Global Studies

Explore the intersection of global politics, economics, social policy, and culture

Graduate Program Overview

Program Components Expected Duration
MA Coursework and thesis 24 months
PhD Coursework and dissertation 48 months

The Global Studies interdisciplinary graduate program at UBC’s Okanagan campus addresses prominent themes and trends in a globalized world.  It is a truly interdisciplinary program that concentrates on the intersection of global politics, economics, social policy, and culture.

The program emphasizes both theory and the everyday applications of knowledge. Students will learn to analyze complex global issues in a practical manner, using both traditional and avant-garde conceptual approaches.

This global studies program will also give students access to the knowledge, resources, and collaboration of three faculties and eight departments at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Unique synergies and opportunities are created by the wide variety of expertise of professors from the areas of anthropology, cultural studies, english, economics, gender and women’s studies, indigenous studies, nursing, philosophy, politics, sociology, and social work.

Students will gain the analytical skills required for employment in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. For those pursuing an academic career, the global studies program will provide students with the conceptual, methodological and research skills required to advance to the PhD or post-doctorate level.

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The interdisciplinary master’s degree in global studies gives graduate students access to the expertise of diverse, nationally and internationally recognized researchers from a variety of faculties and disciplines in a coherent, thematic framework.

Graduates of the program will come away with a nuanced understanding of:

  • Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of global studies
  • Theoretical and practical aspects of global studies
  • The value of collaborative research across disciplines
Program milestones
  • Establishing a faculty supervisory committee
  • Completing coursework
  • Preparing, presenting, and defending a thesis research proposal
  • Completing thesis research and writing, and defending the work
Coursework requirements

18 credits of coursework are required, including:

  • Proseminar in Interdisciplinary Studies (IGS 524)
  • Theme Seminar in Global Politics, Culture and Theory (IGS 587)
  • Theme Seminar in Global Studies Panorama (IGS 588)
  • One research methods course
  • Additional coursework, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisor

The PhD degree is centred on conducting original, cutting-edge research in areas related to global studies. Graduates of the PhD program are prepared for careers requiring advanced independent research and teaching in academia, government, and industry.

Program milestones
  • Establishing a faculty supervisory committee
  • Selecting and completing coursework
  • Preparing, presenting, and defending a thesis research proposal
  • Passing an oral candidacy exam
  • Completing thesis research and writing, and defending the work.
Coursework requirements

Twelve credits of coursework are required. These will be selected in collaboration with the student’s supervisory committee.

Career Possibilities

Students graduating from the program will gain the analytical skills required for employment in non-governmental organizations, as well as the private and public sectors. For those pursuing an academic career, the Global Studies program will provide students with the conceptual, methodological, and research skills required to advance to the PhD or Post-Doctorate level. The program will be geared to a student’s endeavor toward future employment or education.

Research & Supervisors

This IGS degree draws on the expertise of many nationally and internationally recognized faculty researchers with experience in areas related to global studies.

Research Areas

Graduate students can pursue any theme related to global studies that involves an interdisciplinary approach between some or all of the fields of:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Cultural studies
  • Gender And women’s studies
  • Indigenous studies
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Social work
Supervisors

Please touch base with a faculty supervisor before you start the application process. We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.


David Geary | Anthropology | david.geary@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Religion, transnationalism, diaspora; the spatial politics of UNESCO World Heritage; tourism imaginaries and urban redevelopment; Buddhism, modernity and South Asia.


John Graham | Social Work | john.graham@ubc.ca |
Research interests: International development (with a particular focus on Bedouin-Arab communities in the Middle East); social policy; diversity and social work; spirituality and social work; multicultural social work; homelessness; employee well being; subjective well being (happiness) in and out of the workplace.


Thomas Heilke | Political Science | thomas.heilke@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Political philosophy and theory; classical political thought; modern political thought; political theology; religion and politics; political ideologies; and, international relations in political philosophy. Thomas Heilke has published on a variety of topics and is currently writing a book on the role(s) of religious beliefs, communities, and organizations in international relations.


Catherine Higgs | History | catherine.higgs@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Social activism; labor history; political history; religious history; women’s history; World history, European colonialism, economic history, Africa, Southern and South Africa, West Africa.


Carl Hodge | Political Science | carl.hodge@ubc.ca |
Research interests: European politics; American politics; international security.


Jasmin Hristov | Sociology | jasmin.hristov@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Development and conflict; political violence; non-state armed actors; human rights; neoliberalilsm; Latin America; land dispossession; human trafficking and sexual violence.


Andrew Irvine | Philosophy | andrew.irvine@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Philosophy of logic; philosophy of mathematics; philosophy of law.


Mohsen Javdani | Economics | mohsen.javdani@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Labour economics; applied econometrics; economics of education; economics of immigrants and minorities; economics of gender; personnel economics.


David Jefferess | English, Cultural Studies | david.jefferess@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Postcolonial literature and theory; humanitarian/development discourses; alter-globalization/decolonization; settler studies/reconciliation.


Adam Jones | Political Science | adam.jones@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Genocide and structural violence; crimes against humanity; gender and violence; gender and international political economy; research impacts, human rights policymaking and social activism; gender and development policies, humanitarian intervention and peacebuilding; international law.


Ilya Parkins| Gender & Women’s Studies | ilya.parkins@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Feminist theories, especially epistemologies; history and theory of fashion; theories of modernity and early twentieth-century cultural formations; femininities.


James Rochlin | Political Science | james.rochlin@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Latin American politics and critical security studies; exploration of new conceptions of security in Latin America, including those related to insurgencies, race and class, as well as production of oil; and Inter-American politics.


Margo Tamez | Indigenous Studies | margo.tamez@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Ndé consciousness of time, place, and homeland; Indigenous women’s consciousness of land-based relations in Kónitsąąíí gokíyaa (Lipan Apache country); Indigenous consciousness along the Río Grande River; Indigenous peoples and human rights; borders; militarization; memory; Indigenous decolonial concepts; self-determination; transitional justice; the poetics of Indigenous movements


Marie Tarrant | Nursing | marie.tarrant@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Maternal and child health, specifically breastfeeding and maternal vaccinations; interventions to improve maternal and child health outcomes; the effect of breastfeeding on postpartum glycemic control in women diagnosed with gestational diabetes.


Manuela Ungureanu | Philosophy | manuela.ungureanu@ubc.ca |
Research interests: Philosophy of mind and language; social epistemology; philosophy of social sciences, with a focus on university education and censorship during communism.

Admission Requirements

Admission to UBC graduate programs is competitive. Applicants must meet the following criteria.

MASTER OF ARTS (MA) APPLICANTS 

Applicants to the master’s program are expected to hold:

  • the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC, with a B+ (76%) average or better in their third- or fourth-year classes, or
  • at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study, with an A (80%) or better average.

Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.


DOCTORAL (PHD) APPLICANTS 

PhD applicants will normally have a master’s degree in a related field, with a B+ (76%) average or better, and clear evidence of research ability or potential. Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.


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 University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 

MASTER OF ARTS (MA) APPLICANTS 

Applicants to the master’s program are expected to:

  • hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC
  • demonstrate superior academic standing

Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.

Applicants from a university outside Canada at which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 (paper version); 90 overall with a minimum score of 22 in Reading & Listening and a minimum score of 21 in Writing & Speaking (Internet version), or
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5, with no individual component score less than 6.0, or
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): minimum overall score of 85, with a final score of 3 in the speaking test.

DOCTORAL (PHD) APPLICANTS 

PhD applicants are expected to hold the academic equivalent of a two-year master’s degree from UBC in a related field and to demonstrate superior academic standing. Applicant background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field.

Applicants from a university outside Canada at which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 (paper version); 90 overall with a minimum score of 22 in Reading & Listening and a minimum score of 21 in Writing & Speaking (Internet version), or
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5, with no individual component score less than 6.0, or
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): minimum overall score of 85, with a final score of 3 in the speaking test.

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 University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Required Grades and Credential Guide

Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide—a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.

International Advisors

An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance, and the transition to UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC. Visit the International Programs and Services website to meet the team.

Tuition & Funding

Tuition

Tuition amounts presented here are estimates only and all fees are subject to change. For official tuition amounts and fee information, visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar*, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MSc/MA Full-time $4,897.86 $8,604.66
PhD Full-time $4,897.86 $8,604.66

Tuition is paid three times a year at the beginning of each term, as per the Academic Calendar: Winter Term 1, Winter Term 2, and Summer Term.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct. 

Funding Opportunities

Graduate student stipends are funded through a combination of internal and external funding awards, Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships.

Although funding and stipend amounts are not guaranteed, UBC’s Okanagan campus has a number of assistantships available for qualified students. Talk to your potential supervisor about funding opportunities.

Students are expected whenever possible to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships.

Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Paid TA positions allow graduate students to develop skills in teaching, supervision, facilitation and student assessment. Teaching assistants may lead seminars, help teach undergraduate courses, or assist in student evaluations and marking. Teaching assistants are mentored by their supervisor and via the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Research Assistantships (RA)

As paid research assistants, graduate students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student’s thesis. RAs are typically funded by the supervisor’s external grants, contracts and, sometimes, other sources of funding.

Scholarships & Awards

UBC Awards

The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards

All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).

How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact prospective supervisors 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:

  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Statement of Intent
  • English language test (for non-native speakers of English)
  • CV or resumé
  • Three reference forms or letters
Deadlines

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

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

Applicants who wish to enter the program in the second semester of the academic year or in the summer semester should consult with the theme coordinator to determine if accommodation is possible.

UBC's Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

DYNAMIC CITY

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

NATURAL BEAUTY

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above (best viewed using desktop Chrome or Firefox or YouTube’s mobile app).

CAMPUS HOUSING

Full-time UBC Okanagan students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.

OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING

* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.

College of Graduate Studies: CoGS offers orientation events to support you in your first steps as a graduate student at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Stay active: Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.

Relax: The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.

College of Graduate Studies: Your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation.

Centre for Scholarly Communication: Supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty in disseminating their research. The Library’s CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles, and grant proposals.

Centre for Teaching and Learning: Provides support related to teaching, TA training, and use of technology in educational programming.