Take the next step in advancing your gender, race, sexuality and social justice career by applying to our Master of Arts (MA) or our Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs at UBC in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Application Requirements

Candidates for admission must comply with all regulations outlined in the UBC Calendar and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Applicants to MA program must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university-level institution. If you have a three-year degree, you must take an additional year of upper-level coursework before applying.

Applicants should ensure they hold a B+ average in 3rd and 4th year-level course work -or- at least 12 credits in the A- grade range (at UBC 80% or higher) in 3rd or 4th-year courses.

Applicants to PhD program must hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) from a recognized university in an area deemed by the advisory committee relevant to gender, race, sexuality and social justice, with excellent academic performance. You should also have adequate preparation in feminist theory and methodology.

Application Documents

When submitting your application, you will need to include the following documents:

Please provide a statement that describes the specific nature of the research you propose to conduct during your MA or PhD studies.

The statement is of particular importance and provides an opportunity to show the committee how you think, your writing style, and that you are well prepared for the specific research you would like to undertake.

Masters of Arts: Statement of Intent

This is a section embedded in the online application.  You may use this section or upload a separate Statement of Intent.  If you choose to upload a separate statement, enter “See attached statement” as your response in this section.

The suggested length for the Statement is 500 words plus citations, but a word-limit has not been set.  Be sure to include a description of your proposed research. Be as specific and precise as possible: research question, field of study, scholarly/practice relevance, methods

PhD: Research Statement

As a prospective PhD student, you must upload on the application site a 750-1,000-word research statement (plus footnotes and citations) articulating your research interests background and goals.

You must include a description of your envisaged doctoral dissertation research project that outlines links between your:

  • Proposed research project and own previous and current research and scholarly interests
  • Academic research and scholars in your area of research
  • Professional experience and expertise

Note: Embedded in the application form is a request for a brief statement of academic and professional goals (statement of intent), separate from the research statement.

Please upload an academic writing sample via the application site.

MA applicants

Most applicants submit an essay, or portion of one, written for a previous course. The writing can be on any topic. A length of approximately 10 double-spaced pages is recommended.

PhD applicants

We recommend you upload an essay, or portion of one, written for a previous course, a thesis (chapter) or a publication based on previous research.

PhD applicants must upload a file of their CV to the application site.

MA and PhD applicants must request three letters of reference from academic sources.

You will need to upload scans of your official transcripts with your application – please be sure to include the grading scale for your institution (often on the reverse side of the transcript). Do not upload an unofficial printout of grades.

It is not necessary to send official paper documents until you are offered admission.

If you are applying from a university outside Canada, where English is not the primary language, you must provide the results of an English Language Proficiency Examination (ELP).

You do not require an English Language Proficiency Examination if you graduated from a university from one of the following countries: Canada, the United States, Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, British West Indies, Singapore.

You must have taken the test within the last two years, and an official test score report ordered from the testing agency is required. Photocopies of test scores are not acceptable.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, upload a scan or photocopy of your PR card with your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

MA Applicants

MA applicants are not required to contact prospective supervisors. We suggest that you look over the GRSJ core faculty list and mention those whose research interests are a good match for your own in your Statement of Intent. The admissions committee matches successful applicants with supervisors during the admission process.

PhD Applicants

Although you are not required to secure a supervisor's commitment before applying, you are encouraged to contact prospective supervisors early to gauge interest in your research proposal and refine its focus.

The application will ask for the names of the faculty with whom you are interested in working with. Please review our faculty and use the Supervision Enquiry Form located below to contact prospective supervisors directly.

The admissions committee will consider your file with any letters you choose to submit. However, academic referees are more likely to provide the type of information that will strengthen your application. In general, referees should comment on your ability to succeed in a graduate program, giving specific examples of your academic strengths from their experience in working with you.

You can apply before your degree is complete. Provide 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.

A related degree is essential for the application to the PhD program.

MA Program:

The admissions committee will review all applications. However, the process is competitive, with 6-8 admissions from an applicant pool of about 90.

The majority of applicants each year have an academic background with links to social justice (although not necessarily a degree in GRSJ) in addition to meeting GPA and other application requirements. Therefore, it is unlikely that an applicant without any exposure to social justice in their previous course work could compete successfully.

If you have supplemented your degree with additional courses related to social justice and received good grades, that would be taken into consideration by the admissions committee. Coupled with other factors such as solid references, a clear and focused Statement of Intent, this would improve your chance of success.

The institute's admissions committee makes the selection. 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
  • Availability of faculty members in your area of interest

Offers are usually made in April.

Most students complete the master's program in 18-24 months. Students have a maximum of five years to complete.

Students are allowed six years to complete their PhD program, and most student complete within the six years.

The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice provides coupon codes to applicants who self-identify as an indigenous person to pay their application fee when submitting an application for admission. Graduate-degree seeking (MA and PhD) students are eligible to apply. Applicants who wish to apply for a coupon code should send an email to the Institute at Please note that applicants will need to enter the coupon code before they submit their application in eVision. We do not provide refunds once the application has been submitted and an application fee has been charged. Applicants who are applying to multiple programs may only receive one coupon code from one program.

Supervision Enquiry Form

If you would like to contact a proposed supervisor, please use the Supervision Enquiry Form.

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