English language admission standard

English is the primary language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students are required to demonstrate a minimum level of English before they’re admitted.

There are nine ways to meet UBC’s minimum English Language Admission Standard for an undergraduate program. If you do not meet this requirement, you may be interested in one of our academic English development programs.

There are nine ways to meet this requirement

  1. Complete three or more consecutive years of full-time education in English within Canada immediately prior to attending UBC.
  2. Complete four or more consecutive years of full-time education in English in a country other than Canada where English is the principal language. These four years must be immediately prior to attending UBC.
  3. Achieve a grade of 70% or better on the provincial examination portion of BC English 12 or the equivalent.
  4. Achieve a final grade of 4 or better on Advanced Placement (AP) English Language & Composition or AP Literature & Composition; or achieve a final grade of 5 or better on International Baccalaureate English A1 or A2 (higher-level or standard-level).
  5. Achieve the competence standard indicated by one of the tests of English language proficiency that evaluates skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
  6. Successfully complete six credits of post-secondary first-year English studies at a recognized university in an English-speaking country. A transcript showing completion of these courses is due March 15. For students at North American post-secondary institutions registered in English courses in the January to April term, a final transcript showing completion of these courses will be accepted until May 15 if there are spaces left in your program.
  7. Graduate from a recognized degree program at an accredited university at which English is the primary language of instruction in a country where English is the principal language.
  8. Attend four or more years at an eligible international secondary school that uses English as the language of instruction but operates in a country where the primary language is not English. These four years must be immediately prior to attending UBC. You will need to submit a transcript as soon as possible to the Undergraduate Admissions office.
  9. Achieve a UBC Certificate in English Language or CEL by completing Level 600 of the UBC Continuing Studies English for Academic Purposes program on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

If you are fully proficient in English but do not meet any of the nine options listed above, you may request a waiver for the English Language Admission Standard.

Submitting documentation

You will receive an email if you are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. If you submit an application that does not have proof of English language proficiency, you will not be evaluated until we receive such proof or until a waiver is granted.