Newly Admitted Checklist

Congratulations on your admission to graduate school here at UBC! Please review your Newly Admitted Checklist for important next steps.

1. Download Official Letter of Admission

You can download your official letter of admission from the “My Applications” portal in the UBC Graduate Application system.


2. Apply for a Study Permit (international students) immediately after receiving your offer

If you are an international student and have not done so already, you should immediately apply for a Study Permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Detailed information about the process is provided by UBC’s International Student Advising office.

Your admission letter can be used to apply for a study permit online.

If you believe that you will not receive the Study Permit in time for your stated program start date, please contact your graduate program to discuss the possibility of changing your start date.


3. Apply for graduate student housing (optional) 

The UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services’ application process is entirely separate from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies admissions process. The number of applicants for all housing properties exceeds the number of vacancies available for new applicants so it is important to apply as early as possible if you wish to live on campus.

A limited number of rooms in winter session residence will be set aside for newly admitted graduate students from outside the city who are also new to UBC. In order to have the best chance of securing on-campus housing, these students should select BOTH Winter Session and Year-Round Housing on their housing application. You will pay only one application fee ($50) if you select both at the same time.


4. Confirm Acceptance of Your Offer

You will be asked to accept your offer of admission online through the “My Applications” portal. Some programs will provide an offer expiry on the letter. Please ensure that you accept your offer before the expiry deadline. Offer acceptance is a condition that has to be met before you are able to register at UBC.


5. Meet Official Documentation Requirements

Your offer letter may specify conditions to submit official documents. Please check your “My Applications” portal for a list of specific documents you are required to submit. Eligibility to register will be granted as soon as we receive your official transcripts (including those currently in progress). Any subsequent documents detailing outstanding completions or degree conferral must be received within 16 weeks of the start of term.


6. Join the Online Graduate Student Community

As a newly admitted graduate student, you may use your CWL account to log in to our online community to meet other newly admitted or current UBC students, find valuable tips, e.g. about housing or life in Vancouver, and make friends.


7. Attend a Pre-Arrival Webinar

UBC offers online webinars that cover topics such as banking and cell phones in Canada, neighborhoods, accommodation and life in Vancouver and so on. You can view upcoming sessions in the schedule on the Orientation website.


8. Choose and Register for Courses

Before you register, please email your graduate program directly and consult with your supervisor or graduate advisor on course choice. Contact information for programs can be found in the Graduate Degree Program listing. Course offerings and outlines can be found online, and you can also register online. Registration for a September intake typically opens up in mid-June. To be eligible to register for courses, you must have accepted the offer of admission and meet the official documentation requirements (if applicable).

Please remember that you must register every term throughout the duration of your graduate degree program.


9. Apply for your UBC Card 

The UBC Card is your official UBC ID and library card. It provides other benefits as well:

  • Access to the gym, aquatic centre, labs, exams, and other secure areas on campus
  • Discount on food at selected campus vendors
  • Shop online at the UBC Bookstore

You can obtain your card once you have enrolled in at least one course and after the carding system opens up in mid-July.


10. Pay Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees are divided into three installments, due in September, January and May. Amounts vary by program and will include Student Activity Fees and Extended Health Insurance Fees. Check your fee amounts and due dates and pay fees online at the Student Services Centre.

  • If you don’t pay on time your future registration eligibility will be suspended.
  • Students who are eligible for a Tuition Award or an International Tuition Award and who have not been assigned this award by the week before the fee due date should contact Awards at Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  • Tuition fees are subject to change without notice.


11. Apply for Awards and Scholarships

An annual university-wide competition for several major awards (Affiliated Fellowships, NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) is held soon after the beginning of the fall term. These awards are highly competitive, and preparing a successful application takes time. You are therefore encouraged to begin working on your applications in July or August. For information on award opportunities visit our Scholarships, Awards & Funding page.

International students who hold a graduate student appointment, or wish to apply for on-campus or off-campus employment, are advised to consult International Student Advising.


12. Update your Personal Information

It’s your responsibility to keep UBC informed of any change of mailing or email address so that professors and faculty members know where to contact you. You can change your personal information online at the Student Services Centre website. Please login with your Campus-Wide Login to access your personal record.


13. Apply for Medical Insurance

You must apply for the provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage as soon as you arrive in BC. There is a required waiting period consisting of the remainder of the month of arrival plus two months.

Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents: If you are coming from another province you should make arrangements with your current provincial plan to ensure continued coverage during the waiting period.

 International students: You will be automatically enrolled in iMED, a basic insurance plan that covers the remainder of the month of arrival plus two months. However, if you arrive early or late, you have to apply for a change of the coverage dates. Example: a student starting their program in September needs to change coverage dates if arriving before August 1 or after August 31. Similarly, a student starting their program in January needs to change coverage dates if arriving before December 1 or after December 31.


14. Attend the Graduate Student Orientation Welcome

All newly admitted graduate students are encouraged to attend our Orientation Welcome Events which are jointly offered by The Graduate Student Society, International Student Development and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Orientations take place 2-3 times per year (January, May, August/September). The largest Orientation event happens every year just prior to the Labour Day weekend and is a week full of activities and events welcoming you to UBC and Vancouver. For details, visit our Events page.


15. Read the Graduate Game Plan

The Graduate Game Plan guides students through the primary stages of their graduate education. It provides advice for students on strategies for attaining academic and career success.