MSc

School of Health & Exercise Sciences

PhD

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies

Your goals are unique, and your degree should be too. Our MSc and PhD programs let you pursue your individualized educational and professional goals.

Graduate Degree

Program Components Duration
MSc Research and thesis 24 months
PhD Dissertation 48 months

The MSc in Health and Exercise Sciences (HES) is a research-based program but also includes mandatory coursework. Prior to starting an application, interested students are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor.

Related Programs

The PhD in Kinesiology is a research-intensive program that does not have mandatory coursework. However, a student may elect to take courses or the student’s advisory committee may require that some coursework be completed. Prior to starting an application, interested students are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor.


Formal milestones for the program include: establishing a faculty advisory committee; preparing, presenting and defending a thesis research proposal; passing a written and oral candidacy exam; writing the thesis; and defending the work.

Geoff Coombs
2017 Killam Award recipient

Research & Supervisors

We invite you to discuss your research interests and career goals with participating faculty and potential supervisors in the School of Health & Exercise Sciences, and we are happy to share our excitement about what we study and teach.

Graduate students can pursue these and other key areas of faculty research with applications to children, adults and individuals with chronic health conditions:


  • Neuromuscular physiology and fatigue
  • Health behaviour change
  • Cardiorespiratory and cerebrovascular physiology
  • Metabolism, nutrition and immunology

Our research faculty investigate a diverse range of topics related to health and exercise. They are happy to share with you their excitement about what they study so, after reading their profiles, we invite you to contact relevant supervisors to discuss your research interests.


 
Philip Ainslie | philip.ainslie@ubc.ca | 250-807-8089 | Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health
Research interests: Dr. Ainslie’s research is directed to the integrated mechanisms, which regulate human cerebral (brain) blood flow in health and disease. Three main inter-related areas of research are currently being explored: 1) Mechanisms of cerebral blood flow regulation in health and disease states; 2) Influence of environmental stress on integrative physiology and cerebrovascular function (with focus on hypoxia and temperature regulation) and 3) Influence of acute and chronic exercise training on cerebrovascular function.
Brian Dalton | brian.dalton@ubc.ca | 250-807-9513 | Sensorimotor Physiology and Integrative Neuromechanics Lab
Research interests: Dr. Dalton’s research interests focus on understanding the sensorimotor control of the human nervous system using various models of study (neuromuscular fatigue, healthy adult aging, and traumatic brain injury). Two major research initiatives within our lab include: 1) understanding the mechanisms underlying age-related differences of neuromuscular fatigue at the whole muscle and single-unit levels, and 2) investigating the cortical and sensorimotor factors underlying human postural control.
Neil Eves | neil.eves@ubc.ca | 250-807-9676 | Integrative Clinical Cardiopulmonary Physiology Lab (iCCP)
Research interests: Primary research interests are in the integrative aspects of pulmonary, cardiac and vascular physiology and how the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems can be manipulated to optimally improve the health of individuals with chronic respiratory disease. Our laboratory currently focuses on three key research areas: 1) examining the integrative effect of respiratory disease on pulmonary, cardiac and vascular function and how changes to these systems mediate adverse symptoms and exercise intolerance; 2) investigating the mechanisms responsible for the development and accelerated progression of cardiovascular disease in individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease and 3) designing and implementing individually tailored exercise training interventions (precision exercise therapy) that specifically modifies the pulmonary and cardiovascular manifestations of respiratory disease.
Glen Foster | glen.foster@ubc.ca | 250-807-8224 | CardioPulmonary Laboratory for Experimental and Applied Physiology
Research interests: Primarily interested in the cardiopulmonary adaptations that take place when humans are faced with hypoxia such as with travel to high altitude environments or with respiratory diseases such as sleep apnea.
Heather Gainforth | heather.gainforth@ubc.ca | 250.807.9352 | Applied Behaviour Change (ABC) Laboratory
Research interests: The Applied Behaviour Change (ABC) Lab aims to close the gap between health promotion research and practice by examining knowledge translation – the act of moving research evidence into the hands of research users. The research program aims to identify, develop and implement novel strategies for disseminating evidence-based health information and interventions to populations. The systems-based research is grounded in behaviour change theory and techniques and is guided by strong collaborations between researchers and communities.
Jennifer Jakobi | jennifer.jakobi@ubc.ca | 250.807.9884 | Healthy Exercise and Aging Lab (HEAL)
Research interests: Research program focuses on maintaining functional independence in older adults. The lab applies a number of neuromuscular techniques to explore sex-specific physiological adaptations with aging. Particularly interested in applying acute and chronic exercise interventions to understand neuromuscular plasticity for functional gain.
Mary Jung | mary.jung@ubc.ca | 250.807.9670 | Health and Exercise Psychology Laboratory | Small Steps for Big Changes
Research interests: Research develops and tests self-regulatory strategies to bolster exercise adherence, particularly for individuals at risk or living with Type 2 Diabetes. Secondary interests include mHealth and program evaluation, and adherence to healthy diets.
Jonathan Little | jonathan.little@ubc.ca | 250-807-9876 | Exercise Metabolism and Inflammation Laboratory (EMIL)
Research interests: Program of research is focused on obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and the therapeutic effects of exercise and nutrition. The Exercise Metabolism and Inflammation Laboratory (EMIL) employs a broad spectrum of techniques, spanning from whole-body metabolic measurement in humans down to advanced molecular analyses in isolated cells. Studies range from applied exercise interventions in clinical populations (e.g., patients with type 2 diabetes) to basic studies examining intracellular signaling pathways and gene expression in cultured cells. Human exercise intervention studies are focused around the health benefits of high-intensity interval training. Current research interests in nutrition are centered around carbohydrate restriction for the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes.
Kathleen Martin Ginis | kathleen_martin.ginis@ubc.ca | 250-807-9768
Research interests: Research program focuses on understanding and changing physical activity behaviour. A particular interest in physical activity among people with spinal cord injury and other types of physical disabilities. Although most of the work addresses the psychosocial mechanisms and consequences of physical activity behaviour change, I often collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams to study various health-related outcomes associated with physical activity participation (e.g., weight loss, cardiovascular disease risk, pain). I also work closely with numerous community-based organizations on research and knowledge translation projects to advance physical activity and other types of social participation among Canadians with disabilities (www.cdpp.ca).
Alison McManus | ali.mcmanus@ubc.ca | 250-807-8192 | Pediatric Inactivity Physiology Laboratory
Research interests: Research focuses on the physiological consequences of sedentary behavior in children. We use experimental models of sitting in the laboratory, alongside community-based observational studies to address key questions around the impact too much sitting has on the vascular system, whether breaking-up prolonged sitting with exercise preserves vascular function and discovering the dose-response relationship between exercise and vascular benefit in children.
Chris McNeil | chris.mcneil@ubc.ca | 250-807-9664 | Integrative Neuromuscular Physiology Lab
Research interests: Program of research uses an integrative approach to investigate the performance and plasticity (adaptability) of the human neuromuscular system. Put another way, I study how the brain, spinal cord and muscles respond to acute interventions (e.g., muscle fatigue, hypoxia or conditioning stimuli) or chronic perturbations (e.g., aging, training or disease).
Colin Reid | colin.reid@ubc.ca | 250-807-9910
Research interests: I am a health services researcher who focuses on care for persons living in residential long-term care. I use an interdisciplinary approach, typically employing mixed methods, for my community-based research program.

Ali McManus
Pediatric physical activity
Asst. Prof. Mary Jung
2017 Researcher of the year

Admission Requirements

Master of Science Applicants (MSc)

Applicants to the MSc program are normally expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a biological, natural, health or social science or another related field of study with at least a B+ (76%) average in their third- and fourth-year classes or ≥12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with at least an A- (80%) average. Their background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field. Please see the College of Graduate Studies website.


No applicant will be admitted to the MSc program until a member of the Health and Exercise Sciences faculty has agreed to supervise the thesis research; thus, again, applicants are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor prior to beginning an application.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applicants to the PhD degree in Kinesiology are normally required to have a thesis-based master’s degree in Health and Exercise Sciences, Kinesiology, or other related field of study, along with appropriate undergraduate and graduate coursework. Applicants with an undergraduate or graduate degree in a non-kinesiology program may be considered for admission, particularly if they have a strong background in the biological, natural, behavioural or health sciences.


Applicants from universities outside Canada for which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months.


Acceptable English Language Proficiency tests and minimum required test scores for admission are listed on the College of Graduate Studies website.


No applicant will be admitted to the PhD program until a member of the Health and Exercise Sciences faculty has agreed to supervise the dissertation research; thus, again, applicants are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor prior to beginning an application.


In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the HES Graduate Committee and with the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

MORE INFORMATION

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar*for full information of admission and program requirements; the Calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.


Master of Science Applicants (MSc)

Applicants to the MSc program are normally expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a biological, natural, health or social science or another related field of study with at least a B+ (76%) average in their third- and fourth-year classes or ≥12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with at least an A- (80%) average. Their background training must be sufficient for advanced work in their chosen field. Please see the College of Graduate Studies website.


Applicants from universities outside Canada for which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months.


Acceptable English language proficiency tests and minimum required test scores for admission are listed on the College of Graduate Studies website.


No applicant will be admitted to the program until a member of the Health and Exercise Sciences faculty has agreed to supervise the thesis research; thus, applicants are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor prior to beginning an application.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applicants to the PhD degree in Kinesiology are normally required to have a thesis-based master’s degree in Health and Exercise Sciences, Kinesiology, or other related field of study, along with appropriate undergraduate and graduate coursework. Applicants with an undergraduate or graduate degree in a non-kinesiology program may be considered for admission, particularly if they have a strong background in the biological, natural, behavioural or health sciences.


Applicants from universities outside Canada for which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months.


Acceptable English Language Proficiency tests and minimum required test scores for admission are listed on the College of Graduate Studies website.


No applicant will be admitted to the PhD program until a member of the Health and Exercise Sciences faculty has agreed to supervise the dissertation research; thus, again, applicants are strongly urged to identify and contact a potential research supervisor prior to beginning an application.


In exceptional cases, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the HES Graduate Committee and with the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

MORE INFORMATION

Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full information of admission and program requirements; the Calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.


Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country and institution. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide — a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.


An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance and the transition to UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Go to the International Programs and Services website to meet the team.


Tuition & Funding

Tuition

Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MSc Full-time $4,801.80 $8,435.94
PhD Full-time $4,801.80 $8,435.94

As per the Academic Calendar, Tuition is paid three times a year on the first day of each term.


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full information of admission and program requirements; the Calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Graduate student stipends are funded through a combination of internal and external awards, Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs). Funding and stipend amounts are normally at the Canadian Tri-Council level. Funding beyond the expected completion times (i.e., MSc: 24 months; PhD: 48 months) is not guaranteed.


Students are expected, whenever possible, to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships. These include principally, but are not limited to, Canadian Tri-Council scholarships, University Graduate Fellowships, and Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarships.


Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA): Providing financial support, TAs allow graduate students to develop skills in teaching, supervision, facilitation and student assessment. TAs may lead labs, seminars, help teach undergraduate courses, or assist in student evaluations and marking. TAs receive mentorship from the course instructor, their supervisor and the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships (RAs): As a paid RA, students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student’s thesis. RAs are typically funded by the supervisor’s external grants, contracts or other sources of funding.


Scholarship & Fellowship Awards

UBC Awards: The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.


External Awards: All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.


Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).


How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact at least one potential research supervisor before starting your application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor as well as satisfying program-specific criteria.


A complete application package will contain:


  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • English language test (for non-native speakers of English)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé
  • Three reference forms or letters

Collecting all the necessary application materials takes time. We recommend that you start your application two months in advance of published deadlines. For full consideration students should apply by the following dates:


Intake Application Before
Domestic applicants
September January 31
January June 2
International applicants
September January 31
January June 2

UBC’s Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the School of Health and Exercise Sciences graduate program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.


UBC Okanagan

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.


More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.


UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.


A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above*.

*Best viewed using Chrome or Firefox (desktop), YouTube app (mobile)


Full-time UBC Okanagan students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.


The Student Residence website includes helpful information about Important Dates for living on campus, plus options and resources for Living Off Campus.


Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing is a public Facebook group that shares notes about housing options, finding roommates, and vacancies in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.*

* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.


Join the club! Make friends with similar interests, and organize and participate in academic and recreational events in the Graduate Health & Exercise Sciences Society.


There are orientation events for all graduate students, including the College of Graduate Studies’ incoming graduate student orientation and Create, a campus-wide orientation for all new students.


Stay active. Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.


Relax. The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.


The College of Graduate Studies is your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation.


The Library’s Centre for Scholarly Communication (CSC) supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff and faculty in disseminating their research. The CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles and grant proposals.


The Centre for Teaching and Learning provides support related to teaching, TA training and use of technology in educational programming.


With a Health and Exercise Sciences MSc degree from the University of British Columbia, graduates are well-positioned to thrive in a variety of occupations, such as:

  • Chronic disease rehabilitator/ rehabilitation specialist
  • Ergonomist/Health & Safety Officer
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Exercise therapist or trainer
  • Kinesiologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Rehabilitation Program Director
  • Health & Social Policy Director
  • Health & Wellness/Return to Work Coordinator
  • Life coach (nutrition & fitness)
  • Managers/coordinators in community centres
  • Program coordinator (e.g. Parks & Recreation Dept.)
  • Public Health Director
  • Consultant: job applicant assessment (fitness)
  • Gym manager/owner
  • Researcher

Career Services

Map out your future and prepare to hit the ground running with resources and services provided by the Advising & Involvement Centre. Tell your story with resumé and cover-letter strategies, and search Work Study jobs for experience relevant to your degree and career goals. You can also book an appointment to meet one-on-one with our career advisor.

alumni UBC

alumni UBC is a member-driven association that offers a variety of lifetime programming and communications to enrich the lives of UBC graduates.

The ‘Your Next Step’ program offers webinars, speaker series and professional development sessions. It is designed to provide advice, tips and resources in areas of career development to graduates for life after university.

Realize the promise of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and an exceptional UBC.