You Belong Here
The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) welcomed UBC to Syilx Okanagan territory in 2005. Since that time, UBC Okanagan has welcomed over 450 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit graduate students from across Canada.
Aboriginal people at all levels of academia are a key factor in generating a vibrant learning culture that embraces Aboriginal ways of knowing, learning and creating. UBC Okanagan’s campus embraces graduate students as part of the fabric that promotes indigeneity while supporting students on their learning journey.
Graduate students play an important role in contributing to the innovation and discovery currently shaping our communities. At UBC Okanagan, students have access to global teaching, learning and research opportunities. As part of a tight-knit and supportive community, graduate students build close relationships with teaching and mentoring faculty members, other students, and staff on campus.
Welcome to UBC Okanagan
UBC Okanagan respectfully acknowledges the traditions and customs of the Syilx Okanagan people in whose territory the Okanagan Campus is situated.
You can see the connection to the Syilx Okanagan Nation on campus through our bilingual street signs which are written in both English and n’syilxcen, the Story Poles and the Okanagan Nation flag in the main campus courtyard, and the variety of events and programming provided throughout the year.
UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan
The Indigenous Strategic Plan sets out a series of eight goals and 43 actions the university will collectively take in order to advance our vision of becoming a leading university globally in the implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights.
UBC Okanagan’s Declaration of Truth and Reconciliation Commitments
On September 24, 2019, students, faculty and staff gathered to witness UBC Okanagan’s declaration of Truth and Reconciliation commitments.
ADMISSIONS FOR ABORIGINAL STUDENTS
The College of Graduate Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements for all applicants. Each graduate program may have additional requirements. Many graduate programs make a point of taking into consideration the full range of academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that Aboriginal applicants bring to their preparation for graduate study.
We recommend that all potential applicants refer to specific Graduate Degree Programs for detailed information regarding the program and specific admission requirements.
Many graduate students come to UBC with families. Our University Children’s Learning Centre gives priority to faculty, staff, and students, with UBCO students given discounted rates.
HOW TO APPLY
The College of Graduate Studies is looking forward to reviewing your application for admission to our master’s and PhD programs. Applying to the College of Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus is a simple four-step process:
1. Find a Program & Supervisor
Explore UBC Okanagan’s master’s and doctoral programs to find information about programs and supervisors.
A supervisor is a faculty member who mentors graduate students in their research. Many research-based graduate programs expect students to identify a prospective supervisor prior to applying for admission.
tIPS FOR FINDING A SUPERVISOR
- Check the program website. Most programs provide lists of faculty members/potential supervisors and their research interests. Follow program instructions on how best to approach potential supervisors.
- View potential supervisor’s profiles online and familiarize yourself with their work and publications.
- Write a brief email to them indicating your knowledge of their research and how it fits with your interests (be specific, refer to their publications).
- Share your intention to apply to a graduate program & interest in working with them.
- Include a couple of points about your background.
- Ask if it is OK to refer to them as a prospective supervisor in your application.
2. Check Admission Requirements
Review the requirements for your chosen program.
3. Prepare Your Application
Make sure you have all the components for your application. You are also encouraged to provide information in your application regarding the academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that has strengthened your preparation for graduate study.
4. Apply Online
Access our online application system
Although it is not required, you are strongly encouraged to self-identify as an Aboriginal applicant in the online application. Self-identification ensures you are recognized as eligible for Aboriginal-specific award opportunities and receive communications from Aboriginal Programs and Services, as well as have a chance to be recognized in our annual Aboriginal Graduation Celebration. Learn about self-identification.
Your application is important to us. If you have submitted an application to the College of Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus, please allow up to 10 business days after receipt of the document(s) for verification and processing. Verified documents will be updated on your online checklist. If you have questions regarding the completion of your application, please check your online checklist by logging into the online application system.
AWARDS FOR ABORIGINAL STUDENTS
UBC Okanagan provides funding opportunities specifically for Aboriginal graduate students, including the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship, Graduate Dean’s Aboriginal Entrance Fellowship, the Donna Lester-Smith Aboriginal Graduate Award, and the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Program allows institutions to recommend applications from self-identified Aboriginal applications beyond the institutional assigned quota.
Additional funding opportunities are available broadly to graduate students, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, federal grants, and scholarships.
In the process of helping grassroots movements find their voice, David Lacho also found his own.
A drive for relational and community-connected work lead Katrina, a UBC Okanagan professor, on a path towards health equity.
For alumnus Marlowe Sam, a university campus situated in the traditional territory of the Okanagan Sylix people has distinct advantages.
Indigenous Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student Mary Song pays forward the guidance she receives from elders.
Resources and Support
Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE)
Sage is a province-wide, inter-institutional, peer-support/faculty-mentoring educational program. The program supports Aboriginal students to make significant educational and social change using research, Indigenous knowledge, and community-oriented approaches. Non-Aboriginal graduate students engaged in Indigenous research are also encouraged to participate in SAGE.
The College of Graduate Studies, in partnership with Aboriginal Program and Services and faculty members, are here to assist and support Aboriginal students throughout their journey from application to graduation. Together, we recognize the importance of building the Aboriginal graduate student community at UBC Okanagan and the valuable contribution of Aboriginal scholars for the academy and their communities. Whether it’s beginning your graduate studies, graduating, pursuing postdoctoral fellowships, becoming a faculty member or mentor, we are here to support your journey through lifelong connection to you and your community.
Aboriginal Programs & Services provides community and culturally appropriate services and support to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students. You belong here.