Environment, community, and social movements;
  • Family and the life course;
  • Gender and sexuality;
  • Health and healthcare;
  • Knowledge, culture, and power;
  • Race, ethnicity, and immigration; and
  • Work, economy, and globalization.

 

Faculty Overview

Academic Unit

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-WP
 
 
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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