COVID-19

We would like to acknowledge the uncertainty COVID-19 may continue to cause for members of our community. Please know that we are here to support you - UBC continues to take direction from the BC Provincial Government as well as the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health, who are leading the coordinated response to COVID-19.

This website contains answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) for graduate students, with information specific to international students and newly admitted students.

You are also encouraged to visit UBC's COVID-19 site for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and UBC’s response, and students.ubc.ca/covid19 for further information on financial assistance, government assistance eligibility criteria, and various student services.

Last updated: June 27, 2022

 

Get vaccinated

We strongly recommend that all UBC community members get vaccinated before returning to campus.

In BC, vaccines are available to everyone aged 5 and older, including incoming international students who can receive their vaccinations after arriving in Canada. You can learn more at immunizebc.ca.

Consider a mask

Masks are no longer required in indoor spaces as of June 30. However, members of the community may want or need to continue wearing masks.

Keep track of your health

All students, faculty, staff, and others must assess themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms prior to engaging in in-person activities at UBC.

Stay home if you are sick: If you are ill or believe you have COVID-19 symptoms or been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, stay home. Use the Thrive Health self-assessment tool for guidance or visit the Campus Safety website for more information.

 

On this page

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A) General questions

A.4) What resources are available for UBC graduate students, such as mental health support?

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many students may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Visit the Student Services website for the most up-to-date information on supports and resources.

Below you can find additional resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

Taking care of your mental health during the outbreak

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can call Counselling Services, 604 822 3811, to schedule an appointment by phone.

  • Aspiria - free, 24/7 wellness resource for students. Services include personal counselling, life coaching, group programs and more based on your needs.
  • MindhealthBC - Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns.
  • Here to Help - help you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC - If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions.
  • CrisiscentreBC - If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO - Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email, which you can set up for free.
  • Here2Talk - Provides all students currently registered in a BC post-secondary institution with access to free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone, and web.
  • Group counselling programs - Online programs are available for you during COVID-19.
  • More information on how to take care of your health and wellbeing can be found at https://students.ubc.ca/health

We appreciate that this is a very stressful time and we want to reassure you that UBC is here to support you. All necessary steps are being taken, in conjunction with and in consultation with our health agency partners, in order to protect the health and safety of all of our students and the entire community. Your health and wellbeing is our priority.

A.5) What is the current guidance for behavioural research involving human participants? Can I do research during COVID?

The Offices of Research Ethics on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses have resumed in-person behavioural research in alignment with updates from the BC Public Health Officer. Note that UBC researchers (Faculty, Staff and Students) are now required to be vaccinated before embarking on in-person research, and additional restrictions due to COVID may be implemented.

If you are beginning or resuming in-person reach, visit the Office of Research Ethics website to learn how your research may be affected.

A.6) What is the process if I need to request an academic concession?

Referring to the UBC policy on Academic Concessions, requests for academic concession may be made to the instructor of the student’s course, their graduate supervisor or graduate advisor for their graduate program. If you are registered with the Centre for Accessibility, please consult your Accessibility Advisor in addition to your course instructor and/or supervisor. Requests for the below noted academic concessions, upon approval and submission of the request form by your program, will be processed by G+PS as normal. Please note there may be delays in processing times due to remote working arrangements.

A.7) I expect it will take longer for me to complete my graduate program as a result of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I have longer to meet my program milestones?

UPDATE: Pandemic-related extensions to program and candidacy will still be considered, however requests must now be made in accordance with applicable pre-existing policies and accompanied by all necessary documentation. Requests submitted without justification or supporting documentation will not be considered.

Program Extensions

  • Master’s students: Initial program duration is five years
  • Doctoral students/Candidates: Initial program duration is six years

Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. Students seeking such an extension should contact their graduate program to initiate such a request.

 

Extensions to Candidacy

Due to COVID-19, G+PS will approve requests from graduate programs for one term of extension to reach candidacy for any of their students without further justification or supporting documentation normally required. Students seeking such an extension should contact their graduate program to initiate such a request.

A.8) I have questions about childcare on campus, and finding childcare support resources. Where can I find the most up-to-date information?

UBC Child Care Services operates licensed group care for children from infancy through elementary school age on the Point Grey campus in Vancouver. They have adapted their safety plans to reflect current recommendations from Vancouver Coastal Health for child care services during the pandemic. For more information on their services and COVID guidelines, visit their website.

Faculty, staff and students in Vancouver who are looking for childcare support in their homes can post a request on the CareersOnline job board, which is available to match diploma and certificate students in the Faculty of Education’s Early Childhood Education program (who are experienced caregivers and have current criminal record checks). To use this service, faculty, staff and students can create an employer profile on CareersOnline, using a UBC email address. Once your employer account is approved, you can create a job posting with a description of the position, salary/wage, and qualifications. Select “Education/Teaching” as your preferred degree/discipline to indicate you are looking for Early Childhood Education students. Please see the tip sheet for items of consideration when posting a childcare job.

A.9) What is life on campus like?

As restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 continue to be lifted, we encourage you to consult individual services websites for additional details. Note that some spaces may require masks or proof of vaccination.

Student services

Many UBC student services, including health and wellbeing, academics and advising and student engagement, are currently offering their services online or over the phone instead of in-person. Find out how to access them.

Food services

There are many locations on campus that are open for dine-in and takeout, including The Point, Mercante, Tim Hortons Forestry, Starbucks Bookstore, Corner Store, and Harvest Market. See the list of open eateries on campus.

UBC Library

Many library branches have re-opened, providing bookable study spaces, desktop computers, printing and scanning services. Non-medical masks are required. Visit the Library's Hours portal for information on locations and hours.

A number of online resources are available to current students. You should review off-campus access using EZproxy protocols before trying to connect to any of the library’s online resources from off-campus or use the new browser extension. Computers using a UBC wired or wireless network connection are automatically authenticated.

In addition, the Library has launched an on-campus pick-up service to enable UBC students, faculty and staff to access items in the collection that are not available in electronic formats. To learn more, visit the Library website.

Sports facilities

For the latest information, visit the UBC Vancouver Athletics and Recreation website.

Museum of Anthropology​​​​​​

Find out about the new visiting procedures and how to pre-book your ticket online. UBC students, faculty, and staff receive free admission but must pre-book a timed-entry ticket online, and present a valid UBC photo ID at the point of entry.

Botanical Garden

New health and safety measures have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing of guests, members, and staff. As a result, entry to UBC Botanical Garden will require booking in advance. Learn more.

Online learning

As some of you prepare for classes in an online learning environment, we encourage you to visit the Keep Learning website, which shares resources on how to learn more effectively, understanding technologies used at UBC and taking care of yourself.

Getting to and around campus

You can get to UBC by car, bus or bike. Public transit is recommended: it’s efficient, inexpensive, good for the environment—and you can bring a bike on transit to help speed your travels across campus. Use the Trip Planning feature on the Translink website to find the most efficient routing from anywhere in the Metro Vancouver region. If you do drive, there are many parking options at UBC.

Once here, there are several options for getting around campus—you can walk, bike and for longer distances there are convenient and accessible shuttle buses to get you where you need to go. Find more information on how to get around campus.

If you have a temporary or permanent condition that limits your mobility, the Accessibility Shuttle can help you get around areas of campus that can only be reached on foot. The shuttle is a free, shared-ride service; you can book up to three trips a day. Each building in the service area is within 100 meters of a shuttle stop.

A.10) Have research activities resumed on campus?​​​​

Research activities on campus have resumed.

A.11) I am hoping to conduct research and/or study abroad. How will COVD-19 impact my plans?

As per UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Policy, graduate students traveling outside of Canada for university activity must complete UBC’s travel authorization requirements. Travel for a “university activity” includes academic purposes including any activity required for academic credit, or financially sponsored or supported by UBC. Travel typically includes exchanges, research, internships, co-op placements, conference attendance, field study, and volunteering. Please visit the Student Safety Abroad website to learn more or contact safety.abroad@ubc.ca for questions.

A.12) What should I know before coming to campus? Do I need to wear a mask?

Effective July 2, 2022, masks are no longer required for indoor public areas at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs. Everyone in the UBC community is expected to follow the COVID-19 Campus Rules when on UBC campuses.

As a reminder, students, faculty and staff who take part in academic activities outside of university campuses are still required to wear a mask if mandated by a Public Health Order; for example, in health care settings.

As part of UBC’s commitment to the health and safety of our community, and the responsibility we all share in preventing COVID-19 transmission, students, faculty, staff or visitors are required to follow UBC’s COVID-19 Campus Rules when on campus, such as assessing yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms and following signage and floor markings when moving around premises. Individuals may also want to use their discretion regarding mask wearing when gathering in small spaces, classrooms or crowded areas.

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AA) Prospective students

Application and admissions

AA.1) With potential impacts on GRE test availability or ability of test takers to travel to testing locations, are programs that normally require GRE results still considering these in admissions?

GRE and GRE at home tests are now more broadly available, including China and Iran. Please verify that your selected program really does require GRE by:

  • Checking the website of the selected program for COVID-19-related application updates.
  • Contacting the program to which you are applying:
    • Current applicants: Contact information is in the auto-response you received after your application was successfully submitted.
    • Prospective applicants: The Program Enquiries link is on the right-hand side of each individual program profile.
AA.2) Will I be disadvantaged if I apply without providing a GRE test result?

If the GRE test is required by your selected program, then missing the test may disadvantage your application.

AA.3) Due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, I can’t take the required language test for admission to UBC. Is the university accepting alternatives? What exemptions will be considered?

Students who enter their program with good English language skills are far more likely to succeed; they experience far less stress and get greater enjoyment and fulfillment from their studies. An application with strong English Language Proficiency (ELP) test scores will have an advantage over one without.

Currently, there is a wide variety of official, accepted, ELP tests available around the world via IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or CAEL. Please visit our page on English Proficiency Requirements for more information as well as a list of all accepted tests

We are currently accepting one alternative ELP test, the TOEFL at home test. We are not accepting the IELTS Indicator or the DET through Duolingo.

Due to the importance placed on English language skills, as noted above, there are no exemptions offered at this time. As in the past few months, we are closely monitoring the testing situation around the world. Should the situation change to a point where applicants are barred from taking an accepted English test, UBC will re-evaluate this decision.

AA.4) Are there circumstances where the English language requirement could be completely waived as a result of barriers imposed by COVID-19, e.g. doing interviews with a supervisor?

Please note that our standard policy already allows for waivers in cases where students studied and received a degree in an English-language university (i.e. the language of instruction was English in the institution as a whole). Other than this existing provision, UBC does not support language waivers due to the availability of language tests in centres around the world and the outlined benefits to students of documented, strong language skills to succeed in our programs.

AA.5) With many institutions not having provided grades for courses completed during the pandemic, how will UBC consider these courses in admissions, e.g. calculating GPAs, or assessing specific grades in prerequisite courses?

Graduate programs at UBC are aware of the shifts in grading that affected transcripts due to COVID. Upon application, your transcript will be assessed on what is available, and many programs are taking a more holistic approach to application review. In other words, a statement of intent, resume, and other activities/achievements may weigh more heavily with evaluators.

We encourage applicants to carefully consider their choice of Referees for recommendation letters. By selecting a referee that can speak to your performance in a particular course or term might, in large measure, fill the gap left by a Pass standing.

AA.6) My co-curricular or research experience was impacted by COVID-19 and were supposed to form an (required) important component of my application. How will UBC take this into consideration?

It may help to keep in mind that a large number of applicants will, to a greater or lesser extent have had their academic path disrupted by COVID-19. Graduate programs are aware that many applications will have been affected by circumstances that were entirely beyond the control of the applicants. You might want to outline any challenges encountered due to COVID at appropriate places in the application so that the program can take this into consideration.

Carefully consider your Referees and ask them to speak to the co-curricular or research experiences that were curtailed by COVID-19. If Referees are willing to speak to your academic potential and likelihood of success in these foregone activities, this information will be helpful to your application, and as a result, to evaluators and potential supervisors.

AA.7) Will I be disadvantaged because I was not able to complete co-curricular or research experiences that programs request or expect from applicants?

While this may be a possibility, by reviewing your application thoroughly, and making sure it draws attention to the skills, experiences, and potential you could bring to graduate school at UBC despite the incompletions, this risk can be greatly minimized. We encourage you to outline your original plans, how COVID impacted your plans, and what you have been able to accomplish instead to support your application as part of your answers to application questions where appropriate.

Please also keep in mind that, even in non-COVID-19 years, the number of applications to UBC graduate programs always exceed the number of seats available. Meeting the minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission.

AA. 8) I understand that UBC accepts scanned copied of official transcripts for the application. However, my university does not provide a proper digital record of my transcript. How would I be able to provide proof of my courses and grades for my application. Is UBC accepting applications without transcripts?

Each entry under the Academic History section of the application must include pdf copies of official, up-to-date, transcripts for all current and previous post-secondary study.

For the application process, a proper digital transcript is not required. If your institution is willing to provide you with an official transcript as an email attachment that will not have a negative effect on your application.

UBC does not accept applications without transcripts.

AA.9) I can’t obtain an official transcript from a post-secondary institution I have attended. I am concerned about my ability to provide official copies to ensure my unconditional admission to UBC.

Currently, UBC is receiving paper and/or official digital transcripts from around the world. However, if your institution is incapable of providing official transcripts, we encourage you to carefully consider whether it is in your best interest to apply at this time.

UBC does not accept applications without transcripts.

AA.10) How might COVID affect admissions? Will it be more competitive, e.g. anticipated higher numbers of applicants, or fewer resources such as funding available?

This is an unprecedented moment, and as such, we cannot predict what admissions numbers will be like in this application cycle. To date, admission numbers have been strong and new student feedback on the online orientation, resources, and classes has been positive.

In terms of competition, there will be variation across graduate units. Applicants are encouraged to consult the website of their selected program. COVID-19 is a rapidly changing landscape. UBC and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are connected to other institutions in Canada and around the world to ensure we are receiving the latest updates on how COVID-19 is affecting higher education, and relaying this to our program faculty and staff.

campus, community and research

AA.21) How is COVID-19 affecting social interaction among graduate students? How are students maintaining social interactions with peers?

Due to physical distancing protocol, and online delivery, face-to-face interactions between students have been impacted. Graduate students are still very active on our dedicated intranet, where they can discuss topics ranging from general tips about life in Vancouver, to accommodation, to professional development offerings, to making friends.

The Graduate Student Society as well as many university support services are working hard to provide opportunities for students to connect and engage with each other and university services. This includes online chat channels, virtual speed friending, online game nights and similar.

 

international students

If you're an international student with questions on immigration, health insurance and the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), visit the FAQ page on the students.ubc.ca website.

Check UBC's Travelling to Canada guide for the latest information on travel restrictions and guidelines.

 

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AAA) Return to campus

UBC has returned to on-campus instruction and activities. The Student Services website has general information for all UBC students returning to campus.

AAA.1) Has UBC returned to in-person classes?

In-person classes have resumed, however, some faculties and academic units may alter their course delivery for specific programs and courses. Research and scholarship activities on UBC campuses continue under current safety plans. 

Learn more about course delivery options at the Vancouver campus.

AAA.3) Are vaccines mandatory for students, faculty or staff to be on campus?
AAA.7) Can I do in-person research involving human participants?

The Offices of Research Ethics on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses have updated their guidance and have resumed in-person behavioural research.

All UBC activities are covered by a Communicable Disease Prevention Framework in alignment with the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorkSafeBC.

Researchers are encouraged to visit https://covid19.research.ubc.ca for information on UBC’s COVID-19 research activities, including research projects, potential collaborators, initiatives, networks and support.

AAA.8) I am a student coming from abroad, will I need to quarantine?

Please visit the International Student Guide for the latest updates on travel and quarantine requirements for international students.

As of April 25, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to provide a quarantine plan, and are no longer required to follow certain federal public health measures after arriving in Canada.

However, travel restrictions, testing and quarantine requirements may change without notice.

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B) Newly Admitted Students

For general resources and tips for all students, from navigating academics online to making friends virtually, check out the New to UBC guide at students.ubc.ca/welcome.

B.1) I have been admitted to start my UBC graduate program. Will my program be held in person?

UBC has returned to in-person instruction. Updates regarding the course schedule for Faculties, on-campus activities, and various orientation activities will be provided as we approach course registration periods for Summer Session and the 2022/23 academic year.

B.2) Will l be granted eligibility to register if I cannot order official transcripts or UBC cannot receive them?

UBC is now receiving both paper and digital transcripts from around the world and students are expected to provide official documentation to meet their condition of admission for official documentation prior to their start date. You must meet the initial requirement for official documents prior to commencing your program. Eligibility to register will be suspended until required documentation has been received and processed.

Exceptions to this requirement will be assessed on a case-by-case basis based on the COVID-19 situation and information received from individual institutions.

B.3) When does registration open?

Registration open dates are announced on the Student Services Registration site.

B.4) Can I apply for my study permit abroad now?

Yes, if you are an international student and have not done so already, you should apply for a Study Permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as quickly as possible. Detailed information about the process is provided by UBC's International Student Advising office.

An admission letter, even if it includes conditions, can be used to apply for a study permit. Applicants are advised to include an explanation letter which addresses how they plan to meet admission conditions. In most cases it is recommended to apply right away, even with a conditional offer letter.

If you believe that you will not receive the Study Permit in time for your stated program start date, please contact your graduate program to discuss the possibility of changing your start date.

B.5) How will the COVID-19 restrictions affect my or my family’s immigration application?

For questions or concerns about impact of COVID-19 on your or your dependents’ (spouse or children) immigration application, please contact International Student Advisors in UBC International Student Advising Office at isa@students.ubc.ca and one of International Student advisors will be able to assist you. Please input your UBC student ID number in the subject line of your email inquiry to avoid delays in response time.

Due to the fluid nature of the situation, please contact the International Student Advising Office, rather than your supervisor or graduate program, for up-to-date information pertaining to your immigration application.

We also strongly encourage all new international graduate students to visit the International Student Guide.

B.6) What if I don't receive my study permit and/or I am impacted by travel restrictions?

If you have not received your study permit and/or you are impacted by travel restrictions, please contact your department's graduate program administrator to discuss the possibility of starting your program late or deferring your start date. Review the last day to add/drop courses without a "withdrawal" standing on your transcript and ensure that you drop courses via your Student Service Centre (SSC) in time for your tuition, iMED, UPASS and other fees to be removed from your account.

B.8) Is it possible to change the start date of my program? How about deferrals?

With program approval, students may change the start date of their programs to within twelve months of the original start date without having to re-apply or pay an additional application fee. Each academic year has up to four possible start dates, September, January, May, and July. Not every program offers these four start dates and the most common entry date is September.

    With the approval of your program office, changes in start date for the academic year may be accommodated. A student admitted to one academic year, for example, 2020-21, may have their admission deferred to the following academic year once and only with the approval of their program.

    Usually, only a limited number of deferrals can be accommodated every year. Due to COVID-19 we expect higher demand for deferrals and will do our best to accommodate such requests. However, not all requests may be approved. Reasons that changes of start date may be declined include:

    • Program does not offer the requested start date
    • Program has decided not to offer changes of start date
    • Supervisor is not able to wait to the new start date
    B.9) I will likely not come to Vancouver for the start of my program. How will that impact the payment of TAships, RAships and awards?

    Teaching Assistantships

    There are a number of significant obstacles to UBC employing people to work while they are located outside Canada. Because teaching assistants (TAs) are considered UBC employees, those challenges apply to TAs as well. As a result, UBC has determined that students cannot be employed as TAs while they are physically located outside Canada, even if the work can be done remotely. Please consult your supervisor or program directly about questions you may have about the payment of TAs.

    Research Assistantships

    For graduate students who do not come to Vancouver and who have Research Assistantships, there may be an option to have their Research Assistantship funding assigned through the Student Information Services Centre (SISC) as a Graduate Research Award (GRS).

    Payment of Awards

    Award and GRS funding assigned through the SISC will be applied toward the student’s tuition and fees. Any excess funding (i) will remain in the student’s account until the student provides information for a Canadian bank account for electronic transfers or (ii) can be transferred to the student via international wire transfer to a bank account outside Canada. Information about requesting an international wire transfer will be provided as needed to students who do not have a Canadian bank account and who have a positive balance in their student account.

    B.10) What is the UBCcard and can I apply for it?

    The UBCcard is your official UBC ID and library card. Whether you are on-campus or studying at a distance you are encouraged to apply for your UBCcard at your earliest opportunity.

    Outside Vancouver: No matter where you’re located in the world, you can apply for your digital UBCcard. After your application is processed (which takes around 3 business days), you’ll be able to access your digital UBCcard by logging into your UBCcard account.

    On-campus: This year, you’re eligible to also receive a standard physical version of your UBCcard if:

    • You will be living in residence, or
    • You’re registered in in-person classes

    What does the UBCcard do?

    • Proves your identity for a course (e.g. when writing your exams)—as needed, your profs will provide specific instructions on how to do so
    • Proves your identity when picking up physical materials from a UBC Library that are not available online
    • Requests discounts at particular campus food vendors (check if they’re open first!)
    • Allows you to access various UBC buildings.

    You can add money to your card online and then use it to make purchases at the UBC Bookstore and Food Services’ dining locations (where you can receive 5% off!).

    Other local businesses may offer discounts to those with a valid UBCcard as well.

    If you are using a U-Pass on your Compass Card for transit, you are required to have the UBCcard on you when on transit.

    B.11) With the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, will there be an orientation for graduate students?

    Yes, we have orientation programming that includes in-person and online events. Check orientation.grad.ubc.ca to join one of our pre-arrival webinars to help you prepare for your #UBCGradJourney.

    B.12) How can I meet and make connections with fellow graduate students while physical distancing?

    There are many opportunities for you to meet new friends and make connections once you arrive - here are just a few opportunities among many to get connected and get involved!

    Graduate Student Community Forum

    Our online community allows you to meet peers from across disciplines. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the time. Log in and introduce yourself to meet your peers, find others with similar research interests, or browse the forums and ask a question!

    The Graduate Student Society (GSS)

    The GSS is the voice of UBC’s 10,000 graduate students. They provide support, help you connect, and advocate for changes that are important to you. Through the GSS you can make new friends, implement new ideas, organize events, or work to improve the lives of graduate students at UBC. Join the GSS for a huge range of events throughout the year from hiking to healthy eating and from speed-friending to thought-provoking debates.

    Connections Café

    Meet and mingle with other like-minded graduate students at one of our regularly scheduled Connections Cafés. Dates get posted in the graduate student community.

    Student Clubs

    Student clubs aren’t just for undergrads! UBC’s Alma Mater Society (AMS) is home to over 350 clubs, so whether you are looking to connect with other students from the same culture or religion, are a billiards expert, or are hoping to brush up on your bicycle maintenance skills, there’s a club for you.

    Graduate school is at once rigorous and fulfilling. Be sure to create balance in your life and make time for friends and activities outside your research and coursework.

    B.13) My official transcripts have already been ordered and sent to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. When will I know they’ve been received? My admission letter supplement states three weeks, but my documents arrived more than three weeks ago.

    Due to the Covid19 restrictions and remote working, our office has met with significant delays in receiving and processing of official documents. We understand, and regret, the anxiety caused by these unavoidable delays. Keep checking your online portal for updates; below are examples of the statuses you might see in your checklist in the portal:

    Admitted with conditions

    Admitted with outstanding documents

    Full admission

     

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    C) International students

    If you're an international student with questions on immigration, work eligibility and health insurance, visit the FAQ page on the students.ubc.ca website. UBC has created a new Travelling to Canada guide to help you understand if you are eligible to travel, and what to prepare if you plan to travel.

    C.0) I am a new student – can I apply for my study permit now?
    C.1) Where can I find information about travel restrictions and coming to Canada?
    C.2) I can’t pay my tuition now and I want to apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). What should I do?
    C.3) I won’t be able to come to Vancouver for the start of my program. Can I change my iMED coverage dates?

    After you arrive in BC, you must apply for the BC government-run Medical Services Plan (MSP). As a new-to-UBC student, when you register for courses, UBC automatically enrolls you for the iMED temporary private health insurance to cover you during the 3-month MSP waiting period. You will need to confirm your arrival date with David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) to obtain your iMED card.

    For more information regarding iMED coverage please visit the International Students: Immigration and Health Insurance FAQ on COVID-19.

    C.4) I am out of the country. Can I opt out of the Health and Dental plan?

    International students who are out of the country will be able to opt out of the Health & Dental plan. They will need to provide proof that they are international students. Re-enrollment will not be allowed in the same policy year (students who choose to opt out will not be able to re-enroll in the plan until September 2021). Opt-out periods will be in September and January. There will be an additional opt out period in July, retroactive to the current year, in case students are not sure if they will be in Canada.

    Students who apply and are awarded a total or partial subsidy through the AMS/GSS H&D bursary program, and/or use the plan, will not be eligible to retroactively opt out. For more information, visit the Studentcare website.

     

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    D) housing

    For the latest information, please review the Housing FAQ.

    D.2) Are there COVID-specific requirements for living in on-campus housing?
    D.5) I am a graduate student in Year Round Residence and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer. Do I have to move out of UBC residence?

    If you continue to be eligible for Year Round Residence for the following fall, you will be able to simply accept a new Year Round Residence Contract and stay in your residence. Students living in Year Round residences are not required to be studying full-time during the summer months. Any leave that is COVID-19 related won’t impact your eligibility.

    Otherwise, summer stay through, or subletting from a Year Round resident who has signed a new contract offer, would be an option for students in this situation that are not eligible for a new Year Round Residence Contract. Please note that, if you have not already done so, student families residing in Acadia Park that will not continue to be eligible in the fall but need accommodation past April 30, should contact Student Family Housing as soon as possible to discuss continued accommodation in their residence through to August.

    D.6) I am interested in on-campus housing. What's availability like for the 2022/2023 academic year?

    Please visit the UBC Vancouver Student Housing website for the latest information regarding student residences.

    D.7) I am arriving to Canada from abroad. What are my options for self-isolation?

    Before making travel plans, carefully review all pages of the Travelling to Canada Guide for important details and check back for updates. As of February 28, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arrival.

    UBC offers Self-Isolation Packages to students, staff and faculty. See details below:

    Accommodation and Meals: $79 per day plus tax

    • To make a reservation, email reservations@housing.ubc.ca or call 1-888-822-1030. Reservations are available on a first-come first-serve basis while capacity lasts. If you are unable to secure a reservation, you must book alternative self-isolation accommodation.
    • If you have booked a UBC Self-Isolation Package and your arrival date has changed please contact UBC Housing as soon as possible to ensure they can still accommodate your reservation.
    • Package provided by UBC Conferences & Accommodation. Transportation and transfers, such as airport pick up and transfer to longer-term accommodation, is not included.

    Visit the UBC Housing website for more information on your different options.

    Note: UBC is offering subsidized rates for students who indicate they are facing financial hardship. The subsidized rate for the UBC Self-Isolation Package (accommodation and meals) is $45 per day. The subsidized rate for the Self-Isolation Meal Plan (only available to residents able to self-isolate in their own units) is $15 per day. Visit Housing's accommodation page for details.

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    E) FINANCE

    You can find additional information on awards, loans and tuition on this FAQ on the students.ubc.ca website.

    E.1) I am experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19. What can I do?

    Both domestic and international students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) are strongly encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. Please call 604 822 9836 to speak with an ES Advisor or submit your concern online at askme.ubc.ca. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for your situation. It may not be possible for Enrolment Services to provide immediate support in all circumstances, but meeting with an advisor will also enable the university to gather a clearer picture of the needs that exist and to direct its financial support resources more effectively. We also encourage students to communicate with your supervisor and graduate advisor regarding your circumstances and needs, to identify possible solutions.

    UBC is offering a one-time needs-based Quarantine Bursary for students needing support. To see eligibility requirements and start an application, visit the Student Services website.

    Students are strongly encouraged to apply for all available government supports. Domestic students can apply for student loans--this allows students to potentially access additional grants and bursary options as well as loans. International students are encouraged to explore any Canadian government resources available to them, as well as explore options in their home country.

    E.3) What is the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award?

    The President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award recognizes the significant contributions of PhD students to the research activities of the university. This is an ongoing award, starting in the 2020 summer term, which will be provided to all PhD students except those who have their tuition paid by an external sponsor. For the first year of its implementation, the award amount will be equivalent to 17% of students’ tuition; in the case of international students, the tuition amount will be determined after deduction of the International Tuition Award. The first instalment of the awards will be automatically assigned by mid-May 2020; students do not need to apply. For further information, visit this award's page.

    E.4) What government supports are available to students?

    Students can use the Government of Canada online tool to find the financial resources specific to their situation due to COVID-19.

    E.5) I was planning to travel to present at an academic event that has now been cancelled, but I still incurred travel costs.

    Graduate students are eligible for reimbursement from the Graduate Student Travel Fund once per degree program. If the event you were traveling to has been cancelled or moved to a virtual format due to COVID-19 and your travel expenses have not been reimbursed, you can still apply for reimbursement from the Travel Fund in the usual manner. We are following the example of the federal granting agencies in this regard.

    E.6) I am a Tri-Agency grant recipient with concerns about funding. Where should I go to find the most up-to-date information on the continuation of my research grant?

    Please see Tri-agency’s frequently asked questions, which provides details on how this additional funding will be implemented, and visit the agency websites, all of which are updated regularly.

    You may also contact the agencies’ scholarships and fellowships program staff at:

    E.7) I am a US citizen studying at UBC with loans from the Education department. Do I need to be worried about online course delivery?

    For US students holding loans, the US Senate passed a bill that includes a waiver of the prohibition against distance education (i.e., online study) for students receiving U.S. Direct Loans for study at eligible non-U.S. institutions of higher education. It now requires the President’s signature. The waiver is retroactive to March 1, 2020 and remains through the end of the COVID-19 emergency (as declared by Canadian government authorities) and for the following payment period (generally the following term).

    E.8) Due to COVID-19, I am required to study remotely, but I don't have the resources to do that. What assistance is available to me?

    If you are a graduate student who cannot do the in person work required by your program as a result of your program only being offered online with no in-person options, Enrolment Services may offer up to $350 in the support of new technology. Other small costs such as purchase of a webcam or short term help to top up internet fees may also be covered. Enrolment Services reviews these requests on case by case basis.

    E.9) Is the U-Pass available?

    U-Pass BC program restarted on September 1, 2020. Students who are being assessed U-Pass BC fees, and who meet the criteria, may apply for an exemption.

    For more information on the U-Pass program, please visit the U-Pass FAQ.

    E.10) Will there be a tuition waiver?​​​​

    Tuition is vital to maintaining the academic continuity and operations of UBC and providing the range of supports students require now and when we are able to transition to more in-person learning.

    UBC’s commitment to providing quality learning experiences and services has not changed as we adapt to current circumstances and offer new modalities of delivery to keep you, your fellow students, faculty, and staff safe during COVID-19. Given this and the commitment to increased student financial assistance, tuition rates will remain and be assessed, as approved by the Board of Governors in December 2019.

    UBC has worked closely with the provincial and federal governments on the new programs that have been introduced for students experiencing increased financial need. We have also increased funding to the university’s financial assistance programs to support students.

    E.11) I am unable to set up a Canadian bank account for direct deposit of award payments as I have not yet travelled to Canada. Am I eligible to accept the award offers on my UBC Student Service Centre account without direct deposit?

    Yes, provided you are registered full-time in your program. Award funding will be applied against your tuition and student fees; any remaining funds will be held for you until you are able to set up a Canadian bank account.

    E.12) What financial supports for tech tools and plans are available to students?

    The UBC Vancouver Technology Bursary is a one-time needs-based bursary to help students meet the basic requirements of online learning by supporting the costs of necessary equipment like headphones, web cameras, specialized accessibility technology, or Internet access. Learn more.

    As a result of UBC's response to COVID-19, UBC students transitioned to remote learning as of March 2020, with a greater dependency on technology in lieu of on-site instruction. UBC IT has facilitated a number of discount packages for students to support their learning activities. UBC students can get discounts on a range of essential tech tools and plans. See the discount packages on the UBC IT website.

    E.13) Can I work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) while studying from outside Canada?

    UBC has determined that, due to domestic and international employment and taxation laws, students cannot be hired as Teaching Assistants unless they are physically located in Canada. Specific questions about TA appointments should be directed to your UBC graduate program

    E.14) Can I receive Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) funding if I am studying from outside Canada?

    UBC has created a new category of support for graduate students who have not been able to come to Canada for their studies but who can contribute to research projects from abroad. Where permitted by the conditions of the research grant/sponsor, funds will be assigned as Graduate Research Stipends (GRS).

    Research supervisors will initiate a funding recommendation, and after a review of funding eligibility, a letter will be provided to students outlining the funding being offered and the steps they need to take to accept the funding. The funding will be posted to the student’s UBC tuition account and applied against tuition / fees owed, and any funds in excess of fees refunded in a lump-sum payment.

    Learn more about the process.

    E.15) I am studying from outside Canada and have not been able to set up a Canadian bank account. How can I receive my award and/or graduate research stipend funding?

    UBC is partnering with a Canadian bank to support international wire transfers for students who do not have a Canadian bank account. In late September or early October, students with pending award or graduate research stipend (GRS) funding will be provided with a link to a secure online portal, which they will use to provide the information needed to accept the wire transfer from UBC. G+PS staff will confirm the funding amount to be transferred (total funding offered, less any outstanding tuition and fees for the term) and initiate the wire transfer. Students will receive the funds in the bank account they indicated; transfer times will vary depending on the country where the student is located.

    Wire transfers may not be supported for all countries or for every student’s specific situation. If that is the case, any funds in excess of tuition and fees will be held in the student’s tuition account until the student can arrive in Canada.

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    F) THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

    F.2) I want to have my thesis/dissertation pre-reviewed for formatting before I submit it to cIRcle. Can I still do that?

    If your thesis/dissertation has been approved by your committee for submission to cIRcle, please submit it to cIRcle and we will review it from there.

    F.3) I want to have my dissertation pre-reviewed for formatting before I submit it to the external examiner. Can I still do that?

    The thesis team’s first priority is checking and approving theses and dissertations that have been submitted to cIRcle. We are still doing pre-reviews, but they will take more time than usual. We recommend that you send a PDF of your dissertation to graduate.thesis@ubc.ca while you are still doing your final proofreading and polish so that there is plenty of time for the review.

    F.4) I have my thesis/dissertation approval form and cover sheet ready to bring to G+PS. Now that the office is closed, how can I submit them?

    Please scan your forms to PDF and email them as attachments to graduate.thesis@ubc.ca.

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    Announcements

     

    2022: Latest announcements from UBC, G+PS

    2021 announcements from UBC, G+PS

    December 22: Broadcast - COVID-19 - Planning for 2021/22 Winter Session, Term 2

    Moving to online classes beginning January 4 or 10 (depending on the program).

    Read the full announcement

    December 14: President's Update - on in-person exams, residence and rapid testing

    President Santa Ono provided an update on exams in light of the evolving COVID-19 variants.

    Read the full update.

    December 9: Broadcast - UBC’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program — update on progress

    Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and its variants, the UBC Board of Governors has approved the decision to maintain the rapid testing program with a requirement for all students, faculty and staff to take part. If you have already declared and verified your vaccination status, no further action is required.

    Read the full announcement.

    November 26: UBC Bulletin - COVID-19 – Important update for faculty and staff based in health care settings

    As part of the most recent Public Health Order, all UBC faculty, staff or student employees who work in health care settings must have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 15, 2021 in order to continue to work at that site. This includes hospital sites, clinics, and any other place where care is provided.

    Read the full announcement.

    September 29: Broadcast - Update: UBC's COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program

    For those members of the UBC community who have declared they are fully vaccinated, further communication was issued advising of the requirement to verify their status, with proof of vaccination, at https://rapidtesting.covid19.ubc.ca. If you have not done so, complete the requirement, and learn more about UBC's Rapid Testing program. Read the full announcement.

    September 15: Broadcast - Reminder: Please complete UBC’s COVID-19 vaccination status declaration

    As a reminder, faculty and staff who are not vaccinated, are partially vaccinated, or refuse to disclose their status will be required to take part in rapid testing. Read the full announcement.

    September 9, 2021: Broadcast - Launching UBC’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program

    UBC is requiring COVID-19 rapid testing for all students, faculty and staff, with exemptions provided for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Read the announcement.

    September 2, 2021: Broadcast - Ensuring a safe start to the new academic year

    Last week a series of Public Health Orders related to COVID-19 safety measures were announced. These include the requirement to wear non-medical masks in public indoor spaces and the introduction of the BC Vaccine Card (which applies to students living in student housing, participation in varsity and intramural sports, and participation in other discretionary activities, including restaurants and ticketed events on campus). For further information, read the full announcement.

    August 26, 2021: Broadcast - UBC implements vaccine declaration and rapid testing for COVID-19

    UBC will require COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff, with exemptions provided for those who are vaccinated against COVID-19. UBC will implement a process for confidential self-disclosure of vaccination status for all those who access our campuses, including students, faculty, staff and visitors. Read the full announcement.

    August 25, 2021: Non-medical masks required in public indoor spaces on UBC campuses from August 25

    As a result of a Public Health Order, effective August 25, 2021, non-medical masks are required for all indoor public areas at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs. The Order also applies to anyone taking public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle. You can view the announcement here. There is also an additional announcement specific to post secondary institutions.

    Read the announcement in full.

    August 23, 2021: Broadcast - Announcement of BC Vaccine Card for specific activities
    July 22, 2021: Broadcast - Update — bringing vibrancy back to our campuses
    May 17, 2021: Broadcast - Update — planning our return to campus
    April 20, 2021: Broadcast - Update on UBC’s Campus Return Plan
    March 8, 2021: Broadcast - Increased on-campus activity for the 2021/22 Winter Session
    January 13, 2021: Broadcast - UBC’s approach for 2021 Summer Session