Minimum Academic Requirements: Canadian or U.S. Credentials

Prospective graduate students should first contact the graduate program to which they wish to apply. They will be admitted to study only in programs that are authorized by Senate to offer master's and/or doctoral degrees. All applications must be accompanied by an application fee at the time of submission. The number of students that can be accommodated is limited, and graduate programs with limited facilities may accept the best-qualified students as vacancies occur.

Most students begin their program of study in September, but students may also be admitted to start their programs in May or in January. Limitations on the number of students that can be accommodated often results in students being selected well before these dates. Students are encouraged to submit applications for admission as early as possible.

Master's Programs

Normally, applicants for a master's degree program must hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from UBC including one of the following:

  • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year courses.
  • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in the field of study.

Alternatively, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in a specific graduate program, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Individuals of Aboriginal ancestry are particularly encouraged to apply. Please read the additional information for Aboriginal applicants to graduate programs.

Note: Additional coursework outside the bachelor's degree to improve a low GPA or to meet the 12 credit requirement, for example as unclassified student at UBC, can be taken into consideration based on a rationale from a specific program, but does not guarantee eligibility for admission.

Doctoral Programs

Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) must have completed one of the following requirements prior to admission:

  1. In the case of the Ph.D., a master's degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution with clear evidence of research ability or potential; in the case of the D.M.A., a master's degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution with outstanding ability in musical performance or composition; in the case of the Ed.D., a master's degree from an approved institution.
  2. A bachelor’s degree with one year of study in a master's program with 9 credits at the 500-level or above and of first class standing. Students entering the doctoral program after partial completion of the master’s degree must, during the first two years of study at the graduate level, complete a total of 12 credits with a first-class average (of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first-class standing) to maintain registration as a doctoral student. Also:
  • (for Ph.D.) clear evidence of research ability or potential;
  • (for Ph.D., Elementary Education) first class standing in Teacher Training or a B.Ed.;
  • (for Ed.D.) first class standing and first class standing in any required prerequisite work, and five years professional experience; or
  • (for D.M.A.) outstanding ability in performance or composition.

Transfer directly into a doctoral program is normally accomplished after completion of the first year of study at the master's level and will not be permitted after completion of the second year.

  1. In exceptional cases, applicants who hold a bachelor's degree with an overall average in the A grade range and who demonstrate advanced research ability may be granted direct admission to a doctoral degree program on recommendation of the admitting graduate program and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students entering directly from a bachelor's degree must, during the first two years of study, complete a total of 12 credits with a first class average, of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first class standing, to maintain registration as a doctoral student.

Individuals of Aboriginal ancestry are particularly encouraged to apply. Please read the additional information for Aboriginal applicants to graduate programs.

Please note: Given that the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions available, a record that satisfies basic entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to graduate studies.

Other Resources

Other sites that might come in handy as you prepare to apply: