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The University of British Columbia


British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research University. Established in 1908, and is the oldest University in British Columbia. The University is renowned for being North America's ' Most International University'. It is consitently ranked amongst the top 20 world universities for teaching, learning, and world-class research.

In Canda, UBC is ranked #2 on The World University Rankings , only trailing to the University of Toronto. UBC ranks highly for its global research impact, and for promoting a high global outlook through its high international student enrolment and faculty, creating a diverse network of international alliances.

More than 95% of international students questioned by the Canadian Bureau for International Education Student surveys have rated their studies at UBS as “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied”, and would recommened Canada as a great International study destination.

University Ranking

  • UBC has produced 8 Nobel Laureates, 71 Rhodes Scholars, and 65 Olympians.
  • Three of Canada's Prime Ministers have been educated at UBC, including current prime minister Justin Trudeau.
  • World University rankings recognize University of British Columbia for its excellence in teaching and research, and its global impact.
  • UBC is consistently ranked in the top 5% of world Universities, across a range of factors including research, teaching, international collaborations, global impact, graduate employability, collaboration with businesses, academic, and subject rankings.
  • Times Higher Education Ranks UBC as Canada's #2 University, and #34th in the world, While the Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU places it #2 and #35 in Canada and the world respectively. The QS world rankings places UBC at #3 in Canada, and #51 in the world.
  • UBC has been ranked amongst the top 3 Universities in the world for its global impact.
  • It is ranked #6 for Plant and Animal Science, #11 for Environment/Ecology, #14 for Computer Science,#18 for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, as well as for Social Sciences and Public Health #24 for Psychiatry/Psychology, #27 for Agricultural Sciences, #34 for Neuroscience and Behaviour, #35 for Clinical Medicine, #44 for Arts and Humanities, and #55 for Civil Engineering.
  • UBC ranks #3 amongst over 450 Universities in over 76 countries, based on its contributions towards research, outreach, and stewardship.
  • UBC is ranked 1st in the world for its swift action to take a stand on climate change, on research and information produced on combatting climate change.
  • UBC is ranked #1 in Canada for research conducted and approach on sustainability, and for its role as a guardian of the Arts and Heritage of the country.
  • UBC is 2nd in Canada for its quality of Education, and contributions to lifelong learning, pedagogy research, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, as well as engaging in global partnerships and collaboration with other countries to promote best practices.

Faculties and Departments

  • Faculty of Applied Sciences
  • School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  • Faculty of Arts
  • School of Audiology and Speech Sciences
  • Sauder School of Business
  • School of Community and Regional Planning
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Forestry
  • School of Journalism
  • School of Kinesiology
  • Faculty of Land and Food Systems
  • Peter. A. Allard School of Law
  • School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • School of Music
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Population and Public Health
  • School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Faculty of Science
  • School of Social Work

Campus Locations

As one of the world's top research universities, the University of British Columbia has created positive change at home and abroad for more than a century. Today our two major campuses—in Vancouver and the Okanagan—attract, nurture and transform more than 65,000 students from Canada and 140+ countries around the world.

Located 30 minutes from the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver campus is a spectacular location that is a 'must-see' for any visitor to the city — where snow-capped mountains meet ocean, and breathtaking vistas greet you around every corner. The campus is home to more than 44,000 undergraduate and nearly 10,000 graduate students.

The University of British Columbia's Vancouver campus is located at the western tip of the Point Grey Peninsula in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

More than 400 hectares in size, the stunning campus is surrounded by forest on three sides and ocean on the fourth, and is just a 30 minute bus ride to Vancouver's downtown core. The campus has been located on this site for most of its 100-year history; a location that is the traditional territory of the Musqueam people.

The campus also has two additional sites, one in the heart of downtown Vancouver at Robson Square, and another at Centre for Digital Media.

  • Administrative & Governing Bodies
  • Campus Services
  • Faculties & Schools


As a top-ranked research university, the Vancouver campus is home to some outstanding facilities, including:

  • UBC Welcome Centre — the perfect place to start your journey on the Vancouver campus
  • TRIUMF — one of the world's leading laboratories for subatomic physics
  • UBC Library — one of Canada's leading academic libraries, with 21 branches and divisions on this campus
  • The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts — one of the world's great concert halls
  • The Centre for Interactive Research in Sustainability (CIRS)
  • The Arthur Erickson designed Museum of Anthropology — Canada's largest teaching museum
  • The Beaty Biodiversity Museum — home to Canada's largest blue whale skeleton
  • The world class UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
  • The UBC Farm — the only working farm in the city of Vancouver
  • Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre — home to Thunderbird Ice Hockey and 2010 Winter Olympics Ice Hockey Venue
  • Nitobe Memorial Garden — considered one of the top five Japanese Gardens outside of Japan

The Okanagan campus is an intimate learning community embracing bold new ways of thinking that attract exceptional students and faculty. More than 9,120 students from throughout the Okanagan region, across Canada and 99 other countries are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in eight faculties and schools.

Purpose-built for the 21st century, the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus opened in Kelowna in 2005. UBC is one of North America's largest public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world's 40 best universities.

With $19.9 million in annual research funding, and more than 1,247 research projects underway, the Okanagan campus is earning a reputation as an important, respected centre of learning and research, enhancing knowledge creation and innovation in our region and internationally.

The University of British Columbia is a public institution located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The university was established in 1908 and opened in 1915. It has two main campuses – the Vancouver campus and the Okanagan campus located in Kelowna. The Vancouver campus is the larger of the two, accommodating more than 85 percent of UBC students. In a recent year, 23 percent of students at the Vancouver campus and around 13 percent at the Okanagan campus were international. Tuition costs at UBC vary by degree program and are higher for international students. University housing is guaranteed for first-year UBC undergraduates, and newly admitted international students who are second-year undergrads receive housing priority too. Housing is also available for returning undergraduate and graduate students.

The Vancouver campus offers more than two dozen academic divisions, while the Okanagan campus has eight. The academic calendars for both campuses include two-term winter and summer sessions, although the summer session is optional. The primary language of instruction at UBC is English. First-year international students can opt to enroll in the Vantage One program at UBC's Vantage College, which aims to help students improve their English, in part by stretching their first year of study from eight to 11 months. Following completion, students transition into the second year of their UBC degree program. Examples of UBC research facilities include Canada's national TRIUMF subatomic physics laboratory, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm and the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention.

Other UBC Sites

  • UBC Robson Square
  • Set in the kaleidoscopic heart of Vancouver, our vibrant learning and conference centre welcomes over 30,000 adult learners a year in daytime, evening and weekend offerings. Our programming covers a broad spectrum from business to the arts with courses in digital media and technology, communications and languages, research and the arts – we truly have it all. Join us and our community partners to enrich your life and further your career.

  • Centre for Digital Media
  • As the partnership of UBC, Simon Fraser University, the BC Institute of Technology, Emily Carr University of Art and operating under the GNW Trust, the 18-acre campus is a fusion of top-tier technology, industry, business, the arts and the general community. The ever-evolving campus's prime catalyst: the Centre for Digital Media and its Masters program.

  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Across BC
  • Four university academic and 11 clinical academic campuses, 17 affiliated regional centres, 65 plus community education and rural/remote sites; spread province wide and yet fully integrated by technology, innovation and quiet passion, the UBC Faculty of Medicine is greater than the sum of its parts and for our students, a truly unique and varied skein of education and experiences.

  • Asia Pacific Regional Office
  • Officially opened in 2005 and based in Hong Kong SAR, the APRO is UBC's seasoned 'window' into Asia Pacific and what is arguably the world's most dynamic region. Not just to observe but to do: active throughout Asia, the cross-cultural APRO serves and assists alumni and development activities, academic programs, student recruitment, research and other endeavours.

Key areas of study

  • Forestry
  • Computer Science
  • Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Environment/Ecology
  • Business
  • Geography
  • Transportation Science & Technology
  • Sport Sciences
  • Telecommunications

Student Services

UBC Offers several student services for international students including:

  • Tutoring
  • This option is open for all first- and second-year students enrolled at UBC, including private tutoring sessions, and group tutoring, to help you with your academics and coursework, and achieve the grades that you want.

  • E-Hub
  • The E-hub equips students with solutions to solve real-world problems and make a difference in the community. The UBC e-projects helps young student entrepreneurs to build successful businesses, through educative workshops, seminars, and speaker sessions, held by industry professionals, as well as fund student projects through in-house investments, and connect students to angles and venture capital funding.

Clubs and Societies

At the University of British Columbia, there are two different types of student societies.

  1. Course Unions
  2. Course Unions allow students to discover their passions and interests in a selected academic field through activities such as tutoring programs, supplying additional course material, advocating for students in their academic field.

  3. Clubs
  4. Clubs are the best way to meet with like-minded individuals, make friends, and improve your social networking skills, improve time management, and be more efficient in teamwork. Clubs memberships are open to all students, and range from hobby and sports clubs, religion and ethnic clubs, drama clubs, music, academic, political, international organizations, to clubs for social justice.


Welcome prospective undergrads—domestic and international!

For many new students, living in residence is where the university journey begins. And at UBC, it's an extraordinary experience unlike any other.

Living in residence makes it easy for students to meet new people, live in a study-oriented atmosphere, get help for academic and personal challenges, and be part of all that UBC and its surrounding neighbourhoods have to offer. Campus residents have easy access to beaches and recreational activities, theatre, restaurants, guest speakers, and special interest clubs.

Year after year, students tell us that living in residence helped them become better learners and make long-lasting friendships. UBC houses more than 11,000 students in 13 residences.

Guaranteed rooms
Many prospective students will qualify for our First Year Guarantee in Winter Session Residence. Most students in this group are assigned to live in Totem Park , Place Vanier or Orchard Commons. They all have furnished shared and single rooms, vibrant common areas for socializing, and plenty of space for quiet study time. Based on availability, some students will be assigned to live in Ritsumeikan-UBC House, Walter Gage,and Fairview Crescent where upper-year students and some graduate students also live.

Eating made easy

"The dining room gives you a huge array of options and they switch it up every couple of days so there's always something new to try.” —Amy Miles, Totem Park resident

Never worry about planning, shopping, prepping or cleaning up after meals! Residents in Totem Park, Place Vanier and Orchard Commons purchase a mandatory meal plan, valid at more than 45 places to eat, including residence dining rooms—always stocked with nutritious dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For detailed information about payment amounts and the payment schedule, visit the Fees & Payments page and click on the page for your residence. Students who are offered accommodation in other residences will have a kitchen but can also enjoy added convenience and savings with the Savings Plus Meal Plan or UBCcard Plan.

Support & fun

“You'll meet people from all over the world with all different backgrounds. The one thing we have in common is UBC pride.” —Brandon MacKay

No matter which residence you live in, you will be part of a safe, supportive environment that's designed to help you pursue your academic goals and enjoy your time as a student. Our Residence Life teams are among the best-connected people at the university. Residence advisors—current UBC students—are plugged into the resources and support services available to you in residence and around campus, including health services and safety programs. RAs spend countless hours organizing fun opportunities to get students involved in residence. Be an actor in a residence play, join a committee, or go on a field trip to an Olympic ski hill. When you live at UBC, there's always something to do.

Jump Start

“Before arriving at UBC, I was anxious about moving to a new place, meeting new friends and being in a different academic setting. I made friends and got to know UBC through Jump Start and now I feel more confident going into my classes” – Jump Start participant

All direct-entry, first-year undergraduate students are invited to participate in Jump Start, which takes place during the week prior to classes in August. Jump Start is a transition program specifically designed to help first year students adjust to their new academic environment, make friends, and explore their new home, school, and city.


Fees and payments will vary depending on what residence and type of room you live in, as well as if you require a meal plan. A typical cost for a room and a meal plan for a new undergraduate student is between $10,700 and $13,850 for two terms. Payments are spread over the school year. There are extra fees for parking and optional telecommunications services like cable TV and phone. Undergraduate students entering their first year could be eligible for a Student Housing Supplemental Grant.

How to apply

Undergraduate students who qualify for a guaranteed room can apply in two ways:

  1. There is an option to open a residence application when applying for UBC

  2. Apply directly to Student Housing and Hospitality Services before May 1. Before you apply, review essential application facts and important dates to ensure your application is submitted properly and on time. Demand to live in residence is high so don't wait until you are admitted to UBC to apply for a space in residence.

    The UBC Housing website contains information about other on-campus housing opportunities that are available to graduate students., including details for all residences that are available for graduate students. Please note: on-campus housing is in high demand. You will have to apply very early to be able to receive a placement in time for your program start date. We recommend you apply for on-campus housing at the same time as you apply for a graduate program, or as early as possible once you know you will be attending UBC!

    Once you have applied, you can check your position on the waiting list through the online service centre at https://secure.housing.ubc.ca/

    Tip: as graduate student you have a better chance of getting into on-campus residence if you apply for year-round housing. If you apply for the winter session only, you will be competing with undergraduate students who have priority.


    The MBA House is primarily for students in business programs, but sometimes has rooms available that they offer to graduate students. Students with mobility disabilities

    St. John's College has a limited number of wheelchair accessible rooms available. Green College is not suitable for students with mobility disabilities. UBC Housing has several residences (e.g. Gage Apartments, Fairview Crescent, Thunderbird and Marine Drive Residences) that are suitable for students with mobility disabilities. Priority for assignment is given to students with substantiated disabilities that might prevent them from commuting to UBC from an off-campus residence. Please contact UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services directly to get all details regarding availability and eligibility.

Pet-Friendly Accommodation

On campus housing does not allow pets. In general though, Vancouver is very dog- and cat-friendly. You will find lots of off leash areas and dog parks etc. However, not every landlord allows pets in an apartment. Many of the newer condos in downtown (such as Yaletown) do not allow pets. This seems to be more flexible in the older buildings, e.g. in West End. AMS Rentsline allows you to search for pet-friendly accommodation. Sometimes landlords will state that animals are not allowed, but if you only have a small dog or cat they might agree to it. It cannot hurt to ask!


When you compare prices for accommodation, make sure you find out about utility costs. In on-campus housing several utilities are already included, whereas you might have to pay for these if you rent your own apartment. Most commonly only the rental rate gets published and you will have to ask what utilities you will have to pay for. Utilities can be things such as

  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Heat (depending on how the rental place is heated, it might add to your electricity/gas costs)
  • Hot water (depending on how the water is heated, it might add to your electricity costs)
  • Internet (typically not included in rentals)
  • TV/Cable (typically not included in rentals)
  • Home phone / landline (typically not included in rentals)

If you get a room somewhere in a house or share a place, it is common that things like Internet, cable and phone are already available, but you will be asked to share the bills. In many apartment buildings heat and hot water are included, but if not, this can be a significant added cost.