Reference Letters

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to master’s and doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

At least two confidential reference reports are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. Normally these are from academic or professional referees, and speak to the applicant’s appropriateness for the graduate program.

In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note, that we are unable to accept e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, MSN or other free e-mail accounts for referees.) A unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.

  • We also accept references via Interfolio, a U.S. based electronic reference service. Interfolio references should be directed to

The application system allows you to indicate whether a reference is academic or professional.

  • The academic reference form is used in situations where the referee is someone who you have interacted with in an academic setting (e.g. referee was the professor of a course in which you were enrolled).
  • The professional reference form is used in situations where the reference is someone who you have interacted with in a professional setting (e.g. referee was your supervisor at work).

Note: Some graduate programs have special requirements for references. Check the individual graduate program's website for the required number and format of references to be submitted.


In these videos UBC faculty members highlight the importance they place on references and advise on how you can identify and approach referees.