Admissions

Students interested in the Department of Geography graduate programs must meet the minimum admission requirements and follow the application procedures below.

Admission Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies sets the minimum requirements for admission to any graduate program at UBC. International students should also check their country’s specific requirements as they may differ.

Application Process & Documents

For both the MA and PhD programs, those interested must complete an online application. In this application you will be asked to submit the following documents:

  • List your preferred supervisors
  • Scanned copies of all official transcripts
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of intent (maximum 500 words)
  • CV (maximum 1-3 pages)
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency
  • Permanent Resident Card (Both sides), if applicable

All documents can be uploaded as scanned documents through your online application.

Please go through each section carefully and ensure that your documents are fully completed.

The most important first steps in applying for admission to our graduate program is finding and approaching a potential supervisor in the department. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the research you are interested in completing as a graduate student. Every applicant to the graduate program should, in principle, contact a potential supervisor to confirm that they are interested in reviewing the application. This does not constitute a promise from the supervisor that the student will be admitted, since admissions decisions are made by the Graduate Committee; it only serves as an indication that the potential supervisor is willing to consider supervising a new, incoming student. Professors of Teaching do not supervise graduate students.

Visit our People page and find a comprehensive list of the current faculty and their research interests. There is a space in the application form for you to list your preferred supervisors.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has strict requirements for admissions documents, and the procedures may be unfamiliar to those outside of North America. Detailed instructions are available on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Applicants will be asked to upload transcripts with their grade key (usually located on the back of the transcript). Even if the applicant does not yet have final marks on the transcript, we still require a copy as evidence of registration and academic progress.

Please note that unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted at the time of application. However, originals will be requested if you are shortlisted for admission. When sending original transcripts, please follow the guidelines for transcripts found on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. Please review the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies details on reference letters.

References will be able to upload their letters once you have submitted your application, so please ensure that they are able to submit by the deadlines noted above and that you provide them with appropriate timelines.

For the 2021/22 academic year, references for masters programs are due by January 1st 2021, and for doctoral programs by January 15th 2021. Please review the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies details on reference letters.

Each applicant must submit a short statement of purpose, approximately 300 words, which indicates what they hope to accomplish in the program. Please be as specific as possible in describing your research interests and explaining why you wish to join our department.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

For more details and information on English proficiency requirements, please review the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website and consult the pages for our MA, MSc, and PhD programs.

You are welcome to submit additional information (ex. resume or CV), regarding professional employment experience, publications, or awards, which you feel should be taken into account in considering your application.

Permanent Residents are required to provide proof of immigration status and date of landing by submitting a copy of the Record of Landing Form or a copy of both the front and back of their Permanent Resident card.

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