Welcome to Graduate Studies!

"I look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders across our communities to set priorities that will guide our shared work now and into the future."

I respectfully acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples on whose unceded traditional territories our three campuses reside. Graduate Studies is committed to working together with students, faculty, staff and community partners to uphold the principles of truth and reconciliation by ensuring that we are actively working beyond land acknowledgements to both decolonize and Indigenize the work that Graduate Studies provides.

I am pleased and honoured to welcome you as I begin my first term as Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate Studies. It’s an exciting time to be at SFU! I am thrilled to be in a place that embraces opportunities to do things differently. What’s next: The SFU Strategy lays out a vision to be “a leading research university, advancing an inclusive and sustainable future.”

Graduate students, who play a central role in achieving this vision, are integral to the scholarly life of the University. They approach their research questions from multiple perspectives and apply a range of methodologies to carry out their work. The knowledge that they generate affects positive change in a society that is facing unprecedented challenges including, but certainly not limited to, systemic racism, climate change, the spread of misinformation, pandemics, artificial intelligence, food and housing insecurity and power conflicts.

SFU is the academic home to over 125 graduate programs and more than 4,200 graduate students from 110 countries. It is our goal in Graduate Studies to support students as individuals and to provide them with the tools that they need to thrive on their journey. We are committed to ensuring a diverse, equitable and inclusive community for graduate students. We work together closely with programs across our three campuses—Surrey, Vancouver and Burnaby—to ensure transparency and equity in our decision making. And, our engaged and innovative faculty members support and prepare students for a range of careers in diverse fields and scholarly excellence.

I was first attracted to SFU as a place with a deep commitment to engaging with communities to address pressing issues, creating and connecting knowledge, and to challenging the status quo.

My primary goal in the next few months is to listen and learn. I look forward to collaborating with students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders across our communities to set priorities that will guide our shared work now and into the future. I hope that our paths will cross soon. In the meantime, please let us know how we’re doing by sharing your feedback.

Mary O'Brien

Vice-Provost and Dean
PhD (University of Wisconsin)

Please Share Your Feedback for Mary

I am an SFU

The information on this form is collected under the authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468). It is related directly to and needed by the University to help inform the role of the dean and vice-provost of Graduate Studies. The information will be used by the office of Graduate Studies to provide feedback and respond to the submitter, if necessary. If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact the Associate Director, Communications and Marketing, gradstudies@sfu.ca.