PhD in Educational Studies

The PhD in Educational Studies is a research-oriented doctoral program for students interested in any of the study areas offered in the department.

Students are required to take three doctoral seminars. All other courses in a student’s program are determined in consultation with faculty. Students in the PhD program typically devote two years to coursework, and two to four years to developing and carrying out a research project designed to make an original contribution to knowledge in the study area.

The university allows doctoral students up to six years to complete program requirements. There is no set number of credits required for PhD programs at UBC.

For further facts and figures about the PhD in Educational Studies, please click here.


EDST PhD - the hand of learning

Admissions Requirements for Graduate Study

All graduate program applicants in the Department of Educational Studies (EDST) must meet the minimum entry requirements established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, which oversees graduate work at UBC. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be considered for admission only in exceptional circumstances.

Admission to the PhD program is highly competitive, based on the pool of applicants considered by the Admissions Committee, and subject to university and departmental requirements and departmental capacities for supervision.

More Info: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs/phd-educational-studies

General Eligibility

To be eligible for admission to a PhD program at UBC, applicants must hold a master's degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution with clear evidence of research ability or potential; or a bachelor’s degree with one year of study in a master's program with 12 credits of first class average, of which 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first class standing and clear evidence of research ability or potential. (For more detailed admissions requirements, please see the links below).

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies - Minimum Academic Requirements: Canadian or U.S. Credentials
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-canadian-or-us-credentials

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies - Minimum Academic Requirements: International Credentials
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-international-credentials

English Requirements

English Proficiency Test Score: Applicants whose degrees are from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Minimum score of 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), 92 with a minimum of 22 in each component (iTB) is required for admission to all programs in Educational Studies. Visit TOEFL’s website
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): Minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no other component score less than 6.0.
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): Minimum overall score of 81.

The applicants must have an official report of their score on one of these tests sent directly from the testing service to the Graduate Program Assistant, Department of Educational Studies at the address below by the application deadline. Score reports more than two years old will not be accepted.

More Information: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/english-proficiency-requirements

Most importantly with regard to a PhD application, please note that among other applicable requirements requested by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and by other UBC competent jurisdictions, as part of such an application you must submit:

    • A Statement of Intent (800-1200 words) which clearly shows that your research topic/interest fits within the department in terms of prospective supervisors and areas of interest. Such a statement should also articulate the general research directions you would like to pursue during your program, if admitted. This statement should be 800-1200 words.

 

    • A sample of your writing and engagement with research  (maximum 5,000 words without references). The intent is to demonstrate your ability to communicate your ideas and your interests in a clear way. Writing samples typically take the form of an excerpt from a chapter from a masters thesis, a published article, or a substantial scholarly paper

 

    • Entries on your transcript showing evidence of having taken courses on research methods (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, ethnographic or philosophical) and research more generally at the Masters level.

 

 

Also, while this is not a requirement, it is very important for you to contact at least one faculty member who could be a potential supervisor of your work (has expertise and interest in the area and/or topic you want to focus on) and inquire whether they would be willing to supervise your work (see list of faculty and areas of expertise at: http://edst.educ.ubc.ca/faculty-staff/faculty). Even if they do not commit to supervising your work, you could list such a faculty member (one or even two is acceptable) as a potential supervisor when you apply (which would provide further proof of your suitability for the PhD and familiarity with the programmes and areas of expertise of faculty).

There is no automatic funding upon admission with the PhD program at EDST.
While there is no automatic funding, there are a number of funding opportunities available to PhD students:

  • Most PhD students admitted into the PhD program at EDST receive one-time funding within their first year.
  • A very small percentage of exceptionally highly ranked students may receive a four-year fellowship.
  • Additional funding may be available to PhD students who are of aboriginal ancestry.

 

Additionally, PhD students are provided with work opportunities as available. Employment opportunities include:

  • Teaching Assistantships
  • Research Assistantships

Employment opportunities can be quite competitive, and PhD students should keep this in mind.

 

University funding opportunities are provided to PhD students whenever available. However, university funding is both limited and competitive.

Doctoral students are expected to apply for and obtain their own additional funding. Our faculty are very supportive in this regard, and are able to help their supervised students build their applications, as well as supporting them by writing letters of appraisal.

 

If you do not live in Vancouver at present, you may want to consider the cost of living in Vancouver, and obtain further information from the website of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students).

Program Requirements

Program Worksheets are available here: http://edst.educ.ubc.ca/current-students/policies-and-forms/

Doctoral Seminar and Colloquium

There are three required courses in the PhD program.

The first doctoral seminar (EDST 601A) is designed to help beginning students become familiar with the department, policies and procedures related to doctoral studies, and for an examination of critical theoretical traditions and conceptual problems in the social sciences as applied to education.

The second doctoral seminar (EDST 601B) exposes students to positivist, interpretive, historical, and philosophical methods, and a deep understanding of current methodological issues and debates.

The third doctoral seminar (EDST 602) explores what it means to engage in a doctoral experience with particular focus on scholarly writing, preparing for comprehensive exams, and thesis proposals.

Coursework in Specialization

Students in the PhD program are expected to take courses in their specialization so that they are familiar with current theory and research. Courses are selected in consultation with an adviser or program advisory committee.

Courses in the student’s specialization should be completed in the first year of the program.

Other Coursework

PhD students typically take additional courses to give them the breadth and depth of understanding of contemporary educational theories. Doctoral study is oriented toward the thesis research, but relevant coursework beyond the student’s specialization is recommended.

Research Methods

PhD students are expected to be familiar with the various methods used in contemporary educational research and to master the particular methods relative to their research. Developing proficiency in research methods normally requires enrolling in available courses and reading widely in the research methods literature. Before research proposals are approved, students are expected to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully carry out their research plan.

Comprehensive Examination

All students in the PhD program are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination after their coursework and before they present their research proposal. The examination is prepared by the student’s program adviser or research supervisory committee. Details about the mechanics of the examination and the options in format of the examination can be obtained from advisers or the department’s Graduate Program Assistant.

PhD Thesis

The PhD thesis is an original piece of research in the student’s area of specialization. Students develop research proposals which must be approved by a research supervisory committee of a supervisor and at least two other committee members. Research supervisory committees provide direction to the student, read and critique drafts of the thesis, and participate in the final oral examination.

PhD Residency

There is no residency requirement per se, but PhD students are expected to make steady progress through their coursework, comprehensive exams and thesis research. Current policies require PhD students to achieve candidacy by the end of their third year of study. Achieving candidacy involves completing all coursework, passing the comprehensive exam and having an approved research proposal.

Apply Online: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online/

Admission to the PhD program is on a competitive basis, within the broader context of the pool of applicants considered by the Committee, subject to university and departmental requirements and to departmental capacities for supervision.

More Info: http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs/phd-educational-studies

Applications should be submitted online at www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online. All of the following components of an application must be received by the department’s Graduate Program Assistant before the file can be reviewed by the appropriate admissions committee. Without complete documentation, the application review process cannot begin.

a. Online UBC application form. When you submit an online application at www.grad.ubc.ca/apply/online, the completed form is automatically forwarded to the Department's Graduate Program Assistant. A non-refundable processing fee payable is to UBC: see the cover of the official UBC application form for the exact amount.

b. Upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official transcripts. See Digital Copies of Official Transcripts tab for details

c. Three references – The purpose of the references is to provide a comprehensive portrayal of your relevant background and capacity to complete the PhD. Letters of reference should speak to your ability to pursue research and produce scholarly writing at the doctoral level. Suitable referees include professors, supervisors, principals, or other persons to whom you are, or have been, accountable academically in employment or as a volunteer. Academic references are preferred. If the original letter is in another language, the letter must be accompanied by a certified English translation. There are three possible formats for references:

  • Electronic references: In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note that we are unable to accept emails from Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail, MSN or other free email accounts for referees.) Once the online application has been submitted, a unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing her or him to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.
  • Paper letters of reference: Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on referee’s official letterhead and must be mailed directly to the relevant program (see address below) in a sealed and endorsed envelope by the referee.
  • Paper reference forms: UBC provides a general reference form. Your referee may fill out this form and mail it directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.

Note: It is advisable to contact referees and inform them of the Admissions deadline early in your process.

d. Statement of intent. You need to describe your specific interests in pursuing a PhD and precisely why you are applying to the Department of Educational Studies and to the program or concentration you have selected (800-1200 words). This statement should highlight the following:

  • Your engagement with graduate research, which clearly shows that your research topic/interest fits within the department in terms of prospective supervisors and areas of interest.
  • The general research directions you would like to pursue during your program, if admitted.
  • Name(s) of faculty member(s) with whom you have been in contact and/or who you identify as being suitable as research supervisor

e. Writing Sample (maximum 5,000 words without references)

  • The intent is to demonstrate your engagement with research and your ability to communicate your ideas and your interests in a clear way. Writing samples typically take the form of an excerpt from a chapter from a masters thesis, a published article, or a substantial scholarly paper.

f. Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Please provide a CV as evidence of your potential to succeed in EDST at the graduate level.

Applicants from outside Canada should be aware of additional requirements that may apply. Please read the following to determine which of these requirements may apply to you.

International Credentials Equivalency

Please see the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website:
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/minimum-academic-requirements-international-credentials

International Transcripts and Translation Requirements

See International Transcripts and Translation Requirements tab for details

Entering Canada

To enter Canada, a “Student Authorization” (Student Visa) is required. Apply as soon as possible to the nearest Canadian Consular or Immigration Office since it may take 8–10 weeks for processing. For applicants applying from the People’s Republic of China it may take 3–6 months. Applying for a Student Authorization requires a UBC letter of admission/acceptance; a valid passport; and evidence of adequate funds for tuition, maintenance of the student and, if married, the student’s spouse and children, plus travel funds to and from Canada. Please consult the Immigration Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp.

If the application for a visa is approved, the UBC letter of admission/acceptance will be returned to the student and must be retained for presentation to the Immigration Officer at the Canadian point of entry.

Canadian Transcripts

UBC has changed its application document requirements.

If you are applying to begin study in 2016 or beyond, you will normally scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official required documents in the application system. These are considered "unofficial documents". These uploaded copies of your official documents will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant.

Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. However, admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

UPLOADING UNOFFICIAL COPIES OF TRANSCRIPTS IN THE APPLICATION SYSTEM

Applicants with Canadian transcripts (other than UBC) must obtain an official paper transcript for every post-secondary institution they have attended.  UBC transcripts are not required.

Each transcript should be scanned as an individual .pdf file and then uploaded to the application system as indicated. They should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension"

Examples:

Kelly Smith-University of Waterloo Transcript.pdf
Kelly Smith-CV.pdf
Kelly Smith-Journal of Neurosciences Paper.pdf

Transcripts must be scanned front and back. All pages of one transcript, front and back, should be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page).

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS

To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be sent via secure electronic delivery by the issuing institution.

If you have been offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration. Do not send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission unless you have received special instructions from the graduate program to which you have applied.

Documents being provided to meet conditions of admission should be sent directly to:

Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

CURRENT AND FORMER UBC STUDENTS

You do not need to submit UBC transcripts as part of your graduate application, as this data is already available through the student database system. However, be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).

International Transcripts and Translations

UBC has changed its application document requirements.

If you are applying to begin study in 2016 or beyond, you will normally scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official required documents in the application system. These are considered "unofficial documents". These uploaded copies of your official documents will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant.

Conditional admission offers may be made based on documents uploaded to the application system. However, admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until one set of all required official academic records are received and validated by the University.

UPLOADING UNOFFICIAL COPIES OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN THE APPLICATION SYSTEM

Applicants with transcripts from non-Canadian post-secondary institutions must obtain an official paper transcript for every post-secondary institution they have attended.

Each transcripts should be scanned as an individual .pdf file and then uploaded to the application system as indicated. Otherwise, they should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension"

Examples:

Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript.pdf
Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript English Translation.pdf
Peng Zhang-CV.pdf
Peng Zhang-Journal of Neurosciences Paper.pdf

Transcripts must be scanned front and back. All pages of one transcript, front and back, should be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page).

If you have transcripts that are issued in a language other than English, then in addition to uploading digital copies of the documents in their original language, you must also upload a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service or certified English translator.

Please consult the document scanning and uploading instructions provided within the online application for detailed instructions.

OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be sent via secure electronic delivery by the issuing institution.

After being offered admission: If you have been offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration.

If an official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then an official copy of the degree certificate must also be submitted

If your university issues only one original copy of transcripts/degree certificates:

Make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university. Ask your home university to:

  • verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records.
  • attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp.
  • put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the Registrar.
  • mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

If your transcripts are issued in a language other than English:

  • arrange to have a set of all official transcripts issued in their original language.
  • obtain a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service.
  • send both the original transcripts and the literal English translation to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

If your home university does not provide English translations of transcripts:

  • make a photocopy of your copy of your transcripts. Do not open a sealed, endorsed envelope containing transcripts intended for submission to your program.
  • take the copy to a certified English translator and ask them to provide a complete, word-by-word, literal English translation.
  • tell the translator to put both the original language photocopy and the English translation into a sealed envelope, and endorse the envelope by signing across the seal.
  • send the sealed, endorsed envelopes from the translator to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
  • send your original transcripts in the original language to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

Note: Academic records must be translated in their entirety, including any information that appears on the reverse side of any document.

UBC does not accept the following:

  • photocopies that have not been stamped, attested and endorsed by the Registrar at your home university
  • documents in envelopes that have been opened
  • documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the issuing institution or certified translator
  • documents that arrive without the official seal of the university
  • photocopies notarized by a notary public
  • photocopies endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
  • unofficial translations
  • non-literal translations

Do not send academic records that are not in sealed and endorsed envelopes. It will only delay the processing of your application.

Documents being provided to meet conditions of admission  should be sent directly to:

Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

 

Tuition for PhD and EdD Programs

Tuition fees for PhD and EdD Programs are found on the UBC Calendar website.

Note that fees are subject to change by the University.

Deadlines for applications

Deadlines for the EDST PhD program can be found on the EDST website.

Sandra Abah, Graduate Program Assistant

Email: grad.edst@ubc.ca
Tel: 604.822.6647
Fax: 604.822.4244

Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Education
The University of British Columbia
6445 University Boulevard,
V6T1Z2

or

Dr. Alison Taylor, PhD Management Chair
Email: alison.taylor@ubc.ca
Tel: 604.822.4504