Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science (PhD)
A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies through either the Faculty of Land and Food Systems or Faculty of Forestry, depending upon their research interests.
Meet a UBC representative
Virtual Office Hourswebinar
Date: Thursday, 05 September 2019
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Join us for a short presentation on the application and admissions process, academic requirements, and general overview of graduate studies at UBC, followed by Q&A with Grad Studies staff and graduate student ambassadors. Ask questions in advance when you register. Please note that Virtual Office Hours is not program-specific, and we will not be able to provide answers to questions that involve specific personal information.
Great Grad School Applicationswebinar
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.
September Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadorswebinar
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
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.
Areas of study include biometeorology, forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, mycorrhizal ecology, soil biology, soil quality and fertility, soil-plant interactions, ecosystem services, land and water systems.
The program is enriched through collaboration with colleagues in other graduate programs such as Forestry, Geography, Plant Science, Institute for Resources and Environment, Landscape Architecture, and in agencies such as Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Forest Innovation Investment, and various provincial government agencies.
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.
May 2020 Intake
Application Open Date01 July 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.
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.
Black, Thomas Andrew (Biometeorology, Soil physics, Microclimate modification)
Chanway, Christopher (Soil microbiology)
Grayston, Susan (Climate change, microbiology, soil science )
Krzic, Maja (Agriculture, Soil science, Soil science education, Integration of multimedia and soil science)
Smukler, Sean (agriculture, environment, sustainable development, ecosystem services )
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Clara Eugenia Roa Garcia
"Soils play a crucial, but often under-estimated, role in the water cycle. Dr. Roa-García analyzed the properties of common soils in the Colombian Andes, and found that nano-particle size minerals increase the ability of these soils to hold and release water. This knowledge informs management practices to optimize water for food and communities." (November 2018)
- Dr. Gesa Meyer
"How does forest management affect the carbon and water balances of mountain pine beetle-attacked lodgepole pine stands in BC? Using measurements and modifying a model, Dr. Meyer found that not harvesting stands resulted in a positive carbon balance with relatively quick recovery and plateauing productivity during the second decade following attack." (May 2018)
- Dr. Sean Patrick Kearney
"Dr. Kearney used field trials and remote sensing to evaluate environmental impacts of agriculture in El Salvador. He demonstrated that agroforestry provides multiple benefits at the field scale and stores large amounts of carbon across landscapes. He hopes his work will contribute to programs that reward farmers for their stewardship of the land." (November 2017)
- Dr. Mathew Brown
"Dr. Brown studied the influence of the mountain pine beetle on the carbon, water, and energy balances of lodgepole pine stands. He showed these stands are recovering relatively quickly due to increased photosynthetic capacity of surviving trees and understory vegetation." (May 2011)
- Dr. Richa Anand
"Dr. Anand showed that beneficial soil bacteria can enter, multiply and function inside the tissues of coniferous trees, promote their growth and provide fixed Nitrogen to these trees. She suggests the use of these bacteria as an environment friendly, sustainable growth promoting treatment for the propagation of coniferous trees." (May 2011)