Preparing for your Personal Profile

Preparing for your Personal Profile

Many of you have started working on your online application to UBC – fantastic! It’s good to start early so you have time to reflect on your answers to the Personal Profile section of the application.

The Personal Profile asks you six or seven questions about challenges you have overcome, significant achievements in your life, your academic pursuits, and what you have learned from these experiences. The questions differ based on the degree program you are applying for, so starting your application will give you access to your specific questions.


Does everyone have to submit a Personal Profile?

Not all applicants are required to submit a Personal Profile, and others will have separate supplemental applications, portfolios, and auditions. To find out if your degree requires a Personal Profile, start the online application process and follow the instructions.

How do we assess your profile?

When we evaluate your application, two trained UBC readers will assess your Personal Profile against four criteria: engagement and accomplishment, leadership, substance, and voice. This is a chance for us to learn more about you and your experiences, beyond academics. We want to hear about your life and accomplishments – what have you learned, and how have these experiences allowed you to grow? We are not looking for a particular experience, and there are no right or wrong answers. Focus on what you want to say about yourself and how you want to say it – not on what you think we want to hear.

Do you need to record a video interview?

If you are applying to the UBC Sauder School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce degree, you will be asked to provide video responses to interview questions in addition to a Personal Profile. You will be prompted to create your video responses within your application, including detailed instructions on how to include the video interview in the Personal Profile section of your application. Read our detailed tips and watch a video about creating your video interview.

If you have not started working on your application, we encourage you to begin as soon as possible to make sure you have everything you need to submit your application on time.

Good luck! We’re looking forward to learning more about you.


Should I work with an agent to apply to UBC?

Should I work with an agent to apply to UBC?

Have you considered working with an education consultancy, or agent, to apply to university? Assessing and applying to universities overseas can be overwhelming, and an agent can sometimes help simplify the process.

Before engaging with an agent, know what your options are so you’re in the best position to obtain accurate and helpful information.

Do I need to work with an agent to apply to UBC?

No, you do not. Students are encouraged to apply directly to UBC following the information provided in our Applying to UBC section. If you are stuck or have a question about the application process, there are several ways you can connect with UBC:

What questions should I ask an agency?

Professional agencies follow standards of good practice, but not every agency is like this. If you work with an agency, you are hiring them to perform a service for you, and you should be free to ask some basic questions before committing:

  • Do you charge service fees to your clients, or do you have commission-based agreements with universities? If you charge service fees, what are they and when are they charged?
  • Are you certified by the American International Recruitment Council(AIRC) or other organizations or associations? Which ones? Note that AIRC has one of the strictest certification processes for agencies to become members.
  • Ask the advisor you are working with about their experience. They should be knowledgeable about the institutions they are promoting:
    • How many years have they been advising students about universities abroad?
    • Have they have visited UBC or the institution you are considering, or even your country of choice?
    • Have they taken any training, such as the Canada Course for Education Agents?
  • If an agent claims to have an agreement with UBC or another institution, ask to see a copy of their active agreement (not the certificate of representation on the wall, but the actual agreement).
  • Do you have the qualifications to advise on Canadian visas and study permits?

 Important tips

  • When applying to UBC with the help of an agency, you should not have to complete any paper-based forms. The entire UBC admissions process occurs online at
  • Agents are not involved in any of UBC’s scholarships– these are conducted automatically, unless you are nominated by your high school.
  • Please do not allow an agent to complete your UBC application on your behalf. This may jeopardize your application if UBC Admissions determines that your application is not an authentic submission.
  • You – not the agent – are responsible for submitting your application to UBC on time, ensuring you meet the requirements. You are also responsible for completing all the other necessary steps to be considered for admission.

What an agent cannot do for you

  • Working with an agency does not increase your chances of admission or of obtaining a scholarship at UBC. All students are assessed on the merit of their grades and overall application.
  • An agent cannot write or assist in writing your Personal Profile or any part of your application.
  • An agent cannot submit false records or documents.
  • Agencies cannot access your UBC records without your consent. You must have completed a Third Party Authorization in order for your agent to have access to your UBC information from your Student Service Centre (SSC) account.
  • An agent cannot submit payments for any UBC-related fees on your behalf.

And remember – we’re here to help. If you’re having difficulty with the application process, need to know more about UBC, or have any further questions about working with an agent, please contact us.



Choosing what to study

A common question we’re asked here at UBC is about the difference between a degree and a program. What’s a program? What’s a degree? And why is it important to know the difference when you’re deciding what to study in university?

Degree versus program. What’s the difference?

At UBC, your degree refers to the level and type of study you will complete during university (e.g., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). It’s the designation you’ll earn at graduation. A program refers to the subject you choose to specialize in (e.g., your major in Anthropology or Biology). It’s your area of focus within your degree.

For example, if you study in the History program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. If you study in the Civil Engineering program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

Applying to a UBC degree

When you apply to UBC, you’ll select a degree and a campus. Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check out UBC’s programs to get a sense of which subjects interest you most. Once you have a list of programs, you can use it to help you select the degrees you’d like to apply for.

Selecting your UBC program

For most degrees, you don’t have to commit to a program until your second or third year of study. But if you compiled a list of programs you were interested in when you applied to UBC, you will be well equipped to select the program you’d like to major in when it’s time to choose.

Learn more about applying to UBC and about choosing a degree and program.

Tips for creating your BCom application video interview

If you’re applying to UBC Sauder School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) program, your Personal Profile will include a video interview section. You’ll be asked to provide on-camera responses to two pre-recorded questions. We’ve created these tips to help you prepare for, and create, a strong video. Read on for more information!

Why is the video interview important?

In the BCom program, collaboration, in-class discussion, and public speaking are daily activities. Your ability to listen to others and to communicate clearly by verbally articulating your thoughts and ideas is essential to your success, and in many cases, the success of your team during group work.

If you’re intimidated at the thought of speaking on-camera, don’t worry. The questions will relate to your personal experiences and opinions, so there are no wrong answers. In fact, the video interview is a great opportunity for you to showcase how you can think critically, perform under pressure, and stand out from other applicants.

How to create your video interview

Within your Personal Profile, you’ll be directed to a separate online video-interview platform. Be sure to read all instructions thoroughly. Allow yourself ample time to test your recording equipment and try a practice question before recording responses to two pre-recorded interview questions.

You’ll only have one attempt to respond to each question. Once you’ve started to view a question, you won’t be able to pause or replay it. You’ll be given 30 seconds to think about your answer, and up to 90 seconds to record it.

Tips for creating your video interview

  • Take time to reflect. Think about past challenges, achievements, strengths, and beliefs.
  • Create the best recording space possible. Close all other browser windows and programs on your device. Make sure there’s good lighting in front of you. Silence all audible alarms and alerts. Eliminate loud background noises, and stay free from other distractions.
  • Be confident. Maintain good posture, smile, and present yourself professionally. You’ll find these simple actions will put you in the right mindset to more easily and naturally deliver your responses. Do not read from prepared statements or notes.
  • Don’t dwell on mistakes. Natural speech isn’t always perfect – the occasional “umm” or mispronounced word is commonplace and to be expected. If you misspeak during your response, take a moment, breathe, and keep going. Remember, you’ll have just one attempt to answer each question – there are no do-overs.
  • Be authentic. One of the reasons we’ve incorporated the video interview into your application is to get to know you better. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear; tell us what you want us to know about you.

We look forward to learning more about you. Good luck!

Personal Profile Tips

Personal Profile Tips

Every aspiring high school student applying to UBC (and some transfer applicants, too) must submit a Personal Profile as part of their online application. It’s a chance for you to tell the University about your life and accomplishments: What have they taught you about yourself and the world around you?

We’ve compiled helpful information for writing your Personal Profile, and we want all UBC applicants to have the benefit that comes with reading these tips.

Visit our Personal Profile page to learn more about what to consider before you write your profile, and how UBC will evaluate it.

If you submitted a 2019 Winter Session UBC online application for undergraduate admission prior to October 4, 2018, and you wish to resubmit your Personal Profile after reviewing our tips, please contact the UBC Undergraduate Admissions Office at

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.

So when you ask, “What are the requirements for admission to UBC?” – UBC advisors are bound to reply with a few questions of their own.

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 our Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, 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.

Top five UBC online application tips

Top five UBC online application tips

Ready to apply to UBC? Before you get started, check out our short video for a step-by-step walk-through of our top five online application tips. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  1. Start early.
  2. Double your chances.
  3. Let the application guide you.
  4. Take your time.
  5. Check your work.

Looking for more tips?

For even more helpful ideas, read through our detailed online application tips and watch our short video on writing a strong Personal Profile.

UBC’s online application is open

UBC’s online application is open

As summer fades to fall and the new school year begins, it’s time to shift your attention back to academics. If your sights are set on a future at UBC, now’s the time to start thinking about applying.

Deadline to apply

UBC’s online application for the 2019/20 academic year is open, and the deadline to apply is January 15, 2019. Admission to UBC is not granted on a first-come, first-served basis – but if you’d like to be considered for a Presidential Scholars Award or an International Major Entrance Scholarship, you must apply by December 1, 2018.

Before you begin

Review the key steps on how to apply to get a sense of the process. When you’re ready to get started, clear your web browser cache and make sure pop-ups are enabled.

When you click Apply to UBC, you’ll be prompted to log in to the UBC Future Student Portal. Depending on your situation, you’ll follow one of three paths:

  • If you’ve never logged in to the UBC Future Student Portal, follow the steps to create an account.
  • If you have a UBC Future Student Portal account and a Campus-Wide Login (CWL) – that will be the case if you’ve already started your online application, or if you attended a UBC event or campus tour before June 2018 – use your CWL to log in.
  • If you have a UBC Future Student Portal account, but you don’t have a Campus-Wide Login (CWL), use your Portal credentials (the email and password you used when you created your account) to log in and then follow the steps to create a CWL.

Where will you go?