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

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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 required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

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 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.

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$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (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 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, 14 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 $46,872.
  • 10 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 10 students was $21,170.
  • 6 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 6 students was $9,563.
  • 14 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 14 students was $17,653.
  • 4 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 4 students was $35,000.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - 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.

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

 20202019201820172016
Applications4155314226
Offers1071053
New registrations73432
Total enrolment3632313132

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 65.22% based on 23 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 16 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 6.24 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 April 2021]. 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: 29 October 2020].

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
2015 Dr. Du explored local labour markets and labour migration within the Pearl River delta in south China. He found that distinct economic structures and activities are caused by uneven development, resulting in diverse labour markets and contested identity for labour migrants. This research illustrates the profound social transformation in China.
2014 Dr. Patterson's research shows that population health is stronger in democratic countries. Compared to other countries, democracies have about 11 years of longer life expectancy, 57% less infant mortality, and 21% less overall mortality. He concludes that democracies improve life expectancy, in large part by promoting economic prosperity.
2014 Dr. Tesluk studied the influence of environmentalism and Aboriginal rights on natural resource governance in northwest British Columbia. This work provides insight into the different ways that settler and First Nations communities are responding to environmental problems, as they confront the decline of forestry and rise of new energy industries.
2014 Dr. Routray studied the effects of urban planning on poor migrants in Delhi. With a focus on different modes of political mobilization, he examined their participation, negotiation and resistance to urban planning policies. Along with contributing to academia, the research findings will benefit urban planners, policy makers and grassroots activists.
2014 Dr. Buffam developed a method of comparative analysis that tracks the social and legal effects of racism across divergent geopolitical contexts. He used this method to document how racial discourses of criminality shaped the legal regulation of Chicago's African American populations and Vancouver's South Asian populations.
2014 Dr. Polanco studied Filipino migrant workers at Canadian Tim Horton`s restaurants. She traced the cultural and structural dimensions of work and labour market regulation under migrant worker schemes. One implication is Canada's introduction of a new guest worker scheme that is both ambiguous and risky with regard to transitioning to permanent status.
2013 Dr. Hwang studied ethno-racial variations in two facets of cohesion in Canada: trust in others and trust in political institutions. She explored why trust among ethno-racial communities may differ from established cultural groups. The amount of trust can differ substantially, depending on which group is asked the question and the type of trust.
2013 Dr. Martin examined the changing nature of pre-marital co-habitation over the twentieth century, and the impact on later marital stability. His work highlights ways in which changing social norms influence union formation patterns, and how marital stability is more closely associated with filtering mechanisms than pathways to union .
2013 Dr. Ove studied child sponsorship programs, the advertising they produce, and sponsors they attract. His project examined ways in which sponsorship programs and sponsors represent themselves as trying to make a difference in the world, and how these representations relate to contemporary understandings of poverty and development.
2013 Dr. Sullivan explored ways in which queer students engage with the UBC campus. She created a mapping method to reveal how these students use spatial cues to identify where they might encounter homophobia, transphobia and the privileging of heterosexuality. This research shows that queer students identify risky spaces and create queer spaces on campus.

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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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