Important Contacts / Terminology for International Students

Important contacts

As an international applicant for graduate studies at UBC you will be dealing with the following main contacts:

Individual graduate programs: your first point of contact. At the program level you can contact the:

  • Graduate program staff/administrator: provides advice with regard to administrative procedures such as graduate student admissions, eligibility, deadlines, foreign credentials, financial support, etc.
  • Graduate advisor: provides academic advising regarding the graduate program. Please contact the graduate secretary first who will schedule appointments with the graduate advisor.
  • (Potential) Supervisor: discusses research interests, possible research topics and potential resources for financial aid with prospective students.

Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: we set minimum admission standards for graduate study, assess your application in collaboration with the individual graduate programs and formally issue admission offers should you be selected. We also manage the online application system and  many scholarship programs.

International Student Development (at International House): a community centre open to all members of UBC. International advisors provide help with issues such as immigration documents, employment, health insurance, or adapting to life at UBC.

In other countries or at other universities you might find international offices. At UBC we do not have an international office that deals specifically and only with international applicants. Instead, all graduate student enquiries and applications are processed at the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Important terminology

Graduate studies: in Canada, this describes the education after finishing a Bachelor degree. In other countries such as Australia or New Zealand graduate studies would be referred to as postgraduate studies.

Research-based programs: Programs that require a research thesis or dissertation--PhD, Master of Science (MSc), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Applied Science (MASc) and some others.

Professional master's programs: Professional degrees are normally associated with pathways to professions, such as Master of Architecture or Master of Physical Therapy.  This category is to be interpreted broadly and does not confirm any official designation. 

Calendar: contains important information on University faculties, programs, regulations, and courses. The calendar goes by a different name in other countries, e.g. handbook in Australia and New Zealand or catalog in the USA.

Faculty of: this is an administrative term for a particular academic unit. In other locales, it may be called "School of" or "College of".