First-year writing, communication, or English requirements

First-year writing, communication, or English requirements

As a UBC student, you’ll need to have reading, writing, and speaking skills in English, regardless of your first language or citizenship. To ensure you develop those skills, all UBC undergraduate students are required to earn between three and six credits of writing, communication, or English.


Is this the same thing as the English Language Admission Standard?

No, they’re two different things. The English Language Admission Standard (ELAS) is an admissions requirement that you had to meet before being admitted to UBC. Your Faculty’s first-year writing, communication, or English requirements are something you need to meet now that you’re a UBC student.


What are my first-year writing, communication, or English requirements?

To check how many credits you must complete and which courses will fulfill your degree requirements, please refer to the undergraduate degree requirements for your Faculty at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver.


What is the first-year English course entry requirement?

UBC Okanagan

To stay enrolled in your first-year English courses, you must meet the first-year English course prerequisites for UBC Okanagan.

UBC Vancouver

First-year English courses for UBC Vancouver do not have any prerequisites.



Websites and resources for current UBC students

Websites and resources for current UBC students

September will be here before you know it! As you prepare to start your classes and become a UBC student, here are some resources to bookmark to help you stay connected with what’s happening on campus and access all of the support services that UBC has available for students.

Resources for students on the Okanagan campus

Okanagan Student Services website

Find information for new to UBC students, student wellness, campus life, courses, and enrolment.

UBC Okanagan faculties and schools

Find your faculty website and social media accounts.

Connect with UBC Okanagan Life

Follow them on Instagram

Subscribe to their Youtube channel

Read the UBC Okanagan Life blog

Sign up for the UBCO Life newsletter


Resources for students on the Vancouver campus

Vancouver Student Services website

Find information on health and wellness, campus life, courses and registration, academic resources, and a New to UBC guide.

UBC Vancouver faculties and schools

Find your faculty website and social media accounts.

Connect with UBC Vancouver Student Life

Follow them on Twitter

Follow them on Instagram

Read the Your UBC Life blog 


Looking forward to seeing you in September!

IB, AP, and A-Levels: Course registration and first-year credit

IB, AP, and A-Levels: Course registration and first-year credit

UBC offers International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP) credit and A-Level (British-patterned education) credit to new first-year students who are eligible. If you think you’re eligible for first-year credit based on your IB, AP, or A-Level courses and grades, you’ll need to follow these steps.

Step 1: Send us your scores

Arrange for your scores to be sent from the International BaccalaureateCollege Board, or your Advanced Level Examination Board to UBC so we can evaluate your eligibility for first-year credit. For more information about which IB, AP, and A-Level courses are eligible for credit, and the minimum scores required, check out our online guide for first-year credit.

If you are waiting for credits to appear on your record, please be patient. You will likely see your credits start to appear in your Workday account from the final week of July until late August. To view your credits, log into Workday, go into your profile and click “Academics,” followed by “Transfer Credit.” Note that the “Transfer Credit” tab will only appear if you have been awarded transfer credit.


Step 2: Plan to register for your UBC courses

Make sure that you’re ready to register for your classes. Read up on tips for choosing your first-year courses, know your registration date for either UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver, build your saved schedules, and review your first-year credits in Workday.

Please note that it is only when your first year credits are updated, that you can consider making changes to your schedule and course registrations by the course change dates (also known as the add/drop deadlines).

If you have questions or concerns about what courses you need to register for – for example, whether you should be registering in first- or second-year courses – please contact your faculty or academic advisor at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver for assistance and recommendations.


Other questions?

If you have other questions about degree planning and course selection, an academic advisor from your faculty at UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver will be the best resource.

Register now for Academic Essentials

Register now for Academic Essentials

If you’ve accepted your offer to UBC Vancouver, you can start sharpening the skills you’ll need to succeed in your first term by taking part in Academic Essentials. These free online courses will help you develop strategies and techniques to successfully transition to university learning – all at your own pace.

Why Academic Essentials?

The Academic Essentials courses are designed to make sure you have a strong grasp of fundamental concepts, and the academic skills and mindset to succeed in a university setting, all so that you can hit the ground running in September.

All of the courses are offered for free and none of them are for credit (so they won’t appear on your transcript), meaning you can engage with them at your own pace and on your own schedule. As part of the curriculum, you’ll be able to access a library of online materials and resources, and you’ll to study on your own time. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with your course facilitators, who are all current UBC students and who will be happy to share their own tips and academic experiences with you.

All Academic Essentials courses run from July 4 to August 11, 2023.

What you’ll learn

Academic Essentials courses are self-paced and self-directed, with new content released every week. For each course, you’ll enjoy 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. You can register for as many courses as you like. Choose from:

Academic Essentials: Reading and Writing at University

  • Learn strategies for critical reading and active listening for your UBC classes.
  • Begin to develop your own writing voice, and explore different areas and contexts in which you will produce written work .
  • Become familiar with the UBC library system and the structures of academic articles.
  • Interact with course facilitators through discussions and short writing exercises.

Academic Essentials: Readiness for University Mathematics

  • Practice fundamentals like algebra, functions, graphs, and geometry that will be the foundation of your UBC math classes.
  • Self-assess the prerequisite skills and concepts needed for UBC calculus classes.
  • Discover the habits and strategies you’ll need to be successful in your math classes at UBC.
  • Learn how to approach and solve new problems, and when and how to ask for help or support.

Academic Essentials: Live Well to Learn Well

  • Get tips on how to transition from high school to university.
  • Develop study strategies and self-assessment skills that will ensure success in your studies.
  • Develop a personalized action plan to excel in your time at UBC.
  • Find out how to access academic and wellness resources at UBC.

How to register

Click the links below to enrol in the course(s) of your choice. You can choose from one, two, or all three courses, and you’ll need to register for each individually. You’ll need your CWL from your UBC admission package to sign up.

Register for Reading and Writing at University

Register for Readiness for University Mathematics

Register for Live Well to Learn Well

What students are saying

“[Academic Essentials] was a great way to get a taste of university life and explore different aspects of academic work. I was able to see how the same content taught to me can be approached and understood in different ways. The feedback and support from the peers and mentors in the program helped me feel more confident in what I knew, while allowing me to learn and grow.”Rajalakshmi N., Bachelor of Applied Science

Register now for Jump Start at UBC Okanagan

Register now for Jump Start at UBC Okanagan

If you’re entering your first year at UBC Okanagan and coming directly from high school, Jump Start at UBC Okanagan is for you! In this three-day orientation you will take care of the essentials before your first day, let you meet your UBC Okanagan community, and make your first friends.

What to expect

You’ll either take part in Jump Start’s commuter stream or residence stream, depending on whether you’re living on- or off- campus in your first term. Each stream is tailored to help you make friends before the first day of term through fun social activities in small groups. You’ll join us on campus during the day for educational workshops, informative sessions, fun programming and have the chance to explore Kelowna. Optionally, you can attend a variety of evening social programming.

Whichever stream is right for you, you’ll enjoy academic success workshops designed to welcome you to your program, meet students in your faculty, and have upper-year students who are available to help you throughout your time at UBC. You’ll find out what it’s like to learn in a university environment and learn about the campus’ resources and services available to you. By getting the fundamentals out of the way, you’ll have more time to focus on what matters on your first day. 

Jump Start dates

Jump Start at UBC Okanagan runs from August 28 to August 30. Residence students may move in on August 27.

Register now

Registration is now open! Visit the Jump Start Okanagan webpage to complete the registration form, pay your fees, and save your spot. Registration will close on August 1 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time.  

What students are saying

“I loved my experience being in Jump Start. Being surrounded with possible classmates and creating inseparable bonds and long-lasting fun memories was my largest take-away. Being a part of Jump Start allowed me to adjust and figure out the campus very quickly. I would highly recommend joining Jump Start for all incoming students.”Marvin L., Bachelor of Management


“Jump Start was incredibly helpful in helping me to make friends before school began. Through the program, I was able to meet a lot of new people who were also incoming first-year students. We participated in a variety of activities and events together, which helped us to bond and get to know each other better. By the time classes started, I already had a solid group of friends who I could turn to for support and advice.”Soumil C., BSc in Computer Science

Register now for Jump Start at UBC Vancouver

Register now for Jump Start at UBC Vancouver

Updated July 8: Registration is now closed.

If you’re entering first year at UBC Vancouver and coming directly from high school, you’ll want to register for Jump Start at UBC Vancouver. This multi-day program is designed to give you a first look at university life, let you meet your professors and academic community, and help you make your first friends!

What to expect

You’ll be assigned to a learning community which will be led by two upper-year students and a faculty fellow. Together, you’ll participate in a full range of activities during the program, from discovering the university learning environment and the classroom setting to fun events such as trivia nights, photo challenges, games, exercise, sports and dance tutorials, and art activities.

Residence stream

If you’re planning to live in student housing on campus (known at UBC as “residence”) in your first year, Jump Start gives you the opportunity to move in early, get to know campus, and meet new friends in-person. You will enjoy scheduled group events with your classmates, as well as sessions and offerings you can take part in at your own pace.

Move-in for Jump Start’s residence stream takes place on August 27. The three-day program runs from August 28 to August 30.

Commuter stream

If you’re planning to live off campus and will be commuting to UBC in your first year, Jump Start gives you the opportunity to practice your route to classes, get to know your new campus and your Collegium, and meet your first friends in person. The three-day program will include scheduled group events with your classmates, as well as sessions and offerings you can take part in at your own pace.

Jump Start’s commuter stream begins on August 28 and finishes on August 30.

Register now

Registration is now open! Visit the Jump Start Vancouver webpage to complete the registration form, pay the program fee, and save your spot.

Jump Start registration will close on June 27 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

Registration is now closed.

What students are saying

“My experience in Jump Start was warm and friendly. At first, the environment was scary because a lot of the other attendees did not talk much, but over a couple of ice breakers, everyone’s shells started to melt away. We’d have break times for lunch and in our Collegia, everyone would sit down together in the biggest group possible and talk and laugh. I think attending Jump Start is a great experience overall because it really helped me break out of my own shell. For example, I wasn’t afraid to reach out to the people I had just met at Jump Start on social media. Even now, I still talk to them and I think some of my closest friends at UBC are the ones I made in Jump Start.” Kayree R.

“Jump Start is such a great way to start the school year. I got to meet so many people who share common interests with me, and many of them I know I will be close friends with for life. It is also the perfect transition from summer to university, and also a great way to meet people and become familiar with the campus prior to classes.” – Katie A.

British Columbia and Yukon: New Grade 11 requirements starting September 2026

British Columbia and Yukon: New Grade 11 requirements starting September 2026

If you’re in Grade 10 or Grade 11 you may already be planning your courses for when you apply to UBC. Starting in September 2026, UBC’s Grade 11 requirements for the Vancouver campus are changing. Read below to see how this may affect you.


For students applying for September 2025

If you will be applying to UBC for September 2025, there are no changes to the Grade 11 requirements


For students applying for September 2026

If you will be applying to UBC’s Vancouver campus for September 2026 and you are a high school student in British Columbia or Yukon, there are changes to the Grade 11 requirements. Depending on the degree you are applying to, the Grade 11 requirements have been simplified or are no longer required.


Find the degree(s) you plan on applying to and review these changes to plan your Grade 11 courses. 


Looking for more help on planning your courses? Read our course selection tips for high school students.

Ready for UBC 101?

Ready for UBC 101?

Once you’ve been admitted to UBC Okanagan, it’s time to start getting to know your new home. UBC 101 is a series of online modules that will help you learn more about your campus, and take care of the basics before classes start.

What is UBC 101?

From textbooks to housing, medical insurance to degree planning, UBC 101 will set you up with the knowledge to help you succeed when you arrive on campus. As a new-to-UBC Okanagan student, you’ll be automatically enrolled in UBC 101. This course contains a series of online modules that will:

  • Introduce you to the history, traditions, and culture of UBC Okanagan.
  • Guide you through your academic transition to university.
  • Introduce you to on-campus support services.
  • Help you take care of essential tasks, such as showing you how to register for your first-year courses.

The modules are designed to familiarize you with UBC Okanagan and the traditional territory where our students learn and grow. You’ll find out about all the advisors and orientation programs available to support you as you transition to UBC Okanagan. You will also learn more about the identity and cultural programs, career resources, learning supports, and wellness services that will assist you once you are on campus. Make sure you don’t miss the module that provides important information about course registration! 

When is UBC 101?

UBC 101 starts in mid-May and runs until mid-August, with asynchronous modules being released weekly. Completing the modules will take about one hour each week. It’s a relatively small time commitment with a big pay off!

How to access UBC 101

All new-to-UBC Okanagan students, except Bachelor of Education students, are eligible to take part in UBC 101. You’ll be automatically enrolled starting in mid-May.

You can access UBC 101 anytime by clicking the link to the orientation on your Canvas dashboard. That’s also where you’ll find any updates or news about the UBC 101 material.