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University of British Columbia 2020-2021 Admissions: Entry Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Hitaishi Bhatia Hitaishi Bhatia
Study Abroad Expert

As one of Canada’s top 3 universities, University of British Columbia offers admissions to some of the brightest minds around the globe in its 200 diverse undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Having a reputation of being highly competitive in nature, the applications for international admissions to the university are available in the month of September for the seasonal intakes of Summer, Winter and Fall. Titled among one of the best higher education institutes in Canada, UBC reviews more than 40,000 applications every year and sends out offers in the months of December to April

With an acceptance rate of over 50% and around 25% for undergraduate and graduate courses, respectively, the institute allows a fair chance to all the worthy and deserving candidates. While some might counter argue the competitive aspect of admissions in light of this high acceptance rate, however, it is no cakewalk to gain enrolment at the institute. 

The probability of acceptance at the university will vary in response to different parameters. For instance, it is comparatively likely to gain entry into arts than science or Okanagen than Vancouver. But applicants must ensure that they prepare well for the holistic approach that UBC takes and work on their References, Statement of Purpose, Project Proposals and Internships as seriously as the good grades

Aspirants of Engineering department must note that there are no direct admissions from committee and that candidates must get in touch with the faculty professors, show them interest, propose projects and see if they will be interested in assisting you as their student. Since University of British Columbia with its strong “employer reputation” can help you land some of the high-paying jobs in Canada, pursuing your dream rigorously will all be worthwhile in the end. 

UBC Graduate Acceptance Rate


Application Fee89 USD for undergraduate admissions
English language proficiency accepted testsTOEFL/ IELTS or equivalent
TOEFL minimum score70 overall
GMAT/GREMandatory for some programs
Application SeasonFall, Summer and Winter
Acceptance RateAround 50% 
Financial Aid for International StudentsAvailable as Scholarships, grants, bursaries and awards
Work-studyAvailable both on- and off-campus
Students’ HelplineTel: 604.822.8999; Fax: 604.822.9888


While seeking admission to the university, it is highly recommended to keep a track of the deadlines and send in applications at the earliest possible opportunity. This not only ensures improved chances of enrolment, but also gives an applicant enough time to plan the events ahead.

Some of the upcoming deadlines for sending applications to University of British Columbia are as compiled below.

Undergraduate programs

Type of DeadlineDeadline Date
Application deadline for winter and summer session 2020January 15, 2020
International DocumentsMay 31, 2020

Note: Deadlines for graduate courses varies as per different programs.

UBC International Admissions

University of British Columbia International Admissions

Admission Portal: Apply online at the official website.

Application Fee: 89 USD.

Basic Academic Requirement: Higher Secondary School Certificate.

Admission Process

  • State your first 2 preferred programs by selecting from the diverse list of courses and campuses.
  • Ensure that you meet the general and specific admission requirements, along with English language proficiency.
  • Provide the other basic student history and submit the completed application with the specified nonrefundable fee.
  • Keep a track of your incoming emails for recent admission-related updates and provide other remaining documents, if any.
  • Wait for an offer of place and start planning your finances and study permit.

Country-Specific Requirements

The University follows some country-specific specifications while offering admissions to international aspirants. Candidates are encouraged to go through their corresponding country’s requirements before sending in applications. Some of the South-Asian countries and their mandatory specifications are tabulated as follows:

Name of CountrySpecifications
IndiaHigher Secondary School Certificate received post completing XII
Sri lankaSri Lanka General Certificate of Education Ordinary and Advanced Levels; standing in at least 6 academic subject areas, including English, with at least 3 academic A-Level subjects.
MalaysiaSijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (Malaysian Higher School Certificate Examination)
SingaporeSingapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) and Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level); standing in at least 6 subject areas, including English, with at least 3 at H2 level.
BangladeshHigher Secondary or Intermediate Certificate

English Proficiency Requirements

Since the medium of education at the institute is primarily English, the university requires its students to meet some language specific standards before seeking enrollment. If you are a probable candidate of UBC, the following tests will help you prove the English language skills and take you one step closer in the admission process.

Accepted TestMinimum Test Score Requirement
IELTS6.5, with no part less than 6.0
PTEOverall: 65; 60 in each respective category
TOEFL (institution code: 0965)Overall: 90

Applicants must note that the for the 2020/2021 Winter Session, the test scores can be submitted from January 1, 2018 onwards. The deadline, however, stands no later than February 15.

Visa Application Process

Any aspirants hoping to enrol in a course of duration longer than 6 months require a study permit and visa to study in Canada. Visa can be obtained easily by consulting the nearest Canadian Embassy and should be applied for as soon as you receive the Letter of Acceptance. 

Study permit can be obtained via the regular application process or Student Direct Stream (SDS). Though, it is highly recommended that candidates try applying through regular option. It is because for SDS, certain criteria must be met and proof of paid tuition fee needs to be presented which could delay the permit procuring process. 

UBC Graduate Admissions

Admission Portal: Apply online at the official website.*

*Some graduate degree programs, not administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, follow their individual application systems and must be applied for separately.

Application Fee: 126 USD.5

Basic Academic Requirement: Bachelor’s degree.

Admission-Related Requirements

  • Complete an online application and submit the mandatory documents including transcripts, letters of reference, among others.
  • Provide the required test scores like English proficiency and GRE or equivalent.
  • Submit a statement of interest and criminal record check, if required.

Program-wise specifications for graduate-level admission into diverse programs are tabulated as follows:

RequirementsMasters in Electrical & Computer EngineeringMaster of Digital MediaMaster of Business Administration (MBA)Masters in Biochemistry & Molecular BiologyMaster of Creative Writing & Theatre
GMAT/GRERequiredNot RequiredRequiredRequired-
LORs/References3 References3 References2 ReferencesRequired3 References
ExperiencePreferred-2 yearsRequiredPreferred
Additional Requirements-PortfolioInterviewPortfolio; Lab ExperiencePortfolio

Every year, thousands of scholars apply to UBC for admissions, making it evidently more important for you to stand out. While LORs are usually the significant aspects of admission process, they mostly are under-rated or overwritten. Make sure your references talk about your tenacity, perseverance and why you will be a worthy candidate for the university. 

Statement of Purpose is yet another important element where you can mention why you chose the university and what greater good will be the degree from the university bring you. Ensure that you do stuff that matters and believe in it since it will enhance the credibility of the application and will surely increase your chances at admission.

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