Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
- urban law and governance
- housing law
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
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 potential thesis supervisor.
Graduate Student Supervision
Master's Student Supervision
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
This work presents a dynamic, comprehensive study of the intersectionality between homelessness and law through the application of the Context Theory of Law. Previous work on this topic points to a specific problem: the data available cannot be relied upon because the numbers are not static, the population of unhoused people is transient, and the ability to gather information on unhoused persons is exceedingly limited. Context Theory, as developed and applied in this work, provides a theoretical framework to engage with unhoused people. This work argues that the failings of the existing legal framework cannot be effectively addressed without first earning the trust of those who are homeless and endeavoring to hear the ‘homeless’ side of the homeless ‘problem’. This critique is particularly pointed regarding academia’s adoption of a narrative of homelessness and law as portrayed by legal scholars rather than homeless individuals. The existing scholarship addresses the points at which the law acknowledges the intersectionality between homelessness and the legal system but fails to consider the points at which those who eventually become homeless establish a relationship with the law. This disconnect prevents researchers and legislators from predicting and understanding the circumstances that contribute to homelessness. For these reasons, the Context approach is qualitative, integrating in-person interviews and field research with available data to present a more prescient analysis of issues than can be gleaned from statistic-dependent structures. By extending beyond the bounds of quantitative analysis, this work contributes context to a pervasive and persistent problem within the legal academy and broader society. Beyond the academic results, the narratives collected provide an opportunity for the legal community to empathize with the homeless population. Without the adoption of empathy, the research suggests the legal community will continue to stammer vapid soliloquies in lieu of offering tangible solutions to homelessness; the result of such empty platitudes will continue to be the waste of billions of dollars every year on policies and procedures that amount to throwing a box of matches at a frozen corpse.