Applying

Application Deadline:

The deadline for applicants to submit the on-line application (pay application fee) is January 10

Please note the document deadline for applicants to have all supporting documents submitted (statement of intent, writing sample, transcripts, reference letters) to the on-line application is January 17.

Click on the link below to Apply to the graduate program:
http://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/apply-online.

Please note that all supporting documents (writing sample, transcripts, references) are now uploaded as electronic files to the online application.  Applicants will only be required to submit official hardcopy transcripts for verification if they are offered admission. 

Checklist

Complete Online applications must include the following:

  • online application form
  • all post-secondary transcripts (Two Certified/official copies are only required for verification when offered admission)
  • three confidential letters of recommendation (submitted electronically by referees)
  • writing sample (uploaded as part of online application)
  • statement of purpose (uploaded as part of online application)
  • statement of additional language competence (pls. include this on your online application on the appropriate section, no need to send in hard copy)
  • TOEFL (link is external)IELTS (link is external) or MELAB score if applicable

Admission to the MA program is based on a variety of criteria, including a strong undergraduate record, strong letters of recommendation, a well-planned research proposal, and the department's ability to provide instruction in the applicant's area of interest.

1. Course and Standing Prerequisites

Candidates must hold a four-year Bachelor's degree from a recognized university.

a. Canadian applicants should have completed either:

  • Honours in History with a first-class ("A") standing in at least two full-year third- or fourth-year undergraduate courses and grades of B+ or better in other history courses.

OR

  • A Major in History consisting of at least five full-year history courses or ten one-term courses (equivalent to 30 credits at UBC) during the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. It is generally expected that candidates should have obtained first-class (A or A+) standing in at least 12 credits of upper-division history and not less than B+ or A- standing in their remaining history courses.

b. International applicants are required to meet the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission criteria for international students.

Students who have not taken the required concentration of senior undergraduate history courses but who have superior undergraduate records in the social sciences or humanities are also encouraged to apply. Depending on circumstances they may have to make up their deficiencies in history and thus may take longer to complete the program.

NOTE: These are minimum requirements for admission. Successful applicants typically have qualifications higher than the minimum listed. In any given year we receive many more applications than we can accept.

2. English Language Requirement

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

Faculty and departmental regulations require applicants whose degrees are from a country other than Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Kenya, New Zealand, or British West Indies to submit an official, original TOEFL score report showing that the applicant has achieved a score of at least 90 (internet based TOEFL score) during the past 24 months, with a minimum score in each of the following components:

  • reading: 22
  • writing: 21
  • listening: 22
  • speaking: 21

For electronic submission, please ensure that you include the following on your TOEFL sheet:

  • Use the University of British Columbia's institution code 0965.
  • Give the reason for taking TOEFL "to enter a college or university as a graduate student"

The TOEFL score may also be submitted as an official paper score report sent directly to the university from the testing centre (Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada).

IELTS (International English Language Testing Service):

A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.

UBC requires an official score to be sent to us electronically from the test centre.

On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results being sent to. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, you have to use the following details on the application:

  • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia
  • Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
  • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

For Alternative Tests:

For alternative tests, such as the GCE  ‘’A’’ Level English Examination or MELAB, please see the link below to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website on English Proficiency Requirements:

3. Additional Language Requirements

Before receiving the MA degree, candidates must demonstrate an adequate reading ability in a language other than English - either French or a foreign language appropriate to their field of study. Students who require a foreign language (or languages) for their thesis research will normally be expected to take the language exam in that language.

The department holds language exams twice yearly (usually in November and April) in which candidates must successfully translate a passage from the language they have chosen into English, with the aid of a dictionary, but without the assistance of a lap-top computer.

Exemption from the language exam may be granted under certain circumstances. Several departments at the university offer courses to help students acquire a reading knowledge of a foreign language, such as French, German, or Russian. Students who have successfully completed such a course at the third-year level or above, with at least a B (72%) average, can apply for exemption from the History Department's exam by submitting evidence of completion of the course to the graduate secretary.

Admission to the PhD program is on a full-time basis only.

1. Course and Standing Prerequisites

Applicants must have demonstrated an ability to undertake and complete independent, original research of a high quality. Demonstration of such ability is the chief criterion for admission into the PhD program.

The candidate must hold a Master's degree (or equivalent) in history. Typically, to be considered for admission, an applicant with an MA degree should have obtained first-class ("A") standing in the equivalent of at least four one-term graduate courses, and an overall first-class standing in at least 18 credits of graduate work (= six one-term courses at UBC). Candidates must provide confirmation that their M.A. is complete before they will be allowed to register in September. If the requirements for the M.A. are not complete by registration, admission is revoked. The undergraduate record will also be considered in evaluating students for admission to the PhD program.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies may give recommended MA candidates within the department permission to proceed directly to the PhD program without submission of the Master's thesis. The History Department may recommend those MA candidates who have obtained high first-class standing and whose independent research is of high quality. Such candidates will not receive the MA degree.

Mature returning students and applicants with strong backgrounds in other academic disciplines will be considered for admission to the PhD program in history only if they can demonstrate a record of recent formal academic achievement at an acceptable standard in regular session university courses in history, or a comparable achievement. They must also have letters from professors who are familiar with the applicant's recent level of achievement.

2. English Language Requirement

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

Faculty and departmental regulations require applicants whose degrees are from a country other than Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Kenya, New Zealand, or British West Indies to submit an official, original TOEFL score report showing that the applicant has achieved a score of at least 90 (internet based TOEFL score) during the past 24 months, with a minimum score in each of the following components:

  • reading: 22
  • writing: 21
  • listening: 22
  • speaking: 21

For electronic submission, please ensure that you include the following on your TOEFL sheet:

  • Use the University of British Columbia's institution code 0965.
  • Give the reason for taking TOEFL "to enter a college or university as a graduate student"

The TOEFL score may also be submitted as an official paper score report sent directly to the university from the testing centre (Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada).

IELTS (International English Language Testing Service):

A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.

UBC requires an official score to be sent to us electronically from the test centre.

On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results being sent to. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, you have to use the following details on the application:

  • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia
  • Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
  • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

For Alternative Tests:

For alternative tests, such as the GCE  ‘’A’’ Level English Examination or MELAB, please see the link below to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website on English Proficiency Requirements:

3. Additional Language Requirements

Before receiving the PhD degree, candidates must demonstrate an adequate reading ability in a language other than English. Students who require a foreign language (or languages) for their dissertation research are required to take the language exam in that language and are expected to have a basic reading knowledge, or better, in the relevant language(s) prior to entering the program. In cases where the dissertation research involves only English-language sources, students may take the exam in French or another language.

The department holds language exams twice yearly (usually in November and April) in which candidates must successfully translate a passage from the language they have chosen into English, with the aid of a dictionary, but without the assistance of a lap-top computer.

Exemption from the language exam may be granted under certain circumstances. Several departments at the university offer courses to help students acquire a reading knowledge of a foreign language, such as French, German or Russian. Students who have successfully completed such a course at the third-year level or above, with at least a B (72%) average, can apply for exemption from the History Department's exam. The student should inform the History Department's graduate secretary when they have enrolled in such a course, and should submit evidence of completion of the course with their application for exemption. Students who have received an undergraduate degree in the language to be examined may also apply for an exemption.

Students who have completed the MA in History at UBC and have passed the language exam with first class (A) standing are not required to fulfill the requirement at the PhD level, unless the language(s) required for the PhD dissertation are not the same as the language examined for the MA degree. The results from a pass/fail MA exam are not sufficient to waive this requirement. The department may also require evidence of the candidate's competence to use additional foreign languages deemed necessary for study and research in the candidate's PhD program.

All supporting documents are now uploaded as electronic files to the online graduate application.  Please note that official hardcopy transcripts are only required for verification when applicants are offered admission into the graduate program.

The following supporting documents are required for all applications:

  1. Transcripts from all universities and colleges the applicant has attended, including universities from which no degree was received.  Official hardcopy transcripts will only required for verification when applicants are offered admission into the graduate program.
  2. Confidential letters of recommendation from three professors who have taught the applicant. Generally at least two of these should be professors of history. Reference letters may indicate whether the referee considers the student deserving of financial assistance. The online application system will automatically send a reference request to the referees listed in the application.  Referees will have the option to fill out an online reference form, upload a reference letter, or be provided with a mailing address to submit a hardcopy letter. We prefer to receive references electronically.  Please let your referees know this and that they should send in their references before our application deadline.
  3. Sample of writing. If you are applying to the MA program, an undergraduate history term paper or a chapter from an Honours graduating essay is acceptable. If at all possible, pls. send in a 30 page paper.  If you are applying to the PhD program, you should send a sample of your written work, in English, at the graduate level; this may be either a major seminar paper or a chapter from an MA thesis. The length of the paper should not exceed 50 pages, if possible.  The writing sample must be uploaded as an electronic file to the online graduate application.
  4. A brief statement of purpose (1-2 pages) identifying the subject, place and time period you hope to concentrate on in your studies and outlining a research proposal which describes the topic on which you might write your thesis. This proposal should demonstrate your ability to define a significant and manageable project in your chosen field.  The statement of purpose must be uploaded as an electronic file to the online graduate application.
  5. A brief statement (one paragraph) describing the level of your reading knowledge of languages other than English.  Included as part of the online application.

Applications for admission are adjudicated by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with appropriate members of the department. When an applicant's file is complete, the committee has three courses of action:

  1. It can recommend admission. (Admission is often conditional on the completion of the applicant's BA or MA degree.)
  2. It can recommend rejection.
  3. It can delay its decision until additional information is received, and inform the applicant accordingly. For example, there is sometimes a possibility that the applicant's final grades for the current year might improve the applicant's chances of admission. In such cases, the decision is delayed until updated academic transcripts are received. The applicant is then either admitted or rejected.

The committee's recommendation is usually, but not always, accepted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Applications are adjudicated following the January deadline for applications. Applicants will be notified in the spring.

The Graduate Studies Committee is composed of the Graduate Advisor, who serves as chair of the committee, and such faculty members as the department Head may appoint. Two graduate student representatives (normally one MA and one PhD candidate) join the Committee for policy discussions. The committee is responsible for admissions to the department's graduate program for general supervision of that program, and for giving advice to the department and to students when so requested.

The Graduate Advisor chairs the Graduate Committee and is responsible for the administration of the graduate program of the department. This includes advising students seeking admission to the department, advising students currently enrolled, and organizing applications for financial assistance.

Each successful applicant is assigned a provisional supervisor (or supervisors) whose academic interests will normally be in a field related to the area in which the student has expressed interest. The provisional supervisor is responsible for providing general assistance and advice on the student's program and for overseeing the student's progress.