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 Administrative/Financial Support


  1. Administrative Procedures
  2. Fellowships
  3. Research Assistantships
  4. Teaching Assistantships
  5. C.U.P.E Union local 2278

Administrative Procedures

When a new graduate student arrives at UBC, s/he is assigned a faculty member as a general advisor. These assignments are based on the student's declared research interests and the faculty member's availability and workload. The general advisor oversees the student's program, including recommending and approving courses. By the middle of the second year, the student is expected to have chosen a thesis supervisor (not necessarily the general advisor). At this stage, the responsibility for the student shifts to the thesis supervisor who, in the case of a Ph.D. student, will convene a Thesis Committee of three faculty members. The student is expected to provide an annual progress report to his/her committee, and to obtain the committee's approval for the proposed thesis topic. Students in the Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to seek a topic of research and a suitable faculty supervisor as early as possible. These are usually found through active participation in courses and seminars.

The Graduate Affairs Committee, chaired by the Graduate Advisor, handles administrative matters concerning all graduate students, including the selection of new students. Graduate students are invited to consult the Graduate Advisor for advice on their graduate programs. However, final responsibility for meeting the deadlines of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the other requirements of the graduate program rests with the student.

Students interested in a degree in mathematics should read the Departmental Requirements for Graduate Degrees in Mathematics. Students who intend to enter theInstitute of Applied Mathematics should refer to the Institute of Applied Mathematics Graduate Student Handbook.



Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) supports approximately 16,000 students each year. NSERC scholarships for graduate study and research are available only to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants with very strong records and demonstrated capacity for independent research. The scholarships currently pay $17,300 for one year (for Master's students) and $21,000 per year for up to three years (for Ph.D. students). All eligible students are strongly encouraged to apply. Application should be made through the university you are currently attending or last attended.

The University of British Columbia also has an internal program of Affiliated Fellowships. These awards are decided in a university-wide competition. The Faculty of Graduate Studies offers more information about financial assistance and awards at

All Ph.D. students are currently supported with a Ph.D. Tuition Fee Award for the first four years of their doctoral program. The funding for this comes directly from the Graduate Support Initiative (GSI) program.
Students do not need to apply for this fellowship: it will automatically be assigned once registration is complete.


Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships of approximately $625 per month during the eight month period from September to April, and $1500 per month during the four month summer period may be granted to students who demonstrate strong academic performance. Research assistantships are funded from individual faculty members' research grants. The exact value of a research assistantship depends on the student's standing and availability of funds.


Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are open to both Canadian and foreign students, although foreign students must obtain study permits from the immigration authorities before commencing work. Typical TA duties include grading papers, conducting tutorial or problem sessions, or teaching a class. A full TA assignment typically involves 12 hours of work per week.

Teaching Assistants' salaries are paid twice each month from September through April.

Teaching assistants are not exempt from University tuition fees, or the various student fees. Applicants should refer to a current copy of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar for a detailed outline of the fee structure. All scholarships and teaching assistantship stipends are subject to Canadian income tax.

Most financial support for graduate students is delivered through Teaching Assistantships. These involve duties that require an ability to speak English with sufficient vocabulary and structural accuracy to participate effectively in conversations on practical, social, and professional topics.

Applications for Teaching Assistantships are available from the Math Department.


The Teaching Assistants' Union

All teaching assistants at UBC are represented by local 2278 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). This union is their bargaining agent in relation to the University of British Columbia. It is not compulsory that all teaching assistants become union members, nevertheless they are required to pay union dues, which are automatically deducted from their monthly salaries by the Department of Finance. Teaching assistants who choose to become members of the union are also required to pay an initiation fee. Further details, including contact information, can be found on the CUPE 2278 web page.