Choosing what to study

A common question we’re asked here at UBC is about the difference between a degree and a program. What’s a program? What’s a degree? And why is it important to know the difference when you’re deciding what to study in university?

Degree versus program. What’s the difference?

At UBC, your degree refers to the level and type of study you will complete during university (e.g., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). It’s the designation you’ll earn at graduation. A program refers to the subject you choose to specialize in (e.g., your major in Anthropology or Biology). It’s your area of focus within your degree.

For example, if you study in the History program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. If you study in the Civil Engineering program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

Applying to a UBC degree

When you apply to UBC, you’ll select a degree and a campus. Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check out UBC’s programs to get a sense of which subjects interest you most. Once you have a list of programs, you can use it to help you select the degrees you’d like to apply for.

Selecting your UBC program

For most degrees, you don’t have to commit to a program until your second or third year of study. But if you compiled a list of programs you were interested in when you applied to UBC, you will be well equipped to select the program you’d like to major in when it’s time to choose.

Learn more about applying to UBC and about choosing a degree and program.

Tips for creating your BCom application video interview

If you’re applying to UBC Sauder School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program, your Personal Profile will include a video interview section. You’ll be asked to provide on-camera responses to two pre-recorded questions. We’ve created these tips to help you prepare for, and create, a strong video. Read on for more information!

Why is the video interview important?

In the BCom program, collaboration, in-class discussion, and public speaking are daily activities. Your ability to listen to others and to communicate clearly by verbally articulating your thoughts and ideas is essential to your success, and in many cases, the success of your team during group work.

If you’re intimidated at the thought of speaking on-camera, don’t worry. The questions will relate to your personal experiences and opinions, so there are no wrong answers. In fact, the video interview is a great opportunity for you to showcase how you can think critically, perform under pressure, and stand out from other applicants.

How to create your video interview

Within your Personal Profile, you’ll be directed to a separate online video-interview platform. Be sure to read all instructions thoroughly. Allow yourself ample time to test your recording equipment and try a practice question before recording responses to two pre-recorded interview questions.

You’ll only have one attempt to respond to each question. Once you’ve started to view a question, you won’t be able to pause or replay it. You’ll be given 30 seconds to think about your answer, and up to 90 seconds to record it.

Tips for creating your video interview

  • Take time to reflect. Think about past challenges, achievements, strengths, and beliefs.
  • Create the best recording space possible. Close all other browser windows and programs on your device. Make sure there’s good lighting in front of you. Silence all audible alarms and alerts. Eliminate loud background noises, and stay free from other distractions.
  • Be confident. Maintain good posture, smile, and present yourself professionally. You’ll find these simple actions will put you in the right mindset to more easily and naturally deliver your responses. Do not read from prepared statements or notes.
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes. Natural speech isn’t always perfect – the occasional “umm” or mispronounced word is commonplace and to be expected. If you misspeak during your response, take a moment, breathe, and keep going. Remember, you’ll have just one attempt to answer each question – there are no do-overs.
  • Be authentic. One of the reasons we’ve incorporated the video interview into your application is to get to know you better. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear; tell us what you want us to know about you.

We look forward to learning more about you. Good luck!

First round offers of admission to UBC

First round offers of admission to UBC

A limited number of highly competitive high school students who follow a Canadian curriculum will receive first round offers of admission from UBC. These students can expect to hear from UBC as early as late January. Here is what you need to know about the process:

Which sessions do first round offers of admission apply to?

UBC will offer first round offers of admission for the 2019 Winter Session.

What must students do to be considered for first round offers of admission?

To be considered for first round offers of admission, students must:

  • Apply by December 1, 2018.
  • Submit any completed final grades (also by December 1, 2018):
    • BC/Yukon students need to request an electronic transcript be sent to UBC via the BC Ministry of Education’s Student Transcript Service.
    • Students from all other provinces need to complete the academic profile section of the UBC online application.
  • Have very competitive grades and Personal Profile scores.
  • Meet all the admission requirements.

Students will not be refused based on Grade 11-level grades presented in their application. Students who are not offered a first round offer of admission will automatically be evaluated again in March through the regular admissions process.

Students who are not offered a first round offer of admission in late January/mid-February will not be disadvantaged in any way in terms of their chances of getting in to UBC.

When will first round offers of admission decisions be made?

First round offers of admission to UBC will commence in late January and continue until mid-February. Applicants who are not offered a first round offer of admission will be re-evaluated once February-March grades are available.

What are students’ next steps after receiving a first round offer of admission?

For those students who receive a first round offer of admission, the next steps are:

  • All students must maintain their academic standing in order to keep their offer of admission.
  • Spring 2019: UBC will verify interim grades.
  • July 2019: UBC will verify all final grades.

Ready to be a UBC student? Apply now.

Personal Profile Tips

Personal Profile Tips

Every aspiring high school student applying to UBC (and some transfer applicants, too) must submit a Personal Profile as part of their online application. It’s a chance for you to tell the University about your life and accomplishments: What have they taught you about yourself and the world around you?

We’ve compiled helpful information for writing your Personal Profile, and we want all UBC applicants to have the benefit that comes with reading these tips.

Visit our Personal Profile page to learn more about what to consider before you write your profile, and how UBC will evaluate it.

If you submitted a 2019 Winter Session UBC online application for undergraduate admission prior to October 4, 2018, and you wish to resubmit your Personal Profile after reviewing our tips, please contact the UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office at

What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

Each year, UBC receives approximately 40,000 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.

So when you ask, “What are the requirements for admission to UBC?” – UBC advisors are bound to reply with a few questions of their own.

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 our Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, so one approach is to apply for the same degree on both campuses as your first and second choices.

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.

Top five UBC online application tips

Top five UBC online application tips

Ready to apply to UBC? Before you get started, check out our short video for a step-by-step walk-through of our top five online application tips. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  1. Start early.
  2. Double your chances.
  3. Let the application guide you.
  4. Take your time.
  5. Check your work.

Looking for more tips?

For even more helpful ideas, read through our detailed online application tips and watch our short video on writing a strong Personal Profile.

UBC’s online application is open

UBC’s online application is open

As summer fades to fall and the new school year begins, it’s time to shift your attention back to academics. If your sights are set on a future at UBC, now’s the time to start thinking about applying.

Deadline to apply

UBC’s online application for the 2019/20 academic year is open, and the deadline to apply is January 15, 2019. Admission to UBC is not granted on a first-come, first-served basis – but if you’d like to be considered for a Presidential Scholars Award or an International Major Entrance Scholarship, you must apply by December 1, 2018.

Before you begin

Review the key steps on how to apply to get a sense of the process. When you’re ready to get started, clear your web browser cache and make sure pop-ups are enabled.

When you click Apply to UBC, you’ll be prompted to log in to the UBC Future Student Portal. Depending on your situation, you’ll follow one of three paths:

  • If you’ve never logged in to the UBC Future Student Portal, follow the steps to create an account.
  • If you have a UBC Future Student Portal account and a Campus-Wide Login (CWL) – that will be the case if you’ve already started your online application, or if you attended a UBC event or campus tour before June 2018 – use your CWL to log in.
  • If you have a UBC Future Student Portal account, but you don’t have a Campus-Wide Login (CWL), use your Portal credentials (the email and password you used when you created your account) to log in and then follow the steps to create a CWL.

Where will you go?

Do you follow us?

Do you follow us?

At UBC, we’re pretty social. In fact, we have dedicated accounts on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for anyone who’s an aspiring 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 a peek at student life.

Get answers to your questions

Have a question about UBC? Head over to Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Our team of advisors is online Monday to Friday, from 9:00 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 Stories and Snapchat, 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 orientation

Get a peek at student life

If you’re curious what life is like on UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campus, you’ll find what you’re looking for on Instagram and Snapchat. On Instagram, we share our own photos from around campus and re-post our favourite shots of yours from the #iamubc hashtag.


On Snapchat, 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

@youbcsnaps on Snapchat

@youbcpic on Instagram

@youbc on Facebook

@youbc on Twitter