Policies & Procedures

These UBC Policies and Procedures provide the rules and regulations that surround many aspects of graduate study for students, faculty members, and staff at UBC.

Policies have been approved by the UBC Board of Governors or UBC Senate.

Procedures have been approved by the Graduate Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.


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Application and admission

Find information about applying to graduate school, what you need to give you the best chance at a successful application, or any other questions you might have.

  • Inquiries from prospective applications
  • Information for applicants
  • Authenticity of documents
  • Ownership of academic records submitted in support of applications
  • Students transferring to UBC with faculty supervisors
  • Delay in start of program
  • Deferred admission
  • Graduate appeals on admission or readmission decisions

More about Admissions

Student's responsibility

Learn about your role and responsibilities when commencing your program. The section covers:

  • Student declaration and responsibility
  • Academic freedom
  • Academic honesty and standards
  • Intellectual property
  • Student conduct and discipline

More about student responsibilities

Dealing with academic misconduct

What is academic misconduct and how do you address it?

  • Definition of misconduct
  • Plagiarism, self-plagiarism, or cheating in course work: academic responses
  • Plagiarism or self-plagiarism in thesis or dissertations
  • The role of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in academic misconduct
  • The President's Advisory Committee on Student Discipline
  • Procedural fairness
  • Investigating and documenting suspected plagiarism
  • Preventing plagiarism
  • Turnitin

More about academic misconduct

Student status

Find information about various student statuses:

  • Full-time and part-time study
  • Visiting graduate student status
  • Qualifying student status
  • Senior citizens
  • On leave status
  • Parental accommodation
  • Unclassified students
  • Access studies

More about student status

Program of study

Information for master's and doctoral students on their program requirements.

More about program of study

Course registration

Learn how and when to start registering for a course, exemptions, and more.

  • Continuous registration
  • Attendance
  • Audit
  • Adding or dropping courses
  • Alternative format courses and programs
  • Transfer credit
  • Exemptions
  • Supplemental examinations
  • Academic concession
  • Academic accommodation for students with disabilities

More about course registration

Academic progress & grading practices

Grading scales for masters and doctoral students, information about grading, and grade requirements.

More about academic progress

Low scholarship

Information about minimum requirements and academic appeals.

  • Doctoral students minimum requirements
  • Master's students minimum requirements
  • Academic appeals

More about low scholarships

Student conduct and discipline

UBC Calendar

This policy was approved by UBC Senate on November 16, 2016.

The President of the University has the right under the British Columbia University Act, R.S.B.C., c. 468, s. 61, to take whatever disciplinary action is deemed to be warranted by a student’s misconduct. See Student Conduct and Discipline for specific provisions as to offences, penalties, and procedures.

Comprehensive examination and candidacy

Doctoral students must complete their comprehensive exams before they can be admitted to candidacy. Comprehensive exams may or may not be required for master's students. It is required that all doctoral students be admitted to candidacy within 36 months.

  • Comprehensive examination
  • Advancement to candidacy 

More on comprehensive exams and candidacy

Working while studying

This section provides information about appointing students to teach a course, Student Services appointments, international student employment, and employment after graduation.

It also covers enrolment and course registration information for graduate students appointed as faculty or staff.

  • Student service appointments
  • Permission to teach
  • Staff as graduate students
  • Faculty as graduate students
  • Student safety abroad

More about working while studying


Information on eligibility rules for supervision and supervisory committees.

  • UBC partner appointees
  • UBCO faculty
  • Retirement
  • Changes to supervision
  • Supervisory committees:
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Composition
    • Supervision of graduate students by non-members of G+PS
    • Non-members of G+PS as supervisory committee members

More about supervision

Transfer degree or program

Information about various transfer options:

  • Transfer between closely-related programs
  • Transfer from master's to doctoral programs without completing master's requirements
  • Transfer from doctoral to master's programs

More about transfers

Membership in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is dedicated to maintaining a rich academic environment for every student in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of British Columbia. Among other things, the Faculty oversees the academic quality and integrity of its graduate programs, and ensures that graduate students are provided with training in research and other scholarly activities of the highest standard.

  • Members
  • Supervision of graduate students by other faculty

More about membership


Graduate student teaching was previously addressed in Board of Governors’ Policy AP7: “Appointment of Graduate Students to Teach a Course Requiring a Board of Governors Appointment” or “Graduate Student Teaching Policy”. The policy required graduate students to meet specific criteria in order to hold teaching appointments, and exceptions to those criteria required the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

At the request of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Board of Governors conducted a review of the policy in 2022. As a result of this review, the policy was repealed effective December 6 2022. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies no longer needs to be informed or consulted when a student is considered for a teaching appointment.

Permission to teach

Transcript of academic record

Read about how to apply for transcripts.

Transcript of academic record

Retention of student records

Read about retention of student records.

More about retention of student records

Examinations, master's theses and doctoral dissertations

Information about examinations needed for master's and doctoral students.

More about examinations

Duration of program

Details on expected maximum completion times.

More about program duration

Graduate student vacation policy

Graduate students are entitled to three weeks of vacation (15 working days) from their academic obligations per academic year.

Read more on the vacation policy


University regulations establish a five-year time limit for the completion of a master’s program and a six-year time limit for the completion of a doctoral program. The time that the student is on approved leave does not count in the determination of the time limit.

Read more on extension


Read about

  • Application for graduation
  • Congregation

More about Graduation


Information about

  • Required to withdraw for academic reasons
  • Voluntary withdrawal
  • Withdrawal for non-registration
  • Required to withdraw for non-academic reasons

More about withdrawal

Reinstatement / Readmission

Information on

  • Reinstatement
  • Readmission

Read more