Applications for our graduate programs are required to meet admission and application requirements for both the Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at UBC and the Department of Sociology.
The admissions process at UBC Sociology is similar to that of other North American graduate programs and operates on a similar timeline. Applicants are notified of their admission decision in the spring.
Applicants should familiarize themselves with this website and that of UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for all information regarding application requirements and procedures.
The graduate admissions process at UBC is a collaboration between the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) and the Department of Sociology. G+PS determines whether an applicant meets their minimum admission requirements. The Department of Sociology determines whether an applicant meets the academic standards required for graduate-level study in Sociology. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G&PS) website. Please note, admission to our graduate programs is competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure admission.
Applicants to Sociology programs at UBC are not required to arrange a supervisor before applying.
Applicants without a prior graduate degree must apply to the MA program. UBC Sociology does not permit direct entry to the PhD program.
To be considered for admission to the MA program in full standing, an applicant should:
- Hold a four-year degree in sociology or a cognate field (i.e. a closely related field with significant sociological content)
- Attained first-class standing (80% at UBC) in their upper-level courses, especially their sociology courses
- Meet all Specific Requirements for UBC Sociology (see below)
- Meet all minimum requirements for admission to graduate studies at UBC set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
In deciding on admission to the Ph.D. program the Department of Sociology considers an applicant’s previous academic accomplishments and potential to pursue and complete original sociological research.
Students entering the Ph.D. program are normally required to have completed an M.A. degree in sociology or a related social science field (with significant sociological content). Students entering without a M.A. degree in sociology should discuss their preparedness for graduate studies in sociology in their applications.
Applicants should also ensure that they meet all of the minimum requirements for admission to graduate studies at UBC set by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
Specific Requirements for UBC Sociology
The language of instruction at UBC is English. Applicants who have not completed a degree at a university where English is the primary language of instruction must complete a foreign language aptitude test. Minimum requirements for the most common acceptable tests are below:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
- Paper exam: 600
- Computer: 250
- Internet: 100 (minimum 25 on reading and writing sections; minimum 22 on listening and speaking)
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
- Overall score minimum 7.0; no less than 6.5 in any section
Results must be from the past 24 months.
For certain kinds of thesis or dissertation research, a student may require competence in a language other than their own. In that case, a requirement for language training will be incorporated into the student's program.
Applicants should carefully read the information contained here regarding admission requirements, transcripts, tests and documentation before completing the electronic application form. Applicants must apply online with the Online Application at Graduate Studies Online Application.
Domestic and international applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee payable to the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. This fee can be paid by Visa or Mastercard via the online application.
Payments can be made by Visa or Mastercard; the system also accepts Interac/debit payments for individuals with banking accounts at Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank of Canada or Bank of Montreal, and is available on the G+PS website.
The application fee is waived only in the following circumstances:
- For international applicants whose citizenship and correspondence address is located in one of the world's 50 least developed countries, as declared by the United Nations.
- Seniors: BC residents who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents aged 65 years or over at the time of application.
If you are eligible for an application fee waiver, you do not need to apply for it. You will not be asked for a fee when you complete the online application.
The online application is open from September 1 to December 1 of the year prior to a program's start date. UBC Sociology has only one intake (in September) per year.
The department will accept required documents whose submission is not solely the responsibility of the applicant (e.g. letters of reference and language scores) until December 15th.
Applicants are required to scan official transcripts of all previous academic work from all post-secondary institutions. Transcripts must be:
- Validated by the institution's registrar and on official, secure university letterhead (or, if provided by the institution, in the form of a secure .pdf)
- Uploaded as .pdf documents and clearly labelled
- Accompanied by the grading key for the institution
- Translated by a certified translator if in a language other than English or French
Transcripts in the form of a print-out from the student's online records, transcripts with no grading scale, and transcripts in languages other than English or French will not be evaluated.
Applicants offered admission will be asked to order certified transcripts from their school's registrar to be sent directly to the Sociology Graduate Office. Applicants should not send official copies until instructed to do so.
Applicants should provide names and contact information for three academic referees via the online application system (GRASP). Once the application fee is paid, the system will automatically generate emails prompting referees to complete the form and upload their letter. Referees may only be contacted through institutional email addresses: @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, and other unrestricted email services may not use the online system.
Those referees who prefer to complete their reference on paper or who do not possess institutional email addresses must send their paper reference to the Sociology Graduate Office in a sealed envelope with the referee's signature across the seal.
Please provide a written statement of academic goals that indicates your proposed area of study for the M.A. or Ph.D. degree in Sociology. The statement should address questions such as:
- What research questions motivate you?
- What theoretical tradition(s) will likely inform or structure your research?
- Are there specific methodological skills you hope to develop and apply while in the program?
The statement should also identify those members of the faculty with whom the applicant would like to work, and how the applicant's research interests align with the broader research areas of the department.
The statement should be between 500 and 1000 words in length.
Applicants whose previous degree was not in Sociology must include an addendum of 500 words or fewer describing their level of preparedness for graduate study in Sociology, such as courses with substantial sociological content, sociological research and sociologists that have informed your own work, related research assistantship experiences, etc.
Please provide a writing sample. It is appropriate but not necessary for your writing sample to be on the research topic described in your prospectus. If applying for the Ph.D. program applicants should submit some portion of their M.A. thesis or major paper. If applying for the M.A. program an undergraduate upper-level major paper is appropriate.
A complete application package contains the following:
- Application form (online)
- All post-secondary transcripts (with English translation if necessary) including institution's grade scale
- Official degree certificate if necessary (with English translation if necessary)
- Three reference letters from academic referees
- Statement of sociological preparedness (if required)
- Curriculum vitae
- Writing sample
- Language proficiency test results from past 24 months (if required)
GRE general test results from the past 24 months (if required)
You must 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. Please scan the front and back of the transcript including your institution's grade scale.
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 all required official academic records are received and validated by the University. Successful candidates will be asked for 2 official copies of transcripts, in sealed envelopes with the institution's stamp across the seal to be sent to the Sociology Graduate Office.
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. Please attend to any directions the specific graduate program may provide about naming your scanned document files. Otherwise, they should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension" Click here for instructions.
The online application form is electronically sent to the Sociology Graduate Secretary upon electronically submitting the application.
Below is the address for those documents that must be mailed:
Graduate Secretary - Admissions
Department of Sociology
University of British Columbia
6303 N.W. Marine Drive
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1