Academic Community

Graduate Academic Community

Graduate students are important members of the department, and participate in teaching, research and governance.  As graduate students advance in their studies, they present work at a Graduate Student colloquium or departmental colloquia.  Departmental resources are available to help students travel to conferences to present work, and to prepare for job seeking.

Most graduate students serve as teaching assistants or instructors, and are represented by a graduate student union in negotiations with the university; the department offers TA training and has a TA coordinator to faciliate problem solving.  A graduate representative attends department meetings, and the department head and graduate advisor meet with graduate students to discuss issues of mutual concern.

Reading Groups

In addition to coursework, many students participate voluntarily in supplemental reading groups organized between interested graduate students and faculty.  These may run during term time or the summer.  Recently, philosophy of mind, philosophy of biology, philosophy of literature and ethics reading groups have been most active.

Social Events

The department hosts a number of social events throughout the year, many of them including family members.  These often include a welcome picnic in September at Jericho Beach, a December holiday party at a popular downtown venue, and an end of year April barbeque at Jericho Sailing Club.  Graduate student groups also organize informal social events such as curling, hiking or even paintball from time to time. Watch our Calendar of Events for more information.


Departmental colloquia often offer opportunities for socializing over drinks with the speaker afterwards.  Graduate students are often included in dinner or lunch events with visiting speakers.  A popular banquet after the department’s Spring Colloquium has become an annual tradition.


Some philosophy graduate students live on campus in one of UBC’s two residential colleges, which offer additional social events and community.  Others prefer to live off campus, or in UBC’s family housing.  See our Moving to UBC page for more details.


Please see the Department of Philosophy Community page for more general information, including information about partnerships with other UBC  departments.