Admission Requirements

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Applications for the Doctor of Philosophy open on December 1st. The deadline for receipt of all application materials, including references and transcripts, is January 15th. The Admissions Committee will not consider your application unless all documents have been received by this date. There is only one admission cycle per year, and all new students begin the program in September.

We accept applicants from many diverse backgrounds and countries, and we do not have a limit to out-of-province or international students. We rank all completed applications and applicants are offered admission based on merit. If you will complete your masters degree before the entry date in September, we encourage you to apply.

Applicants must meet the minimum academic requirements, relevant experience, and program requirements set out by the PhD Program and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Contact us with questions about the admission requirements or admissions process: spph.graduate-programs@ubc.ca. You may also review the information on how to apply.

Minimum Academic Requirements

Masters Degrees from Canada or USA Degree and GPA:

  • A degree equivalent to a UBC masters degree.
  • A GPA of B+ or higher, calculated from all coursework taken for the masters degree.
  • Find more information about degrees and GPAs for Canadian and US institutions from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Quantitative Skills (applicants must meet one of the following):

  • A B+ or higher grade in an undergraduate statistics or mathematics course. The course must appear on the transcript and have been taken within the past ten years.

OR

  • A score of 153 or higher on both the verbal and the quantitative components of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The test must have been taken within the past five years. An equivalent, standardized test may also be accepted, but applicants must contact us for approval.

English Language Proficiency:

  • Applicants do not need to submit and English Language test.
International Masters degrees Degree and GPA:

  • Applicants with international credentials must have academic backgrounds that meet the minimum requirements outlined by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for the country of origin of the credential(s). The GPA is calculated on all courses taken for the degree. Please note that we do not accept transcript evaluations from WES or similar agencies.

Quantitative Skills (applicants must meet one of the following):

  • A B+ or higher grade in an undergraduate statistics or mathematics course. The course must appear on the transcript and have been taken within the past ten years.

OR

  • A score of 153 or higher on both the verbal and the quantitative components of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The test must have been taken within the past five years. An equivalent, standardized test may also be accepted, but applicants must contact us for approval.

English Language Proficiency:

  • A score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL OR a score of 7.0 or higher (and component scores of 6.5 or higher) on the IELTS. The test must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

An English Language test is required for all applicants with an undergraduate degree from a university where English is not the primary language of instruction.

Meeting the minimum criteria does not ensure acceptance into the program – most successful applicants present academic credentials and test scores that are above the minimum.

Relevant Experience Requirements for All Applicants

Applicants should have interest, experience, and/or skills in a health-related field. This information can be provided in the following required documents.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) 

A detailed and up-to-date CV that highlights your academic, research, and professional experience. Please include (if relevant): academic history, publications, conference presentations, awards, fellowships, teaching experience, workshops, volunteer work, or employment. We recommend sharing your CV with your potential supervisor.

Find more resources to assist in preparing your CV from UBC Student Services or G+PS.

Letter of intent (LOI)

A letter of intent that describes your career objectives, your research interests, and how the PhD program will meet your career goals. The LOI should be about 700 words. We recommend sharing your LOI with your potential supervisor.

You can find tips on writing your LOI from G+PS.

Reference Letters
Three reference letters are required for each application. We prefer that two of these references be from former professors, but we will accept professional references if you do not have academic references. Please ask your references highlight your academic skills, research skills, and your ability to excel in an academic environment. This might include:

  • Potential to succeed as a graduate student
  • Academic ability and initiative
  • Critical thinking and complex problem solving skills
  • Ability to interpret and communicate data clearly and effectively
  • Demonstrated compassion, professionalism, and integrity

Please ask your referees to provide information on the context in which they’ve known you (e.g., work environment, your role and responsibilities, or the educational/course setting).

Program-Specific Admissions Policies

Supervisor support is required for all PhD applications. We are not able to review applications without supervisor support. The best way to connect with a potential supervisor is to investigate Faculty profiles (including research interests and recent publications) and then contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to inquire whether they are willing to serve as your supervisor.

Use the SPPH profiles of faculty, SPPH list of potential supervisors, or the G+PS Supervisor Tool to assist you in your investigation.

SPPH offers a minimum funding guarantee of $18,000 per year for the first four years in your PhD program. All new full-time admissions to the SPPH PhD program will receive an offer of admission from the program that includes a funding package. The funding package may consist of any combination of external or internal scholarships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or income from other academically-related work at UBC (e.g. graduate administrative assistantships, lectureships). At your request, income from other employment in your field of research may be considered part of the funding package, whether the work occurs on or off campus. You may be required to disclose your sources and amounts of university employment income or scholarship funding, as well as other income sources to the graduate program, and you must inform the program immediately of any new or additional funding sources. You will be able to accept or decline the package as a whole or only accept specific components.

Information about tuition fees for the PhD program can be found here.