PhD Admissions

Admission requirements

Admission to the PhD Program in Language & Literacy Education requires:

  • Master’s degree with high standing in a relevant educational discipline,
  • Sample of work demonstrating an ability to undertake research and scholarly writing (max. 30 pages).
  • CV or resume outlining work experience and academic history
  • Well-written 500 word (maximum) Statement of Intent to describe your proposed doctoral research.  Be sure to indicate how your previous education, professional experience, and research have prepared you to undertake your proposed research, and note which people in the department have expertise in your intended area of study. (It is best to name more than one potential supervisor in your Statement of Interest. You do not need their permission to name them so please do not contact potential supervisors to check their availability.)
  • The support of three referees including an assessment by at least two university instructors, preferably one of whom is the supervisor of the masters thesis.

Admission to the doctoral program is highly competitive and we have the capacity to admit only a few outstanding applicants each year. We do not typically consider PhD applicants who already hold a doctoral degree.

Please carefully read the application information online. If you are interested in working with a particular faculty member, you can indicate this in your statement of interest or on the application form. However, admissions decisions are made by a committee and individual professors are unable to make commitments to supervising particular students in advance of the committee’s adjudication. Thus, there is no need for you to contact a potential supervisor prior to your application.

*Please note that LLED has faculty members in two streams: research-stream (assistant professors, associate professors, and professors) and educational leadership-stream (assistant professors of teaching, associate professors of teaching, and professors of teaching). Faculty members in either stream may supervise MEd students. Research-stream faculty members may also supervise MA and PhD students. Educational leadership-stream faculty members need special approval from Graduate + Postdoctoral Studies to supervise MA and PhD students or to serve as committee members for PhD students.

Decisions to recommend offers of admission are based on the following criteria

  1. High grades, especially in the last two years of study; awards; fellowships; scholarships; and distinctions
  2. Relevant professional and academic experience including conference presentations, professional workshops, and publications
  3. Outstanding letters of recommendation
  4. A coherent, well-written statement of intent
  5. At least two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent
  6. English Proficiency Tests: Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. For acceptable tests and scores, see Application Information.
  7. The availability of a faculty member with similar research interests and appropriate background to supervise the proposed research

The PhD program has only one start date for international and domestic students which is September each year.

Read this information about how to apply online.

Please forward supporting documents to

Graduate Program Assistant
Department of Language & Literacy Education
University of British Columbia
6445 University Boulevard
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6T 1Z2
Telephone: (604) 822-8259
Fax: (604) 822-3154

The department Graduate Academic Advisor, Dr. Maureen Kendrick is available to answer any academic-related questions.

For admission procedures and document-related queries, please contact