How To Apply


Students apply to the Designing for People CREATE  program after being accepted to a participating UBC department for a Masters or PhD degree, and identifying a DFP faculty supervisor to sponsor them. Participating departments presently include Computer Science, Engineering, Architecture, Nursing, Psychology, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and Library & Information Sciences.

Students from other disciplines who plan thesis research involving interactions with technologies are welcome to inquire. All prospective students should seek out a potential faculty sponsor prior to their application to DFP.


The DFP Graduate Training Program is cross-disciplinary is cross-disciplinary and intended to accommodate the diverse backgrounds of students wishing to enter it. Students who apply must satisfy the admissions requirements of UBC Graduate Studies as well as their home department. Students entering the training program minimally have a Bachelor’s degree meeting competitive standards. Applications to UBC must be submitted to the respective UBC department or school’s program. Students from countries where undergraduate degrees are not taught in English are required to take an English-proficiency exam, with the results submitted by the deadline for application. [Further information for international students ]


1. Identify a Faculty Sponsor: Because a key step in admissions is identifying a faculty member who will sponsor your application, the requirements of the faculty member are ultimately an important factor in determining if you are eligible. You must directly contact your potential faculty supervisor. To maximize success, carefully consider your research and training interests and target your contact to the most appropriate individuals, explaining your motivation for approaching them. A curriculum vitae is highly recommended for an initial inquiry. If interested, the faculty member will follow up and tell you what other information they require to evaluate you.

2. Apply to a Home Department: With a tentative sponsor in mind, apply to your natural participating UBC home department following their regular procedures. Consult application information available at that department’s website.

3. Apply to the DFP Graduate Training Program:  Once admission to a participating home department has been offered and a faculty sponsor identified, but before your arrival at UBC, you will complete a formal but lightweight application explaining your motivation and the general area of thesis research you plan to undertake, as well as documentation of past academic excellence. This application will be reviewed, along with a sponsorship letter from your faculty supervisor, for admission to the DFP Core courses prior to your matriculation at UBC. [see application and deadlines below]

4. Complete the DFP Graduate Training Program: Completion of the DFP training program generally takes place by Year 2 of your graduate program, regardless of PhD or Master’s designation. As you continue in your home degree program, alumni are strongly encouraged to remain as part of the DFP community — e.g., mentoring junior students, participating in summer schools, networking with sponsors and community at the Design Showcase.


Participating UBC units have a variety of graduate funding models, as befits their disciplines. For all, funding is available through the DFP CREATE program to supplement faculty supervisors’ research grants for DFP trainee research assistantships, to be applied in the manner most suitable for their model. Please inquire to your prospective faculty supervisor about funding.

Application Deadlines and Link

Each DFP Training Program cohort begins in September of a given year. We recommend that you contact potential faculty supervisors 2-4 months before the relevant graduate application deadline (i.e., for a September 2019 program start, then October ’18 to January ’19).

  • Application to the 2019 DFP cohort opens February 15, 2019, and will remain open through October 30, 2019.
  • Applications will be processed as they come in, with responses given within 30 days.
  • Apply via [Online application form].