At the UBC Okanagan campus, Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) programs allow students to work closely with faculty across a diverse set of departments and disciplines. The IGS structure allows for inter-faculty and inter-campus arrangements to supervise students and offer courses. The course and program requirements provide structure to ensure quality in both the breadth and depth of the student’s academic experience. Students currently enroled in the IGS program have the option of continuing with their program, or transitioning to the Themed IGS program.

Graduate Degrees

Program Components Duration
MA/MSc  Coursework and Thesis  24 months
PhD  Coursework and Dissertation  48 months

The UBC Okanagan campus of UBC offers interdisciplinary graduate degrees across a wide range of program options. Defined Themes assist students in focusing studies towards particular areas of interest. In select circumstances, an individualized option (PhD only) offers coursework that is customized to the student’s specialized area of interdisciplinary study.

Students enroled in master’s programs will learn methods and acquire skills that enable them to undertake practical research on real-world problems in academic and non-academic contexts. Graduates of the master’s program are prepared for employment opportunities in teaching and research institutions, private-sector organizations and corporations, or for public-sector governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Milestones for the program include: completing coursework; preparing a research proposal; engaging in independent research; collecting and analyzing data; writing and defending the thesis; and publishing research results. Most students become teaching assistants (TAs) for at least one semester in order to gain valuable teaching experience and to learn effective communication strategies.

The master’s program requires a minimum of 30 credits for completion. Specific coursework requirements may vary from Theme to Theme and all specific courses applicable to the student’s program must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee. All masters’ students must be enroled in an IGS Theme.

The PhD is an advanced research degree that requires original and substantive contributions to the advancement of knowledge. Graduates of the PhD program are prepared for employment opportunities in teaching and research institutions, private-sector organizations and corporations, or for public-sector governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Formal milestones for the program include: completing coursework; passing a candidacy examination that demonstrates breadth and depth of knowledge in the chosen field and specialization; preparing and developing a research proposal for approval by the supervisory committee; and, completing and defending a dissertation. PhD students are also expected to communicate research results via conference presentations and publications in scientific journals. Most PhD students become TAs in order to gain valuable teaching experience and to enhance their communication skills.

At the PhD level, coursework beyond two program-wide mandatory courses is required only at the discretion of the student’s supervisory committee, depending on previous course credits from the prior Master’s degree and the nature of the student’s research objectives.


The UBC Okanagan campus offers interdisciplinary graduate degrees within a program (IGS) based on Themes. An IGS Theme is a defined area of interdisciplinary study supported by a group of faculty engaged in a common space of interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and/or multidisciplinary research. Each Theme offers a specific group of graduate courses to advance the education and expertise of students in its interdisciplinary area, and its faculty members are available to assist and/or supervise students in their Theme-based program of master’s or doctoral studies.

The following IGS Themes are available:

Please refer to specific Theme pages for detailed admission requirements, tuition and funding information, and for instructions on how to apply. Please note: Interested applicants are encouraged to begin contacting potential supervisors. The formal application process for IGS Themes will open in the Fall.

Visit the IGS Student Hub for information and resources for currently enroled IGS students

IGS Student Hub

Build a program that is flexible and responsive to your interests

Program Components Duration
PhD Coursework and Dissertation 48 months

The UBC Okanagan campus offers interdisciplinary graduate degrees within a program (IGS) based on Themes. Under extraordinary circumstances, an individualized option is available for PhD students only. This option is restricted to graduate students who have first-class standing and who can acquire University-based or scholarship funding at the equivalent of full Tri-Council levels. The Individualized option builds a program that is flexible and responsive to the specialized interests of the student. In the Individualized IGS program option, the supervisor creates a supervisory committee in consultation with the applicant. The committee and specified coursework are customized to the student’s area of study.

Admission Requirements

The College of Graduate Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants. Admission to this program is competitive and limited. Students will be admitted on the basis of the:

  • student’s record of academic and professional achievements;
  • letters of recommendation;
  • quality and feasibility of the proposed study and research proposal;
  • supervisor’s ability to support the program of study and;
  • availability of financial and operational support.

Not all students who meet the minimum admission requirements will be accepted to the program.

More information

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia.

Tuition and Funding


All graduate students are responsible for keeping tuition payment and student fees up-to-date until the completion of their program. Students pay fees online through the Student Service Centre.

Students who encounter financial difficulty during their studies should discuss the issue with their graduate supervisor. Graduate students at UBC’s Okanagan campus who have questions about tuition, or are in need of additional financial support, should visit the UBC Okanagan Student Services’ website.

Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. Graduate students at UBC’s Okanagan campus who have questions about funding opportunities should visit the College of Graduate Studies Tuition, Awards and Finance page.

How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Make sure to contact the appropriate faculty before starting an application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor as well as meeting program-specific criteria for admission requirements.

Required Documents

A complete application package will contain:


Applying takes time. Students are advised to start the application process two months in advance.

For full consideration students should submit all application materials by the following deadlines:

Intake Application Deadline
Domestic applicants
September January 15
International applicants
September January 15

For IGS Graduate Student profiles, see the Theme web pages (links above).

Individualized Program graduate students

Department of Community Culture and Global Studies

Lindsay Harris
Lindsay HarrisPhD Student, Anthropology

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS): Exploring how communities deliberate about which social initiatives to pursue, and how advocates determine the value(s) of these initiatives. Specific interests include food security, community gardening, and poverty reduction.

MA, University of Chicago
BA, Providence University College

Mike Evans, Anthropology


Kelsey Marr


Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies; reproduction; reproductive disruptions; reproductive mobilities; COVID-19 pandemic; biopolitics; Sweden

My doctoral research explores the potential biopolitical and sociocultural implications of the CVID-19 pandemic for the reproductive trajectories of people living in Sweden. I draw analytically on the notion of “reproductive disruptions” (Inhorn 2009), to examine the potential challenges, shifts, and reconcretizations Sweden’s “alternative” approach to the mitigation of the pandemic has wrought for human reproduction. This research draws on the theoretical framework of reproductive mobilities to ask: in what ways has reproduction been disrupted or re-concretized by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for whom? And what decisions are people making about having/raising children and how do they see the pandemic having anything to do with those decisions?

MA, University of Saskatchewan
BA, Honours University of Prince Edward Island

Susan Frohlick, Anthropology


Adriane Peak

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS): My research in medical anthropology involves the positive and negative effects of social support systems on mental and physical health. I am particularly interested in studying the impact of programs such as psychological first aid on the well-being of individuals and communities.

BA, University of British Columbia

David Geary, Anthropology

Amer Younes


Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS): Examining the existence of disparities in integration of newcomers into the model of Multiculturalism between major Canadian cities and the suburbs. I will focus on the recent immigration flow of refugees and skilled workers by exploring Multiculturalism in Kelowna and the Okanagan and benchmarking its economic, social and demographic manifestations with those of bigger cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

BASc, The American University of Beirut

David Geary, Anthropology

Department of Economics, Philosophy and Political Science

Darielle Talarico


Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS): Democratic theory, deliberative democracy theory, epistemic and ontological transformation, digital serious games, experiments, group polarization, confirmation bias.

MSc, Education Simon Fraser University

Carey Doberstein, Political Science
Mike Burgess, Medical Genetics

Department of History and Sociology

Laura Mudde

My tentative research topic is focused on the Truth and Reconciliation legacy in Canada in connection to questions of whiteness, guilt, trauma, and denial. I am interested in the framing of historical trauma and reconciliation through the use of critical theory, state surveillance and governance, as well as resistant counter narratives to dominant perspectives on national history and issues of continued settler colonialism.

Luis LM Aguiar, Sociology

IGS Forms

For all IGS related forms, including the IGS Course Scheduling Form, please see our Forms database.