Scholarships and awards for international students

The diversity that international students contribute to our community enriches it immeasurably. UBC recognizes the academic achievement of outstanding students from around the world by devoting more than $10 million CAD annually to awards, scholarships, and other forms of financial support for international undergraduate students. 

Merit-based awards

International Major Entrance Scholarship

Each year, International Major Entrance Scholarships (IMES) are awarded to exceptional international students entering undergraduate programs at UBC. Students receive their scholarships when they enter their first year at UBC, and the scholarships are renewable for up to three additional years of study.

The scholarship totals up to $40,000 CAD, payable at up to $10,000 CAD per year for four years. The exact number and level of scholarships varies each year, depending on available funding.

Am I eligible?

To be considered for the IMES, you must

  • be a new student to UBC, entering directly from secondary school
  • be an international student who will be studying at UBC on a Canadian study permit (student visa). (Changes to your citizenship status will affect your IMES eligibility.)
  • demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, intellectual promise, as well as impressive extracurricular and community involvement
  • apply to UBC by January 15

Outstanding International Student Award

The Outstanding International Student (OIS) Award is a one-time merit-based entrance scholarship awarded to qualified students when they are offered admission to UBC. Grades and the Personal Profile are reviewed for consideration for the award. OIS amounts range from $2,500 to $10,000 CAD.

Am I eligible?

To be considered for an OIS Award, you must

  • be new to UBC, entering directly from secondary school or post-secondary (university or college)
  • be an international student studying at UBC on a Canadian study permit (student visa). (Changes to your citizenship status will affect your scholarship eligibility.)
  • demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and strong extra-curricular involvement
  • apply to UBC by January 15

I’ve applied to UBC. But what about the OIS and IMES?

You probably have some questions about how the OIS and IMES are awarded, when you’ll hear from UBC about them, and when you’ll get the money. Here are some answers:

Do I need to apply for admission by a certain date to be considered for OIS and IMES?

You must submit your UBC application for admission by January 15 in order to be considered for the OIS and IMES.

How will I be considered for OIS or IMES?

All international students are automatically considered for the OIS and/or IMES as soon as they have received an offer of admission to UBC. After you have received an offer of admission, your UBC application will be reviewed a second time – for OIS and IMES consideration. If you are selected for an award, you will be notified no more than three weeks after being offered admission to UBC.

When are OIS and IMES decisions made?

Decisions are made on a rolling basis, beginning in February. You will be notified of your OIS or IMES status sometime between February and mid-April, depending on when you receive your offer of admission to UBC.

How will I be notified about the scholarship/award?

Students who are selected to receive the OIS and/or IMES will be notified by email between February and April.

I was awarded both the OIS and the IMES. Will I only get one, or can I receive both?

Depending on merit, you may receive the OIS only, the IMES only, or both the OIS and the IMES. If you are eligible for both, you will receive the OIS in first year, and you will receive the IMES over the course of your four-year degree.

Three weeks have passed since my status on the SSC was updated to “admitted,” and I still have not heard about OIS or IMES. What does that mean?

If it has been three weeks or longer since your SSC status was updated to “admitted,” then it has been determined that you are not eligible for OIS or IMES.

When will I receive my OIS and/or IMES funds?

You must complete course registration starting in June. The funds are then applied directly toward your tuition and fees in two scheduled installments – one in September and one in January.

Can I apply for scholarships and awards while I am a UBC student?
Yes, international students in excellent standing at UBC may apply for and receive small financial awards for their second, third, and fourth years of study. However, it is important to know that these awards are very selective, are given only one year at a time, and cover a small fraction of your overall tuition fees. They will not cover the full costs of studying and living at UBC.

Merit- and need-based awards

International Scholars Program

UBC’s International Scholars Program offers significant support for outstanding international undergraduate students through the International Leader of Tomorrow Award and the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award. Learn more about these awards, including how to be nominated.

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC

The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC provides academically talented yet economically disadvantaged young people from Sub-Saharan Africa with access to quality and relevant university education at UBC. Learn more about the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC, including how to be nominated.

Vantage One Excellence Award

This award is offered to students beginning their undergraduate studies at UBC in the Vantage One Program who demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need. Learn more about the Vantage One Excellence Award, including eligibility requirements.

Scholarships and awards for current international students

UBC continues to support international students through a variety of in-program scholarships and awards. Scholarship and award amounts will vary, as will their renewability – the largest amount is currently $5,000 per year. To find out about the scholarships and awards that are available to current international UBC students, visit:

▪   Scholarships and awards for current students – Vancouver campus

▪   Scholarships and awards for current students – Okanagan campus