PhD Placement

Our PhDs have been highly successful on the job market.

Of the department’s 66 new PhDs during the period 2006-2015, two-thirds of graduates preferring academic employment currently hold tenured or tenure-track academic positions. Most of the others work in governmental or NGO positions related to their PhD training. (More recent PhDs are not included here because new PhDs often take from 1-3 years to enter tenure-track academic jobs. Some hold postdoctoral fellowships; some teach in temporary positions; and some remain on campus in various capacities.)

Many UBC PhDs from 2006-present hold tenured or tenure track positions at major universities in North America and elsewhere–including University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Western Ontario, York University, University of Ottawa, University of Calgary, University of Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, University of Essex, Sophia University, National University of Singapore, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Ritsumeikan University, University of Sheffield, Queensland University, Simon Fraser University, MacEwan University, University of Fraser Valley, University of Manitoba, Memorial University, McMaster University, and Cardiff University.

PhDs from 2014 to the present currently hold or have held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, University of Toronto, Queens University, Oxford University, Duke University, and others.

Some UBC PhDs have taken positions with government agencies, NGOs, or private-sector employers—including Statistics Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada, the US Department of Defense Asia-Pacific Center, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Deutschebank (London), and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, among others.

Computing a placement rate: the best measure of the placement rate is a 10-year moving average, with the last 3 years dropped, as more students graduate into postdocs rather than TT positions. This measure has the advantage of covering a decent time range, and using a large number of observations, so year-to-year fluctuations can be minimized. By this measure, we take the 2006-2015 graduates and compute as follows for our current placement rate:

Number of graduates: 66

Number preferring academic employment: 53

Proportion preferring academic employment: 80%

Number placed in TT-equiv. positions: 36

Placement rate: 68%

MA Placement

Our MA students have been very successful in pursuing both academic and non-academic careers.

Of the department’s 52 MA graduate during the periods of May 2015 – September 2018, around one-third of graduates pursued their PhD. Many UBC MA graduates were offered PhD admission from Canada, such as University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and Queen’s University; and from US schools such as Duke University, University of California San Diego, University of Michigan, Brown University, John Hopkins University, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin, and also international universities such as Cambridge University and Murdoch University.

Some MA graduates have taken positions with government agencies and NGO’s or private sector employers, such as Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Public Services and Procurement Canada, First Nations Health Authority, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and City of Vancouver.

  • Data for 52 MA graduates May 2015 – Sept 2018:
    • 16 pursued PhDs in Political Science – 31%
    • 11 pursued government/policy-related positions (e.g. legislative intern, policy analyst) – 21%
    • 11 in NGO/private/corporate positions (as analyst, or educator) – 21%
    • 8 in academic administration – 15%
    • 3 in international research-related positions – 5%
    • 2 pursued law degrees – 4%
    • 1 pursued MBA degree – 2%