Application 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. Attainment of the minimal qualifications does not ensure admission.

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.  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.

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. The application fee is waived for certain international applicants whose citizenship and correspondence address is located in one of the United Nation's Least Developed Countries.

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. These countries include but are not limited to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Uganda. Complete list of eligible countries.
  • Students applying to graduate programs in the Department of Chemistry. The fee is paid for by the department.
  • 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 Department receives far more applications than it can accommodate each year, and inevitably excellent applicants are turned down. It is in your interest to consider applying to several graduate schools.

The admissions period for the September 2019 program start date will open on September 1st. The deadline to apply is December 1st. All supporting documents must be received by December 15th.

Supporting documents received after the deadline cannot be guaranteed assessment by the Sociology Graduate Student Council (SGSC).

Language Proficiency Tests

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 take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before their application for admission will be considered. UBC Sociology requires that applicants achieve a TOEFL score of 600 (paper exam), 250 (computer exam) or 100 (Internet exam). Alternatively, the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) language tests may be taken. The GCE A-Level English examination with a standing of at least “B” is also acceptable in lieu of the TOEFL. The language exam must have been taken within the past two years.

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.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

Students who do not have a prior degree from a Canadian university are required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination); results must be from the past 24 months. The Graduate Record Examination has two components: a General Test measuring verbal, quantitative, and analytical reasoning skills, and a Subject Test measuring achievement in particular fields of study. Please visit the GRE website for details. The UBC institution code is 0965.

Transcripts and Degree Certificates

Applicants are required to scan official transcripts of all previous academic work from all post-secondary institutions as digital files (.pdfs) and upload them to the online application system (GRASP). If the academic records are in a language other than English or French, students are required to arrange for certified translations to be attached, as well. Applicants who are given offers will be asked to mail their official, original, or certified copies of the original records, in envelopes sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution to the Sociology Graduate Office. Please note that an official degree certificate must also be submitted if the degree granted is not indicated on your transcripts. Please include the grading key for the transcripts.

Reference Letters/Forms

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 to the referees. Referees will be provided with a link to an online e-reference page where they will have the option to either fill out an online form or upload a letter of reference in Word or PDF format. If your referee would rather complete a paper application you can download the application from the system and send it to them. If they decide on this option we will require the paper reference to be sent to the Sociology Graduate Office in a sealed envelope with the referee's signature across the seal.

Statement of Academic Goals

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. 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? Please also identify one of more potential faculty supervisors with whom you would like to work. Your statement of academic goals should be between 500 and 1000 words in length.

Applicants to the M.A. program who have not completed a B.A. in Sociology and applicants to the Ph.D. program who do not have a B.A. or M.A. degree in Sociology should include with their statement of academic goals an additional statement of 500 words or fewer describing their level of preparedness for graduate study in Sociology, e.g., completed courses with substantial sociological content, sociological research and sociologists that have informed your own work, related research assistantship experiences, etc.

Writing Sample (Scholarly Writing)

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 we prefer to have applicants 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
• Prospectus
• Statement of sociological preparedness (if necessary)
• Curriculum vitae
• Writing sample
• Language proficiency test results from past 24 months (if necessary)
• GRE general test results from the past 24 months (if necessary)

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.

Graduate Secretary - Admissions
Department of Sociology
University of British Columbia
6303 N.W. Marine Drive
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1