Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching English as a Second Language (PhD)


Integrating research and practice, the graduate programs in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) offer professional development to teachers of ESL and prepare researchers and leaders in applied linguistics. TESL graduate students gain experience and understanding in such areas as: current issues in TESL theory and practice; second language acquisition, second language reading and writing, language socialization, language and identity, second language assessment, discourse analysis, critical applied linguistics, and research methods.


Quick Facts

Doctor of Philosophy
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Teaching English as a Second Language
Program Components
Faculty of Education


Document Requirements

1) a sample of work demonstrating an ability to undertake research and scholarly writing
2) CV or resume outlining work experience and academic history
3) a well-written 500 word (maximum) Statement of Intent
4) letters of support of three referees
5) if admitted, all official transcripts and degree certificates from all post-secondary institutions attended outside UBC

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Supervisor commitment required prior to application?


Prior degree requirements

a Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline,

Other Requirements

at least two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent

Funding Sources

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

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

New registrations32314
Total enrolment1918191918

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 5 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.33 years and the maximum time is 7.33 years with an average of 5.73 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. 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 September 2017].

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.

  • Duff, Patricia (applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, multilingualism and work, sociocultural and sociopolitical aspects of languages in education, Adolescent issues, adult education issues, English and French as second languages, international perspecives)
  • Early, Margaret (Adolescent issues, English as a second Language, language education, literacy, teacher research)
  • Norton, Bonny (education, ESL, international perspectives, literacy, teacher research)
  • Shi, Ling (ESL, language education, writing and reading)
  • Talmy, Steven (K-12 ESL research)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Jui-Ping Lin
    "Dr. Lin examined four Western-educated, university Taiwanese teachers, their professional identities and teaching English writing as a global communication means. Her study provides pedagogical implications for teacher education programs to cultivate more agents of change in teaching English as a meaningful global language." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Hyera Byean
    "Dr. Byean examined how tracking practices, by which students are placed and taught according to English test scores, had negative effects on students' academic socialization. This critical ethnographic study suggests the need for reexamining tracking practices to fulfil the needs, interests, and knowledge of students from diverse backgrounds." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Ryan Deschambault
    "Dr. Deschambault examined the impact of fee-paying international students on BC's public schools. His analysis calls into question current understandings of international students in educational policies and practices, and acknowledges the important role English language learning plays in their school experiences." (May 2016)
  • Dr. Timothy Brett Anderson
    "Dr. Anderson examined the academic socialization dialogue of international and permanent resident Chinese PhD students at a Canadian University. His research highlights the importance of providing support and mentorship opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse doctoral students to increase access into their respective academic communities." (May 2016)
  • Dr. Joel Heng Hartse
    "Dr. Heng Hartse studied the reactions of English teachers to language useage they perceived as incorrect in student essays. He found that their perceptions of correctness, and their explanations for the evaluations they made, were highly subjective. This work has implications for anyone who works with second language writers and their texts." (November 2015)

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