Presidential Scholars Awards

Presidential Scholars Awards

Choosing UBC’s Presidential Scholars Award recipients is a highly selective process in which the University aims to recognize students with outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements.

This year at UBC Okanagan, approximately 1,500 eligible applicants were competing for 39 renewable awards of up to $40,000 each. At UBC Vancouver, approximately 8,500 eligible applicants were competing for renewable awards ranging in value from $8,400 to $80,000 over four years, and one-time awards ranging in value from $5,000 to $10,000 for first year only.

All applicants who have been selected for a Presidential Scholars Award at UBC Okanagan will be notified by email by April 26, 2020, and by April 27, 2020 at UBC Vancouver. Only those applicants who have received an award will be contacted.

We appreciate the time and energy required to meet our deadlines and applaud your dedication to academic and extracurricular pursuits. Congratulations on your outstanding achievements!

Programs spotlight: Engineering and technology

Programs spotlight: Engineering and technology

Are you looking for a future-proof profession? Pursuing an education in a STEM field is a surefire way to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to secure a bright career path. UBC’s engineering and technology programs will challenge you intellectually, connect you with a community of dedicated scientists and engineers, and open a world of opportunities.

Explore your program options

Mechanical Engineering

In the Mechanical Engineering program at UBC Okanagan you’ll investigate practical, hands-on ways of creating and improving physical systems to meet the demand of modern industries – from aircraft and energy systems to biomedical, mechatronics, and manufacturing. The program is accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and will help you master fundamental engineering concepts while learning more about the application of practical design skills.


The student scoop

Joses Akampurira, Engineering

Meet Joses, a Civil Engineering student who found that volunteering and getting involved was the best path to success at UBC.

Wood Products Processing

The Wood Products Processing program at UBC Vancouver begins with foundational courses in math, physics, and chemistry, and transitions into developing your knowledge of wood and material science, and wood processing technologies. You’ll study in the award-winning Forest Sciences Centre and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, Canada’s national centre of excellence for wood products. In your senior years, you’ll learn how to analyze and optimize manufacturing operations, finishing up with a major project drawing on your personal interests.



The student scoop

Annelies Tjebbes, Engineering

Meet Annelies, an Electrical Engineering alumna who used her skills and education to improve the lives of others.

Data Science

UBC’s Data Science program at the UBC Okanagan is grounded in statistics – to formulate relevant questions and determine the answer based on data – and computer science – to manipulate and visualize data efficiently. You’ll learn more about decision-making supported by data while taking courses in machine learning, network science, data analytics, and much more. Your courses will prepare you for graduate studies, or for careers in e-commerce, finance, government, genomics, entertainment and sports, management, and other areas that increasingly rely on data sets.


A professor’s perspective

Dr. Jonathan Holzman, UBC Okanagan Engineering professor

Meet Dr. Holzman, an Engineering professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus who is building bridges between faculty, students, industry, and the Okanagan community.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineers use engineering tools like design, modelling, and fabrication, and apply them to science and healthcare issues. They develop new technologies that enable doctors, therapists, biotech companies, and researchers to improve human health. As a Biomedical Engineering student at UBC Vancouver, you’ll take specialized courses to help you build a unique foundation in engineering, biology, math, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, design, and the healthcare system. In your third year, you’ll have the chance to customize your degree based on your interests.


See a full list of engineering and technology programs at UBC

Submit your UBC housing application by May 1

Submit your UBC housing application by May 1

Please note:

UBC is continuing to monitor how COVID-19 is evolving in Canada. After you submit your housing application, we will send you your residence offer in mid-June, and you’ll make your first deposit when you accept. We anticipate that our residence offers will proceed as normal, and that you will start your courses in the fall. In the event that the situation changes, we’ll let you know through this blog, the UBC website, and our social media channels.


Living on campus is more than just a practical option for housing – it’s one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the UBC student experience. If you want to live in residence at UBC, you must apply by May 1, 2020.

If you are considering a degree on both campuses, you must complete a separate residence application for each campus.

Am I guaranteed a spot?

Your place in residence is guaranteed if:

  • you are entering UBC directly from high school or CEGEP and you submit your residence application for Winter Session housing by the May 1 deadline;
  • you receive and accept UBC’s offer of admission by June 1.

If you have questions about priority access, residence guarantees, or housing beyond first year, visit the UBC Student Housing website.

What’s residence like?

No matter which residence you’re assigned to, you’ll be part of a supportive environment that’s designed to help you adjust to university life, enjoy your time as a student, and make lifelong friends. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from a range of optional and mandatory meal plans on  our Okanagan campus, and enjoy the mandatory first-year residence meal plan on our Vancouver campus.

Move-in day on UBC’s Okanagan campus

Move-in day on UBC’s Vancouver campus

What if residence isn’t for me?

If you’re not planning to live in residence, you can build your own home away from home at the UBC Collegia on our Okanagan and Vancouver campuses. These welcoming on-campus spaces are great spots to relax between classes, heat up your lunch, and connect with new friends.



Our response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Our response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

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

Last updated: May 28, 2020


Countries around the world, including Canada, are working to contain the current outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Here at UBC, we’re making sure that we do our part.

After careful consideration, we’ve made some changes to ensure that all prospective students hoping to come to UBC remain safe and healthy, and that all applications are treated fairly.

Find out what steps we’re taking to help you during this difficult time.


Your UBC application

If you have been affected by COVID-19, we understand that you might be worried about your application to UBC.

We are aware that many of you have had your schooling interrupted in recent weeks, and that you may now face challenges like having to take online classes, being unable to complete all the activities you listed in your Personal Profile, or experiencing the cancellation of your final exams. We know these circumstances are beyond your control.

UBC is working hard to make sure your application will still be evaluated fairly, even if you have experienced disruptions due to COVID-19. We’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions in our blog post, Your application and COVID-19 (coronavirus).

We also recognize that many of you may not be able to meet all of the conditions outlined in your offer letter. Don’t worry! We will be as flexible as possible with our admissions practices to ensure that your offer isn’t disadvantaged by the disruptions caused by COVID-19. You can find out more about the conditions that you do currently need to meet to keep your offer of admission.


UBC events

For everyone’s safety, the following in-person events have been cancelled:

Certain in-person events will be moving online.

If you’re a Canadian student who has received an offer of admission from UBC, we’d love to connect with you at these digital sessions. If you’re a Canadian student who is looking to apply to UBC, learn more about the events we have scheduled for you.

To see our full list of events, log in to our Future Student Portal and check the “Off campus” and “Online” tabs on the Tours and events page for the latest listings. Note that you will only see the events that you are eligible for.


UBC campus tours

In light of COVID-19 and the suspension of in-person campus tours, UBC is now offering live tours online. To view all upcoming tours and to register, visit the Future Student Portal’s Tours and events page and select the “On campus” tab.

If you are unable to attend one of our live tours, you can also experience our two campuses and learn more about UBC by taking a virtual tour.


UBC housing for September 2020

While we are continuing to monitor the situation in conjunction with the provincial health authorities, we hope to be able to offer on-campus housing as usual in September 2020. You can find out more about student housing in our blog post, COVID-19 and UBC housing for September 2020.


How to contact UBC

We’re here to answer your questions. Please contact us using our online form.



Your UBC application and COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Your UBC application and COVID-19 (coronavirus)

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

Last updated: May 28, 2020


If your region has been affected by COVID-19, we understand that you might be worried about your application to UBC.

We are aware that many applicants have had their schooling interrupted in recent weeks. We understand that you may now face difficulties like having to take online classes, being unable to complete all the activities you listed in your Personal Profile, or experiencing the cancellation of your final exams. We appreciate that these circumstances are beyond your control, and we are sympathetic to your concerns.

UBC has been working hard to make sure your application will still be evaluated fairly, even if you have suffered disruptions due to COVID-19. Find out the answers to your admissions questions from our Associate Registrar of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Recruitment & Advising, Sam Saini – the head of UBC’s admissions team.



Frequently asked questions

Is UBC’s admissions process going ahead as planned?

Yes – the admissions process is proceeding as normal. We also understand that some students are in need of additional flexibility in meeting deadlines as a result of disruptions to schooling or exams due to COVID-19. UBC is committed to working with any students who may need extra time in order to complete their application.

Is UBC changing the grade requirements in light of disruptions related to COVID-19?

The grade requirements for UBC remain unchanged, but we understand why you may be concerned. Remember that UBC considers your grades from multiple school years, as well as your Personal Profile, when we make our offers of admission. We know there’s more to your application – and to you as a person – than the grades you achieve on your final exams.

What if the situation around COVID-19 has stopped you from completing activities you wrote on your Personal Profile?

Don’t panic. When we assess your Personal Profile, we take into account all of the activities you’ve written about across multiple years, not just the ones you are completing now. We may reach out to you to confirm some of the details on your Personal Profile, and if we do, we will consider how COVID-19 may have affected your extra-curriculars at that time.

What will happen to your UBC application if your school is closed or your final exams are cancelled?

We know that many schools and exam providers have been affected by COVID-19, and that some of you may not be able to take your final exams or complete your courses. We understand how difficult this is for you, and we are here to support you. UBC still cares about how you’re doing in school, no matter what form that takes right now, and we want you to be as academically prepared as you can be for your first year at UBC.

Your UBC offer of admission will be confirmed when:

  1. You complete whatever form of coursework your school has made available to you; and
  2. You email us at to confirm that you have completed your courses. You can submit the final documents your school or exam provider gives you when they are available. If UBC is able to receive your final documents electronically (e.g., directly from educational departments/ministries or International Baccalaureate Offices), you do not need to email us or send us your final documents.

How will UBC confirm your offer of admission if you cannot send us any final documents or grades?

If you are not able to complete your coursework at all – because, for example, your school did not provide an alternative to classroom learning – please send us documents that confirm this. For details, contact the Admissions Office directly using our online form.

What will happen if you cannot meet the conditions outlined in your UBC offer letter?

We recognize that many of you may not be able to meet all of the conditions outlined in your offer letter. Don’t worry! We will be as flexible as possible with our admissions practices to ensure that your offer isn’t disadvantaged by the disruptions caused by COVID-19. You can find out more about the conditions that you do currently need to meet to keep your offer of admission.

If your school has moved classes online, will UBC consider your grades from online courses?

Online classes are perfectly acceptable for admission to UBC. We recognize that in light of disruptions due to COVID-19, some students have switched to online courses to keep up with their education. As long as your courses have grades on transcripts, we will consider them when we evaluate your application.

If you are a post-secondary transfer student, how will UBC make a decision on your application?

We are in the process of evaluating applications and are in close contact with your post-secondary institution and local decision-makers to determine next steps. Please rest assured that you will not be disadvantaged by any disruptions you’re experiencing due to COVID-19. If you applied by December 1, your admissions decision will be based on the interim grades that you have already provided. If you were asked for a final transcript, we will evaluate your application with the grades from that document. In the event that we require any additional information from you in order to process your application, an advisor will be in touch.

When can I expect a decision on my application?

We are currently reviewing the thousands of applications that we’ve received, and we hope to have our evaluation process wrapped up by the end of April. Once we’ve reached a decision about your application, it will be posted online in the Student Service Centre. Good luck, and we’re looking forward to welcoming many of you to UBC!

Will UBC be offering classes in September 2020?

In response to the global impact of COVID-19, UBC has made the decision to offer most Winter Session Term One courses online. The way you take your classes will not be the same for everyone. Depending on the program you’re in and the courses you’ve chosen, some experiences may be fully online, others may include some limited on-campus activities, and some may include a hybrid approach.

No matter what format your instruction will take – whether in-class or online – you can still look forward to:

  • Learning from world-renowned professors who are experts in their fields;
  • Making strong, lasting friendships with your classmates;
  • Collaborating with peers from all over the globe;
  • Engaging in research that solves real-world problems; and
  • Discovering new interests, skills, and strengths that prepare you for your future.


To stay up to date on any new information about UBC’s admissions process and COVID-19, we recommend that you check the website regularly. You should also keep an eye on your emails in case we need to contact you directly.

For information about UBC’s evolving response to the global situation, including event changes and how best to contact UBC, please keep checking the blog post Our response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).


UBC Welcomes You events across Canada

UBC Welcomes You events across Canada

UPDATE 3/13/20

UBC Welcomes You events are now cancelled. We would have loved to meet you, but we are aware that, because of the global concerns around COVID-19, there is some anxiety about attending group gatherings at this current time. We hope you will agree that cancelling this event is the right thing to do.


We’re coming to your city!

If you’ve received an offer of admission from UBC, we invite you and your family to join us at a UBC Welcomes You event to learn more about life on campus and to see if it’s the right fit for you.

At these events, you’ll discover more about living and learning at UBC. Specifically, you’ll have the chance to:

  • connect with UBC advisors, faculty members, and current students who will answer all your questions;
  • find out how to accept an offer of admission;
  • get expert advice on academic planning;
  • learn about the housing, financial assistance, and student supports available to you.


UBC Welcomes You in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan

Our UBC experts are hitting the road next month! They’ll be visiting Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, and Saskatoon in April to connect with you in person.

For details on UBC Welcomes You events in your area and other ways to connect, check out our Visits in Canada page and click on your province.

Please note that UBC Welcomes You events are only open to students who have received an offer of admission to UBC.



Course selection tips for high school students

Course selection tips for high school students

If you’re hoping to attend UBC in September 2021 or 2022, it’s already time to start planning the rest of your high school courses. Here are a few tips to help you prepare and choose the Grade 11 and 12 or junior- and senior-level courses you’ll need for admission.


Know your requirements

Choose Grade 12 or senior-level courses that meet:

  • your high school graduation requirements;
  • UBC’s general admission requirements;
  • UBC’s degree-specific requirements.

Your general admission and degree-specific requirements will depend on the UBC campus and degree you choose, and the high school curriculum you’re studying as a Canadian student or an international student.

When you apply to UBC, you’ll have the chance to pick a first-choice and second-choice degree. Make sure the Grade 12 or senior-level courses you choose meet the requirements for both degrees.

If you haven’t chosen a degree yet, don’t worry! Just make sure that, at minimum, you meet UBC’s general admission requirements. Every UBC degree has specific requirements beyond the general admission requirements, but some degrees have fewer than others.

Please note: Online and distributed learning courses must be completed by February 1 for those grades to be used as part of your admissions average that year.

BC high school students

BC high school students applying to UBC for September 2021 and onward will be able to use grades from all English Language Arts 11 courses and English First Peoples 11 courses for initial academic admissions assessments, especially when an interim grade for the required English Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12 course is unavailable.

This amendment is based on new information provided by the Ministry of Education regarding the academic demand and central emphasis on critical reading and writing in these courses.


Make sure you meet UBC’s English language requirement

Since English is the primary language of instruction at UBC, you will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of English before you’re admitted. There are nine ways to meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard for an undergraduate degree.


Start thinking about your Personal Profile

UBC will evaluate your application based on a combination of your academic achievements and personal experiences. The Personal Profile is your opportunity to tell UBC what you are most proud of, what is most important to you, and what you have learned from your experiences inside and outside the classroom. Start thinking about what you are learning – and want to learn – from those experiences in the coming year.


Do your best

A competitive university like UBC receives more applications than can be accommodated. We wish we could admit all qualified applicants, but we just don’t have the space. UBC has a a comprehensive approach to admissions that focuses primarily on your marks in academic courses, but also considers the breadth, rigour, and relevancy of your coursework.


Stay up to date

UBC’s admission requirements can change from year to year. Be sure to refer to the Applying to UBC page for the most up-to-date information.



What the heck are rolling admissions?

What the heck are rolling admissions?

UBC evaluates your UBC application once it’s complete, which means we need to receive all your grades and other required information first. With 40,000 applications coming in from different school systems around the world, we receive all those grades and supporting documents at different times.

We can’t evaluate everyone’s application at the same time, so we send out admissions decisions as we receive and review information. That’s what we mean by rolling admissions.

If we received your grade information early in the year, we may have evaluated your application in January or February. But don’t worry: UBC uses the same admissions criteria for everyone. Students who receive offers by the end of February have to meet the same admissions criteria as those who receive offers in March or April.