How To Apply

Overview of the DFP CREATE Application and Completion Process

Apply first to a participating UBC academic unit (your "home" UBC department or school’s PhD or Master's program). After receiving that offer, identify a DFP faculty supervisor who will supervise your research thesis (or major project) on a DFP-related topic; then apply with your supervisor to the DFP CREATE (an enrichment of your home unit's program). Within the first 1-2 years of your home grad program, complete the DFP CREATE's program requirements, and receive a certificate documenting this which you can list on your CV. Continue to be an active DFP Alum for the remainder of your time at UBC, and afterwards. 

Timing and Deadlines for DFP CREATE and Graduate Entrance Grants

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 2020 program start, then October ’19 to January ’20). In some cases, due to a home program's requirements, you'll take the DFP Core in your second year, but can still apply in your entrance year - just indicate this in your application.

Apply to the DFP CREATE between receiving your UBC admission and Fall 2021. This can be before you decide on your UBC offer; but must be in time to benefit from the program requirements. Applications will be processed as they come in, with responses given within 30 days. 

  • February 14, 2021: DFP CREATE Applications for the 2021 DFP cohort open (to be processed and applicants notified within 30 days of receipt)
  • March 13, 2021: Deadline to submit your DFP CREATE Application to be considered for a DFP Graduate Entrance Grant (announced to applicants and faculty supervisors throughout late March and April). 
  • August 14, 2021: Deadline to request exemption from DFP Fundamentals (CPSC 544) for the offering of DFP Project January 2022. (Without exemption, Fundamentals must be taken in September 2021). 
  • November 2021: 2021/22 DFP Project Kickoff (exact date TBA)

The DFP CREATE Program is cross-disciplinary and designed to accommodate diverse backgrounds, so there are no specific incoming degree or prior course requirements. Students from disciplines not represented in the list of currently participating UBC academic units who plan DFP-related thesis research are encouraged to inquire about possibilities for them. All prospective students require a DFP faculty supervisor prior to their application to the DFP program.

All applicants must:

  • Satisfy the admissions requirements of UBC Graduate Studies as well as their home department
  • Have at least a Bachelor’s degree meeting competitive standards (prior to starting at UBC)
  • Hold or have accepted an offer to a graduate program in a participating UBC Unit
  • If applying from countries where undergraduate degrees are not taught in English,  take an English-proficiency exam, and submit the results by the application deadline [Further information for international students]

Detailed Process: Applying To and Completing the DFP CREATE Program

1. Identify a DFP Faculty Supervisor

The faculty member's own requirements are the most important factor to satisfy in your application. In the most common path to entering the DFP CREATE (applying in conjunction with applying to UBC), it is important to contact your potential faculty supervisor well in advance of applying to UBC or DFP. It is also possible to enter the DFP CREATE after arriving at UBC, and identifying a DFP faculty supervisor later on.

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, and highlighting your interest in the DFP CREATE. We highly recommend including your curriculum vitae in your initial inquiry. If interested, the faculty member will follow up and tell you what other information they require to evaluate you.

You can view our current DFP faculty supervisors by clicking the button below.

View participating units

2. Apply to a UBC Home Program

With a tentative DFP supervisor in mind, apply to your natural participating UBC home unit following their regular procedures. Consult application information available at that unit's website. Currently there are 10 UBC academic units participating in the DFP, but we welcome applicants from any UBC academic unit.

3. Apply to the DFP CREATE Program

Once admission to a participating home unit has been offered and a faculty sponsor identified, 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 letter of support from your DFP faculty supervisor (see checklist below), for admission to the DFP CREATE.  

See the Pre-Application Checklist below for specifics.

Within the application, you'll be asked whether you plan to take DFP Core 1 (Fundamentals), a prerequisite for DFP Project. To assess likelihood, please review the DFP Fundamentals Skills Inventory Form (approval of which will be needed for exemption from Fundamentals).

Application Link

4. Complete the DFP CREATE Program

Duration: You will generally complete all of the DFP CREATE's program requirements by two years into your graduate program, regardless of your PhD or Master’s designation.

Timing: When possible, take the DFP Core in Year 1 of your program, to get maximal benefit. Some participating programs' requirements preclude starting the DFP Core until Year 2, but we have ensured that this works too. 

Prerequisites: The CREATE's central element and 2nd Core course, DFP Project, requires the 1st Core course (Fundamentals) or equivalent background. To determine whether you meet this prerequisite (given the wide variety in introductory HCI course coverage) you'll need to complete the DFP Fundamentals Skills Inventory Form. Submit it as specified on the form, and each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Submit at least 2 weeks in advance of the term you would need to take DFP Fundamentals.  

5. Get Certified

Upon completion of the Program, you will be awarded with a DFP CREATE Certificate, and are encouraged to list this designation on your curriculum vitae and other documentation of your training.

6. Be an Active DFP Alum

As you continue in your home degree program, and even following it, we strongly encourage DFP CREATE alumni to participate in the DFP community — e.g., mentoring junior students, participating in summer schools, networking with partners and community at the Design Showcase


UBC units vary by discipline in how they fund graduate students. Funding is available through the DFP CREATE program to supplement DFP Faculty supervisors’ research grants for DFP trainee research assistantships.
Please discuss funding with your faculty supervisor.

DFP Graduate Entrance Grants 

A number of competitive Graduate Entrance Grants (GEG) of $5,000 are awarded each year to early DFP CREATE applicants. Recipients will receive the grant upon arriving at UBC in September 2020, with the expectation that they will complete the DFP CREATE Program within one or two years.
Apply for a GEG by applying to the DFP Create before the GEG deadline.

Pre-Application Checklist
  • Familiarize yourself with the DFP CREATE program requirements. These include a commitment to take DFP Project (CPSC 554K) in either the first or second year of your UBC graduate program.
  • Apply to your home UBC graduate program, and receive acceptance.
  • Obtain the consent of a DFP faculty supervisor for your application. Remind your supervisor that they will need to write a letter of support for you. A detailed request will be made of the supervisor once you have applied.
  • Collect your original UBC application materials: UBC ID, transcripts, research statement, and, if applicable, results of your English Proficiency exam. If your original UBC application did not require a research statement, please compose a brief (<1 page is fine) statement about your objectives for your UBC graduate studies more broadly.
  • Assess your need to take both DFP Core courses by reviewing the DFP Fundamentals Skills Inventory Form.
  • Prepare a brief statement (500 chars) about your interest in the DFP CREATE Program, to be entered into the online application form.


NSERC logo

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Cette recherche a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG).