International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement: what you need to do next

International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement: what you need to do next

One question we hear often this time of year is, “What should I do if I have AP or IB credit, and how will that affect which courses I register for?”

Send us your scores

Well, the answer is quite simple: send us your scores. You’ll need to arrange for your scores to be sent from CollegeBoard or the IBO to UBC in order for us to evaluate your transfer credit. We know that these scores typically aren’t available until early July, so in the meantime, you should plan on enrolling in first-year courses. Once UBC has received your scores and updated your academic history, you can then log into the Student Service Centre and drop your first-year course(s), and then register in the corresponding second-year course(s). That’s it!

Minimum scores needed to receive transfer credit

For information about minimum scores required to receive transfer credit, please refer to our guides for Advanced Placement first-year credit and International Baccalaureate first-year credit. In the meantime, if you have questions about degree planning, you should contact an academic advisor in your program on the Vancouver campus or the Okanagan campus.

Student health matters: medical insurance and well-being

Student health matters: medical insurance and well-being

Medical insurance and health care are important topics for all new students – whether you’re coming to UBC from Canada or from across the globe. You should plan for medical insurance well in advance of arriving at UBC.

How does medical insurance work?

Canada has a public health care system. Everyone living in British Columbia for more than six months is required to join the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Students from BC

If you are a resident of BC and currently covered by MSP, you will be automatically enrolled in an extended health plan, administered by your Vancouver or Okanagan student society. Your health plan fees will be calculated in with your tuition and student fees.

International or out-of-province students

If you’re an international student coming to BC, you’ll need to complete an MSP application form. When your MSP begins, all necessary services will be provided if you encounter insured health problems.

If you are a Canadian student coming from another province, you do not need to switch to MSP, as you will remain covered by your home province’s plan (as long as you remain a student). If you decide to switch to MSP, you will need to enrol and pay premiums.

Three-month waiting period for MSP

There is a three-month waiting period before MSP coverage can start.

  • International students: During this three-month period, you’ll be covered through iMED, the UBC basic medical insurance program. Fees will be calculated in with your tuition and student fees. If you have questions about health coverage, or about health care in Canada, contact an International Student Advisor: Vancouver campus | Okanagan campus.
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents coming from abroad: During this three-month period, you may already have health coverage in BC or another Canadian province. If you don’t, you should make arrangements to join a temporary insurance plan, available through David Cummings Insurance Services or another provider of your choice.

Read more about health care and health insurance while you’re a student at UBC.

What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you’re currently being treated for a health issue, consult your health professional to make sure you’re well enough to take on the challenge of university. If you’re well enough to attend UBC, you’ll need to plan for treatment during your studies. This may not be covered under your health insurance, so find out if your treatment is available at UBC, or in the surrounding community, and what the costs are.

If you’re not under current treatment, take any health issues into consideration ahead of academic decisions and commitments. If a health problem isn’t being treated, the added challenge might pose a risk to your academic success.

What if I have a documented disability?

If you have a documented disability and require disability-related accommodation or academic support, it’s important to contact an advisor to discuss your eligibility:

Access & Diversity (Vancouver campus) | Disability Resource Centre (Okanagan campus)

Maintaining your well-being at UBC

Embarking on a major academic program is demanding and means significant changes for most new students. While you adjust, take care of yourself. UBC has many resources to support you.

  • Physically: Get proper exercise, eat wisely, and if you have any health concerns, seek medical attention without delay. Make the most of the recreation facilities on campus. Vancouver campus UBC Recreation | Okanagan Campus Recreation
  • Socially: Make friends at UBC by getting involved on campus – it’s fun, and everyone’s looking to make new friends! Learn about involvement opportunities on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, and don’t forget to stay in touch with friends and family at home.
  • Emotionally: Watch for feelings of stress or persistent worries. There’s always counselling help when you need it:  Vancouver campus | Okanagan campus
  • Academically: Identify your academic and personal goals, learn to manage your time, and strengthen your study skills. The Learning Commons (Vancouver campus) and the Academic Supports (Okanagan campus) are great places to start.

On-campus health and wellness resources

Support for international students

If you’re an international student, the changes you experience will be particularly significant. To support you through your transition, we strongly encourage you to register for Jump Start before classes start to get to know your community, to get tips on studying and skill development, and to access resources and support services.
Register for Jump Start Vancouver | Register for Jumpstart Okanagan

First-year English, writing, and communications requirements

First-year English, writing, and communications requirements

Excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills are expected from all students pursuing a UBC degree, regardless of first language or citizenship. To ensure that students develop strong academic reading, writing, and speaking skills, all UBC undergraduate students must earn between 3 and 6 credits of first-year English. These requirements are completely separate from UBC’s English Language Admission Standard (ELAS) entry requirement.

Find your first-year English credit and course requirements

To check how many English credits you must complete and which English courses will fulfill your program’s English requirement, please refer to the Undergraduate Degree Requirements for your faculty on the Okanagan campus and Vancouver campus.

Do you need to write the LPI?

In order to stay enrolled in your first-year English course, students must write and pass the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) test. The LPI is an examination that assists the faculties in determining your competency in writing at a university level. This requirement is separate from the ELAS requirement. Exams such TOEFL and IELTS cannot be used to exempt students from taking the LPI exam.

To review eligible exemptions and determine whether you must write the LPI, please refer to the First-Year English Frequently Asked Questions.

If you must write the LPI exam you can register online.

Vancouver campus Bachelor of Arts students

Students in the Bachelor of Arts program at the Vancouver campus do not need to write the LPI. To review the courses that fulfill the Bachelor of Arts writing requirement, please refer to the Students in the Faculty of Arts page.

Accepting an offer of admission to UBC

Accepting an offer of admission to UBC

By now, many of you will have received an offer of admission to UBC. Congratulations on all of your hard work to reach this tremendous accomplishment! Now you must formally accept your offer before the deadline and pay the acceptance deposit to confirm your spot at UBC.

The deadline for you to accept depends on when your offer was made and to which program you’ve been accepted. For example, if you were offered admission to the Bachelor of Commerce degree in April, your accept date was May 1. For the majority of programs where decisions were made in April/May, your accept date is June 1.

Where do I find my accept date?

• On your offer of admission letter (page 2).
• On the UBC Student Service Centre following the Accept or Decline My Offer link.

How do I formally accept my offer?

To accept your offer, visit the Student Service Centre and follow Accept My Offer. It’s also essential to pay the acceptance deposit at the same time: CAD $500 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and CAD $1,000 for international students. This deposit will be credited to your first term’s tuition.

Do not miss your acceptance deadline!

Be sure to accept your offer on or before the stipulated deadline. Because of the extremely high demand for spaces at UBC, if you miss the deadline, your offer is likely to be withdrawn and made to another student.

Choosing your first-year courses

Choosing your first-year courses

As soon as you’ve been admitted to UBC, you can begin exploring the courses you’ll be taking in your first year. Most students are able to take one or two courses outside program requirements, with a wide range to choose from.

Familiarize yourself with all the possibilities and you’ll have a head start in preparing a course timetable. Registration for first-year programs on the Vancouver campus and registration for first-year programs on the Okanagan campus both take place in June.

Exploring courses

A good first step is learning how to read course descriptions. This explains how program requirements are listed, which is necessary in order to understand your requirements and options.

Required courses

It’s important to be aware of your program’s specific course requirements – that is, the courses that must be completed in order to graduate with a chosen degree.

Important additional requirements

In addition to core courses for your specific program of study, first-year undergraduate programs at UBC include an English, Writing, or Communications requirement as an important element of academic instruction. This applies to all students, regardless of first language or citizenship, so make sure to note what your program requirements are.

First-year English

In particular, if you’re required (or choose) to take a first-year English course (i.e., ENGL 100-level) on the Vancouver campus, you will have to pass the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) test before you can begin the course, unless you fall into one of the categories for exemption from LPI. There are important LPI deadlines in July, so if you have to take an ENGL 100-level course, be sure to check the LPI deadline information to see what applies to you. You can also check First-year English frequently asked questions.

Entry requirements for first-year English in Okanagan programs are slightly different, with several pre-requisite options.

Elective courses

In addition to required courses, students in most faculties are able to take elective courses in which to pursue themes of personal interest. Taking courses outside your own faculty is greatly encouraged – so open up the Academic Calendar and let your imagination soar!

What grades do I need to maintain my UBC offer of admission?

What grades do I need to maintain my UBC offer of admission?

First of all, remember that your offer of admission was based on a combination of your academic profile and Personal Profile. So when we receive your final grades, we are looking at them in combination with your Personal Profile.

We review on a case-by-case basis

In May we will review grades for students who were admitted during first-round offers, as well as grades for students who self-reported and were admitted in the March-to-April timeframe. This is when we verify that the grade information submitted to UBC on your academic record is accurate. Should there be any concerns with your grades, we will reach out to you. In July we review final grades, and if you meet the conditions on your offer of admission, we will update your offer to reflect that.

Still, you may want a definitive answer: “Tell me exactly how much my grades can drop before I lose my offer.” But each student’s case is unique and we treat each student individually. It would not be fair to say, “Everyone who drops more than X% loses their offer,” or, “Everyone whose grades drop below Y% loses their offer.” Each student’s case is different. We do not like to withdraw offers of admission, but we have to ensure that offers are made consistently and fairly to all applicants, and that you have a solid foundation for success at UBC.

We review changes in applicants’ level of academic standing on a case-by-case basis. You can see some of the grade changes that may cause us to look at your application more closely when final grades are submitted.

Our best advice: keep working hard to present your best final grades so we can confirm your offer of admission to UBC.

Offers of admission sent via mail or courier

Offers of admission sent via mail or courier

If you’ve been admitted to UBC, we will send you (by mail or by courier, depending on your location) an admission package containing your official offer of admission letter and a UBC Registration and Orientation Guide.

Check your application status on the Student Service Centre – if it’s been longer than four weeks since you were admitted and you haven’t yet received your package, please contact us. We may need you to update your address information with us.

UBC housing application closes on May 1 – Apply now!

UBC housing application closes on May 1 – Apply now!

Living on campus is more than just a practical option for housing – it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the UBC student experience. All first-year undergraduates who enter UBC from high school are guaranteed a place in residence, but you must apply by May 1, 2017 (if you didn’t already do so as part of your UBC online application). The UBC housing application will close on May 1, 2017.

If you’re not planning to live on campus, you can build your own home away from home at the Collegia on UBC’s Vancouver campus and Okanagan campus. These are on-campus spaces where you can relax, store food, and connect with new friends.

Feeling at home on campus

No matter where you live, you will be part of a supportive environment that’s designed to help you adjust to university and enjoy your time as a student, meet new people, and make lifelong friends.

You’ll also have a range of meal options (Vancouver campus | Okanagan campus) to choose from.

Move-in day on the Vancouver campus

Move-in day on the Okanagan campus