COVID-19

As UBC continues to navigate the situation regarding COVID-19, we recognize that members of our community may have questions and concerns.

Within British Columbia, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are leading the coordinated response to COVID-19. UBC continues to take direction from the BC Provincial Government as we plan and consider next steps.

This website contains answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to funding, assessments, dissertations, housing as well as questions with information specific to international students and newly admitted students.

You are also encouraged to visit https://covid19.ubc.ca/ 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.

 

On this page

student updates

July 14, 2020: COVID-19 update from G+PS

Winter Term 1 is less than a couple of months away, and we and those at all levels at UBC, continue to work to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face, and to ensure a productive year of grad studies. We encourage you once again to remain in close contact with your programs and supervisors so that they are fully aware of your current needs and circumstances. 

We have a series of small updates to share with you. Please note that this information has also been added to the COVID-19 FAQ section on our website. Visit this website over the next few weeks and months for the most up-to-date COVID-19 related information for graduate students.

Campus life

You may be wondering what life on campus will look like in September. We encourage you to consult the information on the operation of on-campus services and resources. As restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 continue to be lifted, we encourage you to refer to question A.12 of our FAQ for general information on student services, sports facilities, UBC Library, food services, and more. Please consult individual services websites for additional details. 

Resumption of research activities 

The Office of the VP, Research & Innovation (VPRI) consulted with Faculties and units across our campuses to inform the phased resumption of on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities, in line with public health guidance.

Faculties are now implementing their plans for stage 1 of on-campus research resumption and will soon begin stage 2. Refer to question A.13 of our FAQ for details on the gradual reopening of research facilities, including information on Behavioural Research Ethics. 

Cancellation of student mobility programs

After careful consideration, UBC is extending the cancellation of all student travel for university purposes until 31 December 2020. This includes graduate student travel for international research, professional placements and conference attendance. Please see the attached message from the Office of the Vice-Provost, International, for more information. 

If you planned on travelling abroad during Winter Term 1, you are encouraged to work with your program to explore alternatives to international travel. If this is not possible, you may request special authorization to travel through the Student Safety Abroad program. Question A.14 in our FAQ provides additional details. 

U-Pass

The new Transit Subsidy Program allows for eligible students that use public transit to receive partial credit when they purchase a Translink monthly pass in July or August. The subsidy is not available retroactively for the month of June. Through this program, students with financial need would end up paying the same amount for a Monthly Pass as they would have for the UPass ($42.50), and the difference would be subsidized by the AMS/GSS/UBC as credit towards their tuition. Due to limited resources, eligibility is determined based on financial need.

To apply, students must fill out this form.  

UBC is currently considering options to ensure student access to affordable transportation by the start of Winter Term 1.

Athletic & Recreation fees

Please note that fees that contribute to UBC Athletics & Recreation are not payment for facility access or membership; they provide funding that is vital to the continued operation of sport facilities and delivery of recreation programs both at present and when the university returns to regular operations.

To alleviate financial stress, the A&R fee for 2020 Winter Term 1 will be deferred until Winter Term 2. Please note that in the Student Services Centre (SSC) this fee is currently shown. You can disregard this. Deferment will take effect by August 31, and you will see this reflected in the SSC then. If you have already paid the A&R fee for Winter Term 1, the amount will be credited towards your next term. 

In addition, the AMS Athletics and Intramural fee of $21 will not be assessed in 2020W.

Tuition 

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.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

May 12, 2020: Summer Term 1 extensions reminder

We would like to remind you of two extensions that have been granted with regards to Summer Term 1, in response to COVID-19.

Summer Term 1 tuition deadline

Enrolment Services has extended the Summer Term 1 tuition deadline to June 15, 2020. In the SSC, the payment deadline will still show as May 13, 2020 (to reduce the course and registration impacts), but students can disregard this.

Adding/dropping Summer Term 1 courses

The course add/drop date is May 15. For 2020 Summer Term 1 only, UBC has extended the drop deadline by one week to May 22, to allow you more time to evaluate the online course format. This extension will not apply to Summer Term 2.  If you need to drop a course between May 16 and May 22, please contact your graduate program office by email and provide your student number and the course information (subject code, course number, and section) for the course(s) you wish to drop without a W on your transcript. The last day to add a course for Summer Term 1, or to switch your registration between credit and audit, remains May 15 and the last day to drop a course for Summer Term 1 with a W on your transcript remains May 29. You can find out more about drop deadlines and tuition refund amounts for summer session on students.ubc.ca.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

May 1, 2020: UBC Funding Initiatives for Graduate Students

We are aware that many of you are experiencing especially difficult challenges right now, and many at the university have been working continuously to find ways to alleviate some of the financial burdens you face. Today, we are happy to announce the implementation of two UBC initiatives to provide funding support to graduate students. 
 
The first is an enhanced Graduate Student Emergency Bursary, overseen by Enrolment Services, for which all graduate students (domestic and international) registered for the May-August 2020 session are eligible to apply. This is a needs-based financial support program for the period of May through August 2020, and entails a streamlined application process. The emergency bursary funding is intended to help fill the gap after all other supports are considered, and in many cases will not cover the entire shortfall that students expect to encounter. Depending on other sources of funding and personal circumstances, funding may range from zero to approximately $3,000 for the summer term.

You can expect to receive an invitation to complete an online questionnaire that will help Enrolment Services assess your eligibility and make a funding decision. These invitations will be sent on a staggered schedule in the coming week to help Enrolment Services Advisors manage the volume of submissions. 
 
Secondly, 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, please visit: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/awards/presidents-academic-excellence-initiative-phd-award

As we navigate through this difficult time, we are continuing to explore other means to support graduate students, and will keep you informed as updates become available. 

Sincerely,
Kate Ross, Associate Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Registrar
Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

April 17, 2020: G+PS reached out to all graduate students at UBC Vancouver

I and many others have been thinking continuously about you over this difficult time, and I sincerely hope that this finds you and your loved ones well and managing as best you can. Since my last letter we, and those at all levels at UBC including your fellow students, have continued to work tirelessly to identify the complexities of this unprecedented situation and to consider means to alleviate the challenges many face. Please bear with us as we weigh the innumerable ‘unknowns’ and make decisions that may affect the university for years to come.

At the end of this letter, you will find updates from our office and elsewhere of the many resources and actions that have been taken so far to support graduate students.

While we have heard of the experiences of many students through their programs, we would also like to hear directly from you. To facilitate that, we will be working with your Faculties in the near future to arrange or to join pre-arranged virtual town halls of graduate students. I and my colleagues in the G+PS office very much look forward to engaging with you more directly in this way.

As we as a community and society navigate this time together, I am constantly struck by the ways it has changed the way we think, relate to one another, and perceive the world. I genuinely believe it will change us, and reshape our approaches to graduate education and higher scholarship in many ways. It is clear that the learning you are engaged in now is more important than ever. I wish those at every stage of their programs the very best.

Sincerely,

Susan Porter
Dean and Vice-Provost,
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Information

  • The G+PS website COVID-19 FAQ is constantly being updated with information and resources.
  • Please also see the site for all UBC students, students.ubc.ca/covid19, that has further information on financial assistance, government assistance eligibility criteria, and various student services.

Updated deadlines

  • On Monday, April 6, we updated programs with changes to important deadlines affecting graduate students, including those pertaining to dissertation submission, graduation application, and final grade submission by instructors and/or programs. To view these dates, visit the Announcement section on our COVID-19 FAQ page.

Summer Term 2

  • In light of the ongoing situation, and in continued support of physical distancing, UBC announced on April 17, 2020 that Summer Term 2 courses (July 6 - Aug. 13) at UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square will also be online. Read this announcement in full.

Financial issues

  • Please note again that Enrolment Services has extended the Summer Term 1 tuition deadline to June 15, 2020. In the SSC, the payment deadline will still show as May 13, 2020 (to reduce the course and registration impacts), but students can disregard this.
  • A reminder that 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. All emergency funding requests/applications should go through Enrolment Services.
  • If you are a graduate student who cannot do the work required by your program because of limited access to a computer, the Vancouver campus has a small supply of loaner laptops that may be available to you. These are basic laptops, meant to be returned at a later date. Alternatively, Enrolment Services will offer up to $350 in the support of new technology, in lieu of the loner laptops. Other small costs such as a webcam or a month's worth of internet fees may also be covered. Enrolment Services will apply discretion if appropriate, to go over the $350 cap, on a case by case.
  • Eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program continues to be clarified.The program is intended to provide temporary income support ($500 a week for up to 16 weeks) for those who stopped working because of COVID-19. To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number. Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents - including international students - may be eligible to receive the Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the Government of Canada website.

Wellbeing

  • UBC Counselling Services and Student Health & Wellbeing are organizing online support group sessions for graduate students focused on staying connected and drawing on resilience for managing this challenging time. Register for sessions on Thursdays, from April 16 to May 28, at 2:00 p.m. PST for an hour.
  • In addition to the mental health services and resources available to students that we communicated in a previous message, the provincial government has announced a new mental health service available for BC post-secondary students. 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.

Professional development

See the G+PS website for updated virtual professional development opportunities. To stay informed on upcoming online workshops, services, and resources, subscribe to GradUpdate weekly emails or follow us on Twitter @UBCGradSchool.

April 3, 2020: G+PS reached out to all graduate students at UBC Vancouver

During these unprecedented times, we recognize the importance of continued and regular communication. 

In the coming weeks, through the period of remote work and research curtailment, and then as needed in the subsequent period to address ongoing concerns, I will be sending out weekly updates on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on COVID-19-related issues and developments. 

We, and those at all levels at UBC, continue to work to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face, and we encourage you to remain in close contact with your programs and supervisors so that they are fully aware of your current needs and circumstances. 

Since my last email on Friday, March 27, 2020, there has been a series of updates to our COVID-19 FAQ. Please also see the newly established site for all UBC students, students.ubc.ca/covid19, with information and resources on financial assistance, government assistance eligibility criteria, and various student services. 

Academic and research issues:
  • UBC has extended remote work arrangements and on-campus research curtailment until the end of April, when the situation will be reassessed, based on information about COVID-19, and in conjunction with our government and health stakeholders. Visit the VPRI website for more information on research curtailments.  
  • The Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) has created a page on their website providing information on UBC behavioural guidance during the COVID-19 research restrictions. Please be aware that, as the current situation is very fluid, the interim policies communicated may change. Should you have any questions about these policies or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact Jean Ruiz, Sr. Research Ethics Analyst at jean.ruiz@ors.ubc.ca at the UBC Vancouver Campus. Visit the Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) website for guidance around clinical research ethics during COVID-19.
  • For those in research-based programs, we want to reiterate that while we recognize  research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons, we encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research, academic progress, and/or professional development throughout this time of curtailment. We have added suggestions to our General FAQ. As noted in the last email, we also realize that progress is very challenging for many, with unanticipated commitments and circumstances that prevent your full attention to your studies. Please remember, then, that we have effectively extended times to reach milestones, such as program completion and doctoral comprehensive exams, by at least one term. 

Housing:

  • Students in Winter Residence

Students who are unable to leave residence may continue to stay in residence for the duration of their contract (up to April 30, 2020). If you believe you require housing following the end of your contract, please apply immediately for summer stay through.

  • Students in Year-Round Residence

Year Round Residences remain open. UBC is currently in the process of sending new contracts for 2020-2021. Students will be able to stay in residence beyond the end of their current contract if they have accepted a new contract for May 2020-April 2021.

Please be assured that UBC, in keeping with recent provincial government directives, will not apply the annual rent increase that typically occurs in May. To be clear, rent in year-round and summer residences will not be increased; 2019-20 contract rates will continue to apply until further notice.

  • Leaves of absence and housing eligibility

If you’re a graduate student in Winter Session and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you are eligible for summer stay-through in Fairview Crescent. Please ensure you apply by April 12 as Student Housing can guarantee you will receive an offer if you apply by this date. You can apply through your UBC Student Housing Online Services Centre.

Students also have the option to sublet from a student with a Year Round Residence Contract. Information regarding sublet guidelines and application process as well as a link to a sublet forum can be found here.

If you’re a graduate student in Year Round Residence and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during the summer, you will not need to move out of UBC residence, if you continue to be eligible for Year Round Residence for the following fall. In this case, 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.

If you will be completing your graduate program by April 30, but cannot leave Canada due to travel restrictions, you will be able to get temporary accommodation in Summer Residence at Fairview Crescent provided you apply by April 12. You also have the option to look for a sublet. Please get in touch with UBC Student Housing at summer@housing.ubc.ca if you wish to live in Summer Residence and did not live in a UBC student residence during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Financial challenges:

  • Enrolment Services has extended the Summer Term 1 tuition deadline to June 15, 2020. In the SSC, the payment deadline will still show as May 13, 2020 (to reduce the course and registration impacts), but students can disregard this.
  • 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. Emergency bursaries are available, and consultation will also help the University to understand the scope and kind of need that exists.
  • If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number. Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – including temporary foreign workers and international students – may be eligible to receive the Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements. For more information, visit the Government of Canada website
  • Visit the Student Services website to find out if you’re eligible for resources from the Government of Canada, Government of BC and the City of Vancouver.
  • CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC now have sections on their respective websites to inform the research community of any changes to their programs and policies due to COVID-19.

Support for international students:

  • If you are a graduate student who has had to take a leave due to COVID-19, you can still work as in a regular academic term, meaning no more than 20 hours a week off campus and unlimited hours on campus. Given that summer is not a “scheduled break” for graduate students, you cannot work full-time but can work part-time, as you would in a regular academic term if the leave is due to COVID-19.
  • Students on an approved gap in studies, which includes graduate leaves of absence, can remain in Canada. For details, please review the International Student Guide.
  • If your study permit expires soon, please apply for renewal as early as possible. The waiting period is usually 120 days, but could be longer due to COVID-19. You must submit your study permit extension application before your study permit becomes invalid. 

Wellbeing

  • The current situation can cause stress and anxiety as well as a sense of isolation. We encourage you to stay in contact with family and friends, and to connect with your UBC peers through digital social events, virtual writing groups, and other online sessions. For example, the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication is continuing to offer writing consultations and to host an online writing community on Tuesdays (9-11 am) and Wednesdays (2-4 pm), and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology continues to plan and offer programs for graduate students
  • As always, please avail yourselves of the many resources that are available to support students during this difficult time. For a list of mental health resources, visit the students.ubc.ca website. 

Professional development

With best wishes to you,

 

Susan Porter
Dean & Vice Provost,
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

March 27, 2020: G+PS reached out to all graduate students at UBC Vancouver

These are unprecedented times for our generation, and the uncertainty and upheaval they are causing are especially difficult to navigate when it is the health and wellbeing of so many that are at stake.

I'm writing on behalf of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to let you know that we are aware that many of you are experiencing especially difficult challenges right now – in your personal circumstances, your research, and your academic work – and to assure you that we, and those at all levels at UBC, are working extremely hard to find ways to alleviate the challenges you face. You may find that some of your concerns and questions are addressed on our website, and I encourage you to visit it: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/covid-19.

Briefly, the following are the measures that we and the University are taking to date:

Academic issues

  • As courses and assessments go online, we realize that this can entail many uncertainties. Your instructors have the capacity to alter the grading schemes or standing options for current courses if necessary, and requests for concessions are always available to you. In concordance with the Senate, we are also delaying the deadline for grade submission. The Assessment FAQ shows details sent to grad programs and course instructors; please connect with your course instructors for details regarding your own course(s) if you have not already heard from them.
  • We understand that interruptions in your ability to progress in your programs, whether because of personal circumstances, research curtailment, or other issues, may result in delayed completion of your program. We will therefore effectively extend deadlines for milestones (e.g. candidacy) and program completion by at least one term. Although process details of this are still being determined, please be assured that we will eliminate justification requirements for extensions related to the current situation.
  • Final doctoral exams are successfully proceeding completely online, and will continue as such as long as necessary.
  • There will be a slight delay only in the granting of degrees, however the graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed.
  • We appreciate that some of you may decide to take a leave of absence for some period in the near future. While this may be feasible for some, please note that leaves come with certain restrictions, especially in terms of funding and student employment as outlined in our general FAQ.
  • We realize that research projects for many have been put on hold for diverse reasons. We encourage you and your supervisor(s) to explore other opportunities for furthering your research and academic progress throughout this time of curtailment, while also planning ahead for how to proceed when the curtailment eases. Examples of such opportunities and suggestions for practices that promote effective continuity of supervision and academic progress have been compiled and are being sent to supervisors. Please view a copy of this message in our announcements. We, and the University and research community more broadly, are continuing to deliberate on the longer term ramifications and potential mitigating strategies of research curtailment.

Wellbeing

The current situatin is naturally causing significant stress and anxiety for many. At the same time, there is much to be grateful for in our current environment, including the many people across UBC and beyond stepping up to make the situation better. The following are among the resources available to you now:

  • Mental health support, including Student Health Services and Counselling Services, continue to be provided (virtually). Please review other related student services.
  • There are also numerous resources on enhancing wellbeing in the current environment at the above sites. One example is the Wellness Centre Online, a space for engaging in topics relevant to student wellbeing. Students can self-enrol.

Financial challenges

While we haven’t yet determined the most effective ways to ease the burdens many of you face, we are exploring a range of options. We will keep you informed as measures are taken, and are also communicating with programs to better learn what is needed. Please note the following:

  • Be assured that all major University-wide multi-year scholarships will continue to be paid throughout the eligibility period.
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (extraordinary expenses, loss of employment, etc.) we strongly encourage you to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. An advisor will assess your financial situation and provide the best course of action for you. 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.
  • Indigenous graduate students with inquiries or issues with financial difficulties/distress should contact an Indigenous Enrolment Services Advisor. The Indigenous ESA Team can be reached at aboriginal.support@ubc.ca
  • We are reviewing information about the support offered by the federal and provincial governments, to understand what may be applicable to graduate students - recognizing that these supports may help some, but certainly not all, students who require financial support.

Support for international students

We know many of our international graduate students may have questions about returning to Canada, your options to stay in Canada, traveling abroad, completing your studies, and working in Canada.  To help answer some of these questions, International Student Advising (ISA) has recently published an FAQ on the UBC International Student Guide.  If you have any questions not addressed in the FAQ, we encourage you to reach out to ISA directly.  Please note that although ISA is not providing in-person services at this time, they will continue to advise students by email (include your student number): isa@students.ubc.ca

Professional development

Many UBC units have moved their workshops and one-to-one advising online. This may be an opportune time for many to make use of these helpful resources. The following are a few key links.


As new information and opportunities arise in the coming days and weeks, we will communicate them to you. In the meantime, I encourage you all to look after yourselves and others. Please know that your sustainment, wellbeing, and ongoing scholarly formation are our first priorities throughout this challenging time.
 
With best wishes to you,
 
Susan Porter
Dean & Vice Provost,
Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
 

 

A) FAQ - General

A.1) Is the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) open?

Effective Tuesday 17 March, we have closed the G+PS office to the public but staff continue to maintain operations.  Following UBC’s recommendation to implement remote working arrangements for faculty, staff, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and student employees, many G+PS staff may be working remotely and there may be a delay in service as a result.  Faculty, staff, and current students should direct inquiries to graduate.sas@ubc.ca and prospective students should direct inquiries to graduate.apply@ubc.ca. Questions regarding award funding can be directed to graduate.awards@ubc.ca.)

A.2) I'm currently abroad and am having issues returning to Canada.  What should I do?

Global Affairs Canada has issued an advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.  To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.  As a result, your travel plans may be severely disrupted and/or you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected. For information on the global travel advisory, please click here.

Domestic and international students who completed the student safety abroad registry prior to departing Canada have been contacted by Go Global.  If you are:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident currently abroad and you registered with the student safety abroad registry and have not been contacted by Go Global or you did not register with the student safety abroad registry and are having issues returning to Canada, please contact Safety Abroad at safety.abroad@ubc.ca
  • An international student on a study permit currently abroad and you (i) registered with the student safety abroad registry and have not been contacted by Go Global or (ii) did not register with the student safety abroad registry and are having issues returning to Canada, please contact International Student Advising at isa.students@ubc.ca

Even though you may be far from UBC, you are still a UBC student and have access to 24/7 emergency support through International SOS abd 24/7 counselling through Aspiria.

A.3) Should I take a leave of absence from my studies for the Summer 2020 session?

One of the more pressing decisions facing graduate students is whether to continue their studies and research in the Summer 2020 session (May to Aug 2020) or to take a leave of absence. As you discuss this with your supervisor and graduate program advisor, we encourage you to consider the following:

Scenarios:

  • If your program is entirely course-based, does not rely on in-person interaction and your academic unit is resourced and prepared to offer courses remotely, a leave of absence for the summer term would not be justified, given no other relevant circumstances.
  • If your program is research-based, does not rely on in-person interaction, and your supervisor is able to support you remotely, a leave of absence for the summer term would not be justified, given no other relevant circumstances.
  • If your research project, off-campus fieldwork, practicum placement, etc. has been / will be curtailed by COVID-19 restrictions, you are encouraged first to consider how you may continue your academic progress through other means. This can include: working on data analysis and design of experiments, reading scientific/relevant scholarly literature, writing drafts of manuscripts, preparing grant/fellowship applications, starting dissertation chapters (i.e., literature review for those not at that stage or completing dissertations by those more advanced), seeking journals for unsolicited reviews and preparing research seminars, and/or posters for meetings. If it appears that continued progress is unlikely, it may be advisable for you to take a leave of absence. Per the UBC policy regarding on-leave status: while on a leave of absence, you would be expected to not undertake any academic or research work related to the program for which you have taken a leave of absence. Access to the University's facilities and resources, including faculty supervision, while on a leave of absence may be limited.

Please note, however, that taking a leave absence has a number of potential consequences that need to be considered carefully. A list of services that may be impacted by leave status can be found at https://www.grad.ubc.ca/faculty-staff/policies-procedures/leave-status. Of particular note:

  • Scholarship support is normally interrupted for students who are on leave. External funding agencies and UBC are each engaged in discussions about financial assistance and continuity of funding for students, but at this point students should expect that their scholarship funding will be interrupted if they go on leave, and weigh their options accordingly.
  • Students who are on leave are also not eligible to be employed as teaching assistants; nor can they normally be appointed as a graduate research assistant.
  • International students who take a leave due to COVID-19 are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week off campus and unlimited hours on campus. 
  • Normally, if international students take more than 150 days of leave from their graduate program, they jeopardize their eligibility to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). It is our understanding, though, that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will take the effects of COVID-19 into consideration when assessing PGWP program eligibility. Therefore, taking a leave of absence may be more of a viable option for international students than it would have been in other circumstances. For further information, please consult with contact International Student Advisors in UBC International Student Advising Office at isa@students.ubc.ca.
  • Students on leave may not have continued access to UBC Student Housing. Students should contact UBC Student Housing to confirm what housing options are available to them.

Individual circumstances:

Within the broad scenarios outlined above, it is important that you speak with your supervisor and graduate program about your own, individual situation about whether you can continue with your coursework and/or research (or progress in your programs in other ways, as noted above) or whether a leave of absence for the Summer 2020 session is appropriate for you.

Submission of leave requests:

If, in your conversation with your supervisor and graduate program advisor it is determined that a leave of absence is appropriate, please arrange with your graduate program to make a leave of absence request on your behalf to our office.

Leave duration allowance:

The total duration of all leaves of absence granted in a graduate program is normally limited to 24 months for a doctoral student and to 12 months for a master’s student, except for Leave to Pursue a Second Program of Study. However, students taking a leave of absence due to COVID-19 will have that allowance extended for at least one term.

A.4​​) What resources are available to UBC students?

Please visit the Student Services website to find information on supports and resources available during the COVID-19 outbreak.

A.5) What resources are available for mental health support?

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, 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. Below are articles and 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 the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 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.

If you have any further questions regarding any of the information you have received, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Dr Marna Nelson

Director UBC Student Health Service

marna.nelson@ubc.ca

A.6) What if I do research that is curtailed by the COVID-19 restrictions?

The research plans and timelines for many graduate students will be affected by the restrictions implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including UBC’s decision to curtail on-campus research activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, restrictions on research involving human subjects (see bulletins linked from https://ethics.research.ubc.ca/), off-campus fieldwork and travel restrictions. Communication is crucial at this stage: please be in touch with your supervisor to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on your research and to consider the most appropriate way to proceed. G+PS is approaching deadlines with regard to academic milestones from a stance of flexibility.

If your supervisor has applied for and received a research curtailment exemption so that your research project may continue, the exemption form and exemption permission must be shared with you. If you have concerns about continuing the research project, or the ability of the team or lab group to maintain social distancing protocols, you should contact your your Graduate Advisor or Department Head. You may also contact G+PS (Mei Ling Chu) for further advice. 

A.7) 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.8) How will my research that requires ethics approval  be affected?

The Office of Research Ethics has created a page on their website providing information on guidance during the COVID-19 restrictions. Visit UBC BREB guidance during COVID or UBC CREB guidance during COVID.

Please be aware that, as the current situation is very fluid, the interim policies communicated may change and will be updated on the COVID pages. Should you have any questions about these policies or other issues, please do not hesitate to use the contact details listed on the COVID webpages.

A.9) How can I continue to make academic progress while research is curtailed?

Please consider these possibilities:

  • Analyzing previously compiled material and data, and designing research approaches
  • Reading and synthesizing scholarly literature
  • Preparing ethics proposals
  • Attending and presenting at online journal clubs
  • Writing or revising – manuscripts, thesis chapters, grant applications, review articles
  • Working on contributions for collaborative publications
  • Preparing grant/fellowship applications (attend the April 9 or April 16 webinar on fall fellowship applications)
  • Preparing research seminars, and/or posters for meetings
  • Engaging in teaching opportunities
  • Taking online courses/webinars, including those directed at professional development.

See the G+PS professional development page for numerous virtual PD opportunities. To stay informed on upcoming online workshops, services, and resources, subscribe to GradUpdate weekly emails.

A.10) I expect it will take longer for me to complete my graduate program as a result of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Can I have longer to meet my program milestones?

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.11) I have questions about UBC Childcare. Where can I find the most up-to-date information?

Please visit the UBC Childcare FAQ.

A.12) What will life on campus be like in September?

You may be wondering what life on campus will look like in September. We encourage you to consult the information on the operation of on-campus services and resources. As restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 continue to be lifted, we encourage you to consult individual services websites for additional details. 

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

Due to popular demand, several locations have re-opened for takeout only, including The Point, Mercante, Tim Hortons Forestry, Starbucks Bookstore, Corner Store, and Harvest Market. See the list of open eateries on campus

 

UBC Library 

Due to COVID-19, all UBC Library branches will remain closed until further notice. 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

UBC Athletics & Recreation have started re-opening some of its facilities and programs.

Over the next few weeks, A&R expects that they will be able to re-open more of their programs and facilities (including the UBC Aquatic Centre and fitness centres). See facility and program updates, including which facilities are open and what programs are available.

 

Museum of Anthropology

MOA reopened to the public on Wednesday, July 8. 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

The Garden also reopened in early July. 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 how to purchase tickets and reserve your entry time.

 

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.

Note: Due to COVID-19 and restrictions on transportation around the city, there are uncertainties about what the typical transit situation for students will look like in September. Post secondary institutions and student associations have worked with TransLink to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program as of May 1, 2020. UBC is currently considering options to ensure student access to affordable transportation by the start of Winter Term 1.
 

A.13) When will research activities resume on campus?​​​​

The Office of the VP, Research & Innovation (VPRI) consulted with Faculties and units across our campuses to inform the phased resumption of on-campus research, scholarship and creative activities, in line with public health guidance.

Faculties are now implementing their plans for the resumption of on-campus research. This follows the curtailment of on-campus research and scholarly activity that was enacted on March 24. The resumption of on-campus research is intended to adopt a gradual approach over the summer months. It is important to recognize that the unpredictability of the COVID-19 outbreak may necessitate a return to stricter curtailment of on-campus research and scholarly activities at any point.

It is anticipated that as Faculty safety plans are approved, these will supersede existing research resumption plans. Please consult your supervisor/principal investigator for more information on the status of on-campus research resumption in your Faculty.

Behavioural Research Ethics

Based on the findings of a specially convened task force, UBC Vancouver and Okanagan Behavioural Research Ethics Boards have updated their review processes to allow for the limited resumption of on- and off-campus in-person behavioural research. The health and safety of the UBC and broader community continues to be our first priority.

Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB) forms and guidance have been updated to support the new process and are outlined on the Office of Research Ethics (ORE) website.

With respect to in-person human participant research, the intention is to permit studies that are beneficial to the participants and/or are urgent due to circumstances related to the research outcomes or researcher constraints. Each department is responsible for considering which on-campus and off-campus/in-person/face-to-face research should proceed during this phase. Please consult with your supervisor for details.

Please note that BREB approval must be obtained prior to starting or resuming in-person research.

A.14) I am hoping to conduct research abroad. How will COVD-19 impact my plans?

In March 2020, UBC made the difficult decision to cancel all student travel internationally for university purposes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, UBC is extending this cancellation until 30 April 2021. This includes international programs like exchange and co-operative education, student research placements (both undergraduate and graduate), practicums and conference attendance. This decision is in line with the current advice of BC CDC and Global Affairs Canada. It follows guidelines outlined in UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Policy

If you planned on travelling abroad during Winter Session Term 1, you are encouraged to work with your program to explore alternatives to international travel. If this is not possible and you are a student in a graduate or professional program, you may request special authorization to travel through the Student Safety Abroad program. To receive authorization you must demonstrate that the trip is academically essential and present a well-developed safety plan. Please visit the Student Safety Abroad website to learn more about this process. 

UBC will continue to monitor the situation and government directives as they evolve, sharing any updates on student international travel as they become available.

A.15) Are there any other resources for finding child care at UBC Vancouver?

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 an 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.16) Are there any study spaces available on campus?

Beginning September 8, 2020, UBC Library will provide bookable study space for students, faculty and staff in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Monday through Saturday. This space will include access to desktop computers, printing and scanning and be organized to ensure safe physical distancing at all times. Masks are encouraged.

The space will be open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m.- 6p.m. Saturday. Study space must be reserved online, 24 hours in advance. Library users will be limited to 2 reservations per week.

Visit the UBC Library website for more information. 

A.17) What is UBC’s approach to the use of non-medical masks?

Effective Wednesday, September 16, 2020, UBC students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks, when indoors on our campuses. 

The requirement to wear non-medical masks indoors recognizes that transmission is reduced when face masks are worn in conjunction with physical distancing and other safety practices.  

The requirement for the use of non-medical masks applies to shared indoor spaces within UBC buildings, such as hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms and study spaces, classrooms, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas. Further details regarding this policy and its implementation will be posted online before September 16.

For the full announcement click here. For more information on the use of non-medical masks, you can also visit the Safety and Risk Services website.

As part of UBC’s commitment to the health and safety of our community, and the responsibility we all share in preventing the potential for COVID-19, 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. 

You are also asked to adopt public health measures such as staying home if sick, maintaining physical distance wherever possible, and frequent hand hygiene regardless of non-medical mask usage.

A.18) What should I know before I visit campus?

Please follow campus health safety rules before you visit campus, and consult the Campus safety during COVID-19 page on the Student Services Centre website. 

 

 

AA) FAQ - 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 in the spring of 2020. Upon application, your transcript will be assessed on what is available, and many programs are taking a more holistic approach to application review this year. 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 this year's 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 in the history of the world. 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.20) How is COVID-19 affecting campus life?  

With the majority UBC courses being delivered online, the Vancouver campus is quieter than usual, though many graduate students are still commuting to campus to attend classes, do research and study. For more information on campus life at UBCV, refer to question A.12 of our COVID-19 FAQ. 

For information on research resumption at UBC, please visit the VP Research and Innovation site.  

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. 

AA.22) In light of COVID-19, what will on-campus programs look like next year?  

The unpredictability of the COVID-19 outbreak means it is hard to predict what program structure will be like by Fall of 2021. G+PS will be communicating with applicants as more information becomes available. We also encourage applicants to re-visit this page periodically. The safety of all our community members continues to be our most important priority as well as support for our students. 

AA.23) What does research look like at UBC with COVID-19? 

In March 2020, on-campus research and scholarly activity was curtailed on UBC's Vancouver and Okanagan campuses in response to COVID-19. Following extensive consultations between the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and Faculties, a gradual resumption of on-campus research and scholarly activity began in June, 2020, in line with public health guidance and regulations. 

Conducting on-campus research and scholarly activity is currently managed at the Faculty level. We encourage applicants to contact their selected program for the latest details.  

For information on research resumption at UBC, please visit the VP Research and Innovation site.  

international students

If you're an international student with questions on immigration, health insurance and the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), visit this FAQ page on the students.ubc.ca website. UBC has created the Travelling to Canada guide to help you understand if you are eligible to travel, and what to prepare if you plan to travel.  

 

B) FAQ - 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 in September 2020. Will my program still be offered by UBC?

Like nearly every university around the world, UBC faces uncertainty about the constraints we'll be working under in the coming months. UBC graduate programs are assessing how they can adjust - as appropriate and feasible for their discipline and individual course - to meet those constraints, and will be working to implement those adjustments as quickly as possible. We expect most programs to proceed, with the understanding that modifications to delivery methods may be necessary in all cases. Students accepted to start a graduate program at UBC are encouraged to contact their supervisor or ​​​​​specific graduate program for information about their plans for the upcoming Term.

B.2) I have been admitted to start my UBC graduate program in September 2020. Will l be granted eligibility to register if I cannot order original transcripts or UBC cannot receive them?

COVID-19 restrictions are affecting UBC and many other Canadian and international institutions, potentially making it difficult to order and receive original transcripts.

However, we are 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. 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 for 2020 Winter Term 1?

Registration open dates are announced on the Student Services Resgistration site

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

Yes. As soon as you are admitted to UBC, you should apply online for an initial study permit so that you are in the queue for processing. After you apply, you may be asked to submit biometrics (photo and fingerprints), which might not be possible to do right now, but we are confident that Immigration will account for these delays and will process study permits as quickly as possible.

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: https://students.ubc.ca/international-student-guide.

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

In early August, 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.7) I have been admitted as a Visiting International Research Student (VIRS). How will I be affected?

Go Global currently does not have a time frame for when the online applications will reopen. Information about upcoming programs (Term 2 and beyond), are available on the Go Global FAQ site.

B.8) I have questions about Winter Term 1 tuition and whether it will be discounted. Where can I find more information about this? 

Please visit the COVID-19 FAQ page on the students.ubc.ca website for the most-up-to-date information on tuition. 

B.9) 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 2020-21 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.10) I will likely not come to Vancouver in the fall. 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 outside Canada. Because teaching assistants (TAs) are considered UBC employees, those challenges apply to TAs as well. UBC continues to assess the intricacies of hiring students outside of Canada and expects to have a clearer sense of what is feasible in the coming weeks. Please consult your supervisor or program directly about questions you may have about the payment of TAs.

     

    Research Assistantships and Awards

    Graduate students who do not come to Vancouver in September and have Research Assistantships and/or awards can have these awards issued and assigned through the Student Information Services Centre (SISC). The assigned awards will be applied towards tuition and students fees. Any excess funding will remain in the student account until the account can get linked to a Canadian bank account for deposits. Students who already have a Canadian bank account will see funding above and beyond their tuition and fees transferred to their bank account, even if they remain outside Canada while starting their graduate program. UBC is working with a Canadian bank to explore the option of students opening Canadian bank accounts from abroad. Further details will be made available shortly.

    B.11) What is the UBCcard and when I apply for it?

    The UBCcard is your official UBC ID and library card, and 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.

    The UBCcard application system opens up in mid-July. To obtain your UBCcard you must be registered in at least one course, and apply online. For details and to apply, please visit UBCcard. For those of you who will not physically be in Vancouver for the Winter term, you can still apply for and obtain a digital version of the UBCcard for remote access to library services.

    B.12) I am a new student and won't be able to get a UBCcard at the start of term. How can I access library services?

    The UBCcard application system opens up in mid-July. To obtain your UBCcard you must first be registered in at least one course, and apply online. For details and to apply, please visit UBCcard. For those of you who will not physically be in Vancouver for the Winter term, you can still apply for and obtain a digital version of the UBCcard for remote access to library services.

    B.13) With the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, will there be an orientation for graduate students?

    Yes! On behalf of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS), the Graduate Student Society - UBC Vancouver (GSS), and International Student Development (ISD), we are delighted to launch GradStart Online, our virtual orientation welcome is scheduled for January 7, 2021. This year, our programming will be exclusively online, but like in years past, still full of inspiration, important resources, and strategies for thriving in graduate school. Learn more at orientation.grad.ubc.ca.

    Your department may also be offering a department-specific orientation. Please check with your graduate program office directly.

    B.14) 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

    We have mentioned our online community numerous times by now. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the time. Log in and introduce yourself to meet your peers!

    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.

     

    C) FAQ - International students 

    If you're an international student with questions on immigration, work eligibility and health insurance, visit this 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.1) Where can I find information about travel restrictions?

    Not all students can travel to Canada at this time due to temporary travel restrictions. See requirements to travel to Canada for details.

    C.2) I won’t be able to come to Vancouver in September. Can I change my iMED coverage dates?

    After you arrive in BC, you must apply for the BC government-run Medical Services Plan (MSP). 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.

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

    C.3) I am an international student and my graduate program will be delivered online; I will not come to Vancouver in fall 2020 and have not received my study permit yet.  Am I eligible to accept the International Tuition Award on my UBC Student Service Centre account?

    Yes, provided you are registered full-time in one of the eligible graduate programs (i.e., research-oriented Master’s and doctoral programs). Please note that the International Tuition Award will be automatically assigned to eligible students throughout July and August.

    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.

     

    D) FAQ - housing

    For the latest information, please review the Housing FAQ.

    D.1) Do I have to move out of on-campus student residence?

    UBC will continue to provide shelter within student housing for students who need it, recognizing that many residents are facing circumstances that make it difficult, if not impossible, to return home. UBC is committed and prepared to do all it can to accommodate these individuals. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students remains our highest priority.

    As this is an ever changing and unprecedented situation, however, UBC cannot guarantee that the residence support, with respect to amenities such as food, residence life, and front desk support, will continue at current levels. Any changes in services will be communicated to residents accordingly.

    The latest information can be found on the Student Housing and Community Services website.

    Students in Winter Residence
    Students who are unable to leave residence may continue to stay in residence for the duration of their contract (up to April 30, 2020). If you believe you require housing following the end of your contract, please apply immediately for summer housing.

    Students in Year-Round Housing
    Year Round Residences remain open. UBC is currently in the process of sending new contracts for 2020-2021. Students will be able to stay in residence beyond the end of their current contract if they have accepted a new contract for May 2020-April 2021.

    Students who wish to end their current contract prior to the contract end date (April 30, 2020) may choose to do so. If moving out of residence early, you are reminded to visit the Front Desk once you have vacated your room to check-out. Students who check out of residence by March 31, 2020 and who will not be accepting a new 2020-2021 Year Round Residence contract will receive a pro-rated refund to their Student Housing account from the day they vacate/check out to the end of their current contract.

    D.2) Will my rent for on-campus residences increase?

    Please be assured that UBC, in keeping with recent provincial government directives, will not apply the annual rent increase that typically occurs in May. To be clear, rent in year-round and summer residences will not be increased; 2019-20 contract rates will continue to apply until further notice.

    D.3) What has been UBC’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on Green College’s food services?

    In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and social distance protocols, Green College has had to make emergency provisions to replace the communal catering and self-catering amenities which are normally available to residents.

    An ordering system has been put in place, enabling Green College Resident Members to pre-order five boxed breakfasts and five boxed cooked dinners a week. The College has also made available a subsidy to cover some of the costs of the new setup.

    D.4) I am a graduate student in Winter Session and might take a COVID-19 related leave of absence during summer. Where can I stay over summer?

    Graduate students in this situation are eligible for summer stay through in Fairview Crescent. Please ensure you apply by April 12 as UBC Student Housing can guarantee you will receive an offer if you apply by this date. You can apply through your UBC Student Housing Online Services Centre.

    Students also have the option to sublet from a student with a Year Round Residence Contract. Information regarding sublet guidelines and application process as well as a link to a sublet forum can be found here.

    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 2020/2021 academic year?

    As a result of most undergraduates attending classes online, UBC Student Housing expects residence vacancies this year. It may be one of the first and only years that graduate students may see availability of on-campus housing significantly increase. Given that mostly shared units will be opening up (e.g. 4 and 6-person shared apartments/townhouses), the available housing will be most suitable for singles and maybe couples. Please note that student family housing continues to be in high demand and waitlist priority will continue to depend on the time of application as a key criterion.

    Visit UBC Housing and Community Services to learn more and apply. 

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

    All travellers arriving to Canada are required by the Canadian Government to quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days and to self-monitor for symptoms. This requirement includes UBC Student Housing residents arriving from outside of Canada, whether they are returning to campus or moving in for the first time.

    Students travelling to UBC from outside Canada (hence required to self-isolate) will now have access to complimentary on-campus self-isolation packages (14-day accommodation and food). 

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

     

    E) FAQ - 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 containment. 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.

    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?

    Please visit the following websites for more information and to determine your eligibility. 

    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) Will my rent for on-campus residences increase?

    Please be assured that UBC, in keeping with recent provincial government directives, will not apply the annual rent increase that typically occurs in May. To be clear, rent in year-round and summer residences will not be increased; 2019-20 contract rates will continue to apply until further notice.

    E.7) 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?

    As announced on April 22, the Government of Canada committed $291.6M to support students and postdoctoral researchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the federal research funding agencies. All award holders of research training programs covered by the Tri-agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide (TARTAHG) that end between March and August 2020 can benefit from a four-month extension, provided they meet certain conditions.

    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.8) 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 1 March 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.9) 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 work required by your program as a result of UBC moving to online studies, the Vancouver campus has a limited supply of loaner laptops that may be available to you. These are basic laptops, meant to be returned at a later date. Alternatively, Enrolment Services will offer up to $350 in the support of new technology, in lieu of the loner laptops. Other small costs such as a webcam or a month's worth of internet fees may also be covered. Enrolment Services will apply discretion if appropriate, to go over the $350 cap, on a case by case.

    E.10) I am currently not using my U-Pass. Will my transit fees be reimbursed?

    TransLink has temporarily suspended the U-Pass BC program as of May 1, 2020. TransLink is continuing discussions with post-secondary school and student association representatives about potential refunds for students not using their April passes. Students not needing their April U-Pass are encouraged not to use it and to check their school, student association or TransLink’s U-Pass website for further updates.

    E.11) With U-Pass temporarily suspended, what supports are being offered to ensure transportation affordability for 2020 Summer Term 1?

    The Transit Subsidy Program allows for students that use public transit to receive partial credit when they purchase a Translink monthly pass this summer. Through this program, eligible students would end up paying the same amount for a Monthly Pass as they would have for the UPass ($42.50), and the difference would be subsidized by the AMS/GSS/UBC as credit towards their tuition. Due to limited resources, eligibility is determined based on financial need.

    Please fill this form to apply.  

    E.12) Will U-Pass or another transport subsidy be available in September?

    The temporary summer suspension of the U-Pass BC program has been lifted and the U-Pass BC will be available starting September 1, 2020. U-Pass BC exemptions have been made available due to COVID-19. Students who are being assessed U-Pass BC fees, and who meet the criteria, may apply for an exemption. Students residing outside of Metro Vancouver can fill out the AMS Opt-Out Form

    UBC has sent an email to students who are eligible for the U-Pass with information about the exemption. For more information on the U-Pass program, please visit the U-Pass FAQ.

    E.13) What will happen to Athletic & Recreation fees for the 2020-2021 academic year?

    Please note that fees that contribute to UBC Athletics & Recreation are not payment for facility access or membership; they provide funding that is vital to the continued operation of sport facilities and delivery of recreation programs both at present and when the university returns to regular operations.

    To alleviate financial stress, the A&R fee for 2020 Winter Term 1 will be deferred until Winter Term 2. Please note that in the Student Services Centre (SSC) this fee is currently shown. You can disregard this. Deferment will take effect by August 31, and you will see this reflected in the SSC then. If you have already paid the A&R fee for Winter Term 1, the amount will be credited towards your next term. 

    In addition, the AMS Athletics and Intramural fee of $21 will not be assessed in 2020W.

    E.14) 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.15) 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.16) What financial supports for tech tools and plans are available to students?

    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.17) 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.18) 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.19) 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. 

     

    F) FAQ - THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

    F.1) Will the thesis/dissertation submission and program completion deadlines be extended because of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak?

    A number of deadlines relating to thesis/dissertation submission and program completion have been extended as follows:

    May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements for May 2020 graduation.

    May 13, 2020 (extended from April 30, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements with a program completion date of April 30, 2020. Program completion will be back-dated to April 30, 2020 to avoid tuition and student fees for Summer 2020. IMPORTANT: the deadline for students who wish to graduate in May 2020 is May 1, 2020 (as noted immediately above).

    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.

     

    G) FAQ - Assessment, grade deadlines and course standings

    G.1) How will I be graded on outstanding assessments and course work for the 2019W2 term?

    If you're a graduate student with outstanding course work, your instructor will be able to adjust planned assessments as necessary and may also wish to adjust assessment weightings. Any changes made to the syllabus after the last day by which sudents are permitted to drop the course without receiving a ‘W’ on the transcript (Friday, 17 January 2020), will have to be explained to the class, as per the Academic Calendar under Campus-wide policies and procedures. If changes are made, your course instructor must ensure that you have access to the changed details in a revised and dated version of the syllabus. This includes electronic communication alerting you that a change has been made. 

    G.2) What will happen to my final grades for the 2019W2 term?

    If your instructor is unable to assign regular percentage grades, a range of possible standings have been pre-approved by G+PS for individual students. You may also be given the opportunity to change your standing notation after marks have been reviewed. If you have any questions about your final grades for the 19W2 term, please contact your course instructor directly or your academic department.

    While undergraduate students have been offered the option of Credit/D/Fail standing, this option is not viable for graduate students.

    For full descriptions of the below standings, please visit the UBC Calendar.

    Standing Grade Considerations
    Withdrawal (W) No grade assigned No credit for course
    Adjudicated Pass (J) The grade assigned by the instructor is used in the calculation of average and letter grade appears on transcript Credit is granted and the course need not be repeated; may not normally qualify as a prerequisite for further work
    Aegrotat (AEG) Letter grade assigned, which will be converted to the minimum percentage for that category for the calculation of averages Allows credit for a course even though the course requirements have not been completed; awarded only if the course instructor and the dean agree that the student has demonstrated the capacity to deal with the course material satisfactorily
    Deferred Standing (SD) Grade assigned at a later date: students granted Deferred Standing in Winter Session must complete all outstanding course requirements by August 23 following. Extensions will be considered as necessary. Student is responsible for making satisfactory arrangements with their instructors for completion of outstanding course requirements
    Pass (P) or Fail (F) Granted where no grade is assigned, excluded from calculation in all averages. Pass (P) denotes satisfactory completion of the requirements of the subject; credit granted where applicable. Fail (F) denotes fail standing.

     

     

     

     

    Announcements

    November 10, 2020: Broadcast - COVID-19: Update on Public Health Orders
    September 17, 2020: UBC Broadcast - Update on UBC's fall graduation ceremonies
    September 11, 2020: UBC Broadcast - COVID-19 — Required use of non-medical masks at UBC, effective Sep 16
    September 4, 2020: Health guidance FAQ update

    Health guidance FAQs updated with information about UBC’s approach to the use of non-medical masks.

    September 2, 2020: UBC Broadcast - UBC’s approach for 2020/21 Winter Session, Term 2 (Jan – April 2021)
    June 29, 2020: UBC Broadcast - Planning for the safe phased-in re-occupancy of our campuses
    May 14, 2020: UBC Broadcast: UBC’s operational and safety planning
    May 12, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Plans for the phased resumption of on-campus research
    May 11, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - UBC’s approach for the fall term
    April 28, 2020: UBC Broadcast: Extension of Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment
    April 17, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Status of Summer Term 2
    April 6, 2020: G+PS updates programs on deadlines and extensions

    Dear Graduate Program Colleagues,

    With the constant flow of announcement and updates, it has been challenging to keep track of which timelines have changed and which remain the same. Please find below a snapshot of the significant deadlines affecting graduate students:

    2019 Winter Term 2: Current Students

    May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline to submit a late application to graduate in May 2020

    May 1, 2020 (extended from April 17, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements for May 2020 graduation.

    May 6, 2020 – deadline for instructors and/or programs to submit final grades for 2019W2 courses via SIS

    May 13, 2020 (extended from April 30, 2020) – deadline for acceptance of final, approved master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and for students to complete all program requirements with a program completion date of April 30, 2020. Program completion will be back-dated to April 30, 2020 to avoid tuition and student fees for Summer 2020. IMPORTANT: the deadline for students who wish to graduate in May 2020 is May 1, 2020.

    2020 Summer: Current Students

    June 15, 2020 (extended from May 13, 2020) – deadline for students to pay their Summer 2020 tuition and student fees if they wish to avoid late fees and interest charges.

    May 2020, July 2020 & September 2020: Incoming Students

    December 1, 2020 – Deadline for Official Academic Documents

    Extended deadline to receive official transcripts (and degree certificates if required) for students who started their programs in May 2020, July 2020 or September 2020, and have not already met the document condition(s) stated in their letter of admission (available in the online application portal).  Eligibility to register in January 2021 will be suspended until required documentation has been received and processed.

    April 30, 2021 – Deadline for Confirmation of Degree Completion

    Extended deadline for all students who were admitted on the basis of a previous degree in progress to a UBC graduate program that commenced in May 2020, July 2020, or September 2020. This condition must be met with a final transcript showing any outstanding grades and statement, and date, of degree conferral.  Official copies of degree certificates are required for final transcripts that do not have conferral information. Students commencing their graduate degrees in January 2021 with a degree in progress, will have until June 2021 to meet this condition.

    Important Note: Academic Milestones for Graduate Students

    Program Extensions

    • Master’s students: Initial program duration is 5 years
    • Doctoral students/Candidates: Initial program duration is 6 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. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged to send a list of students (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

    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. To request such extensions, graduate programs are encouraged to send requests (with first name, last name, and student number) to graduate.sas@ubc.ca at your earliest opportunity.

    April 1, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Remote Work Arrangements and on-campus research curtailment — extended to end of April
    March 27, 2020: G+PS released an update on how supervisors can best support their grad students during this time

    In the context of the current situation, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has gathered suggestions and guidance for supervisors as they work remotely with their students – continuing to mentor them, assisting them in the continuation of their research and scholarly activities, and helping ensure an environment that promotes the wellbeing of all. We acknowledge that each relationship and disciplinary field is different and may benefit from distinctive approaches.

    View the full update in your browser

    March 27, 2020: International Student Development contacted all international students with an updated FAQ

    In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the impacts of COVID-19 on our university – and we’ve seen the best in people. We’ve seen students, staff and faculty reaching out to their communities, looking out for one another, and finding innovative ways to navigate a new academic and personal landscape. We’ve seen resilience and commitment to making the best of this unprecedented situation.
     
    We’ve heard from thousands of you with questions about your options to stay in Canada, travel abroad, complete your studies and work in Canada. I’m pleased to announce that we now have clarity from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on many of those questions. We have summarized these on the UBC International Student Guide as Frequently Asked Questions, including links to the IRCC source material.
     
    International Student Advising is not providing in-person services at this time but will continue to advise by email. Please contact us at isa@students.ubc.ca with any questions. Include your student number so we can give you the most accurate information for your situation. You’re not alone – we’re here for you.

    March 26, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - UBC's spring graduation ceremonies
    March 20, 2020: UBC Bulletin: COVID-19 - Temporary closures of library facilities at UBC
    March 19, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Curtailing research activities on UBC campuses

    Read this announcement in full.

    We encourage all graduate students to work with their supervisors and units to determine next steps for their research. If you have any questions or concerns, please review the FAQ on the VP Research & Innovation website and connect with your units directly, as they are in the best position to provide assistance and support.

    March 17, 2020: There have been changes made to the Final Doctoral Defence in response to the current COVID-19 situation and recommendations. As of March 17, Doctoral Defences will be remote-only until further notice. The Online Defence Booking form will be updated shortly to reflect these changes. Click on the down arrow on the right side of this box for more information and a link to the Virtual Exam Protocol.

    Please download the Virtual Exam Protocol. Students and Examining Committees for students who already have exams booked will be updated with additional information on the arrangements for a Virtual Defence via our regular reminder emails that go out one and two weeks before the defence. If students have an exam booked and have questions, they should email graduate.doctoral@ubc.ca. Students and supervisors who would prefer to postpone the defence rather than hold an all-remote defence should let us know.

    Students who are at an earlier stage in the examination process are welcome to proceed as normal, and we will work to adapt to circumstances. Please be aware that where we may be looking to appoint External Examiners or send dissertations to External Examiners in locations that have been affected by the virus, we may need to extend timelines to accommodate illness or other disruption.

    Given that we are hoping to proceed with as little disruption as possible, we would like to remind you that the first deadline for students who would like to finish by the August 31 Program End date is coming up fairly shortly. The deadlines for Doctoral Examination and Dissertation Submission are as follows:

    • Friday, 3 April 2020 – Appointment of External Examiner form submitted to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
    • Friday, 12 June 2020 – Doctoral dissertation (and supporting documentation) submitted to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for external examination
    • Friday, 7 August 2020 – Last Day for Final Doctoral Oral Examination
    • Friday, 28 August 2020 – Acceptance of final, approved doctoral dissertation by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

    If you have questions, please email graduate.doctoral@ubc.ca.

    March 16, 2020: UBC Broadcast: COVID-19 - Remote working for faculty, staff, graduate students, post doctoral fellows, and student employees

    View the announcement in full.

    We encourage all graduate students to work with their supervisors and units on how best to continue their work in a safe manner.  If you have any questions or concerns about working remotely, please connect with your units directly, as they are in the best position to provide assistance and support.

    March 14, 2020: The COVID-19 situation evolves day to day. We are following the University's lead and guidelines in all matters that affect the whole community, and encourage you to monitor covid19.ubc.ca for the latest updates. Presently, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ plans to accommodate graduate students, supervisors and programs affected by the situation are the following. 

    As an overall approach, G+PS will be flexible whenever possible, and we encourage graduate programs and supervisors to adopt a similar posture in areas where they have primary responsibility, such as by allowing for remote participation in Master’s exams, proposal defences and/or comprehensive exams. In addition, frequent and active communication among students, supervisors and graduate programs can only be helpful in this rapidly changing situation.

    The following are specific issues related to graduate students:

    May admissions: G+PS will follow up directly with graduate programs that have students who will be arriving in May, to discuss on a case-by-case basis whether deferral to September is possible and advisable. 

    Final doctoral exams: At this point, all doctoral defenses are going ahead as planned and students with defenses scheduled in March have all been contacted by our Doctoral Exams team.  We are reviewing requests for partial virtual attendance for defenses that have already been scheduled, and are actively working with UBC IT to implement a process that would permit total virtual attendance for all defenses in the event of a campus closure. As the situation changes, we will aim toward maximum flexibility with respect to virtual attendance and, as necessary, remote locations. Communication regarding the protocol for total virtual defenses will be distributed early next week.

    Academic milestones: Existing academic policies provide latitude for G+PS to respond to exceptional circumstances beyond students’ control. This may include delays in holding Master’s exams, PhD comprehensive exams, and proposal defenses, as well as interruptions to research progress related to absence from work sites, etc. Should students’ progress in their academic program be impacted by COVID-19, G+PS will consider requests for extensions to timelines, with a strong bias in favour of flexibility. 

    Academic concessions: 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.  At this time, we strongly encourage students to monitor UBC’s website for communication on parameters for self-isolation.  If you do fall within the parameters for self-isolation and are concerned about attending classes, labs, or coming to campus, please speak with your instructor and/or supervisor as needed.  However, please note that if you do not fall within the parameters for self-isolation but still have concerns, those circumstances may not be grounds for academic concession.  If you are registered with the Centre for Accessibility, please consult your Accessibility Advisor in addition to your course instructor and/or supervisor.

    We will continue to provide updates as the situation develops.