UBC’s English Language Admission Standard

UBC’s English Language Admission Standard

When you are applying to UBC, in addition to meeting the general admission requirements and the degree-specific requirements, you must also meet UBC’s minimum English Language Admission Standard (ELAS).

Since English is the primary language of instruction at UBC, all prospective students are required to demonstrate a minimum level of English before they’re admitted.


Meeting the English Language Admission Standard

If you’ve completed four or more consecutive years of recognized, full-time education in English within Canada, or in a country other than Canada where English is the principal language, then you meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard.

Another way to meet the ELAS is to achieve a minimum score on a recognized English proficiency test, such as the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Test, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

For more ways to meet the ELAS, find the nine ways to meet UBC’s minimum English Language Admission Standard for an undergraduate degree on the Vancouver campus and the eleven ways to meet UBC’s minimum English Language Admission Standard for an undergraduate degree on the Okanagan campus.


Submitting documents

If you’ve applied and need to submit evidence of English language proficiency, you will receive an email from UBC. The deadline to submit documents showing you meet the ELAS is February 15.

If you do not meet the ELAS requirement, you may be interested in one of our academic English development programs.


Ready to be a UBC student? Find out how to apply.

How to find your degree-specific requirements

How to find your degree-specific requirements

If you are planning on applying to UBC, it is important to figure out early what the admission requirements are and what you need to apply. Requirements for admission vary depending on where you attended high school, which UBC campus you hope to attend, and which degree you’re applying to.


Meeting UBC’s admission requirements

There are three parts to meeting the admission requirements when applying to UBC:

  1. You need to meet the English Language Admission Standard.
  2. You need to meet the general admission requirements.
  3. You need to meet the degree-specific requirements. Degree-specific requirements include prerequisites, supplemental applications, portfolios, and audition requirements.


So how do you find out what your degree-specific requirements are?

To find out what your degree-specific prerequisite requirements are, go to the requirements page that applies to you: Canadian high school students, International high school students or International Baccalaureate students.

Here, you can choose the campus you are applying to, select where you attended high school (if applicable) and select the degree that you are applying to, to get a list of your prerequisite requirements.

In addition to prerequisites, some degrees require additional application materials, such as portfolios or auditions. If you’re applying to any of these degrees, a supplemental application or additional materials may be required.

Log into UBC’s Applicant Service Centre and start the online application process to find out what degree-specific materials you need to include in your application.



Contact us and we can help you find your degree-specific requirements.

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 February, for a September 2024 start.

Here’s what you need to know about the process.


How to be considered for a first-round offer of admission

First-round offer of admissions are assessed on available final grades (usually your Grade 11) and your personal profile. To be considered for a first-round offer of admission, you must:

  • Apply by December 1, 2023.
  • Submit any materials that you have completed so far by December 10, 2023:
    • BC/Yukon students need to request an electronic transcript be sent to UBC via the BC Ministry of Education’s Student Transcript Service and ensure UBC has their Personal Education Number (PEN) on their application.
    • Ontario students need to submit an OUAC Reference number as part of their application so UBC can receive grades electronically from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre. If you are not applying via OUAC, contact the Admissions office and we will let you know how to provide your grades.
    • Alberta and Nova Scotia students need to complete the academic profile section of the UBC online application.
    • Students from all other provinces simply need to submit their online application and the Admissions office will contact you on how to provide your grades.
  • Have very competitive grades and personal profile.
  • Meet all the admission requirements.


When you’ll receive a decision

First-round offers of admission to UBC will start in early February and continue until the end of February. If you are not offered a first-round offer of admission by the end of February, you will automatically be evaluated again in March through the regular admissions process, once your February-March grades are available.

If you are not sent a first-round offer of admission, you won’t be disadvantaged in any way from being awarded a place at UBC.


Programs that do not provide first-round offers of admission

Because some programs require an audition, interview, or additional supplemental processes, they do not fall within the first-round offer timelines. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Vancouver)
  • Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism
  • Bachelor of Dental Science
  • Bachelor of Media Studies (Vancouver)
  • Bachelor + Master of Management (Vancouver)
  • Bachelor of Music

Please note that only your first-choice program will be considered for a first-round offer.


Next steps after receiving a first-round offer of admission

If you 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 2024: UBC will verify interim grades.
  • July 2024: UBC will verify all final grades.


Ready to be a UBC student? Find out how to apply.



Planning for UBC

Planning for UBC

Thinking about applying to UBC? UBC receives thousands of applications every year and, unfortunately, we don’t have room for everyone. So how can you improve your chances of getting accepted? Academic excellence is important, but we also look at more than just grades.

Here’s a quick guide on how you can best prepare for applying to UBC so that you can improve your chances of admission.

Admission requirements

For your application to be considered, you will need to meet the admission requirements. This includes the English Language Admission Standard, general admission requirements, and degree-specific requirements.

Course planning

It’s never too early to start thinking about what you’ll study at UBC. Knowing what degree(s) you’re interested in will help you choose your high school courses that meet the degree requirements. After selecting courses that fulfill the degree requirements, fill out your schedule with other courses that interest you, challenge you, and are relevant to the degree you’ll be applying to.

Find more information on planning your high school courses and use this worksheet to map out your plan.

Experiences beyond academics

In addition to making good course choices, be sure you follow your interests outside the classroom too. You’ll have the chance to tell us about your sports, leadership activities, community involvement and more in the personal profile section of your UBC application. This will tell us a lot about you and how you’ll do at university.


Ready to apply? It’s helpful to understand what we look for when evaluating your application.

What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

What are the requirements for admission to UBC?

Each year, UBC receives approximately 50,000 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 to ask yourself before applying to UBC

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.

In the online application, you’ll enter those degree choices in the Program Selection tab. Enter your first-choice degree in the “First Program Choice” field and enter your second-choice degree in the “Second Program Choice” field.

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 2024 or 2025, it’s already time to start planning the rest of your high school courses. Here’s 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.

You can use these worksheets to help you plan your 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 offers it can give out. We wish we could admit all qualified applicants, but we just don’t have the space. UBC has 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 at UBC Vancouver.

If you are selected for CAP, you will be accepted into your chosen degree program on the condition you successfully complete the UBC Faculty of Education 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 August/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, 2023 for studies beginning in September of 2023.


Vantage One

UBC’s Vantage One programs are designed for international students who do not yet meet the English language requirement to enter directly into a UBC faculty. Vantage One courses last 11 months, and add English-language instruction to your first-year degree courses. You can choose from Engineering or Science, and you’ll be taught by award-winning UBC faculty members.

The Science Vantage One program takes place at UBC Vancouver and upon successful completion of the program you’ll progress into your second year of your Bachelor of Science degree at the Vancouver campus.

The Engineering program involves studying at both campuses, with the first 2 terms of the program taught at UBC Vancouver and Term 3 taught at the UBC Okanagan Campus. When you successfully complete your Vantage One Engineering program, you can continue your Bachelor of Applied Science degree at either UBC Vancouver or UBC Okanagan campuses.

The application deadline for Vantage One is January 15, 2023 for studies beginning in September of 2023.


English Foundation Program

The English Foundation Program (EFP) is offered at UBC Okanagan. 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 Health and Exercise Sciences, 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, 2023 for studies beginning in September of 2023.