Special message about your UBC application and COVID-19

Special message about your UBC application and COVID-19

This blog post will be updated as new information becomes available. Keep checking back for any changes to our admissions processes or timelines.

Last updated: September 24, 2020



We will be as flexible as possible to ensure that your application to UBC is not disadvantaged by COVID-19 (coronavirus) disruptions.

We know that – like all students around the world – you are adjusting to ongoing changes meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone in schools safe. We are carefully watching and listening so we can accommodate these changes in this year’s admissions process.


Supporting you through your application

We understand that you may be adjusting to:

  • New learning-delivery methods. Some of you are attending classes in person, some of you are learning online, and some of you are doing both in a hybrid model.
  • Modified school schedules (for example, your classes may be scheduled in quarters rather than semesters).
  • The cancellation of some exams and assessments this year.
  • Your school offering less flexibility in course scheduling – and that this may impact what courses you are able to take and how many you can complete.
  • Limited or no access to extracurricular activities at school or in your community.

We want to reassure you that as these disruptions and changes continue to roll out, UBC will assess and adjust our current processes. We will be flexible and responsive.

We understand how difficult this is for you – for all students – 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 university.


Applying to UBC

While there is much uncertainty, here’s what will not change this year:


The UBC online application is now open, and we’re looking forward to learning more about you!



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.

Each person who applies to UBC is unique, so each of you will have your own way of meeting our requirements. Here are four questions to ask yourself before you begin your application.

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 UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, 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.


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.



English-language pathways at UBC

English-language pathways at UBC

If you’ve achieved outstanding academic results but haven’t met UBC’s English-language requirements, UBC offers a number of programs to help.

There are multiple pathways available if you are accepted to study here but require additional support to improve your English.


Conditional Admission Program

The Conditional Admission Program (CAP) offers English-language preparation before you are admitted to your undergraduate degree on the UBC Vancouver campus.

If you are selected for CAP, you will be accepted into your chosen degree program on the condition you successfully complete the UBC Extended Learning English Language Institute English for Academic Purposes Program (EAP). The course provides full-time English-language training through either:

  • An 8-week accelerated session scheduled to start in July and finish at the end of August (only open to CAP students)
  • A 16-week session scheduled to start in January, May, or September (open to both CAP and other students)

Once you have successfully completed the EAP, you can transition into your degree program.

The application deadline for CAP is January 15, 2020 for studies beginning in September of 2020.


Vantage One

UBC’s Vantage One programs offer an 11-month timetable for first-year international students. In these specially-designed pathways, you will receive English language instruction in your first-year degree courses to prepare you for success during the remainder of your Bachelor’s degree.

Upon successful completion of your Vantage One program, you will receive full credit for fulfilling the first year of your undergraduate degree. You will progress into your second year of study on the Vancouver campus if you choose the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, and if you study the Bachelor of Applied Science, your choice of major will determine whether you’ll complete your studies on either the Okanagan or Vancouver campus.

The application deadline for Vantage One is January 15, 2020 for studies beginning in September of 2020.


English Foundation Program

The English Foundation Program (EFP) is offered at the Okanagan campus in Kelowna. An innovative accredited program, it provides university admission to students who meet all of the academic requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Science, Applied Science, Management, Fine Arts, Media Studies, and Human Kinetics, but who do not meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standards.

The EFP combines intensive English language training and academic courses while engaging students in campus life. Its goal is to provide a balanced mix of academics, activities, experiential, and cultural learning on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

UBC applicants are automatically evaluated for the EFP if they meet the university’s admission requirements and have applied to study at UBC Okanagan. The application deadline for the EFP is January 15, 2020 for studies beginning in September of 2020.




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 provide first-round offers of admission for the 2020/2021 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, 2019.
  • Submit any completed final grades by December 1, 2019:
    • 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
  • Meet all the admission requirements.

Students will not be refused based on Grade 11-level marks presented in their application. Individuals 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 sent a first-round offer of admission in late January/the end of February will not be disadvantaged in any way from being awarded a place at 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 the end of 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.
  • Spring 2020: UBC will verify interim grades.
  • July 2020: UBC will verify all final grades.

Ready to be a UBC student? Apply now.