We work with every student to try to provide a consistent, basic level of funding of a  minimum $23,000 in income per year to all graduate students. Most of our full-time MA/MSc and PhD students receive income in the form of scholarships/fellowships and/or teaching/research assistantships.

Major Scholarships and Fellowships

Many of our graduate students are supported by:

  • NSERC scholarships
  • SSHRC scholarships
  • CIHR scholarships
  • Four Year Fellowship Funds (UBC)
  • Killam Predoctoral Fellowships

A long listing of awards is available on the Graduate Awards website.


Teaching and Research Assistanship

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.

Teaching Assistantships

The purpose of teaching assistantships is to support the undergraduate teaching program and to provide teaching opportunities for graduate students. 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 April. It is very competitive and there are few openings in human  geography.

Research Assistantships

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.


Graduate Support Initiative

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 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.

Awards are generally paid to you through your SSC UBC account.  Login to your account to confirm and accept payment.  Graduate Support Initiative funds will be directed to pay your tuition fees first.  Excess funds will be paid out through your account.


The Larry Bell LDC Graduate Award in Urban Studies

The Larry Bell LDC Graduate Award in Urban Studies was developed to encourage Master-level program enrollment of students from those countries classified by the UN as the poorest and most vulnerable countries in our international community.

The award is available to incoming master-level students, specializing in Urban Studies in the UBC Department of Geography, who are citizens and primary residents of one of the 47 countries on the United Nations’ Least Developed Countries list (LDC) as listed at for the course of a two year program. All applicants to our program from LDCs will also have their UBC application fee waived.

Award details:
• Applications review is based on academic merit and research strengths in Urban Studies (Geography).
• Only available to incoming Master-level students in the UBC Department of Geography
• All eligible, admitted students will be automatically considered for the award and no additional application is required.
• Recipients must maintain good academic standing in their program.

Deadline:  See program application deadline at

Year 1
Tuition Full coverage – approx. $8,605
Living stipend $18,200
Moving costs $3,500

Year 2*
Tuition Full coverage – approx. $8,605
Living stipend $18,200

Total value over 2 years $39,900 + tuition
*Master degree funding is only for two years. Student fees not covered.



Other Resources