University of British Columbia
#60 Overall Influence

University of British Columbia

Public research university in British Columbia, Canada

About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

The University of British Columbia (UBC) was founded in 1908.

For the first several decades of its existence, the university’s activities were modest in scope. In 1925 a bold program to transform UBC into a modern research university was put into effect. At this time the main campus was transferred from the Fairview neighborhood just south of downtown Vancouver, to a larger campus at Point Grey about six miles to the west.

Today, UBC is the third-largest university in Canada. In addition to the main campus there is a satellite campus in the city of Kelowna. In all, the UBC student body tops 66,000 souls.

UBC is home to Canada’s national high-energy physics laboratory (TRIUMF), which houses a 520-million electron-volt, cyclotron-style, particle accelerator---the world’s largest. Other cutting-edge UBC scientific facilities include the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and the Stuart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute.

UBC is connected with eight Nobel laureates, namely:

  • Physicists, Bertram Brockhouse, Carl Wieman & Hans Dehmelt
  • Chemist. Michael Smith
  • Economists, Robert Mundell, Daniel Kahneman & Richard Thaler
  • Short-story writer, Alice Munro

Other prominent UBC associated individuals include the following:

  • Mathematicians, Robert Langlands, Peter Borwein & Nassif A. Ghoussoub
  • Computer scientists, Charlotte Froese Fischer, Arvind Gupta & Anne Condon
  • Physicists, Carl Wieman & George Volkoff
  • Electrical engineer, Vijay Bhargava
  • Anti-cancer drug inventor, Patrick Soon-Shiong
  • Epidemiologist, Martin Schechter
  • Geneticist, David Suzuki
  • Evolutionary biologist, Patrick J. Keeling
  • Geoscientist, William Richard Peltier
  • Psychologist, Albert Bandura
  • Ecological economist, C.S. Holling
  • Historian, L.S. Stavrianos
  • Essayist, historian, and TV personality, Pierre Berton
  • Poet, Fred Wah
  • Novelist, Steven Galloway
  • Science fiction writer, William Gibson
  • Operatic tenor, Ben Heppner
  • Artist, Jeff Wall
  • Actors, Manuel Jacinto, Ludi Lin, Michael Shanks & Torrance Coombs
  • Former Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin
  • Former Canadian Prime Ministers, John Turner & Kim Campbell
  • Current Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

What is University of British Columbia known for?

#46 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#47 World Rank
#50 World Rank
#50 World Rank
Computer Science
#50 World Rank
Political Science
#59 World Rank
#60 World Rank
#63 World Rank
#72 World Rank
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#83 World Rank
#93 World Rank
#107 World Rank
#109 World Rank
#114 World Rank
Religious Studies
#115 World Rank
#115 World Rank
Social Work
#130 World Rank
#133 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#195 World Rank
#198 World Rank
#229 World Rank

Influential People

Who are University of British Columbia's Most influential alumni?

University of British Columbia's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Earth Sciences, Economics, and Biology. University of British Columbia’s most academically influential people include William Gibson, Niles Eldredge, and Robert Mundell.

William Gibson
William Gibson

American-Canadian speculative fiction novelist and founder of the cyberpunk subgenre

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Niles Eldredge
Niles Eldredge

American biologist

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Robert Mundell
Robert Mundell

Canadian economist

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Patricia Churchland
Patricia Churchland

Canadian philosopher

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Albert Bandura
Albert Bandura

Canadian psychologist

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Arthur Erickson
Arthur Erickson

Canadian architect and urban planner

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Keith Holyoak
Keith Holyoak

American psychologist and cognitive scientist

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John Robert Anderson

American psychologist

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Bjarni Tryggvason
Bjarni Tryggvason

Canadian astronaut

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Ralph Pudritz

Canadian astrophysicist

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Ian Hacking
Ian Hacking

Canadian philosopher

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Gary Botting
Gary Botting

Canadian lawyer

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