UBC Calendar (doctoral students)
UBC Calendar (master’s students)
Form requesting part-time (master’s students only)
Full-time and part-time study
Main points: doctoral students
Doctoral students are normally considered full-time students and are assessed fees according to Schedule A.
In May 2017 the UBC-V Senate approved the establishment of a part-time classification for doctoral students. In June 2017, the tuition fee structure for a part-time classification for doctoral students (Schedule C) was approved by the Board of Governors. Part-time classification for doctoral students was first available for students who started their doctoral programs as of September 2018. See the Fees section of the UBC Calendar for details about Schedule C tuition assessments.
Part-time studies are available only in some programs, as part-time study may not fit the curriculum or research in some fields of study. The process by which graduate programs may be approved to offer part-time doctoral studies is described in this document.
This page shows all programs that have been approved for part-time PhD studies.
Doctoral Students with Disabilities Who Are Deemed as "Full-Time with Reduced Workload"
This applies only to doctoral students who been assessed by the UBC Access & Diversity Office as having permanent disabilities requiring a reduced level of academic engagement.
- An alternative tuition schedule may be established by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in consultation with the University Registrar.
- The maximum time in the program is normally eight years. Such students are deemed to be equivalent to “full-time” for all purposes.
Administrative procedure: See Classification of Students in the Calendar.
Main points: master's students
Master's students are normally considered full-time and are assessed tuition fees according to Schedule A.
Some graduate programs may offer part-time study. The expected academic workload of students classified as part-time is determined by the program. Part-time master’s students may be assessed tuition fees according to Schedule B.
Part-time students on Schedule B tuition payments
- are not eligible to receive interest-free status government loans, University fellowships or scholarships,
- are not eligible for teaching assistantships, research assistantships, student housing, or assigned desk space at the University,
- are held to the five-year maximum time allowed for the master’s program,
- must obtain approval of their program’s Graduate Advisor and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before the start of their program, and
- are not permitted to revert back to Schedule A after the initial payment of the tuition fees in the first term of the program.
Tuition fees paid according to Schedule B are payable in 3 installments per year (in addition to authorized student fees). Part-time students will pay total fees of at least 9 installments.
Important: Upon program completion, any installments not already assessed will be assessed at that time and will be payable upon assessment.
For detailed information regarding specific program fees, please refer to the Tuition Fees section of the Calendar.
VISITING GRADUATE STUDENTS
UBC Calendar: Visiting graduate students
UBC Calendar: Visiting students - application
UBC Calendar: Visiting international research students
A visiting graduate student is one who is attending UBC to complete coursework and/or research toward the requirements of a graduate degree at another recognized university. To be eligible for admission as a visiting student to UBC, the student must be currently registered in a graduate program with good standing at the home university and must provide evidence of English language proficiency, where applicable. Normally, students may hold visiting status at UBC for a maximum of 12 months. Prior approval of the home university, the UBC graduate program, and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is required.
All visiting students must be registered in coursework, or non-credit activity (if doing research only as a Visiting International Research Student) by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
There are two kinds of visiting students (not including those governed by the Western Deans' Agreement and other special agreements):
Students who wish to visit UBC to take courses or conduct research must be admitted to UBC.
Visiting students who have been admitted to take courses (with the exception of those governed by the Western Deans' Agreement and other special agreements) must be registered for those courses by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies They will be assessed tuition fees at the prevailing graduate per credit rate, plus authorized student fees (see Fee Section of Calendar).
Students who are undertaking research must be registered in the non-credit activity "Visiting Graduate Student" (VGRD 500 for master's students or VGRD 600 for doctoral students). The fee for each registration in this activity, which covers either Winter Session Term 1 and/or Term 2, or Summer Session, is equal to the tuition fee for one credit of course work plus authorized student fees.
Please see the Calendar for more information.
Visiting International Research Students
A Visiting International Research Student is an international student who is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or graduate-equivalent program at another university, or is a participant in a UBC-recognized (through Go Global) "bridging" program between undergraduate and graduate studies, who visits UBC for one month or longer to conduct research only. Visiting International Research Students apply through Go Global at UBC.
Visiting International Research Students register for the non-credit activity 'Visiting Graduate Student' (VGRD 500 for master's students or VGRD 600 for doctoral students). The fee for each registration in this activity, which covers either Winter Session Term 1 and/or Term 2, or Summer Session, is equal to the tuition fee for one credit of course work plus authorized student fees.
Please see the Calendar and the VIRS section of the Go Global website for more information.
There is a list of UBC faculty members who are available to host research students.
Visiting Students under the Western Deans' Agreement
The Western Deans' Agreement provides an automatic tuition fee waiver for visiting students from participating universities. Under the terms of this agreement, graduate students in good standing from UBC can register in any of the universities listed below without paying tuition or student fees. The same is also true for students of other participating institutions who wish to attend classes or conduct research at UBC.
This agreement was established in 1974 as an expression of co-operation and mutual support among universities offering graduate programs in western Canada. Its primary purpose is the reciprocal enrichment of graduate programs throughout western Canada. Under the terms of this agreement, graduate students of the member institutions may take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university's tuition fees.
Students may be required to pay student, activity, application, or other ancillary fees to the host institution, according to general policies in effect at the host institution. Wherever possible, these fees will also be waived.
Students will qualify for the fee waiver if they:
- meet all deadlines for submitting the required paperwork. Students whose paperwork is late may not be admitted;
- present the Authorization Form: Western Deans' Agreement signed by the Dean or designate and department head or graduate advisor of a participating institution specifying the courses to be taken for credit toward a graduate degree program at their home institution;
- are in good standing in a graduate program at the home institution;
- have paid all current and back fees at the home institution;
- are seeking to take courses that are integral to their degree programs and that are not offered at their home institutions.
Only students who are in graduate programs administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are eligible for the WDA.
Students must meet all requirements as prescribed by the host university’s regulations, graduate program deadlines, class capacities, and course prerequisites. Registration in courses under the Western Deans' Agreement is possible in credit courses at both the graduate and senior-level undergraduate levels except credit courses offered through Continuing Studies. To be eligible, courses must be an integral part of the student's graduate degree program. Students are not permitted to audit courses or take non-credit courses under this Agreement.
Under the terms of the Western Deans' Agreement, fully-completed Western Deans' Agreement Authorization forms must be received by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the start of the term of enrollment at UBC. If a form is not received and approved in time, the student may not receive permission to take the course. In addition, the fee waiver is not available retroactively.
Students are subject to regulations of the home institution governing credit for the courses to be undertaken. As a condition of registration at the host institution, students will arrange for official transcripts from the host institution to be sent to the home institution confirming successful completion of courses selected. Students must send confirmation of registration and notice of any change to the Graduate Records Office of the home institution at the time registration or course change is completed.
Each institution has its own regulations regarding the maximum number of transfer credits permitted in a given degree program. Students should ensure that their requests are within these limits.
Visiting Students under the Graduate Exchange Agreement
The Graduate Exchange Agreement allows graduate students in good standing at UBC, McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Montreal to take courses at each other's universities without having to pay tuition fees to the host institution.
Students wishing to apply for visiting student status under the Graduate Exchange Agreement must use the Graduate Exchange Agreement: Authorization and Course Registration form.
Other Exchange Agreements
Graduate programs may have exchange agreements with similar programs at other institutions. Students should consult their Graduate Advisor or UBC's Go Global: Student Mobility Programs.
Eligibility to participate in the Student Exchange Program (Go Global) with UBC is initially determined by the student's home university. Please contact the office that is responsible for student exchange at your university. They will let you know about their eligibility requirements and application procedures.
The standard transfer credit policy of 12-credit (40%) restriction does apply to students in UBC approved Exchange Agreements established by the UBC Go Global Office. For details, please contact the UBC Go Global Office.
UBC Students Visiting Other Universities
For UBC students visiting other universities, credits completed while a visiting student at another University must be approved for credit at UBC by the Graduate Program and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies prior to registering at the host university.
A student whose academic background entitles him or her to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies but who is considered to be inadequately prepared to enter a graduate program in the specific discipline may be admitted as a qualifying student. Qualifying students are not considered graduate students.
- If, at the end of a qualifying term or year, the graduate program and the Faculty of Graduate Studies are satisfied with the calibre of the student's work, the student may apply for admission to a graduate degree program.
- Courses taken during a qualifying year or term that are necessary in order to meet the requirements for full admission to Graduate Studies cannot be transferred to a subsequent graduate program. However, other courses may be transferred upon the recommendation of the department and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Qualifying student status is available only to applicants who do not require a study permit to enter Canada.
Applicants to a qualifying year may:
- have academic grade point averages that too low for admission, but that could feasibly be brought up to the required level given high marks in a year of additional work at the senior undergraduate level
- be lacking specific prerequisite courses for admission, but only to the extent that could be remedied within one year of qualifying study
- hold a three-year Canadian undergraduate degree (except for graduates from Quebec universities who have completed the Diplome d'Etudes Collegiales).
- A qualifying year is typically composed of an additional 21-30 undergraduate credits.
- Qualifying students may not register in graduate courses without specific permission in advance from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Qualifying status is granted only to those students who are recommended by the graduate program in which they wish to pursue graduate studies. If the department recommendation is approved a letter will be sent to the applicant with the terms and conditions of year of qualifying studies.
BC residents 65 years of age or over who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply through Access Studies to take courses for general interest.
Normally, senior citizens do not pay tuition or student fees, except under the following circumstances:
- Programs within Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, or any faculty or school where existing facilities and resources are limited.
On Leave Status
Senate policy V302.2
A graduate student who finds it necessary to interrupt his or her studies for parental, health, personal, professional, employment, or academic reasons, as outlined in policy V-302.2, may apply for a leave of absence.
Exception: Policy V-302.2 applies only to students currently registered in graduate programs which charge fees by installments or are delivered on campus. Students in course/credit-fee (non-installment) master’s programs that are delivered online are not eligible for leaves of absence. They can take time away from their studies by not registering in courses. The five-year maximum time in program still applies.
There is additional important information on the different types of leave in the Calendar and in the full Senate policy. Please read them to ensure that you understand the terms and implications of taking a leave of absence.
International graduate students should consult International Student Advising in the Life Building before pursuing a Leave of Absence to discuss the impact on their ability to stay in Canada, study permit and future post-graduation plans.
- Requests for leave must be accompanied by a memo from the student stating his/her reasons for requesting a leave of absence.
- Students must request a leave of absence before the date on which the leave will start. Retroactive leaves will only be approved in highly exceptional cases.
- Requests must be accompanied by a memo from the student stating his/her reasons for requesting a leave of absence.
- Requests must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- A leave of absence will begin on the first day of September, January, or May and will be granted for a period of four, eight, or twelve months.
- Students who hold awards will receive the full amount of the award for which they are eligible. In most cases, however, students cannot receive awards while they are on a leave of absence. Students will receive the balance of their awards when they return to full-time registration status. Award Holder's Guide: Leave from Program
- 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.
- Students planning to request a parental leave of absence are encouraged to consider requirements for UBC Child Care Services as early as possible. Due to high demand and shortage of services, programs for children under 3 years of age have waiting times ranging between 12 months and 2.5 years. For more information, please visit UBC Child Care Services.
If approved for a leave of absence
- Students are expected to not undertake any academic or research work related to the program from which they 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. See "List of on-leave resources", below.
- Students must inform their programs of their intent to return from a leave of absence prior to recommencing their studies.
- Time spent on leave of absence is not counted as part of the allowed time to complete a degree.
- Student discusses leave of absence with supervisor and supervisory committee and sends written request for leave.
- Program downloads and completes the “Request for Leave of Absence” form from Grad Studies website, and attaches required documentation.
- Student, supervisor and graduate program advisor sign the form indicating their approval.
- Program sends the form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Availability of UBC facilities and resources
Some UBC resources may be available to students on leave, while others may only be available under certain circumstances, or may not be available at all. Students on leave are responsible for ensuring that they understand what resources will and will not be available to them. See the list below for details.
List of on-leave resources
Relevant non-UBC facilities or resources
|AMS Health and Dental Plan||Must arrange with AMS/GSS provider to ensure continued coverage|
|Graduate Student Society||Membership continues while on leave|
|iMED||Not applicable since leaves are not granted in first term|
|MSP||Responsible for own coverage|
|Student Legal Fund Society||SLFS fee assessed in Sept; if not paid, then not a member|
|UPass/Compass Card||Not available: only registered students are eligible|
UBC facilities or resources
|Academic English Support||Available at unit’s discretion|
|Centre for Accessibility||Available at unit’s discretion|
|Athletics and Recreation||Student rates not available: can only have regular public access to sports facilities|
|Building Access||Available, but may be restricted by departments|
|Centre for Community Engaged Learning||Available at unit’s discretion|
|Centre for Student Involvement and Careers||Available at unit’s discretion|
|Child Care Services||Available|
|Counselling Services||Available at unit’s discretion|
|First Nations House of Learning||Available|
|Go Global: Student Mobility Programs||Available at unit’s discretion|
|UBC Student Housing (including graduate colleges)||Usually not available: only students on medical or parental leave can remain in UBC Student Housing. Special cases for students on other types of leave may be considered.|
|International Student Advising||Available at unit’s discretion|
|Parking||Will qualify for general student parking but not grad student parking (i.e., not all parkades)|
|Student Health Services||Available at unit’s discretion|
|UBC card||Available, but a new card cannot be issued unless enrolled in a UBC credit course|
|Women on Campus||Available at unit’s discretion|
This policy applies to students currently registered in full-time graduate programs at the University of British Columbia who are in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degree. Students must have completed at least one term of full-time study in their program.
The policy makes it possible for a student to maintain full-time student status during an eight-week period surrounding the arrival of a new child under the age of six (newborn or newly-adopted), with all the benefits of such status, by standardizing a minimum level of academic accommodation during that period.
- Requests must be made no later than 30 days before start date.
- Requests must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
If approved for parental accommodation:
- Students continue to be registered as a full-time, and tuition and student fees must be paid as usual.
- Academic deadlines and expectations are to be flexible and modified to accommodate the student's new parental responsibilities
- Time allowed for advancement to candidacy (doctoral students) and degree completion will be extended by four months.
- Graduate programs are expected to extend any internal deadlines for the completion of academic requirements by a minimum of four months
- Student retains the full value of any fellowship or other award for which the terms and conditions are established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and will experience no change to funding, payment schedule, total amount granted, or completion date of the scholarship.
- Awards for which the terms and conditions are not established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies will be paid according to the terms conditions established by the donor or granting agency.
- Discuss parental accommodation with supervisor.
- Download and complete the “Request for Parental Accommodation” form from Grad Studies website.
- Obtain the signatures of supervisor and graduate program advisor indicating their approval.
- Send the form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
An Unclassified student is one who is enrolled for studies not intended to lead to a particular degree or diploma.
- Unclassified students should already have a recognized degree
- Admission as an unclassified student does not guarantee that a student will be able to register for any course offered, nor does it imply future admission as a regular student.
- Unclassified students may only take graduate courses with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Courses taken as an unclassified student may be approved for transfer toward a graduate program on permission of the department and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. See the Calendar for more information on allowable transfer credits.
- Unclassified courses that are used to raise a student’s GPA to the minimum level required for admission to a graduate program are not transferable to that graduate program.
- Fees for Unclassified students can be found in the Calendar.
A student may also enrol as an unclassified student for the following reasons:
- to upgrade grade point averages by taking additional courses at the senior undergraduate level;
- to make up specific prerequisite courses which are required for admission into specific graduate programs
- to make up one additional year because the applicant only holds a three-year undergraduate degree
Students may be asked to take a load of up to 30 credits. Applicants with a three-year degree (equivalent to 90 credits) must take the full 30 credits. The courses that make up these credits must include the specific courses that the student has to take in order to fulfill prerequisite requirements, as the marks required (minimum number of credits, minimum average, minimum number of credits with first class marks) to demonstrate an acceptable level of academic achievement must be specified.
For unclassified students applying to take a graduate course:
- Contact the instructor of the course you wish to take.
- Download and complete the “Enrolment of Non-Degree Students in a Graduate Course” form from the Grad Studies website.
- Obtain the signatures of the course instructor and graduate advisor of the program or department offering the course, indicating their approval.
- Send the form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Students may be enrolled as Access Studies students upon approval by a faculty:
(a) to allow them to take a limited number of courses in a specific area to upgrade or achieve a qualification, or
(b) when they do not wish to pursue a specific program. Distance education students may be enrolled in this category. Students in this category may normally take up to 6 credits per academic term, up to a maximum of 24 credits in total while registered as Access Studies students.
Please see UBC Access Studies for complete information.
- Admission as an Access Studies student does not guarantee that a student will be able to register for any course offered, nor does it imply future admission as a regular student.
- Access Studies students may only take graduate courses with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Tuition fees for Access Studies are assessed on a per-credit basis, taking into consideration the year level of the course and the faculty offering it. All student fees will be assessed as noted in Student Fees.
For Access Studies students applying to take a graduate course:
- Student contacst the instructor of the course.
- Student downloads and completes the “Enrolment of Non-Degree Students in a Graduate Course” form.
- Student fills out the form and obtains the signatures of the course instructor and graduate advisor of the program or department offering the course, indicating their approval.
- Student submits the fully-completed form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies reviews the form and confirms eligibility.
- Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies signs the form and sends it to Enrolment Services.
- Enrolment services registers the student.