The Department of Educational Studies (EDST) is committed to ensuring the success of our students. Please take advantage of the many resources at the departmental, faculty, and university level designed to assist you. Understanding the steps involved in completing your program is an important place to start.
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Academic assistant positions
A few graduate academic assistantships (GAAs) are available each year and are posted on the EDST website and announced via the email list. These are usually posted and filled in the spring and summer. The GAA positions include those of Academic Peer Advisor and Academic Research & Publication Assistant.
UBC is a large organization and you will encounter many acronyms to refer to units, committees, and positions. Here are some commonly used ones:
EDST Department of Educational Studies
GRA Graduate Research Assistant
GAA Graduate Academic Assistant
GTA Graduate Teaching Assistant
GSS Graduate Student Society
Within our Department, we use the following acronyms for our programs:
ALE Adult Learning and Education
ALGC Adult Learning and Global Change
EDAL Educational Administration and Leadership
EDLP Educational Leadership and Policy
HIED Higher Education
SCPE Society, Culture, and Politics in Education
In most cases, students admitted to graduate programs at UBC receive a letter from the department as well as an email and letter from the G+PS. The letter from G+PS is your official offer of admission. Please email the Graduate Program Assistant once you decide whether to accept the offer. If you decide not to accept the offer, this may open a space in the program for another applicant, so please let us know as soon as you can. If you cannot begin the program when you expected, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant or Graduate Advisor to discuss deferring your admission or reapplying for a later start date.
Advisor (see also Supervisor)
Annual Progress Report
All thesis-based students are expected to submit an annual progress report by June of each year with the following exceptions:
- EdD students are expected to submit an annual progress report once they start working with a supervisor.
- Multi-year fellowship holders (e.g., Killam Doctoral Fellowships, Four Year Fellowships, Aboriginal Graduate Fellowships, and Affiliated Fellowships) are expected instead to submit an annual research progress report or an Annual Progress Report for the EDUC Aboriginal 4-Year Ph.D. Scholarship. Failure to submit a progress report will result in award payments being suspended until a satisfactory progress report is received. Please be mindful of the deadlines for students to submit the reports.
- Students do not need to complete an annual progress report if they are asked by G+PS to apply for program extension on a term-by-term basis.
A reminder is typically sent out through the student listserve, but it is the responsibility of students to initiate the process to have their annual reports submitted in time.
Ponderosa Commons Oak House is open Monday through Friday, 7:30AM – 10:00PM and Saturdays, 8:00AM – 6:00PM. If you need access after hours or on Sundays/holidays, please see reception or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request office keys and have building access added to your library card.
The term “candidacy” applies only to doctoral (PhD and EdD) students. Doctoral students are recommended for advancement to candidacy after (1) passing their comprehensive exam AND (2) having their research proposal approved by their full supervisory committee. Doctoral students must reach candidacy within 36 months of starting their program, unless a compelling rationale can be provided for an extension to this deadline.
The Faculty of Education maintains several large Windows and Mac labs in the basement of the Scarfe Building for the use of all the students in the faculty. Hours are posted on the doors, since classes sometimes occupy the rooms. UBC libraries also provided computers for students to use. Make sure you check out library hours before you head over. There are no publicly accessibly computers in Ponderosa Commons Oak House.
Please remember to send any change of contact information to the Student Information System (SIS) and the Department so EDST staff can reach you with important information, including program deadlines. Send your change of contact information to our Graduate Program Assistant at email@example.com.
Course selection and registration (see also Registration)
You can register for courses online through the Student Service Centre (https://ssc.adm.ubc.ca/sscportal/servlets/SRVSSCFramework). Incoming students receive a date on which they can begin the registration process. In order to access the Student Service Centre, you will need to log in with your Campus-Wide Login (CWL). This is the same ID you used when you created your online application. We encourage students to register in courses as soon as possible for two important reasons. First, by registering as soon as you can, you get the best selection of courses. Some courses do fill up quickly so registering early gives you greater choice. Second, courses with low enrolments may be cancelled, so registering early will decrease the chances of this happening.
If a course you wish to take is full when you attempt to register, it is a good idea to check back periodically to see if the course has new spaces. Some students drop courses as they make final decisions about what to take and these decisions can open up space for additional students. Registration for program core courses might be temporarily restricted to students enrolled in the particular program. The restriction will be lifted to allow to all to register a few days after course registration opens.
-If you absolutely need a course (it may be a required course in your program) and it is full, contact the instructor, explain your circumstances, and ask if you can show up at the first few class session to see if space is available. Students also add and drop courses during the first week of classes, so check occasionally during the first week to see if space has opened up in the course you want.
UBC students can take courses at other Western Canadian universities under the Western Deans Agreement. More information and a link to the WDA registration form are available here.
Students at UBC-Vancouver who wish to take courses at UBC-Okanagan should follow the steps below:
- Determine that the course is open to UBC-V students and whether there are prerequisites or other potential barriers that might prevent enrolment.
- Seek approval to include the course in your program of study by providing your advisor/supervisor with the course title and description and a brief rationale for including the course in your program.
- At the same time or immediately following approval, submit a completed Authorization and Registration form to your advisor/supervisor. Note that this form must be received by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies six weeks prior to the start of the term of enrolment.
- The advisor/supervisor then forwards the form with a message confirming their approval to the department’s Graduate Advisor for signature.
- Once signed in EDST, the form will be sent to the UBC-V Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies where it will be signed and forwarded to UBC-O for final approval.
- When all approvals are obtained, you will be notified that you are registered in the course.
- Once you successfully compete the course, you will need to make a request to transfer the credits earned to your program. You will need to fill out the form here to make the request.
Graduate students who have earned credits outside their current master’s program (e.g., from a different university, in a different UBC master’s program, as an undergraduate, or as an unclassified or Access Studies student) may transfer up to 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of credits needed for completion of their current program (whichever is more), provided that:
- the courses were not used to satisfy the requirements of another credential;
- the courses were not used as a basis for admission to the graduate degree program;
- at least a B standing (UBC 74%) was obtained in courses considered for transfer;
- the courses considered for transfer credit have been taken within five years of commencement of the current degree program.
Requests for credit transfer needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Students need to obtain approval from their supervisors/advisors before filling out the form of request and submitting it to the graduate advisor to be approved.
see Oral examination
All active and registered students are eligible to sign up for a CWLusername@student.ubc.ca email account that can be used to send and receive mail. (CWL refers to the Campus-Wide Login.) The department communicates to students through a departmental email list. This is how we inform students about deadlines, awards, research assistantship positions, workshops, etc. To be added to this list please send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Failing a Course
While it rarely happens, some students have failed courses in the past. To avoid such cases, it is important that students consult their supervisors and advisors on courses to take at the beginning of their programs – please see worksheet. In the case that they fail a course – received a grade lower than 68% (68%), they may need to get in touch with their supervisor or advisor. On the recommendation of the graduate program and the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the student may repeat the course for higher standing or take an alternate course. The form here is needed for cases to be processed.
The Graduate Advisor is the liaison between graduate students and G+PS. This means that, for all student matters which are governed by G+PS, the Graduate Advisor is the primary contact. This includes, for example, admissions, leaves of absence, program extensions, permissions to teach, requests for program transfers, withdrawal and readmission, changes of supervisor, appeals, and external and university examiner nominations. The Graduate Advisor is also the contact person for all matters that cannot be addressed by a student’s supervisor or advisor. For a full list of Graduate Advisor responsibilities, see the document “Academic Service Roles in the Department of Educational Studies.”
Graduate Certificate Students
There are two graduate certificate programs in EDST – One in HIED and one in ALE. Should graduate certificate students decide to ladder into a Master’s program, they will need to follow the regular application process for the Master’s program. Once admitted, students need to make a request to have their credits from the certificate program transferred to the Master’s Program.
The website for UBC Housing and Conferences provides information about on-campus housing options and application procedures, as well as information about child care programs operated by UBC. The AMS operates Rentsline, a website with off-campus rental listings.
The Department of Educational Studies welcomes Indigenous students in all its programs. Indigenous students are supported by the Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) network. Indigenous students may also be interested in the Ts’’kel concentration of courses.
If you are an international student, you will find a great deal of useful information in the online International Student Guide offered by Student Services. This guide also has information on the International Student Orientation (highly recommended for all incoming international students) and other services, programs and events. International Student Advisors can provide information about visas, immigration and employment, medical insurance, and your cultural transition to Canada and UBC. In addition, the Faculty of Education offers a Cultural Diversity Support Initiative for International Graduate Students. Finally the EDST Peer Advisors are great supports to international students.
Leave of absence
If you find that for health, work or other reasons, you must put a hold on your studies for a time, please speak with your supervisor or advisor about requesting a leave of absence from your program. Students are generally permitted a maximum of 12 months of leave during their Master’s program and a maximum of 24 months of leave during their Doctoral program. You can request a leave for 4-, 8-, or 12-month periods. See: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/forms/request- leave-absence
At UBC, your UBC card is your library card, your student ID card and your voting identification for student elections. Students who are registered on the Student Service Centre (SSC) and require a UBC card (i.e., student ID) should apply online at http://ubccard.ubc.ca/obtaining-a-ubccard/students.
Listserv (see Student listserv)
There are 12 lockers available to rent for EDST students, located in the Research Commons in PCN. To reserve a locker, please bring a $20 deposit to the EDST reception (Room 2003 in PCN), which will be returned to you when you return the key and no longer need the locker. If you lose the key, we will retain your deposit to replace the lost key. The lockers are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. The availability of lockers will be advertised through GAAs.
There are three mailboxes in the mailroom for students, labelled alphabetically by last name. The mailroom is located in PCN 2002, with EDST and LLED sharing the id (the EDST section is at the end furthest from the door). Mail will have the date that is has been received noted, and all mail left longer than 30 days will be disposed or shredded, so please be sure to keep an eye on the student mailboxes if you choose to ship or mail resources to EDST offices. The Department’s mailing address can be found at https://edst.educ.ubc.ca/about/contact/.
A limited number of shared office spaces is available for EDST students in PCN 3032, 3051 and 3055. Space is assigned according to need, following the priority list below:
- Graduate students with teaching assignments
- Graduate student representatives and peer academic advisors
- Graduate student research assistants on faculty grants
- Senior PhD, admitted to candidacy or MA students
- All other full-time graduate students
- Part-time students
The office space will be assigned by the EDST Staff member depending on the availability of space. Please visit the EDST Administration Office reception in Room 2003 or email email@example.com to get more information and request office space. An e-mail in regards to space availability will be sent out to students in the Fall.
Thesis-based programs (PhD, EdD, MA) end with an oral examination of the thesis. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies announces doctoral oral examinations here. In-person Master’s examinations are announced via the EDST email list.
The oral examination can take place in person, on Zoom, or in hybrid form. For in-person doctoral oral examinations, EDST provides matching funding for the G+PS Doctoral Examiner Travel Fund, which can be used for one member of the Doctoral Examining Committee (either the External Examiner or a Co-Supervisor/Supervisory Committee Member from outside of UBC).
Each September, EDST holds an orientation for new students to the department. All newly admitted students will be notified of the date, time and location of the orientation. The orientation presents an overview of the department, introduces people in various administrative and academic roles, provides an opportunity to meet other students in your program, and allows you to get answers to your questions. In addition to the department orientation, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and other units also schedule sessions for new students. We will do our best to notify all new students about these opportunities to learn more about UBC and the services available to you. All incoming students will be sent email notification of the schedule for this orientation, so please be sure that we have a current email address for you.
Ponderosa Commons Oak House does not have designated parking spaces. See UBC Parking for general information on parking rates and locations.
The peer advisors are graduate students hired as Graduate Academic Assistant (GAA) to assist other students as they navigate graduate school. The peer advisors have office hours, organize events, and keep up-to-date information on university resources available for students, including those specifically designed to support international students. Peer advisors can help new students link up with a buddy, if requested. They can also help new students establish email accounts and subscribe to the email list. The advisors post information relevant to graduate students on and assists in organizing departmental orientation sessions and workshops. All meetings between the peer advisors and students are confidential. The peer advisors and their contact information can be found at http://edst.educ.ubc.ca/current-students/student-support-network-2/
There are three mailboxes in the mailroom for students, labelled alphabetically by last name. The mailroom is located in PCOH 2002, with EDST and LLED sharing the space (the EDST section is at the end furthest from the door). Mail will have the date that is has been received noted, and all mail left longer than 30 days will be disposed or shredded, so please be sure to keep an eye on the student mailboxes if you choose to ship or mail resources to EDST offices.
Printing and photocopying
Students are charged for printing and photocopying on department equipment. If you would like access to department printers/copiers, please provide a four digit code to the EDST Reception, this will be your printing code. Submit a ticket to our IT at UBC self-serve portal at https://ubc.service-now.com/selfservice by going to ‘request a service’ and ‘report an issue’. Please fill in the necessary information including a request to configure your computer/device to print through Xerox 7845 copier on 3rd floor, PCN. They will acknowledge your ticket and follow up with you to configure your device. Wireless printing is available. You will receive an invoice from EDST staff at the end of the month for your usage. The charges are for black and white copies 0.05/page and colour copies 0.10/page. For large volumes of photocopying, try off-campus services, as they might be cheaper.
Program Chairs and Coordinators
The PhD, EdD, and MA programs have Program Chairs. The MEd programs and MA concentrations have Program Coordinators. These positions may rotate annually or biennially and are listed in the Committee Assignments document updated annually on this page.
The table below is a list of coordinators and chairs for the academic year of 2023-2024,
ADHE* Courses Area Coordinator
Adult Learning & Education (ALE)
Adult Learning & Global Change (ALGC)
Educational Admin, & Leadership (EDAL)
Higher Education (HIED)
Society, Culture, & Politics in Education (SCPE)
EDST Committee Chairs
Scholarships & Awards
Joint PhD-MA Managment & Admissions*
*(Pilot for 2023-2024)
Samuel D. Rocha (Co-Chairs)
EdD in Educational Policy and Leadership Management & Admissions
Adult Learning and Global Change (ALGC) Management & Admissions
Undergraduate Programs Advisory Curriculum Ccommittee (UPACC)
Graduate Programs Advisory Curriculum Committee (GPACC)
There is no automatic transfer among programs. For MEd Students wishing to “transfer” to the MA program, please see the link here. For transfer from Master programs to Doctoral programs or vice versa, please see G+PS policies here.
Research assistant positions
Graduate research assistantships (GRAs) can become available throughout the year and may or may not be posted publicly as they depend on research funding from individual faculty members. The best way to learn about research assistantships is to talk with your supervisor and other faculty members who have projects you may be interested in working on. Make your interest in serving as a GRA known to these faculty members and ask them to notify you if an assistantship becomes available. GRA positions are not distributed equally across the department; faculty members who obtain larger research grants are able to hire more GRAs.
All graduate students admitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) must register when they begin their studies. Students must remain continuously registered until the degree is completed. This includes the summer term! Students in thesis-based programs who are not taking courses should register in their thesis course.
If you become ill, or need to take a leave for professional, parental, or other reasons, please discuss this with your supervisor or advisor and request a leave of absence. If granted, you will be registered as “on leave”. Failure to register for two consecutive terms may result in the student being required to withdraw.
Scholarships and fellowships
Many incoming students are interested in applying for a scholarship or fellowship to support their studies. The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) administers several scholarships/fellowships for domestic (Canadian citizen and Canadian Permanent Resident) Master’s and Doctoral students. Eligible Master’s students can apply for a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGSM) and eligible Doctoral students can apply for either a Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) or a SSHRCC Doctoral Fellowship. The University Affiliated Fellowships are administered by UBC and are open to both Master’s and Doctoral students, including international students. Eligible students may apply for both a SSHRC Fellowship and the Affiliated Awards in the same application.
The departmental deadline for receiving SSHRC/Affiliated Fellowships applications will be announced via the EDST student email list. Students new to UBC, particularly PhD students whose SSHRC application deadline at UBC is in mid- to late September, face a serious time crunch to prepare a competitive application, arrange for letters of reference, and have supporting materials such as original transcripts in by the deadline.
The competition for these awards is keen and the department only forwards very strong applications to the university adjudication committee. For CGS and SSHRC programs, the university adjudication committee forwards only the strongest applications to Ottawa for consideration.
There are also graduate funding opportunities within the faculty education. Interested students should visit Graduate Funding Opportunities – Faculty of Education (ubc.ca).
More information about graduate scholarships and awards is offered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Sessional Lecturer positions
Doctoral candidates can apply to teach an undergraduate course as a Sessional Lecturer at UBC.
Supervisor (see also Advisor)
Students in thesis-based programs (PhD, EdD, and MA) are assigned a research supervisor (or two co-supervisors). In the PhD and MA programs, students work with their individual (co-)supervisor(s) from the start; students in the EdD program start with cohort supervisors, and find (an) individual (co-)supervisor(s) later in the program. All EDST students wishing to change supervisor should use the “Change of Supervisor/Advisor” form. Doctoral students wishing to change supervisor after candidacy should also use the G+PS “Change to Supervisory Committee” form.
The department communicates to students through a departmental email list. This is how we inform students about deadlines, awards, research assistantship positions, workshops, etc. To be added to this list please send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: sometimes we hear that students unsubscribe from this list because they don’t like the number of emails they receive. However, this can result in students missing important deadlines and other information. We strongly advise you to subscribe, and remain subscribed, to this list.
Teaching assistant positions
Each year a limited number of teaching assistantships is available in the department. All graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) are posted to the department’s website and advertised via the EDST email list. Most GTA positions for the winter session that begins in September are filled during the prior spring and summer, but occasionally a teaching assistantship will be posted and filled on short notice during the winter session. Most teaching assistantships are awarded to experienced students in the second or later year of a doctoral program.
Theses and dissertations
Doctoral dissertations and MA theses are uploaded to the UBC Theses and Dissertations collection. You can search this online collection by author name as well as by program.
All students attending classes on campus have a monthly charge included in their fees to pay for public transit via a U-Pass account. The U-Pass account will be linked with the electronic Compass Card. It is valid from September through April on all public transit routes in the Lower Mainland. Information on getting to the UBC campus from the airport, or by car, bus or train, and the shuttle service between campus residences and the closest grocery store is available from http://planning.ubc.ca/vancouver/transportation-planning.
There are three sources of funds to support the travel costs of students who are the first author of an accepted paper for presentation at a conference; each award can be accessed once per student’s program.
- The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies graduate student travel fund provides up to $500 per award.
- The Faculty of Education offers a similar travel grant for a value of max. $750 per degree.
- The Department of Educational Studies Travel and Research Presentation Fund provides travel support to a maximum of $2,000 per graduate student per degree program.
Ts’’kel is not a separate program, but rather an internal concentration for advancing Indigenous access and Indigenous content across programs.
Tuition and fees
Tuition and fees are due three times a year. This is typically in the first week of September, January and May. The amount of tuition and fees you owe will appear in your account on the Student Service Centre website. Students are expected to register and pay fees continuously from the time of initial enrolment until they complete program requirements.
You can opt out of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Medical/Dental plan if you can provide evidence of other coverage. There are deadlines for opting out of this program, so if you intend to opt out, visit the website at http://www.studentcare.ca/ to learn about the process and the deadline. You can also opt out of some other fees by making a special application. Details about opting out can be found in the Fees section of the University). Partial or full reimbursement of the Health and Dental Plan fee is available on a need basis from the AMS and GSS through the AMS/GSS Health Plan Premium Assistance Fund. The application form is available at https://gss.ubc.ca/health-dental/ and the deadline for the application can be found on this website as well.
All students in both the PhD and EdD programs are regarded as full-time, but Master’s students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents have a choice of paying fees on a full-time (Schedule A) or part-time (Schedule B) basis. See the Fees section of the University Calendar for details on the differences between these two payment schedules. All beginning students are assumed by the university to be full time, so if you plan to be a part-time student paying on Schedule B, you must complete the Application for Part-time Payment Schedule B and submit it to the EDST Graduate Program Assistant before you begin your program. Read the application carefully because paying on Schedule B means you will not be eligible for certain forms of financial support. Please note that you cannot change your payment schedule once you begin your program, that is, you cannot switch to full-time payment if you have signed the Application for Part-time Schedule B form at the beginning of your program and conversely, you cannot switch from Schedule A or full-time payment of fees to paying part-time fees, once your program has begun.
Each program provides a program of study worksheet to make it easier for students and their supervisors or advisors to keep track of their course requirements. While it is not mandatory to use this worksheet, we do strongly encourage it, as it prevents students from accidentally missing courses they need for their program.