Frequently Asked Questions

What are the minimum scores for TOEFL, IELTS and other English language tests?

The Institute uses minimum scores set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  An English proficiency test is not required if you completed a degree at an institution where the primary language of instruction was English.

Is the GRE required?


Should MA applicants contact potential supervisors?

MA applicants need not contact prospective supervisors.  It is suggested that you look over the list of GRSJ Core Faculty and Faculty Associates, and mention in your letter of intent those whose research interests are a good match for your own.  The Admissions Committee matches successful applicants with supervisors during the admission process and it will be useful for them to have the names of faculty members working in your area.

Must PhD applicants secure a supervisor before applying?

Graduate students at the Social Justice Institute draw on core Faculty and  Faculty Associates to serve as supervisors and committee members. Although you are not required to secure a commitment from a supervisor before applying, you are encouraged to contact prospective supervisors early to gauge interest in your research proposal and to refine its focus. The application will ask for the names of faculty with whom you are interested in working.

Will non-academic reference letters be accepted?

Your file will be considered by the Admissions Committee with any letters you choose to submit, but academic referees are more likely to provide the type of information that will strengthen your application.  In general, referees should be able to comment on your ability to succeed in a graduate program, giving specific examples of your academic strengths from their experience in working with you.

Is there funding for my MA?

The Institute does not offer full-funding to MA students at this time. All successful applicants are considered for small scholarships. A separate scholarship application is not required. Student Assistantships may be available, and students admitted to the program will be notified about these opportunities.  Most international students are eligible for the International Partial Tuition Scholarship.  Information about  additional funding opportunities can be found on our Graduate Funding page.

Is there funding for my PhD?

The Institute is usually able to award full-funding to one PhD student per year through UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship (4YF) which provides $18,200 per year plus tuition for the first four years of PhD studies.  All successful applicants to the PhD program are considered for the 4YF, a separate scholarship application is not required.  Additional scholarship funding and research assistantships, when available, are also assigned during the admission process, and successful applicants are invited to apply for Teaching Assistantship openings (about 15 per year). Both Canadian and International students are eligible for the 4YF and assistantships.  Most international students are eligible for the International Partial Tuition Scholarship.  Information about  additional funding opportunities can be found on our Graduate Funding page.

My degree won’t be complete by the application deadline.  Can I still apply?

You can apply before your degree is complete.  Upload the most up-to-date transcript available at the time you apply.  Should you be offered admission it will be conditional upon receipt of your final transcript showing degree completion.

How am I selected and when will I find out?

Selection is made by the Institute’s admissions committee. In assessing applications the admissions committee considers a composite of information:  previous academic performance including preparation in gender, race, sexuality and social justice, publications, comments from referees, relevant professional and activist activities, research statement/statement of intent, and availability of faculty members in your area of interest.  Applicants are considered not only on the basis of their own qualifications, but also in relation to those of other applicants.

2017 graduate application results will be available as of April 14, 2017.

How much is tuition?

Graduate tuition is paid in 3 installments per year.  For the 2016-17 academic year tuition rates were as follows:

International students: 3 x $2,756.85 (see also International Tuition Award)
Canadian citizens and permanent residents: 3 x $1,569.22

In addition to tuition, student fees are assessed.  Visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ Tuition, Fees & Cost of Living website for more information on tuition, application fees, student fees, cost of living and how to pay.

How many applications does the program receive and how many students are admitted?

2016-17 academic year:
PhD:  23 applications, 2 students admitted
MA:  51 applications, 5 students admitted

How long is the program?

MA:  Most students complete the program in 18-24 months.  Students have a maximum of five years to complete.
PhD:  Students are allowed six years to complete and most take the full six years.