We work with every student to develop a funding plan and we make every effort to ensure our students are viable candidates in awards competitions. In addition, we provide a consistent, basic level of funding, minimum $20,000 in income, to all graduate students. Most of our full-time M.A./ M.Sc. and Ph.D. students receive income in the form of scholarships / fellowships and / or teaching / research assistantships.
Graduate Support Initiative (GSI)
The Graduate Support Initiative (GSI) is a system for funding graduate students through entrance scholarships, multi-year funding packages, tuition awards and scholarship top-ups. Within Geography, all incoming graduate students (except those with appropriate funding in hand), are considered for GSI funding upon their application to the program.
Application files are reviewed by faculty members on the Graduate Committee. Rankings are then established based on transcripts, publications, proposals, conference presentations, and referees’ comments. The committee’s foremost concerns are with the referees’ letters and the quality of student transcripts (including grades, prizes and distinctions). In evaluating transcripts, most weight is given to the grades, but committee members also consider consistency of performance across courses, the institution from which the grades were received, and the relevance of the courses to the graduate programme.
The committee is particularly impressed with students who display exceptional grades across varied disciplines and scholarly traditions. Evidence of scholarly output in the form of refereed publications and conference activity is also considered. Refereed publications in high quality, peer-reviewed journals are valued most highly. Expectations are tailored to the degree and type of work for which the student is applying, so that masters’ applicants are not compared directly with doctoral applicants, nor biogeoscientists with human geographers.
Major scholarships and fellowships
Many of our graduate students are supported by:
A long listing of awards is available on the Graduate Awards website.
Teaching and Research Assistantships are intended to help properly qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities. Appointments offered to students prior to their admission to the faculty are contingent upon admission.
The purpose of teaching assistantships is to support the undergraduate teaching program and to provide teaching opportunities for graduate students.
In most cases, a teaching assistantship is offered to all full-time M.A./ M.Sc. (thesis option) students in their first two years and all full-time Ph.D. students in their first four years of their study. The appointments of TAs are based on CUPE 2278 union requirements, the skill set required to TA the course, and the financial commitments made to the student in their offer letters. TA openings are posted on our recruitment page in May. It is very competitive and there are few openings in human geography.
There are two main classifications:
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.
The department is also part of a Collaborative Research and Training Experience on Atmospheric Aerosols (NSERC-CREATE–AAP). This is a unified training and fellowship-funding program designed to develop interdisciplinary skills for atmospheric aerosol researchers ranging from undergraduate students to post-doctoral fellows.
Department of Geography - Faculty of Arts - The University of British Columbia