Choosing your first-year courses

Choosing your first-year courses

As soon as you’ve been admitted to UBC, you can begin thinking about the courses you’ll take in first year. If you familiarize yourself with how to read course descriptions now, you’ll have a head start when it’s time to build your course timetable. Registration for first-year programs on the Okanagan campus and registration for first-year programs on the Vancouver campus both begin in June.

Review your degree requirements

It’s important to be aware of your degree requirements – that is, the courses you must complete to graduate with your chosen degree. Step 6 of your Registration and Orientation Guide lists the basic requirements for each degree, but some degrees may require additional courses.

For a full list of your degree requirements, check out the Academic Calendar and your faculty website:

If you have questions, you can contact Academic Advising on the Okanagan campus or a faculty academic advisor on the Vancouver campus.

Pay close attention to any English requirements

Most undergraduate degrees at UBC also have an English, communication, or writing requirement that applies to all students, regardless of first language or citizenship.

If you are required or choose to take a first-year (ENGL 100-level) course, you must meet the first-year English course entry requirement before you can register. Writing the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) test is one way to do that.

To determine if you need to write the LPI test (and by when), check out the requirements for your campus:

Start exploring your options

Most students are able to fit in a few courses beyond their degree requirements – and there’s a wide range to choose from. Taking courses outside your faculty is highly encouraged at UBC, so don’t be shy about choosing electives that take you beyond your degree and help you pursue other interests. Start exploring the Academic Calendar and see what you find!

How can I maintain my offer of admission?

How can I maintain my offer of admission?

First of all, remember that your offer of admission to UBC was based on a combination of your academic profile and your Personal Profile. So when we receive your final grades, we’ll be looking at them alongside your Personal Profile.

Our process and timeline

In May, we’ll review grades for students who received first-round offers and students who self-reported and were admitted in the March-to-April timeframe. That’s when we’ll verify that the grade information submitted to UBC is accurate. If we have any concerns with your grades, we’ll reach out to you directly.

In July, we’ll review final grades. If you meet the conditions on your offer of admission, we’ll update your offer to reflect that.

What you can do

Most students are looking for a definitive answer: “Tell me exactly how much my grades can drop before I lose my offer.” But we can’t say: “Everyone whose grades drop more than X%, or drop below Y%, will lose their offers.”

Each student’s situation is unique and we review changes in academic standing on a case-by-case basis. We don’t like to withdraw offers, but we must ensure that they’re awarded consistently and fairly, and that you have a solid foundation for success.

Certain grade changes may cause us to look at your application more closely when your final grades are submitted. Our best advice is to keep working hard to present your best final grades so we can confirm your offer of admission to UBC.

Offers of admission via mail or courier

Offers of admission via mail or courier

If you’ve been admitted to UBC, you’ll receive (by mail or by courier, depending on your location) an admission package that contains your official letter of admission and a UBC Registration and Orientation Guide.

Check your application status on the Student Service Centre. If it has been longer than four weeks since you were admitted and you haven’t yet received your package, please contact us. We may need you to update your address.

Submit your UBC housing application by May 1

Submit your UBC housing application by May 1

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, 2018.

Please note: 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 a first-year student who is graduating from high school in the current academic year;
  • you submit your residence application for eight-month housing by the May 1 deadline;
  • you accept UBC’s offer of admission by the date indicated in your letter of admission or June 1 (whichever comes first).

If you have questions about priority access, residence guarantees, or early arrival, visit the UBC Student Housing website.

What’s residence like?

No matter which residence you’re assigned, 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 meal plan options on both our Okanagan and Vancouver campuses.

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.

What to do before you arrive on campus

What to do before you arrive on campus

It’s only a matter of weeks until you’ll step foot on campus as a first-year UBC student. You’ll be greeted with tons of new experiences and you’ll meet loads of new people, which can be both exciting and overwhelming. To ensure a smooth arrival and a stress-free first week, you’ll want to take care of some important things before you get here.

Here are eight easy tasks that you can complete now to make your arrival a breeze.

  1. Get ready for your orientation

On your first day, you’ll forgo normal class for a fun-filled, day-long series of welcome-to-UBC events. On the Vancouver campus, at the Imagine UBC orientation, you will be joined by the entire class of 2021 for a formal welcome, pep rally, lunch, and more. On the Okanagan campus, register for the Create orientation to join all new-to-UBC students for a day of events, including food, prizes, and more.

  1. Find back-to-school events and programs

The UBC student societies – the AMS on the Vancouver campus and the UBCSUO on the Okanagan campus – host events and programs for first-year students like you.

  1. Read the UBCfyi blog

Now that you’re an official UBC student, read the UBCfyi blog for campus updates and resources, plus info on events, health and well-being, money management, and more.

  1. Update your email address

Make sure your email address is correct in the Student Service Centre and remember to check your messages regularly.

  1. Learn about your student health plan

Visit the student health insurance website to learn more about your plan and coverage, or to opt out if you already have a health insurance plan.

  1. Sort out your financials

Ensure that you have a financial plan in place for the upcoming academic year, and learn about the financial resources available to you on UBC’s Vancouver campus and Okanagan campus.

  1. Pay your tuition online

Avoid lineups by paying your tuition online now.

  1. Get access to public transit

UBC students on the Okanagan campus can get a U-PASS sticker that provides unlimited access to BC Transit in Kelowna and the surrounding area. Just bring your student ID card to the Student Union Office (UNC133) to get your sticker.

UBC students on the Vancouver campus can load their U-Pass onto a Compass Card for unlimited transit services within Metro Vancouver. Obtain your Compass Card from the UBC Bookstore – or any SkyTrain Station or TransLink Fare Dealer – and then link it to your U-Pass online at upassbc.translink.ca. Apply online at least 48 hours before you intend to travel, and visit planning.ubc.ca for more information.