Newly Admitted Checklist

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

1. 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.

If your plans have changed and graduate school at UBC may not fit into your plans any longer, please make sure to decline your offer in “My Applications” portal at your earliest opportunity. This will ensure you do not receive auto-emails designed for newly admitted UBC students.


2. Download Official Letter of Admission

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


3. 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.


4. 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.


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.

Below are examples of the statuses you might see in your checklist in the portal:

Admitted with Conditions

Admitted with outstanding documents

Full admission


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. To get the most out of the community we recommend taking these steps:

  1. Update your personal profile, in particular, the “about me” section and the contact options. The community does not support direct messaging between students, so it’s important to provide your preferred contact methods and links to your social media handles if you have them.
  2. If you are in a research-based program, update your academic profile once you have confirmed your research topic to allow for research collaborations with peers.
  3. View the list of other graduate students in your program.
  4. Browse the forums and engage with your peers, or create a new topic to connect with like-minded peers, e.g. in the introductions board.


7. Attend a Pre-Arrival Webinar

UBC offers online webinars on topics including finding a place to live, life in Vancouver, budgeting and tuition assessment, and specific sessions for international students on immigration and health insurance requirements. As well, join our chat sessions with current UBC graduate student ambassadors for tips on preparing for your arrival at UBC, settling in, and life as a graduate student at UBC. 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 will be able to register online. To be eligible to register for courses, you must have accepted the offer of admission and meet the official documentation requirements (if applicable). Registration for those starting their program in September typically opens up in mid-June, and for those starting their program in January, you will be eligible to register once you have accepted your offer and your official documentation requirements have been processed.

Please remember that you must register for 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. Whether you are on-campus or studying at a distance you are encouraged to apply for your UBC Card at your earliest opportunity.

What do you need the card for?

  • Proving your identity for a course (e.g. when writing your exams) – as needed, your professors will provide specific instructions on how to do so.
  • Proving your identity when picking up physical materials from a UBC Library that are not available online.
  • Proving your student status to access facilities for students, such as gyms or the Aquatic Centre.
  • Requesting discounts at selected campus food vendors.
  • Allowing you to access to various secured UBC buildings and areas by swiping the card.
  • Providing a payment option: you can add money to your card online and then use it to make purchases at the UBC Bookstore and Food Services’ dining locations (where you can receive 5% off).
  • Receiving student discounts at other local businesses.
  • If you are using a U-Pass on your Compass Card for transit, you are required to have the UBCcard on you when on transit.

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 faculty and staff members know where to contact you. You can change your personal information online at the Student Services Centre. 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 Gradstart welcome event, jointly offered by The Graduate Student Society, International Student Development and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. You can also learn more about starting your #UBCGradJourney through enrolling in GradStart Online. Orientations take place twice per year (January and August/September). 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.