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

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

25

Writing

25

Speaking

22

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

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 not required.

2) Meet Deadlines

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

3) Prepare Application

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.

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis 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.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $19,323.20 (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 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 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 $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 18 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research, academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $48,197.
  • 15 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 15 students was $16,749.
  • 10 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 10 students was $10,786.
  • 10 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 10 students was $6,710.
  • 18 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 18 students was $20,631.
  • 2 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 2 students was $35,000.

Study Period: Sep 2021 to Aug 2022 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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

 20222021202020192018
Applications6666466032
Offers8510810
New Registrations33734
Total Enrolment3237363230

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 78% based on 23 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 18 graduations between 2019 - 2022 the minimum time to completion is 5.12 years and the maximum time is 10.48 years with an average of 7.73 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

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

Instructions regarding thesis 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.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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.

  • Stecklov, Guy (Family and household demographic studies; Fertility; Migration; Mortality; Demography; Studies of Canadian society; Demographic behavior; Historical social change; Demographic Change in Sub-Saharan Africa; Migration and assimilation; Population and Development; Research and survey methodology)
  • 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 (Sociology and social studies of health, health systems and health care; Health equity; social determinants of health; Socioeconomic status and health; racial health inequalities; Bourdieusian field theory, lifestyle practices and health; culture and class; Quantitative Methods)
  • Wilkes, Rima (protest, media and First Nations, media and racism, immigration, Collective Action by Indigenous Nations, Media and social movements, Public Opinion, Immigration, Trust)
  • Yodanis, Carrie (Family, Marriage, Statistics)

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
2022 Dr. Stecy-Hildebrandt examined how blue and white collar workplaces shape fathers' involvement in child care. Both types of organizations were found to limit fathers' caregiving, but in different ways, highlighting the importance of understanding specific workplace contexts and their implications for reinforcing the gendered division of labour.
2021 Dr. Jaffe examined the experiences of research participants in a clinical trial for opioid use disorder. Her research illustrated how social and structural factors can shape the production of biomedical knowledge and identified strategies for improving the effective and ethical conduct of research with marginalized populations.
2021 Since the early 2000s, private condominium developers have taken on new roles as builders of low-income housing in Canada. Dr. Hyde examined the causes and consequences of these policy arrangements in Toronto and Vancouver, concluding that current density agreements have led to trade-offs that do not meet public needs for affordable housing.
2021 Dr. Malette's work investigated how post-secondary environments impact undergraduate student mental health stigma, service use and the likelihood for experiencing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Findings from this work highlighted the importance of examining social influences on student wellbeing..
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.

Pages

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further 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

Classification

 
 
 
Supervisor Search
 

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