Application Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ answers many questions about applying to UBC Graduate Studies. Please read carefully to see if your question has been answered here.

You should contact the program if you have questions about the following:

  • application status
  • references
  • transcripts
  • extensions to application deadline
  • missing documents

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the following:

  • credit card payment problems
  • persistent log in problems with the online application

English Language Tests

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The minimum TOEFL score required for all applicants to the Faculty of Graduate Studies is 80 for the internet-based exam and 550 for the paper-based exam. However, some programs require a higher score. TOEFL scores must be issued to UBC directly from the Educational Testing Centre. Please ensure that you include the following on your TOEFL sheet:

  • use the University of British Columbia's institution code 0965
  • give the reason for taking TOEFL "to enter a college or university as a graduate student"

Score submission

UBC accepts either:

  • an official paper score report sent directly to the university from the testing centre
  • electronic submission.
IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)

A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.*

Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores, and may require minimum scores on individual components of the test. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.

Score submission

UBC requires an official paper record to be sent to us directly from the test centre.

On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results being sent to. Please make sure to state "The University of British Columbia" under "Name of institution". The postal address for specific programs/departments is listed in the degree program listing.

PTE (Pearson Test of English)

A minimum overall score of 59 on the academic (NOT general) test is required.

Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.

Score submission

UBC requires an official paper record.

 

CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)

A minimum overall score of 60 is required.

Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.

Score submission

UBC requires an official paper record of this test score.

 

Alternative Tests

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

A minimum score of 4L for each component of the academic (NOT general) test is required.*

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

A minimum overall MELAB score of 81 is required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.*

Alternative English Language Proficiency Test

The GCE A-Level English examination with a standing of at least "B" is acceptable in lieu of the TOEFL.*

*Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores, and may require minimum scores on individual components of the test. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.

Pre-Application

I don't have a credit card. How can I pay my application fee?
  • If you do not have access to a credit card but do have Interac with Scotiabank, Royal Bank,  TD Canada Trust or Bank of Montreal you may still apply and pay on-line.
  • If you do not have access to a credit card nor Interac with any of the above institutions, then:
    • Contact the program(s) to which you intend to apply and let them know you will not be submitting your application online. 
    • Using the online application form, complete all fields, print and sign the application form
    • Mail the printed application with a bank draft for the correct application fee to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z2). 

The application fee may be paid in Canadian dollars by cheque, money order or bank draft, payable to "The Faculty of Graduate Studies".

Please note that International application fees must be paid in Canadian dollars by money order or bank draft, as cheques may not be compatible with Canadian banks.  The money order or bank draft must be made payable to "The Faculty of Graduate Studies".

Find program contact information

Please note: your transcripts and other supporting documentation must be mailed directly to the program(s) to which you are applying.

How do I pay the application fee?
  • The online application accepts Visa or Mastercard or Interac Online from Scotiabank, Royal Bank,  TD Canada Trust or Bank of Montreal.

 

I want to apply to UBC. What should I do? Do I apply to Graduate Studies?
  • The Faculty of Graduate Studies web site contains details of the application and admission process.
    • Application is made to individual graduate programs directly, not to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
    • Check the list of program contacts and visit the program web site for information about academic requirements. Then contact the program to which you wish to apply.
Please send me an Application Package for UBC Graduate Studies
  • UBC's online application is the fastest and most convenient way to apply to UBC Graduate Studies. Applying online ensures that both Graduate Studies and the program you apply to get your application quickly.
  • If you cannot apply online:
    • Contact the program(s) to which you intend to apply and let them know you will not be submitting your application online. 
    • Using the online application form, complete all fields, print and sign the application form
    • Mail the printed application with a bank draft for the correct application fee to the Faculty of Graduate Studies (170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z2). 

The application fee may be paid in Canadian dollars by cheque, money order or bank draft, payable to "The Faculty of Graduate Studies".

Please note that International application fees must be paid in Canadian dollars by money order or bank draft, as cheques may not be compatible with Canadian banks.  The money order or bank draft must be made payable to "The Faculty of Graduate Studies".

Find program contact information

Please note: your transcripts and other supporting documentation must be mailed directly to the program(s) to which you are applying.

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the following:

  • credit card payment problems
  • persistent log in problems with the online application

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please email graduate.apply@ubc.ca

When should I contact the program I applied to?

You should contact the program if you have questions about the following:

  • application status
  • references
  • transcripts
  • extensions to application deadline
  • missing documents
     
I'm not able to log into the online application. What can I do?

Versions 4.0 or higher of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator are strongly recommended.

  • Ensure the following settings are selected in the Options or Preferences window of your browser:
    • Browser is set to accept cookies
    • JavaScript is enabled

 

I want to apply to more than one program. Do I have to submit more than one application?

You need to submit a separate application for each program you want to apply to.

Decisions are made by the programs, and they each need complete information in order to evaluate your application.

Is the application fee refundable?

The application fee pays for the evaluation of your application, and is not refundable. We can only refund the application fee when a program applied for has been cancelled.

  • Make sure your application is for the correct program
  • Only click the "submit" button once; if the application is not submitted contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies before re-submitting, as your credit card may be charged twice.
I'm eligible for a fee waiver. How do I apply?

If you are eligible for an application fee waiver, you do not need to apply for it. You will not be asked for a fee when you complete the online application.

Can my application fee be waived?
  • The application fee can only be waived for international applicants:
    • whose citizenship and correspondence address are located in the world's 50 least developed countries, as declared by the United Nations.

 

 

I don't know where I want to apply.

How to Apply to Undergraduate Programs at UBC

How to Apply to Graduate Programs at UBC

MBA program at the Sauder School of Business at UBC

MEng program, Faculty of Applied Science

If you have further questions on application procedures for programs that are not at the Graduate level, including Unclassified or other  non-degree course work, please go to the you@UBC web site.

I am an undergraduate student, and I'd like to take a graduate level course.
  • UBC undergraduate students who may be approved to register in graduate level courses:
    • Have maintained an overall B+ (76%) average in their completed third- and fourth-year courses
    • Have completed at least 75% of the third and fourth year requirements for their undergraduate degree

Form for undergraduate registration in a graduate level course.

I want to take some graduate level courses, but I don't want to enrol in a graduate degree program.

Students who take graduate level courses without enrolling in a degree program are known as unclassified or

non-degree students. Please visit the following web page for information:

Admission Requirements for Unclassified Students

I want to apply to UBC Okanagan. What should I do? Where do I apply?

If you want to apply to UBC-Okanagan you must apply through the UBC-O web site.

While applying

I might miss the application deadline; can I have an extension?

Application deadlines are set by individual programs, not by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please contact the program you wish to apply to for approval to apply after the deadline.

If you have missed the application deadline please do not submit an online application until you have received approval from the specific program. Application fees are non-refundable.

Find program contact information

Where do I send my supporting documents?

All supporting documents must be sent to the program to which you applied. Please check the program's web site for their mailing address.

Find program contact information

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the following:

  • credit card payment problems
  • persistent log in problems with the online application

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please e-mail graduate.apply@ubc.ca

When should I contact the program I applied to?

You should contact the program if you have questions about the following:

  • application status
  • references
  • transcripts
  • extensions to application deadline
  • missing documents
     
I’ve entered my credit card information and I get a message that says I have entered my credit card information in an incorrect format. What does that mean and what should I do about it?

Please return to the online application web site and go to the payment page. Once there please clear all fields and then re-enter your payment information.

Please make sure that you have entered your credit card information in the correct format. Your name must be exactly as it appears on the credit card, the numbers must be entered with no spaces in between, and the expiry date must be entered in the correct format (January/2005 entered as 01/05).

If you are still having problems submitting your online application, please e-mail Graduate Studies and include your account username and password.

I've submitted an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to be a Permanent Resident, but it hasn't been approved yet. What should I put in the online application?

If you are not currently a Permanent Resident of Canada, choose "Student Authorization" as Visa Type. Once you have obtained permanent resident status, please send a copy of both the front and the back of your Permanent Resident Card to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. We will then update your status in our files.

I don’t have a Study Permit yet, but I plan on getting one if I get an offer of admission from you. What should I put in the online application?

You don't have to have a Study Permit at the time of application, but if you will need a Study Permit to attend UBC, please choose "Student Authorization" as Visa Type.

My degree hasn’t been conferred yet because I am still attending university, but I plan on finishing soon. What should I fill in?

Please enter information that is current as of the date you fill out the application.

What does "degree conferred" mean?

If your degree has been conferred, it means that you have received your diploma for the degree. If you have finished your course requirements, but have not yet been granted your degree, then your degree has not yet been conferred.

I'm running out of room to list all the institutions I've attended, so how should I list them?

Please list additional institutions in an e-mail and send it to the program to which you are applying.

Do I have to list all the schools and institutions I’ve attended?

Yes.

What TOEFL / GRE score do I need to apply?

You can check the TOEFL and GRE scores required by the program you are applying to on the UBC web site:

TOEFL

GRE

I can’t find my country in your drop down menu.

Try looking for full or alternate versions of your country's name. For example, "China" is listed as "People's Republic of China".

I can’t find the degree I would like to apply for in your drop down menu.

Please consult the program you are applying to for the correct name of the degree.

I got an e-mail saying that my online application has been deleted. Does that mean I need a credit card refund?

If your application is deleted, your credit card is not charged.

I got an e-mail saying that my online application will be deleted soon, but I thought I had already submitted it. Did you receive my application?

The 14 day notice is automatically sent to applicants that currently have an un-submitted online application in their account. It does not necessarily mean that we have not received your application. It may mean that you have started more than one application to the same graduate program, and submitted one, leaving the others incomplete.

You can check under the "Submitted Application" link to find the application(s) you've successfully submitted. Please ignore this e-mail message if you have already submitted your online application.

If you are still unsure whether or not you have successfully submitted your online application, please e-mail Graduate Studies with CHECK APPLICATION SUBMISSION in the subject line. Note: it may take 4 – 5 business days for a response.

I got an e-mail saying that my online application will be deleted soon, but I’m not finished yet. Can you extend that date? What do I do if I’m not ready to submit my online application?

Un-submitted online applications are deleted automatically after 21 days. This process cannot be stopped or undone.

If you are not ready to submit your application before it is due for deletion, you can start a new application with your entered information by using the "Copy an Existing Application" feature, under "New Application". You will then have a further 21 days to complete your new application.

Please be aware that once you have submitted your online application it cannot be edited. Also, please make sure that you submit your online application before the program deadline date. For further information on application deadlines, please contact the program you are applying to.

I want to apply, but I can't take my TOEFL test until after the application deadline. Can I apply, and submit my TOEFL later?

Please contact the program to which you are applying to and ask them if you can do this.

Find program contact information

What supporting documents should I send?

Main document requirements: Please check with the program to which you are applying to determine what additional support documents they may require.

The online application looks strange on my computer. How come?

Versions 4.0 or higher of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator are strongly recommended. Be sure your browser is set to accept cookies and that JavaScript is enabled; these settings are found in your Options or Preferences window of your browser.

If this does not solve your access problem, please try accessing the online application from a different computer. Public libraries or internet cafes may have set their security on a very high level and therefore will not allow cookies.

After Applying

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the following:

  • credit card payment problems
  • persistent log in problems with the online application

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please e-mail graduate.apply@ubc.ca

When should I contact the program I applied to?

You should contact the program if you have questions about the following:

  • application status
  • references
  • transcripts
  • extensions to application deadline
  • missing documents
     
I changed my mind and don’t want to go to graduate school any more; can I get a refund of the application fee? I've now realized that I’m not eligible for graduate school; can I get a refund of the application fee?

The application fee is not refundable.

I submitted my online application and realized that I’ve made a mistake. Can I edit the information? My address has changed since I submitted my application. How can I change my address?

Unfortunately your online application cannot be edited after it has been submitted. If you would like to update your information, please contact the graduate secretary at the program to which you applied.

Find program contact information

I’ve sent you my documents. Can you confirm that you have received them?

All admission documents are collected by the program you applied to. Please contact the program to confirm that they have received your documents.

What is the status of my application?

For any questions regarding the status of your application, please directly contact the program you have applied to.

Find program contact information

Obtaining References

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the following:

  • credit card payment problems
  • persistent log in problems with the online application

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please e-mail graduate.apply@ubc.ca

When should I contact the program I applied to?

You should contact the program if you have questions about the following:

  • application status
  • references
  • transcripts
  • extensions to application deadline
  • missing documents
     
My referees are sending written references. Should they send an electronic one as well?

If any of your referees has sent a written reference, please do not enter that referee's e-mail address in the online application. Referees should provide either a paper or an electronic reference, but not both.

More information about references

You can also contact the program you are applying to if you have questions about references.

Can my referee send an e-mail reference?

For security reasons, references cannot be submitted by e-mail. However, electronic references are the preferred option, but need to use our e-reference tool which is part of the online application.

How are electronic references submitted?

If the program accepts electronic references, referees will receive an automatic e-mail (sent to the e-mail addresses you entered in the "Referees" section) asking them to provide a reference report on your behalf. They then submit their references to the online application.

Where should my referees send the paper reference forms?

Ask your referees to send the forms directly to the graduate program you are applying to. Please do not have the forms sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Where can I get paper reference forms?

Reference forms can be downloaded from the Grad Studies website.

Download paper reference forms called "Report on Applicant for Admission to Graduate Studies"

Note: some programs have their own reference forms.

Does my program accept electronic references?

Please contact the program to which you are applying to find out.

How do I send reference reports to UBC?

Reference reports can be submitted in two ways; by paper or by using our online reference system. Referees can choose which they prefer, but should not do both.

Referees

I've written a personal letter of recommendation. How should I send it?

A personal reference letter is acceptable if sent by post. Please mail the reference letter to the program to which the student has applied in a sealed envelope, with your signature written across the envelope seal.

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this FAQ, please e-mail graduate.inquiry@ubc.ca.

Can I send a reference as an e-mail or e-mail attachment?

For security reasons an e-mail or an e-mail attachment is not an acceptable format for a reference letter.

Many programs accept reference letters electronically, but this must be done via the link provided in the "Reference form for UBC Graduate Application" e-mail that the referee has received. We are unable to accept e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, or other free e-mail accounts.

I got an e-mail with a link for submitting my reference, but the link doesn't work. What should I do?

In most cases, this happens because the reference link has wrapped around to a second line in your e-mail program, thus invalidating the link. Please try cutting and pasting the complete e-mail link into your browser.

If the link still does not work, please e-mail Graduate Studies with REFERENCE LINK BROKEN in the subject line, and provide the full name of the student requesting the reference. If possible, e-mail us by forwarding your original e-mail with the broken link.

The e-reference system asks for an email address for the referee. Can I provide any email address for a referee?

We are unable to accept e-mail addresses from Hotmail, Yahoo, GMAIL, MSN or other free e-mail accounts. The system will not let you provide these email addresses.

Did the program get my reference letter/form/electronic reference?

Please contact the program directly, or ask the student you are referring to follow up.

Find program contact information

Where should I send the paper reference form?

Please mail the form directly to the program to which the student applied. The student should provide you with the program name and address.

I'd prefer not to use the electronic reference system. Where can I get a paper reference form?

If you are unable to complete the online reference or prefer not to do so, you can download a paper reference form from "forms" section our web site Report on Applicant for Admission to Graduate Studies. Please fill out the form and mail it to the program to which the student applied in a sealed envelope, with your signature written across the envelope seal as endorsement.

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