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

1) 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 online. If you do not have access to a credit card nor Interac with any of the above institutions, please email Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for further instruction at graduate.apply@ubc.ca.

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.
Can UBC send me an Application package?

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) you intend to apply for further instruction.

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral 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

I'm not able to log into the online application. What can I do?

In order to submit an application for Graduate Studies you must have a UBC Campus Wide Login (CWL) account. The CWL system provides access to UBC's online services with one secure login ID. For CWL issues, contact the IT Service Centre Help Desk If you are experiencing technical issues, please ensure your browser supports both Cookies and JavaScript. See Browser Help for additional information and instructions. Use of the latest version of Firefox with JavaScript enabled is recommended but the application is also supported by Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera and Safari. For all other questions, please email graduate.apply@ubc.ca and include your full name, the program(s) you are applying to and a general description of the problem.

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?

Apply via the online application. Information about graduate degree programs at UBC Okanagan can be found at the College of Graduate Studies.

2) 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?

For initial application, you will normally scan and upload digital files (.pdfs) of documents in the online application system. If you are offered admission, you will be required to send in one copy of each of your official academic history documents. Official documents are normally sent to:

University of British Columbia
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
6371 Crescent Rd
Vancouver, BC  V6T1Z2  CANADA

Some graduate programs may require you to send in paper documents directly to their department office upon initial application. Please check the website of the program(s) to which you are applying for instructions.

For more information on document requirements, see:

Canadian applicants:  https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/canad...
International applicants: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/inter...
 
Further information on providing scanned and official paper documents is also provided within the online application system.

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral 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

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 clear all fields and then re-enter your payment information on the payment page. 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/2015 entered as 0115).

If you are still having problems submitting your online application, please e-mail Graduate Studies and include your full name and the program(s) you are applying to.

 

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 "Study Permit/Student Visa" as Visa Type in the online application. Once you have obtained permanent resident status, please upload a copy of both the front and the back of your Permanent Resident Card by logging in to My Applications. If you are unable to upload the Permanent Resident Card, please send a copy of both the front and the back of your Permanent Resident Card to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral 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?

Your online application must reflect your citizenship status as it is on the day you submit your online form and payment. If you don’t have a Study Permit at time of application but you will need a Study Permit to attend UBC, please choose “Study Permit/Student Visa” in the Immigration and Visa Details section of the application form. If your citizenship status changes after you submit your online application please contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by email at grad.apply@ubc.ca for information about additional documents required to support your application.

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.

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

The online application has room to list six higher education institutions of study. If you have attended more than six previous institutions, you will be instructed to upload all remaining transcripts into one file within your online application.

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 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?

Program specific document instructions are provided within the online application system and on the website of the program you are applying to. Please check with the program to which you are applying to determine what additional support documents they may require and for instructions about uploading and sending documents to support your application. Main document requirements are listed on our website.

For more information on document requirements, see:

Canadian applicants:  https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/canad...
International applicants: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/inter...

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

The online application requires that your browser supports both Cookies and JavaScript. See Browser Help for additional information and instructions. Use of the latest version of Firefox with JavaScript enabled is recommended but the application is also supported by Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera and Safari.

3) After Applying

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral 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?

Many programs take several weeks to evaluate applications. To check the status of your application and to provide any new information or updated documentation required, please log in to My Applications. My Applications is also where you can find Information about your references and the status of your reference requests. If you cannot find the information you need in My Applications or on this website, please contact the program(s) you applied to for further assistance.

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 need to update your address, log in to My Applications and select "Update Personal or Contact Details". This link will connect you to the UBC Student Service Centre (SSC) where you can update your personal information.

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

You can see the status of documents received by logging in to My Applications. Please allow 4 weeks after sending in your documents for the system to be updated. If you have already submitted your online application and don’t see a document you are expecting in My Applications, please contact your graduate program directly. If four weeks have passed and you have received an offer of admission and you don’t see a document you are expecting in My Applications, please contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at graduate.apply@ubc.ca for instructions.

Please note: applicants are also sent an email when documentation has been received and is added to your application file.

What is the status of my application?

Please log in to My Applications regularly to check the status of your application and to provide any new information or updated documentation required. For updates regarding documents received please note processing times for confirming documents received at peak times can be lengthy, please check back regularly.

4) Obtaining References

When should I contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies?

You should contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral 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

My referees are sending written references. Should they send an electronic one as well?

Referees should provide either a paper or an electronic reference, but not both. Referees are contacted by UBC via email with detailed instructions about how to submit a reference (by completing an online form or manually submitting their paper reference if required). If your referee has questions, please ask them to review these instructions or contact graduate.apply@ubc.ca for more information.

Can my referee send an e-mail reference?

For security reasons, references cannot be submitted by e-mail. Referees are contacted by UBC via email with detailed instructions about how to submit a reference. If your referee has questions, please ask them to review these instructions or contact graduate.apply@ubc.ca for more information.

How are electronic references submitted?

If the program you applied to 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 via an online form. Please note - applicants receive email notifications if an email to a Referee cannot be processed or if a Referee declines a reference request.

Where should my referees send the paper reference forms?

Different graduate programs have different reference requirements. Referees are contacted by UBC via email with detailed instructions about how to submit a reference. Many programs request that do not require referees to send paper forms and instead ask referees to submit their references via an online form, rather than sending in paper forms. If your referee will use paper forms, they should be sent directly to the graduate program office to which you have applied. If a referee has questions, please ask them to review the instruction email from UBC or Referees may contact graduate.apply@ubc.ca for more information

Does my program accept electronic references?

Different graduate programs have different reference requirements. Please contact the program you are applied to for information.

5) Referees

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

Please refer to the email sent to you by UBC from graduate.apply@ubc.ca for instructions on how to submit your specific reference. In general, there are two options for submitting a personal reference letter. You may be able to scan and upload your personal reference letter using our online reference system form. Or, a personal reference letter can be sent by post to the program which the student has applied. In both cases, personal reference letters must be written on institutional letterhead. Letters sent by post must be in a sealed envelope with your signature written across the envelop seal directed to each program directly. Program addresses are listed in our degree program listing.

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 and Postdoctoral Studies at graduate.apply@ubc.ca 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.

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

If you submit your reference via the online reference form, you will receive an online confirmation message indicating your form has been submitted to the program. If you did not complete the online reference form, please contact the program directly or ask the student you are referring to log in to their online application system (My Applications) where they can view the status of all reference requests.

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. What are my options? Where can I get a paper reference form?

If you are unable to complete the online reference form or choose not to upload an electronic copy of your personal reference letter using the online reference system, you can send in a paper letter or download a paper reference form from "forms" section our web site. 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.