Welcome to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC. We take this moment to acknowledge that these lands have been, for generations, the site of teaching and learning for Indigenous peoples. UBC’s Vancouver campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people. UBC’s Okanagan campus is situated on the territory of the Sylix Okanagan Nation.
On September 14, 2020, UBC launched the new Indigenous Strategic Plan, and became the first university in North America to commit to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. By doing so, UBC has committed to taking on a more human rights-based approach to the larger Indigenous strategic framework.
UBC is proud of the outstanding contributions of the many Indigenous graduate students working across a wide range of academic disciplines. At UBC, you will find faculty and students deeply engaged in scholarship that impacts Indigenous communities and the world around us, in fields ranging from educations, science, law, fine arts, engineering, forestry, social work, public health, history and more. We are committed to promoting the success of Indigenous graduate applicants through funding, housing, community and many other support initiatives.
Specialist, Indigenous Graduate Initiatives
Life at UBC
UBC has a large and vibrant community of Indigenous students, faculty members, staff and friends. There are many Indigenous-focused programs and services on campus to support Indigenous graduate student academic and personal success, including priority placement in student housing, financial awards and bursaries, as well as cultural events, programs and services.
The centre of Indigenous community on campus is the First Nations Longhouse. The Longhouse sponsors many workshops, social gatherings, ceremonies and support programs throughout the year. It also is the home to the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL), a computer lab, and the Xwi7xwa Library, which has books, videos, newspapers and journals focusing on Indigenous people in BC and Canada.
Indigenous graduate students are also invited to join SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement), a group dedicated to fostering Indigenous graduate student success. Join the SAGE Listerv by emailing the SAGE Provincial Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can learn much more about the many dimensions of Indigenous presence at UBC through the UBC Indigenous Portal.
Admissions for Indigenous students
UBC is a research-intensive university with much to offer to Indigenous graduate students. We are committed to expanding our engagement with Indigenous scholarship.
UBC does not have a specific Indigenous graduate admissions policy. However, many graduate programs make a point of taking into consideration the full range of academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that Indigenous applicants bring to their preparation for graduate study. If you are unsure whether you meet minimum admission requirements, please contact the Specialist, Indigenous Graduate Initiatives at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Rebecca Jules.
Awards for Indigenous Students
UBC has several scholarships and other funding opportunities specifically for Indigenous graduate students, including the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship and the Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship Bridge Funding. Identifying yourself as Indigenous in your application will automatically make you eligible for some funding opportunities, so it is important you do so. This funding is not guaranteed, but your graduate program will consider you for these opportunities and possibly nominate you for specific scholarships.
Additional information on Indigenous financial aid and awards can be found at the First Nations House of Learning and on the Indigenous Awards page of the Student Services website. We also encourage you to read through the financial resources guide for Indigenous students.
There are also many other funding opportunities that are available broadly to graduate students, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, federal grants, and scholarships. Visit the Scholarships, Awards and Funding section of this website for awards and funding information specific to graduate students.
Please note: students without Canadian citizenship but who are members of Indigenous nations of Canada and students who are American citizens and are affiliated with an Indigenous nation that is bisected by the Canada-U.S. border may qualify for domestic tuition rates. Eligibility is determined by Enrolment Services using supporting documentation. Those without formal documentation may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Indigenous Academic Programs
Graduate degree programs are housed within 11 disciplinary faculties at UBC. There are many Indigenous faculty members at UBC, as well as faculty with expertise in Indigenous areas, which provides a space for graduate students to focus their studies on issues important to Indigenous communities both domestically and abroad. Vancouver campus also offers several courses with significant Indigenous themes and content. Many Indigenous graduate students choose the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, which allows students to carve out an interdisciplinary approach to Indigenous scholarship.
Housing for Indigenous Students
New Indigenous graduate students have priority for obtaining on-campus housing. This applies to single students and students with families. Please note that housing supply is limited.
The on-campus housing application is separate from admission application. Students should apply for on-campus housing as soon as they apply to their graduate program. For more information about housing options for graduate students, visit the UBC Housing and Conferences website.
In order to get priority assignment in housing, you must self-identify as Indigenous on both your admission and housing applications.
Indigenous Student Orientation
In addition to Graduate Student Orientation, UBC Vancouver offers a series of Indigenous-specific orientation events to help better prepare students for academic and personal success. The Indigenous Student Orientation on the Vancouver campus introduces all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students who are new to UBC to the First Nations House of Learning and to the Indigenous campus community. Meet faculty, staff, Indigenous student leaders, and current students as you get acquainted with UBC, its people, and its resources. Learn more
Having a family while doing your graduate degree provides additional challenges as you will need to combine your family life with your studies. UBC offers several childcare options for infants and children up to the age of five, as well as occasional and out-of-school care.
Indigenous graduate students will be given first access to available childcare spaces. We encourage graduate students who need childcare to apply early by submitting an application during pregnancy, even if they do not have an official offer of admission from UBC. In order to be given first access, students should self-identify as Indigenous in their application.
Programs & Services
Culturally appropriate resources, supports and services for Indigenous students are offered at the Vancouver campus. For a full list please see the Indigenous Portal.
The First Nations House of Learning, in partnership with UBC Collegia, now offers Indigenous Student Collegium (ISC) at the First Nations Longhouse.