Missed a GradStart pre-arrival webinar? Check out the resources and recording links below. Webinar resources and recordings are also posted on the GradStart online events page. Topics include Keys to flourishing in grad school, Career planning from the start, Building effective supervisory relationships, Maintaining your health and wellbeing, and Soft skills for working in a diverse environment. Please note: enrolment in GradStart online is required. Click here to enroll in GradStart online.
There are a plethora of events, services, and resources offered to support graduate students navigate graduate school at UBC and settle into life in Vancouver. Click on each box below to learn more.
Preparing for Arrival
If you are an international student, check out the International Student Guide which includes information and resources on immigration, important documents, health insurance, travelling to Canada, working in Canada, taxes, banking, and more.
Pre-arrival webinar recordings
Ambassador Welcome Series
- Navigating grad school during COVID-19, March 2022 recording
- Enjoying grad school on a budget May 2022 recording
- Establishing & Nurturing a Good Relationship with your Supervisor, August 2021 recording
- Establishing a Good Support Network, June 2021 recording
Graduate Colleges (Residences) Info Sessions
Budgeting and Finances for Graduate Students June 2021 recording
Living in Vancouver April 2022 recording
Graduate Students with Families May 2021 recording
Pre-Arrival webinar recordings for International Students April 2021 via iPrep. (Includes general pre-arrival session as well as the session specifically for graduate students with families)
Travellers arriving from outside Canada are required to follow public health orders. Please see the International Student Guide for the most current information. Check out UBC's self-isolation accommodation page for information on accommodation, food and drink, self-care, and more.
The UBC COVID-19 website contains useful FAQs and resources for UBC faculty, staff and students. It is updated regularly, following advice from provincial and federal health agencies.
Student Services' Support and Resources website provides information on Emergency financial support, Health & Wellbeing, Immigration, and Impacts on awards, loans, and tuition.
On the Student Housing COVID-19 website you'll find information on UBC Student Housing's response to Covid-19 and an FAQ section regarding living on campus.
The Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies COVID-19 website is specifically for graduate students. It answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to funding, assessments, dissertations, housing as well as information specific to international students and newly admitted students.
For information about the Transit Subsidy Program and student access to affordable transportation, click here.
COVID-19 & the Impact on Research Involving Human Participants: Visit The Office of Research Ethics' for current guidance on conducting research during COVID-19.
- For behavioural research: UBC Behavioural Guidance During COVID-19 Research Restrictions. Please also note that students who plan to conduct behavioural research outside Canada will be required to schedule a consultation with the BREB office before submitting their ethics application.
- For clinical research: UBC Clinical Research Ethics Board (CREB) Guidance During COVID-19
Check out our Life in Vancouver page for information on restaurants and groceries, day trips and festivals, places of worship, transportation, phones, and more. The Living in Vancouver pre-arrival webinar recording and handout above are also a great place to start.
Tourism Vancouver provides information on things to do in and around Vancouver, including an event calendar and deals.
Translink: The interactive trip planning tool can help guide you to your destination via bus, skytrain, or SeaBus! You can also find out when the next bus will arrive at your stop!
Getting to know Campus
Getting to Campus from Vancouver International Airport: Find passenger guides on how to navigate through the Vancouver International Airport (YVR): www.yvr.ca/en/passengers/navigate-yvr/passenger-guides
- To and From the Airport by Taxi: If you’ll be arriving in Vancouver via air, there is a 24-hour taxi service to and from the airport. Make sure to ask for the fixed fare for your destination. Don’t let the taxi driver try to make you pay a different rate.
- To and From the Airport by Public Transit: The Canada Line runs from the airport to downtown Vancouver. Use the Translink trip planner for your best travel options (It’s about $8.75)
Wayfinding at UBC: Feeling lost? You aren’t alone. This interactive map can help you find your way around UBC.
AMS Bike Co-op and Bike Kitchen: provides students and the wider community with an accessible environment where they can learn to fix bicycles, share resources, and work together. They engage in cycling education, outreach and advocacy to promote biking as a safe and sustainable means of transportation.
HOPR Campus Bike Share: People living, studying, and working on campus have access to HOPR bikes for commuting on campus, running errands, and riding for fun. To get hoppin’, download the HOPR Transit App and choose a pass.
Safewalk is a free service provided by the AMS and is dedicated to your safety on campus. Safewalk will send a co-ed pair of walkers to accompany you to any location on campus. Safewalk works closely with Campus Security and the RCMP to keep your safety a number one priority. Look for the red Safewalk jackets on campus!
- Call Safewalk at 604-822-5355
- Find a UBC Blue Phone and ask for Safewalk
- Stop by their office in the Nest (1314)
- Safewalk sends a co-ed team to accompany you to your destination
At UBC, the Sustainability Initiative's goal is to lead locally and globally in sustainability and wellbeing across our campuses and communities. UBC places sustainability at the heart of teaching, learning and research, operations and infrastructure, and community. UBC Sustainability Initiative supports this through teaching, learning and student engagement, regional and international engagement, urban innovation, climate emergency focused work, and using the UBC campus as a living lab to test and implement sustainability projects and campaigns.
This video and comprehensive programming handout offer some insight into the work the UBC Sustainability Initiative does and the engagement opportunities available to you, so that, together, we can amplify our efforts toward achieving a more sustainable future for all. For example, learn how to green your lab through the Green Labs Program!
Student Engagement Opportunities with UBC Sustainability Initiative: Explore individual and collaborative approaches to sustainability and how to contribute to human and environmental wellbeing during your time at UBC. Sign-up for the monthly UBC Sustainability newsletter to stay up-to-date on upcoming opportunities.
Community programs at Campus + Community Planning (C+CP). C+CP works with partners across the UBC campus to deliver events, programs, and placemaking initiatives to make campus more connected and vibrant. Find out about community activities and join in the fun:
- Follow their social @utownubc on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Lead a community-building project with a Community Grant.
UBC hosts several wireless networks to support students, faculty and staff on campus and at partner institutions. Check out which one will work best for you and get connected!
UBC Information Technology provides technology services and support to help you with your online learning. Check out their website. to find out more about the IT tools that will support you in your studies.
Download Free Software: Don’t have Microsoft 365 yet? Don’t fret. Students with a CWL account can download a free Microsoft 365 subscription. Microsoft Teams and OneDrive collaboration tools are also available to all students free of charge.
A number of vendor discounts are available to you to support your learning activities.
Additional IT Resources:
- Learn about Advanced Research Computing and Resource Data Management
- Check out the Emerging Media Lab on how you can incorporate augmented/virtual reality to your work.
- Learn about the Cloud Innovation Centre, UBC and Amazon Web Services’ first university-based cloud innovation centre in Canada.
UBC Food Services: UBC has over 40 places to eat. Learn about all the great options for food, meal plans, and the hours of each location. Use your UBCcard and save.
The AMS Food Bank is an emergency food relief service for UBC students, offering non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, budgeting tips, and information on additional resources in Vancouver. The AMS Food Bank receive supplies from a number of generous sponsors but otherwise rely on donations from students and staff to stock the food bank.
Visit UBC Events to learn about events happening all around campus.
With a wide variety of inclusive, accessible programs and resources UBC Recreation strives to create exceptional physical activity experiences that help students be their best while at university, build friendships and a sense of community, and enhance their wellbeing. UBC Grad students can enjoy perks and discounts on almost all UBC Recreation program offerings. Check out the facilities on campus including two fitness centres (the ARC & the BirdCoop), the UBC Aquatic Centre, the UBC Tennis Centre, and a number of grass and turf fields at Thunderbird Park.
Visit the Student Services Centre (SSC) to access information and resources on academic support, tutoring, advising, health and well-being, career building, and recreation. You can also use the SSC to register for courses, pay for tuition, get your study permit in order, explore your housing and transportation options, order transcripts and diplomas, and apply to graduate.
As you navigate your graduate program at UBC, you are encouraged to visit grad.ubc.ca/current-students for resources and guidance for thesis submission, doctoral examinations, deadlines, and graduation. This site also includes the Handbook of Graduate Supervision (including an expectations document), Student Responsibilities, Managing your Program, and the Graduate Game Plan — a step-by-step guide to your degree.
Conducting research ethically involves everyday decisions, behaviours and actions throughout the course of your research career.
The university’s Scholarly Integrity Policy (SC6) describes the related responsibilities and standards expected of all UBC persons engaged in scholarly activity.
UBC’s Scholarly Integrity Initiative offers teaching, learning and discussion resources in areas such as mentorship, data management, writing, authorship and publishing, and more to support you to responsibly conduct your research and scholarship. This includes a short self-paced training module.
An online, on-demand RCR course that covers the core norms, principles, regulations, and rules governing the conduct of research is available through UBC's subscription.
The Office of Research Ethics is the home of research ethics at UBC and provides extensive guidance on research ethics practices and requirements and helps you trouble-shoot your specific research questions. Does your research involve human participants? See handout. Important notes:
- Research ethics board (REB) review and approval is required when your research involves people or their data.
- REB approval is required to graduate and must be obtained before you start your research.
- Completion of the TCPS2 CORE tutorial is required before you start your research.
Go Global develops and facilitates international learning opportunities for UBC students: Global Seminars, Exchange, Summer Abroad, Research Abroad, Practicum Placements, and Cross-institutional student conferences and forums.
Go Global's programs offer UBC students the opportunity to explore the world both physically and virtually; build independence, initiative and adaptability; and foster global citizenship while participating in meaningful international learning experiences.
Will you travel outside of Canada for your research? If so, you have some responsibilities to prepare for safe travel including completing UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Registry.
Go Global also coordinates UBC’s Student Safety Abroad Program, which includes a policy that sets out a process for approving student international travel for university activities. Please go to Student Safety Abroad for more information and for the Safety Abroad Registry, or contact Student Safety Abroad.
With over 10 library branches on campus, you have access to resources and support to help you plan your research and get through your coursework.
Watch the quick video introduction to UBC Library for Grad students.
Contact your department’s subject Librarian.
See workshops for grad students.
Get support in navigating copyright for teaching, learning and research purposes with Copyright at UBC.
Access cIRcle, UBC’s open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by the UBC community and its partners. Discover freely available teaching, learning, and research material, and submit your graduate thesis or non-thesis research.
Visit Open UBC to learn about open scholarship and what it means to teaching, learning, and research at UBC.
Visit the Digital Tattoo Project provides resources and content to help you make your own informed decisions about your digital identity and learn about your rights and responsibilities as a digital citizen.
The UBC Library Research Commons is a multidisciplinary hub supporting research endeavours, partnerships, and education.
The Research Commons undertakes projects to help optimize your research, such as Geodisy and dryad2dataverse and the team provides consultations and workshops to support your research. Topics covered include:
- Data analysis and visualization
- Geospatial information and technology
- Digital Scholarship
- Research Data Management
- Citation management
The Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication (CWSC) supports a diverse community of writers at UBC, at various levels of proficiency, across many types of writing situations: academic, creative, professional, and technical. In addition to one-on-one consultations, the CWSC delivers writing-focused programming for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members.
The UBC tandem Language Learning Program is a free initiative, where participants wishing to improve in a language are matched with a partner who speaks this language fluently, and at the same time wants to improve in the language the first person speaks. It is a program designed to build community through additional language acquisition, foster intercultural communication, and enhance cross-cultural understanding on campus.
The Centre for Accessibility facilitates disability-related accommodations and programming designed to remove barriers for students with documented disabilities and ongoing medical conditions. You will have confidentiality about the nature of your diagnosis per the language of LR-7. To see if the Centre is right for you and for information on registering with the Centre for Accessibility, please click here to view an informative PDF.
The Applied Statistics and Data Science Group (ASDa) is the general statistical consulting group of the Department of Statistics at UBC. ASDa offers many different consulting services to graduate students including:
- the popular Statistical Opportunity for Students program, designed for graduate students to receive one free hour of statistical consultation. Please see handout.
- the series of “Introduction to Statistical Concepts” webinars hosted through the Graduate Pathways to Success program. Please see this handout for webinar details and times.
- assistance with your research project or thesis by hiring one of ASDa’s consultants to aid you.
If you are interested in learning to use the R statistical programming language, check out their webpage for some suitable resources to consider.
UBC’s Public Scholars Initiative (PSI) was launched in 2015 to support UBC doctoral students who wish to make purposeful contributions to the public good through collaborative, action-oriented, and/or creative forms of scholarship in their dissertation work. The hundreds of Public Scholars accepted into the program since its inception have sought to address complex questions and challenges of our world through collaborations with over 100 partners in all societal sectors in over 40 countries. Applications to the program take place each spring. Learn more about the program and how to here.
A groundbreaking undertaking, the PSI moves beyond ‘skills training’ and extracurricular experience and reimagines PhD pathways that legitimize and integrate broader conceptions of scholarship and scholarly products within the core of doctoral education – dissertation research.
By recognizing these forms and products as worthy determinants of the granting of the PhD, UBC is promoting a renewed commitment to 21st century relevance for the academy’s highest degree. Coming from almost all faculties and disciplines, Public Scholars are united under the PSI umbrella with a passion to contribute to the public good.
Career and Professional Development
At UBC, professional development for graduate students is a key priority to ensure the success of our graduates. It is a shared responsibility of a number of offices and academic units. Visit our site for a multi-unit calendar of events and lists of services and resources.
The Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre is the home for UBC alumni for life and the UBC alumni community is now 350,000 strong, living in more than 140 countries. alumni UBC offers an array of programs and services, both in person and online, to benefit alumni - and current students - in the life of UBC. From career resources, stimulating intellectual programming, networking connections and mentoring opportunities, to the award-winning Trek Magazine, alumni UBC keeps you current and connected.
The centre offers a variety of services and resources aimed at assisting graduate students with career guidance and development, including weekly drop-in and advising sessions. Events include employer information sessions, recruitment fairs, and workshops. Graduate students can access events and services at any time during their degree, and up to 1 year post graduation.
The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) provides a variety of graduate student programs and support related to teaching, TA training, use of technology in educational programming as well as a certificate program for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching and learning in higher education.
The Graduate Pathways to Success program in Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers a palette of non-credit workshops, seminars and other activities designed to develop some of the skills and competencies needed to thrive as professionals and to make meaningful contributions to society.
Innovation UBC builds on UBC’s experience and expertise. This network involves multiple units and teams and expands the range of assistance for UBC researchers, scholars and their partners to generate social and economic impacts in B.C. and around the world.
The Knowledge Exchange, Innovation Partnerships, University-Industry Liaison Office and entrepreneurship@UBC teams work together to make connections and build transformative partnerships that increase the interaction with UBC research excellence, discoveries and capacity. They guide UBC researchers and their partners through the most effective channels, including patenting and licensing, venture building or forming new partnerships with industry, government, non-profit or community groups.
Innovation UBC hubs at Robson Square in Vancouver and in the Innovation Centre in Kelowna simplify access to the network and provide space for new UBC ventures to connect with wider innovation networks.
entrepreneurship@UBC, the University of British Columbia's incubator and accelerator program, propels innovations out into the world through venture creation, providing UBC students, researchers, faculty members, alumni and staff with the resources, networks, and funding they need to succeed. Start your venture building journey today! Learn more about their programs, events and how you can get started, here.
Mitacs supports collaborative innovation by connecting industry and community with post-secondary institutions. For over 20 years, Mitacs has supported cutting-edge research and created job opportunities for graduate students including paid internships through their Accelerate program. These internships help companies and not-for-profit organizations reach their goals and achieve results that bolster Canadian industrial and social innovation. Mitacs Training provides professional skills development courses for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Please visit the Mitacs website or connect with a Mitacs representative to learn more.
Graduate students may register through UBC’s institutional subscription for this online, on-demand mentoring, tools, and support, including webinars and a 12-week Dissertation Success Curriculum, to help you succeed in the academy. Programming focuses on the following 4 key areas: Strategic Planning, Explosive Productivity, Healthy Relationships and Work-Life-Balance.
Health and Wellbeing
At UBC, there are many supports for graduate students, both in person and online, to support both your mental and physical health. Visit Health and Wellbeing to explore the health resources available to you, from counseling, to peer support, to clinical care, and more. Get connected to the ones that meet your needs!
Get Advice and Address Challenges
Stay updated with information about fees and tuition by visiting Tuition, Fees & Cost of Living.
UBC has many financial resources and tools for students, including financial advising, workshops, and more.
Get confidential and impartial advice to navigate campus-related fairness challenges.
The UBC Office of the Ombudsperson for Students helps students address and resolve concerns about unfair treatment at UBC. The Office can support students to explore options, clarify policies and understand procedures to problem-solve and move constructively forward. Learn more through this overview of the Office and the Fairness Toolkit: Managing Difficult Conversations.
The GSS Advocacy Office provides confidential assistance to individual graduate students facing difficulties academically or otherwise.
The Equity & Inclusion Office's mission is to advance equity and human rights at UBC by promoting diversity, eliminating discrimination, and engaging the community in dialogue and action. Find resources and take workshops that support employment equity, education, leadership, and proactive initiatives while building resiliency and a respectful environment.
UBC’s Investigations Office is a service for students, staff and faculty. The office conducts impartial and trauma informed investigations into matters of sexual misconduct and discrimination on both UBC-V and UBC-O campuses. Guided by principles of procedural fairness and due process, the investigations ensure that all parties are treated with respect. UBC's Investigations Office offers additional options including Alternative Resolutions when appropriate. For more information, please sign up for the Canvas courses, which can be found at:
https://canvas.ubc.ca/enroll/AP9W78 (Student Version)
https://canvas.ubc.ca/enroll/HBYGJM (Staff/Faculty Version)
They also provide consultations to individuals or groups who may be thinking of making a report to their office, but would like some additional information before doing so. Consultations are confidential (within the limits of the law) and can be arranged by contacting them directly
Contact your graduate program administrator or graduate advisor for department-specific questions or challenges.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies provides a plethora of information to help you manage your program including information on academic progress, helping with leaves, conflict resolution, and more.
CUPE 2278 is a local of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing Teaching Assistants, Tutors, Markers at UBC and UNBC, and Instructors in the English Language Institute (ELI) at UBC. CUPE 2278 engages in collective bargaining with the university to fight for fair working conditions for all members. Find them on Instagram and on Facebook. To contact CUPE 2278, please click here. You can also contact the CUPE 2278 president directly.
Resources and Initiatives for Indigenous Students
UBC Vancouver is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) – People of the River Grass.
The Indigenous Student Portal is your pathway to learning about UBC’s commitment to Indigenous engagement at its Vancouver campus and an information resource for Indigenous students, faculty and the wider community
UBC has a large and vibrant community of Indigenous students, faculty members, staff and friends. You can learn more about the many Indigenous-focused programs and services aimed at supporting Indigenous graduate student academic and personal success through the Indigenous Graduate Student page.
The centre of Indigenous community on campus is the First Nations Longhouse. The Longhouse sponsors many workshops, social gatherings, ceremonies and support programs throughout the year. It also is the home to the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL), a computer lab, and the Xwi7xwa Library.
The Vancouver Indigenous Students’ Collegium (VISC) is unique in that it works to support all Indigenous students from first year through graduate school. The VISC normally hosts an on campus space for Indigenous students where you can come and connect with fellow Indigenous students, and Elders – whether it is a quick check-in or to share a few laughs. To find out more about their on campus or online events be sure to register.
Indigenous graduate students are also invited to join SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement), an initiative to support Indigenous graduate student success through mentorship, academic workshops, speaker series, writing circles, networking and more. E-mail to join the SAGE listserv.
To learn more about Indigenous student spaces on campus, Indigenous student groups, and Indigenous student resources, visit the Faculty of Arts' Indigenous Student Advising Community website.
Advancing Indigenous Inclusion is a key strategic priority in Gradate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS). Learn more. Rebecca Jules, who is Secwepemc from the Adams Lake Indian Band, works in G+PS as the Specialist for Indigenous Graduate Initiatives. Her role includes direct support for Indigenous students as well as partnering with faculty and staff across the university to ensure that Indigenous graduate students receive support throughout their UBC experience, from pre-application advising through to program completion, as well as greater fulfillment within their degree studies. Contact Rebecca if you have questions.
Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI) facilitates research that is developed and conducted in collaboration with Indigenous communities and led by Indigenous perspectives.
Indigenous Research Support Initiative also supports research excellence and helps create and sustain meaningful collaborations with Indigenous communities.
Check their website for information on:
- Working with IRSI
- Indigenous Research Collaborations
- Research toolkit
- and more!
Indigenous Initiatives at CTLT develops and offers programming, resources, and consultations focused on Indigenous engagement in curriculum, pedagogy, classroom climate, and professional development.
Their approaches include:
- Campus and Classroom Climate
- Having Difficult Conversations
- Bridging the Knowledge Gap
- Positionality and Intersectionality
- Indigenization, Decolonization, and Reconciliation
The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC addresses the colonial legacy of residential schools and other policies imposed by the Canadian government on Indigenous Peoples, and ensures that this history is acknowledged, examined and understood within the UBC community. The Centre works with partners across disciplines, at UBC and beyond, to facilitate dialogues and access to records and information that support engaging the legacies of the residential school system and the on-going impacts of colonialism in Canada.
Between the late 1800s and 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children attended Indian residential schools. What does this legacy look like today?
Visit the UBC’s Residential School History and Dialogue Centre online to learn about the ongoing legacy of residential schools in Canada:
- browse our collections
- listen to Survivor testimony
- attend an event
- and more.
Connect and Get Involved
The Graduate Student Community is an online portal that includes:
- an interactive newly admitted checklist,
- forums for incoming graduate students to help you get settled into your life as a UBC Vancouver graduate student,
- forums for current graduate students regarding current career, workshop, and funding opportunities, and
- a graduate student-specific event calendar.
The GSS provides an independent voice for UBC-V graduate students. They advocate on student-related academic, personal, or financial issues both within the university and at a provincial and federal level; administer a health and dental plan; support and collaborate with other graduate student organizations; and host social events and discounted programming.
The Alma Mater Society (AMS)
Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC offers student services and advocacy ranging from tutoring to resource groups. With over 350 Student Clubs there are plenty of ways to get involved. Can’t find something you’re interested in? Start a club yourself.
Check out the list of Graduate Student Associations and Clubs.
If you are a student who is a parent, there are plenty of programs, resources and initiatives that can assist you. The students who are parents website offers information on community centres and family activities, support on campus, information on daycares and schools, and more
The printable resources for Graduate Students with Families document also includes information on housing, child care and schools, fun things to do as well as resources for settling in.
The Global Lounge is a space for global citizenship and social justice events and initiatives, sharing new ideas, making new friends, or finding support for events or initiatives of your own.
The University Multifaith Chaplains Association makes a vital contribution to the well-being of the UBC community by engaging people in:
- Faith and spirituality
- Meditation and emotional healing
- Friendship and community
- Citizenship and leadership
- Intercultural dialogue and collaboration