In order to assess your preparedness for university, UBC will evaluate you on a broad range of criteria including your academic achievements and personal experiences. That’s where the Personal Profile section of UBC’s online application comes in.
Knowing more about you through your Personal Profile helps UBC determine whether you will flourish here – not just because of your grades, but also because of the experiences and ambition you bring with you.
The Personal Profile is required of all high school students applying to all UBC degrees on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. The Personal Profile is also required of all transfer applicants into the Bachelor of Commerce and Kinesiology degrees on the Vancouver campus, and the Nursing degree on the Okanagan campus.
Check out the Personal Profile video for tips and advice.
Tell us about yourself
The Personal Profile gives you the opportunity to tell UBC about the things that are important to you, your significant achievements, what you’ve learned from your experiences, and the challenges that you’ve overcome.
This information – along with your academic achievements – will be used to determine your admissibility to UBC and your eligibility for entrance scholarships and awards.
There is no separate application for entrance scholarships and awards so the Personal Profile is the only opportunity for you to tell UBC about yourself.
Preparing for the Personal Profile
- Because each of the questions in the Personal Profile requires short essay answers (anywhere from 50 to 200 words), you’ll want to brainstorm some ideas before you start your online application.
- Don’t just provide a list of accomplishments without taking the time to reflect on what you have learned from them, and what you want to continue learning at UBC.
- When writing your responses, be specific. Use details to substantiate and elaborate on your answers.
- Focus on what you want to say and be true to who you are. Don’t provide the answers you think UBC wants to hear. We are interested in your unique voice.
Questions to ask yourself before you begin writing
The following questions can help you reflect on your experiences and accomplishments, and may help you shape your Personal Profile answers.
- What are the qualities you think make for a successful university student? How have you demonstrated such qualities in the past?
- Think about your first-choice UBC degree. What kinds of activities, accomplishments, and insights – learned in or outside of the classroom – do you think would be relevant to this degree?
- Think about your accomplishments and activities. What have you learned from these experiences? When have you taken on a leadership role? What do you excel in at school or outside of school? What do you enjoy learning in school? Or what do you enjoy doing outside of school that has influenced what you want to learn?
- Think about the role others have played in your accomplishments and experiences.
- Think about how your favourite teacher would describe you. Why would your teacher describe you this way? Be specific. Try to incorporate this information into your responses.
- Think about two or three adjectives that best describe you. For each, provide some evidence of why they describe. Be specific. Try to incorporate this information into your responses.
- Think about the challenges that you have had to overcome in your life. What have those experiences taught you about yourself and about your community?
How UBC evaluates your Personal Profile
UBC looks at each prospective student as a whole person: a combination of talents, interests, and passions. Whatever your background, experiences, and skills, the Personal Profile is your chance to help us learn more about you.
UBC’s trained readers will read and evaluate your Personal Profile and compare it with the profiles written by other UBC applicants. Your Personal Profile assessment will be used together with your academic profile assessment to determine your UBC admission decision.
We are not looking for a particular experience, and there are no right or wrong answers. We encourage you to focus less on telling us what you think we to want hear and instead concentrate on what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Your profile will be assessed against four criteria:
- Engagement and Accomplishment
How do you pursue your interests and manage your responsibilities? What do you do with your time when you are not in class? What would you (or others in your community) consider your most significant contributions and accomplishments? Whether it’s winning an international award or taking care of a younger sibling, any experience can teach you something about yourself and/or the world around you. We want to know what you have been doing and what have you have learned from your experiences. Make sure to give specific examples.
Have you undertaken responsibilities and activities that have benefitted those around you and/or contributed to your community in a meaningful way? If so, what have you learned about yourself and others in the process? Leadership can come in many forms. Any act of responsibility and/or initiative that serves others is a form of leadership. Leadership can be demonstrated in a formal role, within a group (i.e. being president of a club or captain of a team), or in an informal role, as an individual (i.e. taking it upon yourself to help in your community). And remember – it’s not just about being in a leadership role, it’s about what leadership has taught you.
Have you spent sufficient time reflecting upon what you want to say? Have you answered the questions in a detailed and meaningful way? Is the content of your Personal Profile superficial or clichéd, or are you presenting interesting, well thought-out, and relevant ideas? Remember that the trained UBC readers will be reviewing and comparing thousands of Personal Profiles. The best way to stand out is by making sure you have something meaningful and insightful to say.
Communication is important. How do you communicate your ideas? Regardless of what you choose to write about, ask yourself the following: Have I written a Personal Profile that is genuine and unique to who I am? Does my profile authentically reflect my own words? Will my voice stand out in a meaningful way, or will my profile read like many others?
Please note that the following degrees consider additional criteria, materials, and/or supplemental applications:
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Media Studies
- Bachelor of Fine Arts
- Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design
- Bachelor of Nursing
- Bachelor of Dental Hygiene
- Master of Management Dual Degree
- Dual-Degree with Science Po