Programs spotlight: History, law, and politics

Programs spotlight: History, law, and politics

Deepen your understanding of the past, and continue to build on your knowledge of critical current events by studying in one of UBC’s history, law, and politics programs. The topics within these fields are wide-ranging – indigenous studies, religion, international relations, anthropology – and can lead to a number of diverse career paths, including social work, journalism, government work, education, and more.

Explore your program options

International Relations

In the International Relations program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you’ll develop a solid background in related areas of political science, history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and modern languages. The program stresses critical thinking , and will equip you with the skills necessary to assess the contours and dynamics of international politics and events – from conflicts in Afghanistan and the Congo, to the rise of women as political actors.


The student scoop

Michael Flood, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Meet Michael, a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics students who was looking for a university experience that would challenge him socially and academically.

Political Science

In the Political Science program at UBC’s Vancouver campus, you’ll study the nature, causes, and consequences of collective decisions and actions taken by groups of people embedded in cultures and institutions that structure power and authority. Topics include the nature of power, the causes of conflict, the tensions of Canadian federalism, security in the post-Cold War international system, globalization, critiques of liberal democracy, feminist analysis, democratization, the rise of Asia, and much more.


The student scoop

Dela Hini, Political Science

Meet Dela, a Sociology and Political Science student who found her calling by getting involved with student leadership.

Indigenous Studies

In the Indigenous Studies program at the Okanagan campus, you can build the foundational skills needed to pursue a career in government, in Aboriginal Peoples organizations, in indigenous leadership roles, or resource management. Your studies will include indigenous perspectives and governance, the justice system, land claims, traditional ecological knowledge, and the protection of heritage in the Okanagan, Canada, US, and world communities.


The student scoop

Duncan McCue, UBC Law

Meet Duncan, a UBC Law alum who became an award-winning reporter for the CBC.


The Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC’s Vancouver campus is one of Canada’s leading law schools, with a global influence. Innovative researchers, inspiring teachers, and outstanding graduates have established a national reputation and international reach. You’ll receive a first-rate legal education that balances traditional areas of practice with emerging fields of specialization.


See a full list of history, law, and politics programs at UBC

Post-secondary transfer applications

Post-secondary transfer applications

Did you know that you can apply to study at UBC even if you’ve already begun your studies at another post-secondary institution? Every year, the University receives and reviews more than 9,000 post-secondary transfer applications from students in Canada and elsewhere around the world.

Application assessments

The majority of transfer applications are reviewed when we receive final college/university transcripts in May.

Offers of admission

Admission decisions are posted in the Student Service Centre. Keep an eye on your Applicant Status for the most up-to-date information. If you received an early offer of admission, you’ll still need to send us your final transcript so we can confirm your offer.

Transfer credit

Once you’ve been given an offer of admission, the transfer credits you have been granted will be posted in the Student Service Centre under Grades & Records. If you are transferring from a BC institution, you can use the online BC Transfer Guide to determine what transfer credit you can receive. If you have a prior degree, transfer credits are not posted.

Please connect with your faculty advising office to determine second-degree requirements. If you have questions about your post-secondary transfer application or transfer credits, please contact us.

International students in Canada: Remember to update your study permit

International students in Canada: Remember to update your study permit

If you’re an international student who is already attending high school in Canada on a study permit, this permit does not allow you to study at the university level. You will need to obtain a post-secondary study permit before starting your first term at UBC.

How do I apply?

If you’re in Canada and your existing permit is still valid, you can apply for an extension/change of conditions. If you’re outside Canada, you must apply for a new study permit.

When do I apply?

You should apply for a post-secondary study permit as soon as you’re admitted to UBC.

What if I still have questions?

If you still have questions about your study permit requirements, read through our International Student Guide.

Jump Start: Your official welcome to life at UBC

Jump Start: Your official welcome to life at UBC

If you’re entering first year on UBC’s Okanagan or Vancouver campus, you’ll want to register for Jump Start. It doesn’t matter if you’re a domestic or an international student, whether you plan to live on or off campus, Jump Start can help you ease into life at UBC.

Okanagan campus

Jump Start is a week-long program designed to introduce you to the university, to let you meet your faculty, and help you make new friends on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

On August 24 and 25, you’ll have a chance to move in and get settled. From August 26 to 30, you’ll take part in workshops and fun activities that not only prepare you for the academic year, but also help you create your community at UBC. By the end, you’ll be well on your way to feeling at home on campus and in Kelowna.

“Attending the Jump Start program was a fantastic decision. Not only did I meet new people, I became more comfortable with the transition of moving away from home.” – Ammar Riyadh, Bachelor of Science, Okanagan campus

Registration for Jump Start on UBC’s Okanagan campus opens in early May and closes on July 31, 2019Learn more and register today

Vancouver campus

Jump Start is a week-long program designed to introduce you to the university, to let you meet your faculty, and help you make new friends on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

I would recommend Jump Start to every incoming student. It’s a way to get involved and get used to UBC before starting classes. You meet not only other new students, but also build relationships with profs, as well as the student leaders. It was informative as well as fun and was a great week to make me feel much more prepared as a first-year student!”  – Bachelor of Arts student, Vancouver campus

As a Jump Start participant, you can start creating your community on campus and developing a clear idea of what it takes to be successful at UBC. Best of all, you’ll have the chance to do it all before classes begin.

  • If you plan to live on campus, your Jump Start experience will run from August 24 to 30.
  • If you plan to live off campus, your Jump Start experience will run from August 26 to 30.

Not sure what your living arrangements will be? No problem! You can register now and decide later.

Registration for Jump Start on UBC’s Vancouver campus closes on July 8, 2019Learn more and register today.


Get ready for Destination UBC 2019

Get ready for Destination UBC 2019

We can’t wait to meet those of you who have registered for Destination UBC on the Okanagan campus and the Destination UBC Aboriginal Student Welcome on the Vancouver campus. Hundreds of newly admitted students from all over Canada will be coming here to celebrate, explore UBC, and start preparing for life after high school.

What should I bring?

Your Destination UBC confirmation package includes a list of important personal items that you’ll want to bring. There will be lots of indoor and outdoor games, plus activities like yoga, running, and walking tours, so be sure to pack the clothing and footwear you’ll need. If you play an instrument, bring it along too. Above all else, come with a positive attitude ­– and we’ll take care of the rest.

What if I’m registered as part of the travel reimbursement program?

Your register for Destination UBC includes an electronic package that outlines the next steps for booking your travel. In the meantime, you can review the How will I be reimbursed? details for your campus (Okanagan or Vancouver) online. If you have any questions or concerns, just email us at

What next?

Follow along on Snapchat, and use the #destinationubc hashtag to share the beginning of your UBC story and find other students on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re on the Okanagan campus, we have a Facebook group too. Who knows – you might make a few friends before you even arrive!

International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

Unless you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you’ll need to obtain a study permit before you start classes at UBC and ensure it remains valid for the duration of your studies. Study permits are issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Depending on your country of origin, you may also need a temporary resident visa and/or a medical examination.

When do I apply?

You should apply for a study permit as soon as you’re admitted to UBC. Applications can take several months to process, particularly if you’re from a country with additional visa requirements. If you’re a U.S. student, see below.

What documentation will I need?

When you apply for a study permit, IRCC may require you to provide the following:

  • Your letter of admission from UBC
  • Proof of funds adequate to support you for your first year of study in Canada
  • Your passport
  • Photo(s) that meet IRCC specifications
  • Your completed application forms

How do I apply?

  • Online: If you meet certain conditions, you may be able to apply for your permit online.
  • By mail: If you are unable to apply online, you must complete a paper application. Your first step should be to visit the website of the Canadian visa application centre for your country. Check which documents are required, determine if you need a temporary resident visa and/or medical examination, and confirm how to mail your application and pay the application fee.

What if I’m a US student?

As a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you can apply for a study permit directly at an international airport in Canada or at most major US/Canada border crossings.

Follow the same steps as outlined on the study permit tutorial. Please note:

  • You can pay the application fee ($150 CAD) directly at the border by cash, debit, or credit card.
  • If your spouse or common-law partner will accompany you, bring along documentation of your relationship, such as a marriage certificate or common-law partnership declaration.
  • If you’re under 17 years old and come to Canada without a parent or legal guardian, you must secure a custodian. 

What if I’m already studying in Canada?

I am coming to UBC from a Canadian high school

You must obtain a new study permit prior to starting classes at UBC because your current study permit does not allow you to study at the post-secondary level. You can do this by following the same process as extending your study permit.

Apply as soon as possible and make sure you have the right study permit before you attend UBC.

  • You can apply to renew your study permit online when you are in Canada.
  • If you will not be in Canada in time to apply to extend your study permit, contact an International Student Advisor for help.

I am transferring to UBC from a Canadian college or university

If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you can use that permit to study at UBC.

As a post-secondary student, you can transfer between programs of study and institutions by simply changing your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) online via your MyCIC account.

What if I still have questions?

More guidance on study permit requirements can be found in UBC’s International Student Guide.

What you need to know about registration deposit deferrals

What you need to know about registration deposit deferrals

Most students are required to pay a non-refundable deposit in the Student Service Centre when they accept their offer of admission to UBC. The acceptance deposit counts as your first registration deposit, and is applied to your tuition fees after you register for classes.

There are some exceptions, though. If you’re receiving a major award or sponsorship funding – from UBC or a third party – and that funding is delayed, your registration deposit may be deferred until the rest of your tuition fees are due. If you’ve self-identified as an Aboriginal person of Canada, your registration deposit will be automatically deferred in an effort to support students who are being funded by third parties, including their band or Nation.

Can I apply to have my registration deposit deferred?

There’s no need to apply. If you’re eligible, your registration deposit will be automatically deferred.

How will I know if my deposit has been deferred?

If UBC has deferred your registration deposit it will be noted in one of two places:

  • at the bottom of your letter of admission; or
  • in an email from the Enrolment Services team, which explains why you’ve been granted a deferral and what to expect when you log in to the Student Service Centre.

Don’t worry if you are still prompted to pay a deposit on your registration screen. If you have confirmation that your registration deposit has been deferred, you can safely ignore this default warning.

Who can help me with financial planning?

If you have financial concerns or you’re facing financial challenges, please contact an advisor on the Okanagan campus or your Enrolment Services Advisor on the Vancouver campus. We can help you plan how to finance your studies at UBC.

Register now for Destination UBC

Register now for Destination UBC

Spring is here, and that means that Destination UBC, at the Okanagan campus, and the Destination UBC Aboriginal Student Welcome, at the Vancouver campus, are right around the corner. This is your chance to experience university life on campus, make new friends from across Canada before you start classes in September, and discover why UBC is the right place for you. If you’re a First Nations, Métis, or Inuit high school student in Canada, join us a day early on the Okanagan campus for the Indigenous Welcome.

(Attending UBC’s Vancouver campus? Our UBC Welcomes You event is for you.)

What to expect


Meet your future classmates.


Learn about your degree and have your questions answered by current students.


Attend a lecture – and maybe even witness something cool.



Explore your campus before classes begin.



Get ready for university in a supportive and inclusive community.



Hang out in residence and get a feel for life as a first-year student.


What past participants have to say


“My first impression of UBC’s Okanagan campus was just the sheer beauty that surrounded it. All the mountains and greenery just brightened me up. The campus felt small enough where I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by its size. The smaller lecture halls and classrooms reassured me that I wouldn’t get lost in the numbers. It was a beautiful campus that just felt like a happy and energetic place.”

– Destinie Baker, Bachelor of Arts, Okanagan campus


“The most valuable aspect of attending the event was being able to stay in the dorms and have the chance to explore almost every aspect of the campus and get the real experience of what ‘student life’ is all about. Destination UBC made me feel confident about my choice of school.”


– Genna Moyer, Bachelor of Arts, Okanagan campus


“By the end of Destination UBC, I had not only gotten to know the campus and city, but also met tons of other potential student, current students, and faculty, and learned about the programs and services available to Aboriginal students on campus.”


– Taya Jardine, Bachelor of Arts, Okanagan campus


“In the plane on my way home, I couldn’t stop thinking of what an amazing weekend I had. I toured multiple times on campus, biked in the surrounding trails, had conferences specially dedicated to my future faculty, had the opportunity to attend a Physics class and a Biology lecture, got shown Kelowna’s downtown and its amazing beach on the lake, met amazing people, and made more friends than I thought I would make in such a short time. I was home when I was at Destination UBC and this feeling has not left me since I started here.”


– Louis Fayolle, Bachelor of Science, Okanagan campus

Register now

Please see your email invitation for registration details. Space is limited and registration closes on April 26 – so register soon to avoid disappointment. Find out if you’re eligible for a travel reimbursement and secure your spot.