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.
Meet a UBC representative
Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadorswebinar
Date: Wednesday, 05 February 2020
Time: 08:30 to 09:30
Chat with current graduate students during this online session about their experiences being graduate students at UBC. Topics include accommodation, moving to a new city/ province/country, settling into an academic lifestyle, finding a supervisor, making friends, and more. Please keep in mind that we will not be able to provide answers to specific application and admission questions or any that involve specific personal information.
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
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.
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.
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
English Language Proficiency
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:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
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:
Prior degree requirements
a Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline,
at least two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
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.
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.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (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.
Completion Rates & Times
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)
Galla, Candace (what types of technology initiatives (low-, mid-, or high) Indigenous language communities are using to revitalize, maintain, and promote their language)
Kubota, Ryuko (Language Rights and Policies, language education, multicultural education, culture and language, race and language teaching, language ideologies, critical applied linguistics)
Li, Guofang (longitudinal studies of immigrant children)
Norton, Bonny (education, ESL, international perspectives, literacy, teacher research)
Shi, Ling (ESL, language education, writing and reading)
Talmy, Steven (Teacher Education)
Zappa, Sandra (academic discourse socialization of (international) English language learners in higher education, examining the literacy socialization trajectories and the role their individual networks of practice (INoPs, a concept I coined) in becoming aware of the host culture values and expectations; projects examining the intercultural competence development of foreign language teachers studying abroad; foreign language-learning through peer exchange programs; academic English coaching for university-level English language learners; collaboration between language and subject specialists; and student perceptions of academic English language development in CBI courses.)
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Natalia Balyasnikova
"Dr. Balyasnikova examined English language learning trajectories of older immigrants to Canada. Her research highlights the importance of creating tailored educational programs for this population. As part of her study, Dr. Balyasnikova developed curriculum that can be used in diverse instructional contexts." (November 2019)
- Dr. Nasrin Kowkabi
"To understand and scaffold source-based writing practices of graduate students, Dr. Kowkabi offered a socio-pedagogical approach for analyzing the processes of source selection and source integration in student writing. Her study provides insights for institutional and educational action plans to support student interactions with source texts." (May 2019)
- Dr. Victoria Christine Ishbel Surtees
"Dr. Surtees investigated English language learning, focussing on conversations between study abroad students and their peers. Her findings highlight factors that help and hinder abilities to build peer networks in English as well as the important role that previous international experience plays in facilitating interaction and relationship building." (May 2019)
- Dr. Ismaeil Fazel
"Dr. Fazel explored how doctoral students at a Canadian university attempted to publish their research. He also interviewed journal editors to seek their perspectives on the challenges facing doctoral students in getting published. This research has important implications for doctoral education and supervision." (May 2018)
- 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)