Make the most of the financial resources available to you as a UBC student.

Our Funding Commitment

Graduate students are entitled to a certain level of funding while pursuing their studies at UBC.

In all cases, financial support is contingent on maintaining high academic standing and progress toward their degree completion.

Master’s Students

MA students are generally offered two years of fellowship funding (~$11,000 per year) and a 1.0 (full time) teaching assistantship (~$12,000 per year), approximating $23,000 annually.

PhD Students

A typical PhD student will have four years of fellowship funding (~$18,000 per year) and a 1.0 (full time) teaching assistantship (~$12,000 per year). For the first four years of study a PhD student can expect approximately $30,000 per year.

Students in good standing will also receive a fifth year of funding of ~$18,000. This is based on a combination of teaching assistantships and a Graduate Instructorship, where students teach their own course.

Canadian students intending to apply for federal graduate funding (normally from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada – SSHRC) should note that the deadlines for these funding programs may be considerably earlier than department-administered deadlines. MA applicants should apply directly via the SSHRC Research Net portal.


In addition to the Department of Philosophy’s funding commitment, graduate students are also encouraged to apply for additional funding opportunities in research assistantships and awards.

Brian Laetz (January 18, 1977 – March 18, 2010) was a much beloved doctoral student in our graduate program. Brian specialized in aesthetics and was granted his PhD (posthumously) in November 2010 for his dissertation, Issues in the Appreciation of Art and Nature. This annual Graduate Essay Prize allows us to honour and remember Brian, who was a prolific and meticulous writer.

The Brian Laetz Graduate Essay Prize, valued at $200, is awarded annually to one graduate student based on the following criteria:

  1. Essays will be submitted to the Award Nominations Committee chair by students. Each student can submit at most one essay, with a maximum length of 7,500 words (the footnotes but not the bibliography should be included in the word count). An email reminder will be sent out annually on May 1; essays will be due by May 15.
  2. Each student may be awarded the Laetz prize at most once during his or her studies at UBC.
  3. The prize will be awarded on the basis of overall essay quality, and may be given to a student at any stage of the program.
  4. Essays should be prepared for blind reviewing and submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant.
  5. The prize will be adjudicated by the Award Nominations Committee, and the winner will be announced by May 31.

The Brian Laetz Essay Prize was made possible through the generous contributions of Cynthia Laetz, Susan Kay, Amanda Marshall, UBC Dean of Arts Office, UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies, faculty and students in the UBC Philosophy Department, and additional friends of Brian Laetz.

Winners of the Laetz essay prize:

2020 Nathan Cockram, "The Case for Testimonial Pluralism"

2019 Graham Moore, “Propositions, Modality, and Representations"

2018 Jade Hadley, “Instrumentalism about Unstructured Propositions”

2017 Irwin Chan, “And you, Brutus?”

2016 Rebecca Livernois, “Regretful Decisions and Climate Change.”

2015 Stefan Lukits, “Augustin’s Concessions: A problem for Indeterminate Credal States.”

2014 Tyler DesRoches, “On Aristotle’s Natural Limit.” (tie) and Joseph Frigault, “In Search of the Principles of Morals: Does Hume Make a Linguistic Analogy?” (tie)

2013 Jamie Hellewell, “Autonomy and Liberty: A Critical Examination of Christman’s Ideal of Freedom.”

2012 Oisin Deery, “Is Agentive Experience Compatible with Determinism?”

Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Canadian applicants are eligible for SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and Master’s Scholarships. Students who are eligible for SSHRC funding are encouraged to apply prior to admission.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers Affiliated Fellowships each year to both masters and doctoral students.

Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program

This program operates on the principle of reciprocal exchange and provides the opportunity for the exceptional Canadian and American students and scholars to lecture, research and pursue graduate study in the United States and Canada, respectively. Award recipients include prominent and promising scholars, experienced and junior professionals and exceptional students.

International Partial Tuition Scholarships

UBC offers partial tuition scholarships of $3,200 per year which are applied to tuition paid by non-Canadian students if they are registered full-time in a master’s or doctoral program that assesses tuition fees of $7,200 per year.

Graduate Student PD Fund

As part of the graduate training, the Department of Philosophy encourages graduate students to attend conferences, present work, and build professional networks. Graduate students have access to several funding sources dedicated to reduce the cost of delivering a talk or presenting a poster at an academic conference.

Students can request up to $1,500 from the department towards the cost of an academic conference or workshop that they are presenting at. Students can submit a funding request through PHIL AIR (CWL required) where further information and conditions are listed. All requests are subject to the availability of funds.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies also offers travel grants, limited to $500 per degree.


Graduate students in the Department of Philosophy have access to teaching and research assistantship positions as an additional source of program funding.

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