Academic Essentials

Prepare for your UBC classes by taking part in our Academic Essentials courses before you begin your first term. These online courses let you learn the skills you’ll need for UBC at your own pace, and give you a solid foundation to build on in September.

Get ready for university learning

Academic Essentials runs from July 5 to August 12, 2021

If you’ve accepted your offer from either UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver, you’re able to register for Academic Essentials.

UBC offers a number of courses as part of the program. You can choose to study Reading and Writing at University, Readiness for University Mathematics, Live Well to Learn Well, or all three.

These online courses are not for credit and are offered free of cost. Each allows you to access a library of online material to learn in your own time, while also offering contact hours with Undergraduate Academic Assistants.

Registration is now open.

Academic Essentials page

What you’ll learn

Academic readiness

Get a head start on learning the skills necessary to excel at UBC. As an incoming student you’re able to register for as many Academic Essentials courses as you choose.

Transition to university

Discover the best techniques to build your community at UBC, and get tips on how to access health and wellness resources. You’ll be able to talk to current UBC students for coaching and support, and will take your courses with students from your campus so you can meet your new classmates in advance.

Refresh concepts and theories

Make sure you have a strong grasp of the fundamentals in math and academic reading and writing before you start your first-year classes. Academic Essentials offers personalized instruction from Undergraduate Academic Assistants to help you nail down concepts, theory, tools, and skills.

Academic Essentials courses

Academic Essentials courses are self-paced and self-directed, with new content released every week. You’ll enjoy approximately three hours a week of instruction, and take part in one assignment per week.

Reading and Writing at University

Develop new strategies for active listening and critical reading in your UBC classes. Over six modules you’ll learn vital skills including how to use the UBC library system and understand academic articles, develop your own writing voice, and discover what kinds of research you’ll do in your first year. You’ll interact with your Undergraduate Academic Assistants, and take part in discussion boards as well as short writing exercises.

Readiness for University Mathematics

Discover the habits you’ll need to be successful in your math classes at UBC. You’ll learn how to prioritize why something works over procedure, how to approach new problems, and when to ask for help. The course includes opportunities to self-assess the prerequisite skills and concepts needed for UBC calculus classes, and to practice fundamentals like algebra, functions, graphs, and geometry.

Live Well to Learn Well

Learn about the resources and strategies available to build a sense of community at UBC and find out how to access academic and wellness resources in an online setting. You’ll get tips on how to transition from high school to university, and develop a personalized action plan to excel in your years of study at UBC.

Register now

To register, click the links below to enrol in the courses of your choice. You can choose from one, two, or all three courses, and you’ll need to register for each individually.

You’ll need your CWL from your UBC application to sign up.

Make sure you click on the courses for the campus you’ve been admitted to (Okanagan or Vancouver).


UBC Okanagan

Live Well to Learn Well

Readiness for University Mathematics

Reading and Writing at University 


UBC Vancouver

Live Well to Learn Well

Readiness for University Mathematics

Reading and Writing at University 

ubc application, apply to ubc

Hear from past participants

Live Well to Learn Well came with a lot of helpful advice to help plan out a proper healthy lifestyle. I am actually impressed with the knowledge I gained from it. I was also provided with lots of useful resources and support for mental health. The discussion posts not only introduced me to how to navigate through Canvas, but gave me insight into the welcoming community at UBC.” – Raiaan Khan, participant

“The best part of my experience was helping new students adjust to the university atmosphere. Stepping in (or logging on) to your first class at university can be challenging, but starting off with confidence and familiarity with UBC’s academic expectations can really help you take advantage of everything the university has to offer.” – Meghan Little, facilitator (Reading and Writing at University)

“You can learn the soft and hard skills that are needed to thrive at UBC, while doing it at your own pace and without any pressure. You can also interact with upper-year students to hear about their stories and experiences at UBC. This is exactly the kind of program I would’ve appreciated participating in before starting my first year at UBC!” – Atoosa Mahmoudian, facilitator (Readiness for University Mathematics)