Academic Essentials

Registration for Academic Essentials is now closed

Academic Essentials courses run from July 2 to August 9, 2024.

Get ready for university learning

Before you begin your first term at UBC Vancouver, prepare for your classes and the university learning experience by taking part in Academic Essentials. These free online courses will help you develop the skills you’ll need to succeed at UBC, and give you a solid academic foundation to build on in September, all at your own pace.

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

These online courses are not for credit (meaning they will not count towards your degree nor affect your GPA) and are offered free of cost. Each course is self-directed and will give you access to extensive online material and learning resources. You can learn at your own pace, and will have opportunities to directly engage with course facilitators, who are all current UBC undergraduate students.

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 our course facilitators to help you nail down concepts, theory, tools, and skills so you can hit the ground running in September.

Academic Essentials courses

Academic Essentials courses are self-paced and self-directed, with new content released every week. For each course, you’ll enjoy approximately two-to-three hours of engagement with the material each week, and take part in assignments to help you get the most out of the content.

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 and get feedback from your course facilitators, and take part in discussion boards as well as short writing exercises.

Readiness for University Mathematics

Brush up on your math skills and develop the habits you’ll need to be successful in your math classes at UBC. You’ll learn how to prioritize why something works over just learning procedures, how to approach new problems, and when and how 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, which are useful for students in all disciplines.

Live Well to Learn Well

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

How to register

Registration is now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact

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 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, course 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, course facilitator (Readiness for University Mathematics)