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Program Overview


Degrees offered: M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Note: An M.F.A. Specialization in Interdisciplinary Studies is also available.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) offers students opportunities to pursue graduate studies across disciplinary boundaries, and to tailor their course of study to suit their particular needs. At the UBC Okanagan campus, IGS programs are greatly facilitated by the small campus size, which allows students to work more intimately with faculty across a variety of departments and disciplines. The IGS structure allows for both interfaculty and intercampus arrangements for supervision and courses. The course and program requirements provide structure to ensure quality in both the breadth and depth of the student's academic experience.

Students completing an IGS degree must select one of two program options: Individualized or Themed.

In the Individualized option, the potential supervisor constructs a supervisory committee in consultation with the applicant. The committee and specified coursework are customized to the student's area of study.

In the Themed option, a number of defined themes have been established to assist students in focusing their studies toward particular areas of interest. A theme is defined as an area of research with courses specified to foster the education of students in that area, and with a cluster of interested faculty associated with the theme to assist students in their program. Students admitted to an IGS program (M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.) have an option of completing a theme while completing their program of study.

Most themes require the production of a theme-appropriate IGS thesis/dissertation and the successful completion of several courses specific to that theme of study as specified by the theme committee. The Indigenous Knowledges: iʔ sqilxʷ aʔ cmiy̓ t smypnwíɬnsəlx offers a capstone and course-based pathway as well as the thesis option. For the purposes of specifying required coursework, the theme committee, in conjunction with the supervisor, approves the program plan of the student. 

Themes for IGS programs are set from time to time by the College of Graduate Studies. Themes are areas of research and study without their own degree programs at the UBC Okanagan campus, but they are specific enough to warrant concentrated and defined areas of study.

At present, the following themes have been identified as part of the IGS program:

  • Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity
  • Digital Arts and Humanities
  • Global Studies
  • Power, Conflict and Ideas
  • Indigenous Knowledges: iʔ sqilxʷ aʔ cmiy̓ t smypnwíɬnsəlx
  • Sustainability
  • Urban, Rural and Regional Dynamics

More information about the themes are listed on the College of Graduate Studies website, under Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies.

IGS is presently available in the Faculties of Applied Science, Arts and Social Sciences, Creative and Critical Studies, Education, Health and Social Development, Management, and Science.


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