UBC values diversity and strongly encourages high achieving international students to apply to our graduate programs.

About 30% of master’s students, and 44% of doctoral students at UBC Vancouver are international students. We have close to 3600 doctoral students and 6200 master’s students, the fourth largest graduate student population among Canadian universities, and our 85 academic units offer over 250 research-based programs and 85 course-based master’s programs.

Why come to UBC?

  • Entrepreneurial

    Seed funding, tech accelerator, incubator, executives in residence - UBC provides support for all stages of venture creation, from ideation, through business model creation, to company building.

  • Economic Strength

    Canada was ranked 2nd in the 2018 Best Countries Ranking by US News, which measures global performance on a variety of metrics.

  • Mild Climate

    Vancouver has one of the mildest climates in Canada.

  • Degree Program Choice

    At UBC, you can choose from more than 300 graduate degree program options and 2000+ research supervisors. You can even design your own program.

  • Academic Library

    UBC has one of the largest academic libraries in Canada.

  • International

    Times Higher Education ranked UBC as the most international university in North America in its "World University Rankings 2020.”

  • Supportive

    UBC focuses on your success and offers dozens of professional development events and career sessions over the course of your program.

  • Modern Facilities

    UBC invested more than $1.5 billion dollars into infrastructure and facilities in the past few years.

  • Academic Excellence

    UBC is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.

  • Sustainable

    UBC is recognized globally as one of the most sustainable campuses in the world and a model for sustainable cities.

Program Options

Course-based programs

Course-based pograms, sometimes referred to as professional programs, require a student to complete a set number of courses to obtain a degree. Submission of an individual research thesis is usually not required, but programs may include major projects, capstone courses, internships or other work placements. Course-based programs tend to be shorter in duration and more flexible in program delivery, usually with higher tuition costs. These are often targeted at professionals with some work experience to attain the next career promotion or a change into another field.

View Course-based Programs

Research-based programs

Research-based programs usually include some coursework at the beginning of the degree and then focus on individual independent research under the supervision of a faculty member that culminates in the formulation of a thesis or dissertation. Most master programs require 2 years of study and PhD programs usually require between 5-7 years of study. Research degrees provide the possibility to become an expert in a chosen field of study with the possibility to pursue an academic career as professor as well as exciting careers in non-academic environments. Many UBC programs expect applicants to have obtained a master's level qualification before entering a PhD, although direct entry into PhD progams is possible at UBC.

View thesis optional Master's programs

View thesis required Master's programs

View Doctoral programs

Common Questions

Do I require an English language test?

General Requirements

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

The value of strong English skills

English is one of the two official languages of Canada, and the primary language of instruction at UBC. Strong English skills mean new students can settle quickly into their academic environment, and get to know their fellow students and faculty members who will be their colleagues during their time at UBC. Students with good English skills are far more likely to succeed; they experience far less stress and get greater enjoyment and fulfillment from their studies.

Applicants are advised to focus on learning how to speak, listen, read, and write in English, independent of studying for the TOEFL (or other tests), as this will best prepare them for communicating in all types of situations. Students with strong English skills are more likely to do well on the TOEFL.

Acceptable Tests

English Language Tests

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The minimum TOEFL score required for all applicants to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is

  • 90 for the internet-based exam (with minimum component scores of 22 [reading, listening] and 21 [writing, speaking]) or
  • 55 each for reading, listening, and writing in the paper-based test, with 4.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE).

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"

Important: TOEFL MyBest composite scores are not accepted for applications to UBC-Vancouver. Minimum scores must be achieved in a single sitting of the test (i.e. scores from multiple test-taking instances may not be used to satisfy minimum component requirements.)

Score submission

TOEFL and IELTS test takers can request electronic submission of scores to universities. We accept electronic delivery directly from the test centre to UBC only. For all other tests, an official paper test score report ordered from the testing agency is required. Photocopies of test scores are not acceptable.

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 score to be sent to us electronically 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. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, you have to use the following details on the application:

  • Name and address of college / institution / university: The University of British Columbia - Graduate School Admissions
  • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)

A minimum overall score of 70 is required with 60 on the speaking sub-test.

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.

 

PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic)

A minimum overall score of 65 on the academic (NOT general) test is required with minimums of 60 reading, 60 writing, 60 listening, and 60 speaking.

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.

 

Alternative Tests

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

A minimum overall MELAB final score of 85 (with 3 in the speaking test) is required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Alternative English Language Proficiency Test

CAE (Certificate in Advanced English): B

CEL (UBC Certificate in English Language): 600

CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English): C

CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)

  • CELPIT-A (Academic Reading and Writing): 4L
  • CELL (Listening): 4L
  • CELTOP (Speaking): 4L

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

Submission of Test Results

TOEFL and IELTS test takers can request electronic submission of scores to universities. We accept electronic delivery directly from the test centre to UBC only. For all other tests an official paper test score report ordered from the testing agency is required. Photocopies of test scores are not acceptable.

Conditional Admission Program

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may extend a conditional offer of admission to a highly-qualified graduate applicant who does not quite meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement set by the graduate program to which the student has applied.

For more information, see Conditional Admission Program.

Other Resources

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

Language Requirements

GRE and GMAT

What are the academic minimum requirements by country?

Applicants should have academic backgrounds within the general requirements listed by country below.

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.

Important note to students with three-year bachelor's degrees from European institutions (except UK): Most three-year, Bologna-compliant degrees from research-intensive universities are acceptable as a basis for admission to master's programs at UBC. Contact the UBC program of interest and see individual country listings below for further information.

Other Resources

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

How do I submit transcripts and degree parchments?

Each entry under the Academic History section of the application must include pdf copies of official, up-to-date, transcripts for all current and previous post-secondary study (see exception for UBC documentation, below). 

  • Note: Grade sheets/records are not transcripts and will not be accepted in lieu of copies of official transcripts.

    Uploading scanned copies of official required documents in the application system

    Applicants must obtain an official transcript for every post-secondary institution they have attended (other than UBC).

    • Each transcript must be scanned as an individual .pdf file and uploaded to the application system as indicated.
    • Scan both sides of the transcript and/or degree certificate where there is information, notations, or stamps from the issuing institution.
    • Refer to any directions provided by the selected graduate program on naming scanned document files. Otherwise, files should be named: "Applicant Full Name-Document Description.extension"

    Examples:
    Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript.pdf
    Peng Zhang-Peking University Transcript English Translation.pdf
    Peng Zhang-CV.pdf
    Peng Zhang-Journal of Neurosciences Paper.pdf

    • Each transcript must be uploaded as a single file (rather than a separate file for each page).
    • If you have documents that are issued in a language other than English, then in addition to uploading digital copies of the documents in their original language, you must also upload a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service or certified English translator.
    • The online application system provides additional, detailed directions on scanning and uploading of academic documentation.

    After being offered admission

    Conditional admission offers are made based on documents uploaded to the application system. Once an offer of admission is received: 

    • A list of required transcripts, and possibly degree certificates, will be posted in the applicant's online portal.

    • G+PS (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) must receive one official set of all required transcripts and/or degree certificates for every (non-UBC) postsecondary institution attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. 

      • Note: UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration.

    • UBC transcript exception: Refer to the section for current and former UBC students.

    • Do not send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission unless special instructions were received from the selected graduate program.

    • Applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until the initial transcript requirements are met. (Covid19: Please refer to the G+PS FAQs)

    Official Academic Documents

    To be considered official, academic records must either be received in official university envelopes, sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution, or be received via secure electronic delivery from the issuing institution.

    If your university issues only one original set of academic documents (transcripts/degree certificates):

    Make photocopies of your original academic documents and send them to your home university. Ask your home university to:

    • Verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records.
    • Attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp.
    • Put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the Registrar.
    • Mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

    If your academic documents are issued in a language other than English:

    • Order a set of academic documents in the original language along with certified literal English translations from your home university's translation service.

    If your home university does not provide English translation:

    • Photocopy a set of your documents. 
    • Take the copy to a certified English translator and order a complete, word-by-word, literal English translation.
    • Direct the translator to put both the original language photocopy and the English translation into a sealed envelope, and endorse the envelope by signing across the seal.
    • Send the sealed, endorsed envelopes from the translator to UBC Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.
    • Important: remember that UBC will still require a set of official academic documents received directly from your home institution.

    Note: Academic records must be translated in their entirety, including any information that appears on the reverse side of any document.

    UBC does not accept the following:

    • Photocopies that have not been stamped, attested and endorsed by the Registrar at your home university
    • Documents in envelopes that have been opened
    • Documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the issuing institution or certified translator
    • Documents that arrive without the official seal of the university
    • Photocopies notarized by a notary public
    • Photocopies endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
    • Unofficial translations
    • Non-literal translations

    Do not order academic records that are not in sealed and endorsed envelopes, or not sent by secure electronic delivery. It will only delay the processing of your application.

    Documents being provided by post/courier to meet conditions of admission must be sent directly to:

    Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
    The University of British Columbia
    170 - 6371 Crescent Rd
    Vancouver, BC CANADA  V6T 1Z2

    See below for information on meeting the condition of admission with secure electronic documents. 

    Current and former UBC students

    • The application to graduate school must be made under the current/former CWL (Campus-wide Login) . Applying with the correct CWL will automatically transfer the UBC record into the application.

    • Official academic documentation for all other post-secondary institutions attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.) will be required for upload into the application.

    Document Ownership

    Documents submitted in support of applications become the property of the University and are not returned to the applicant or student. Refer to the UBC Academic Calendar statement on ownership of application documents. 

    Applicants are strongly discouraged from sending irreplaceable documents and are advised to follow the instructions for verified copies (follow directions under Official Academic Documents above).

    Secure Electronic Delivery

    The issuing institution must send a link to a secure site to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at graduate.sas@ubc.ca. G+PS downloads the transcript from the secure site. Important: an e-transcript is downloaded via a link to a secure site. It is NOT an email attachment of any kind, even if sent from an authority at the issuing institution.

    • Due to Covid19 G+PS is temporarily accepting encrypted transcripts sent by email directly from the issuing institution as official.

    Do I have to take the GRE?

    Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

    The Graduate Record Examination has two components: a General Test measuring verbal, quantitative, and analytical reasoning skills, and a Subject Test measuring achievement in particular  fields of study. The table GRE Requirements by Program lists which graduate program at UBC requires a GRE test.

    The UBC institution code is 0965.

    Graduate Management Test (GMAT)

    Applicants to the MBA and MScB programs in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration are required to submit GMAT results (applicants to the MScB in Transportation may submit the GRE or the GMAT). Applicants to the PhD program in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration must submit either GMAT or GRE results.

    GRE Requirements by Program

    Specializationsort descending Program Name GRE required?
    Accounting Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Accounting (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Architecture Master of Architecture (MARCH) The GRE is optional.
    Architecture Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture (MASA) The GRE is optional.
    Atmospheric Science Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD) The GRE is optional.
    Atmospheric Science Master of Science in Atmospheric Science (MSc) The GRE is optional.
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Business Administration Master of Business Administration (MBA) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Business Administration Master of Management (MM) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Business Administration Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Chemistry Master of Science in Chemistry (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Chemistry Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Civil Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering (PhD) The GRE is optional.
    Counselling Psychology Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MA) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Counselling Psychology Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology (PhD) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Economics Master of Arts in Economics (MA) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Economics Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Finance Master of Science in Business Administration in Finance (MSCB) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Finance Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Finance (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Health Administration Master of Health Administration (MHA) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Linguistics Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics (PhD) The GRE is optional.
    Linguistics Master of Arts in Linguistics (MA) The GRE is optional.
    Management Information Systems Master of Science in Business Administration in Management Information Systems (MSCB) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Management Information Systems Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Management Information Systems (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Management Science Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Management Science (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Marketing Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Marketing (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology Doctor of Philosophy in Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Mechanical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering (PhD) The GRE is optional.
    Mechanical Engineering Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering (MASc) The GRE is optional.
    Microbiology and Immunology Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Microbiology and Immunology Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Neuroscience Master of Science in Neuroscience (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Neuroscience Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Nursing Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Nursing Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Orchestral Instrument Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Instrument (DMA) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Organizational Behavior Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Organizational Behaviour (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Master of Science in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Doctor of Philosophy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Planning Master of Science in Planning (MSCP) The GRE is optional.
    Planning Doctor of Philosophy in Planning (PhD) The GRE is optional.
    Planning Master of Arts in Planning (MAP) The GRE is optional.
    Political Science Master of Arts in Political Science (MA) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Political Science Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Population and Public Health Master of Public Health (MPH) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Population and Public Health Master of Science in Population and Public Health (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Population and Public Health Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Psychology Master of Arts in Psychology (MA) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Psychology Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Rehabilitation Sciences Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences (MSc) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Rehabilitation Sciences Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    School and Applied Child Psychology Master of Arts in School and Applied Child Psychology (MA) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    School and Applied Child Psychology Master of Education in School and Applied Child Psychology (MEd) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    School and Applied Child Psychology Doctor of Philosophy in School and Applied Child Psychology (PhD) The GRE is required by all applicants.
    Sociology Master of Arts in Sociology (MA) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Sociology Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Special Education Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education (PhD) The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.
    Strategy & Business Economics Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Strategy and Business Economics (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Transportation & Logistics Master of Science in Business Administration in Transportation and Logistics (MSCB) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Transportation & Logistics Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Transportation and Logistics (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.
    Urban Land Economics Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration in Urban Land Economics (PhD) The GRE or a comparable test is required. Please check the program website.

    Other Resources

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

    Language Requirements

    GRE and GMAT

    Where is UBC and what is the campus like?

    The University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus is located at the western tip of the Point Grey Peninsula, close to the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. UBC's second campus - Okanagan campus - is located in Kelowna, about 5 hours north-east of Vancouver.

    The University Endowment Lands community (also known as University Hill) is situated adjacent to the campus to the east, while 763 hectares of forested parkland known as Pacific Spirit Regional Park serves as a "green belt" between Vancouver and the campus.

    The main campus is bounded by Chancellor Boulevard to the northwest, Marine Drive to the southwest, Wesbrook Mall to the northeast, and West 16th Avenue to the southeast. This represents the administrative and educational core of UBC.

    The South Campus is bounded by Southwest Marine Drive to the south, West 16th Avenue to the northwest, and Pacific Spirit Park to the northeast. The South Campus houses many research facilities.

    The East Campus is bounded by West 16th Avenue on the south, Wesbrook Mall on the west, Acadia Road on the east, and on the north its border zigzags from Toronto Road to Agronomy Road to Fairview Avenue. A large part of the East Campus is made up of student, faculty and staff housing, along with child care buildings and the local police and fire department. UBC's first market housing development, known as Hampton Place, is also located here.

    Although many buildings on campus are quite new, the University's history actually dates back to 1877.

    Campus locations

    Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for the majority of graduate students at the Vancouver campus, including those who study at many of the affiliated facilities in the city of Vancouver and BC. The majority of graduate programs are offered at the Point Grey campus or the affiliated facilities, one program (Digital Media) is offered at the Great Northern Way Campus (Vancouver) and few programs such as the Master of Health Administration and business programs are offered at UBC Robson Square (Downtown Vancouver). If you are interested in the Okanagan campus (Kelowna, BC), please visit the website of the College of Graduate Studies.

    Campus Videos

     

    Campus Map

     

    Campus Tours

    Due to the diversity of our many research facilities, we do not offer campus tours specifically for graduate students. However, individual departments or research groups may offer open houses or other outreach events that may allow you to visit their facilities. Please check on the websites of individual departments or programs for such opportunities.

    You can enjoy one of our many self-guided campus walking tours, such as from the Sustainability Initiative or the Art Outdoor Tour. Or you may decide to walk in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.

    Or try out one of these five 30 minute walking maps:

     

    Campus Gallery

    Martha Piper Place

    Buchanan Courtyard (Faculty of Arts)

    Main Mall Aerial

    Clock Tower & Ike Barber Learning Centre

    Sport Facilities

    Looking northwest from Wesbrook Place

    Marine Drive Residences

    Main Mall Aerial

    Sauder School of Business

    University Boulevard

    Martha Piper Place looking north-east

    Student Union Building

    Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

    Centre for Brain Health at UBC Hospital

    Reconciliation Pole

     

    You may view more images on Flickr.

    Attractions on Campus

    How much will it cost?

    UBC provides outstanding education as recognized by the various rankings and at the same time is able to offer graduate degrees at very competitive tuition rates. Our stunning location in one of the most livable cities might lead to higher living costs than what you are used to. If you compare UBC with other universities, adding up all costs and income sources, we think you’ll find that UBC’s competitive tuition and several funding initiatives allow you to get extraordinary value for your investment.


    Are you a domestic or international student?
    Domestic student (incl. Permanent Resident/Landed Immigrant, Refugee, Diplomat)
    International student

    Please select the program you plan to attend:

    Are you single or will you be accompanied by a partner?
    I will live in Vancouver on my own
    I will bring a partner

    Do you have children?
    Yes
    No

    What type of accommodation are you hoping to rent?

    Do you plan to live on- or off-campus?
    On-campus
    Off-campus

    Do you plan to own a car?
    Yes
    No