What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

Each year, UBC receives approximately 50,000 undergraduate applications like yours from across Canada and around the world. You may be applying directly from high school or transferring from another university or college, studying at a Canadian school, or following any one of a number of international curricula. English may be your first language, or your second or third or fourth.

Each person who applies to UBC is unique, so each of you will have your own way of meeting our requirements. Here are four questions to ask yourself before you begin your application.


Four questions we’ll ask

Do you meet UBC’s English language requirement?

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

Do you meet UBC’s general admission requirements?

Your general admission requirements will vary depending on whether you’re a Canadian high school student, an international high school student, or a post-secondary transfer student from Canada or abroad.

Do you know what you’re interested in studying at UBC?

You don’t need to select a program (or major) just yet (e.g., English or Biology), but you’ll need to identify which degree you’re working toward (e.g., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). Choosing what to study will help you determine which degree-specific requirements you must meet when you apply to UBC and help you understand how your application will be reviewed.

When you complete your application, you can select a first and second choice of degree. You don’t have to indicate a second choice if you don’t have one or if you only meet the requirements for your first-choice degree, but it’s always a good idea to keep your options open. Some degrees are offered on both UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, so one approach is to apply for the same degree on both campuses as your first and second choices.

In the online application, you’ll enter those degree choices in the Program Selection tab. Enter your first-choice degree in the “First Program Choice” field and enter your second-choice degree in the “Second Program Choice” field.

Does your chosen degree require a personal profile or supplemental application?

All high school applicants and some transfer applicants are required to submit a personal profile as part of their application to UBC. Depending on the degree you choose, a supplemental application, portfolio, or audition may be required, too.


Find your admission requirements

No matter where you’re from, what you want to study, or which UBC campus you’re applying to, our Undergraduate Programs and Admissions website can help you find the admission requirements that apply to you.

Still have questions? Contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.



Majors at UBC Okanagan you didn’t know were Arts degrees

Majors at UBC Okanagan you didn’t know were Arts degrees

You probably already know that you can study Anthropology, English, or History as part of an Arts degree. But you probably didn’t know that, at our Okanagan campus, you can take some unique programs that you wouldn’t normally think of when considering an Arts degree. Not only are these programs unique, but they will give you the skills to solve today’s problems and improve the world around you.

Indigenous Studies

In the Indigenous Studies program, you will learn about Indigenous governance, the justice system, land claims, traditional ecological knowledge, the protection of heritage, Indigenous theory, and more.

Studying Indigenous Studies will give you the opportunity to design research projects relevant and respectful to an Indigenous community or agency and implement the project working on-site in that community or agency.

Graduates leave with the skills to pursue a career in government, Indigenous Peoples organizations, Indigenous leadership roles, and resource management.

Find out what you can do with a degree in Indigenous Studies after you graduate


Faculty Spotlight

Meet Jeannette Armstrong, an Associate Professor in the Indigenous Studies program, who is also an award-winning writer, activist, novelist and poet. Her research into Indigenous philosophies and Okanagan Syilx thought and environmental ethics has been recognized locally and globally.


International Relations

In the International Relations program at UBC Okanagan, you will learn how to critically examine global issues. The program is interdisciplinary and draws on political science, history, sociology, anthropology and economics. You will study nations and how they interact and develop the skills to critically assess international politics and events.

Studying International Relations at UBC Okanagan will give you the opportunity to learn from renowned faculty researchers and experts in international relations studying topics such as genocide and structural violence, gender and international political economy, humanitarian intervention, and peace building.

Graduates go on to work in diverse fields such as government, academia, business, journalism, and international development.

Find out what you can do with a degree in International Relations


Faculty Spotlight

Meet Adam Jones, a Professor in the International Relations program and a widely published and acknowledged expert in the field of genocide.

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics program brings together three of the most important fields in forming our understanding of society. This degree uniquely blends these three fields to allow you to form a critical understanding and interpretation of the world.

You’ll explore logic, ethics and how to question critically; the interests and institutions that form public policies and the rules by which we are governed; and how we make decisions as individuals and groups in our increasingly global world market.

With a Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree you can pursue a career in business or government, or undertake studies in law, business, commerce, journalism, social work, education, or public administration.

Find out what you can do with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics after you graduate


Student Spotlight

Meet Kevin Ilomin, an alum of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) program who believes that the broad, interdisciplinary approach to learning is what makes the PPE program at UBC’s Okanagan campus one of the best in Canada.


Computer Science

Discover how to use your artistic creativity with technology in UBC Okanagan’s Computer Science BA program. Different from a BSc Computer Science degree, this program gives you the opportunity to complement your Arts degree with computer science courses.

The program appeals to student who are interested in both computer science and visual arts (game or website design), psychology (programming for cognitive science, psychology, and human and computer interactions), English (technical writing), languages (automation of text translation), philosophy (computer ethics), or law (information security and privacy, and forensics).

You will develop the skills and knowledge to pursue a variety of in-demand careers, including as an application developer, game designer, desktop publisher, animator, or quality control specialist.

Find out what you can do with a BA in Computer Science


Student Spotlight

Meet Eric Huang, an undergraduate student in the Computer Science program who says that it has given him opportunities that would be hard to come by anywhere else.


See a full list of Arts programs at UBC Okanagan

Connect with a UBC advisor near you

Connect with a UBC advisor near you

As you settle into your new school year, our UBC advisors are ready to help you plan for 2023, and the next steps in your journey to UBC.

Our advisors can answer all of your questions about the university, including admission requirements, the application process, and what life is like as a UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver student.


Find an event in your area

UBC offers a variety of in-person and online events. You can take part in in-person campus tours, information sessions, fairs, student experience events, and student meetings – all from the comfort of your own home.

At these events, you’ll get to ask us your questions about UBC, and find out information relevant to where you live and what curriculum you’re studying.

Keep checking back to see if more sessions have been added!


How to register

To find out if UBC is hosting an event specific to you and your area, visit our tours and events page. Based on your profile, we’ll show you a list of all the events available to you – just click the category you’d like to browse.

To register, simply click the event card and follow the instructions to reserve your spot.

After you’ve created your account, you can find all of the events you’re registered for any time on the your account page.


Other ways to connect with UBC

If UBC isn’t running any events specific to your region, there are still plenty of ways to connect:


We’re looking forward to meeting you!



Do you follow us?

Do you follow us?

At UBC, we’re pretty social. In fact, we have dedicated accounts on InstagramFacebookSnapchatTwitter, and TikTok for anyone who’s aspiring to be a UBC student, applying to UBC, or getting ready for their first day on campus. Sound like you? Click that “follow” button for answers to your questions, important reminders, and to have a peek at student life.


Get answers to your questions

Have a question about UBC? Head over to InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Our team of advisors is online Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), answering all of your questions about applications, admissions, awards, and more. If you’re in a different time zone, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you when we log in for the day. 


Get important info and reminders

Looking for application tips? Worried about missing a deadline? We’ve got you covered. On our Instagram, Twitterand Facebook, you’ll find information on how to apply to UBC, reminders about key dates and deadlines, and the inside scoop on events of all kinds – starting with info sessions before you apply, celebratory events, and even orientations.



Get a peek at student life

If you’re curious what life is like at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, you’ll find what you’re looking for on Instagram and TikTok.



On Instagram, we share our own photos from around campus and re-post our favourite shots. On Instagram Stories and TikTok, we often hand the microphone (and camera) over to current students so you can see UBC life through a fresh set of eyes.



Find us on social media

@youbcpic on Instagram

@youbc on Facebook

@youbc on Twitter

@youbc on TikTok

@youbcsnaps on Snapchat



Programs spotlight: Media and fine arts

Programs spotlight: Media and fine arts

Whether you’re a budding storyteller, an aspiring actor, or a concert pianist in the making – or someone who’s at ease in front of an easel, at a keyboard, or behind the scenes – there’s a UBC program for you. You can develop your skills in film, theatre, music, visual art, creative writing, media, and more.


Explore your program options

Media Studies

Media Studies at UBC Okanagan is much more hands-on than you might expect. The degree is a computational arts program, which means that you’ll have the chance to use many different technologies to build your creative projects. In your first two years, you’ll study courses that include creative writing, cultural studies, digital humanities, media studies, and visual arts, and learn how to write computer code. Depending on your preferences and career aspirations, in your final years you can choose to focus on visual arts, or specialize in the degree’s custom-created computer science pathways.


The student scoop

Lark Spartin Media Studies UBC story

Meet Lark Spartin, a Media Studies student who uses technology and computer-based skills to create film and animation, website design, mobile app prototypes, and more.



Music: Advanced Performance

Imagine having a world-class concert hall like The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in your backyard! In the Music: Advanced Performance program at UBC Vancouver, you’ll study music theory, technology, and musicianship while completing four years of private instruction in voice, opera, piano, organ, guitar, harpsichord, or an orchestral instrument of your choice.


Visual Arts

Visual Arts UBC Okanagan will let you study in a variety of traditional media, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, analogue photography, and printmaking. You’ll also have the opportunity to work on digital media projects, including video, digital photography, sound art, animation, and the creation of virtual worlds. The degree is designed to prepare you for a career as an artist, so much of your time will be spent doing hands-on studio work in the beautiful Okanagan, a location with the feel of an arts retreat.


The student scoop

Meet Barb, a Visual Arts alumna who graduated as valedictorian. Barb’s career has taken her back to her Tlingit community to work alongside established artists to help others feel and express their culture through art.


Theatre: Design and Production

Learn more about set, costume, lighting, and sound design, including set and costume construction, stage and production management, and other production technologies. As a graduate of the Theatre: Design and Production program at UBC Vancouver, you’ll be ready to work in professional theatre or film, or pursue advanced training in grad school.



See a full list of media and fine arts programs at UBC




Go Global

Go Global

Being a UBC student doesn’t mean that you need to stay in British Columbia. Through Go Global, UBC offers a variety of ways for you to explore the world while earning credits towards your degree.

Whether you want to live in Scotland for a year, spend a summer semester in Costa Rica or complete a global health practicum in Ghana and Zambia, there are plenty of international study options through Go Global.

The Go Global exchange program gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, experience international issues and ideas in the real world, and connect meaningfully with people in a host country as a student — not just as a tourist. It also allows you to gain confidence, take courses not offered at UBC, and pay UBC fees in an international setting.

The following are the programs that Go Global offers.




With Go Global’s Exchange program, you can travel and study in another country for a term or more while earning credits towards your degree. For example, you can explore pre-med or pre-law at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen or choose to go to Monash University at one of its campuses in Melbourne or Kuala Lumpur.

Find an Exchange experience (Okanagan)

Find an Exchange experience (Vancouver)


Summer Abroad 


In the Summer Abroad program, you can spend the summer studying in another country—like France, India or Costa Rica—have fun, and experience a new culture without interrupting your winter semester course load. You can also add a summer term before you begin your winter Exchange program.

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Okanagan)

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Vancouver)


Research Abroad


As a UBC student, you are eligible to conduct research at many of UBC’s 150 partner universities. You can get hands-on research experience at a university abroad and build non-credit work experience over the summer.

You can visit Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and conduct research in a laboratory on the shores of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Alps. Or you can build research experience at the University of Tokyo while taking part in Japanese cultural activities.

Find a Research Abroad program (Okanagan)

Find a Research Abroad program (Vancouver)


Global Seminars


Global Seminars offer you the chance to take UBC credit courses taught by UBC faculty members with a group of other students in an international location. Global Seminars are unique UBC courses involving engagement with partners in another part of the world. They run in the summer and are each unique in terms of location, course content, length and cost. For example, you can study geographical migration patterns in Spain and Morocco or learn about sustainable food systems in Italy.

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Vancouver)

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Okanagan)


International Conferences and Special Programs


Through partnerships and memberships with international learning organizations, Go Global occasionally offers a range of international programs beyond Exchange, Summer Abroad, Research Abroad, and Global Seminars.

Find an International Conference or Special Program


Find more information and talk to a Go Global Advisor:


Go Global UBC Vancouver



Go Global UBC Okanagan



What have UBC graduates gone on to do?

What have UBC graduates gone on to do?

As one of the globe’s top 40 universities, it’s no surprise that some of UBC’s graduates have gone on to accomplish incredible things. Applying to UBC opens the door for you to try many new academic avenues, clubs, sports, volunteer opportunities, and more. Your path might help you follow the footsteps of some of these outstanding alumni.


Canadian prime ministers

UBC has educated three prime ministers. Our current leader, Justin Trudeau, earned a bachelor of education from UBC in 1998. Kim Campbell and John Turner, who have also held the top office, were both graduates from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.


Nobel Prize winners

Eight Nobel Laureates are associated with UBC – most famously Michael Smith, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993 for his ground-breaking work in reprogramming segments of DNA. Smith was just one of a longstanding community of faculty and alumni who have earned international recognition for their important work. At UBC, you can conduct research as an undergraduate, led by our outstanding academic faculty.


Olympic athletes

The Thunderbirds Varsity program has an enduring legacy of success. Their athletes have won more intercollegiate championships than any other Canadian university, and they boast an impressive roster of champions that includes 241 Olympians. During your time at UBC, you can join or cheer on some of the best athletes in the world.


Rhodes Scholars

The Rhodes Scholarships, established in 1902, were designed to bring outstanding students from across the world to study at the University of Oxford in the interests of promoting international understanding and public service. Eleven Canadians are selected each year to join a class of 84 Scholars from across the world. In that time, 71 UBC students have been selected for the prestigious award. You could be studying alongside them, or claim the honour yourself.


Royal Society of Canada Fellows

The Royal Society of Canada is the highest accolade a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada. A total of 226 UBC professors have been named to the Fellowship across multiple faculties, and a number of them could be teaching you in the fall.



What to do if your study permit hasn’t arrived yet

What to do if your study permit hasn’t arrived yet

This blog post will be updated as new information becomes available. Check back regularly. 

Last updated: August 25, 2022 

We know that waiting for your study permit can be very stressful. We understand that you’re excited to start classes in September. However, it’s important to wait until you have all of your documents ready before coming to Canada. 

Here are some steps you can take if your study permit does not arrive on time.


Study permit processing times right now

For a number of reasons (post-COVID challenges, recent world events), the Canadian government is taking longer than usual to process study permits. 

UBC is aware of the situation and has reached out to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to encourage faster study-permit processing times. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to get your study permit process rushed. And UBC is not able to influence processing times or contact IRCC on your behalf. We know how frustrating this must be for you.


Wait for your “Letter of Introduction”

It’s important to wait until you have all your documents before coming to UBC. Do not travel to Canada before you receive your “Letter of Introduction” (study permit approval letter) from IRCC. The “Letter of Introduction” is what you’ll present to the officer at the airport or border in Canada to get your study permit.


If your study permit isn’t processed before classes start on September 6 

Most courses at UBC are designed for in-person attendance, and you need to attend from the first day of classes if possible. However, UBC is determined to support you if your study permit isn’t processed in time. The options available to you will depend on your specific program. Options might include your professors finding ways to help you keep up with the course materials if you’ll be arriving late, like class recordings and other support. In some programs, deferrals may be an option to consider. Your program’s advising office is the best place to support you in what options may be available to you.

Check with your academic advisor directly to find out what your options are:


Online courses

If you are unable to attend in person due to a delay in the processing of your study permit, you may be able to start some courses online. This option depends on the courses you are enrolled in and the specific policies developed by your faculty. If you are not sure if online courses are an option for you, check with your academic advisor:

Please note: If you start your courses online, this does not guarantee that you will be able to continue your studies if your study permit is then not approved.


Online courses and your PGWP eligibility

The temporary distance learning measures for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) have been extended to August 31, 2023. This means that 50% of your studies can be completed online outside Canada and you’ll still remain eligible for PGWP.

Deferring your start date

If you aren’t able to make it here for your September 2022 classes because of study permit processing delays, you may request to defer your start and begin your studies at the start of a future term.  

You’ll need to complete the request form and submit it to UBC as soon as possible, and when you’re able to defer until will depend on your faculty. 

If your deferral request is approved, any payments already made to UBC can also be deferred toward your future tuition fees.


Arriving late for student housing

If you had secured UBC student housing for September 2022 and you need to defer your start date, email UBC Student Housing at information@housing.ubc.ca (Vancouver campus) or information@housing.okanagan.ubc.ca (Okanagan campus) to let them know.  

Your housing deposit may be transferred to a later start date or refunded in full if you choose to cancel your spot in student housing. 

  • By September 2 – full refund, with no cancellation fee 
  • Between September 3-19 – pro-rated refund based on date you cancel, no cancellation fee 
  • After September 20 – you will pay a cancellation fee of 25% of the contract 

More information about student housing cancellations and refunds can be found at: 


Arriving late for Jump Start 

You can arrive any time during the week of Jump Start (Okanagan campus, Vancouver campus). Group leaders are prepared to support you if you arrive partway through the orientation program. 

If you are not able to participate in Jump Start at all due to study permit processing delays, Jump Start can issue a refund or credit for both the orientation fees and the housing fees for that week. To request a refund: 

If you have questions about arriving late for Jump Start, you can email: 


Course drop/withdrawal dates

If you decide you have to drop or withdraw from your courses, you’ll want to keep these deadlines in mind:

To find out how you can get a refund of your tuition fees, visit: 


More information 

Find out more about what you can do if your study permit isn’t processed in time: