English-language pathways at UBC

English-language pathways at UBC

If you have achieved outstanding academic results but don’t meet UBC’s English-language requirement, UBC may have a program for you. There are multiple pathways available if you are accepted for study at UBC but require additional support in English-language acquisition.

Conditional Admission Program

The Conditional Admission Program (CAP) offers English-language preparation leading to undergraduate degree programs on the UBC Vancouver campus.

If you are admitted into CAP, you will be accepted into your chosen undergraduate program on the condition you successfully complete the UBC Continuing Studies English Language Institute Intensive English Program, which provides full-time English-language training through either:

  • An 8-week accelerated session scheduled to start in July and finish at the end of August (only open to CAP students)
  • A 16-week session scheduled to start in January, May, or September (open to both CAP and other students)

Once you have successfully completed the IEP, you can transition into your degree program.

The application deadline for CAP is January 15, 2019 for studies beginning in September of 2019.

Vantage One

UBC’s Vantage One program offers 11-month programs for first year international students attending either the UBC Vancouver or Okanagan campus. In these specially-designed pathways, you will receive English language instruction in your first-year degree courses to prepare you for success in the remainder of your Bachelor’s degree.

Upon completion of your Vantage One program, you will receive credit for completing the first year of your undergraduate degree, and will progress into your second year of study. The application deadline for Vantage One is January 15, 2019 for studies beginning in September of 2019.

English Foundation Program

The English Foundation Program (EFP) is offered at the Okanagan campus in Kelowna. An innovative and accredited program, it provides university admission to students who meet all of the academic requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Science, Applied Science, Management, Fine Arts, Media Studies, and Human Kinetics, but who do not meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standards.

The EFP combines intensive English language training and academic courses while engaging students in campus life, providing a balanced mix of academics, activities, and experiential and cultural learning on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

UBC applicants are automatically evaluated for the EFP if they meet the university’s admission requirements and have applied to study at UBC Okanagan. The application deadline for the EFP is January 15, 2019 for studies beginning in September of 2019.


First-round offers of admission to UBC

First-round offers of admission to UBC

A limited number of highly competitive high school students who follow a Canadian curriculum will receive first-round offers of admission from UBC. These students can expect to hear from UBC as early as late January. Here is what you need to know about the process:

Which sessions do first-round offers of admission apply to?

UBC will offer first-round offers of admission for the 2019 Winter Session.

What must students do to be considered for first-round offers of admission?

To be considered for first-round offers of admission, students must:

  • Apply by December 1, 2018.
  • Submit any completed final grades (also by December 1, 2018):
    • BC/Yukon students need to request an electronic transcript be sent to UBC via the BC Ministry of Education’s Student Transcript Service.
    • Students from all other provinces need to complete the academic profile section of the UBC online application.
  • Have very competitive grades and Personal Profile scores.
  • Meet all the admission requirements.

Students will not be refused based on Grade 11-level grades presented in their application. Students who are not offered a first-round offer of admission will automatically be evaluated again in March through the regular admissions process.

Students who are not offered a first-round offer of admission in late January/mid-February will not be disadvantaged in any way in terms of their chances of getting in to UBC.

When will first-round offers of admission decisions be made?

First-round offers of admission to UBC will commence in late January and continue until mid-February. Applicants who are not offered a first-round offer of admission will be re-evaluated once February-March grades are available.

What are students’ next steps after receiving a first-round offer of admission?

For those students who receive a first-round offer of admission, the next steps are:

  • All students must maintain their academic standing in order to keep their offer of admission.
  • Spring 2019: UBC will verify interim grades.
  • July 2019: UBC will verify all final grades.

Ready to be a UBC student? Apply now.

BC and Yukon applicants: Reporting your English 12 results

BC and Yukon applicants: Reporting your English 12 results

The information in this blog post applies to the 2018/19 academic year. If you are applying to study at UBC in the 2019/20 academic year, the process has changed. Learn how to submit documents >>

During the self-reporting period, we receive lots of questions about English 12 and the English 12 Provincial Exam. Here are answers to two of the most common questions we hear.

How do I report my final English 12 grade if I have not yet written my provincial exam?


  1. Under Course Type, indicate whether you took English 12 at a physical high school or via distributed learning/online.
  2. Under Grade Type, indicate that your English 12 grade is a Final Grade.
  3. Enter your final English 12 grade in the GR12 School % box.
  4. Enter 0 (zero) in the GR12 Exam % box.
  5. Enter 0 (zero) the GR12 Final % box.

I’m retaking English 12. Can I report my new interim grade?

If you are retaking the course from September to June at your home school, you can report your new interim English 12 grade as it appears on the high school report card that you receive between March 5 and April 14.

If you are retaking the course in Semester 2 (from February to June), you can only report your old English 12 grade and not your new interim grade from Semester 2.

For detailed instructions on reporting your grades, visit our BC and Yukon self-reporting page.

Course selection tips for Grade 11 or junior students

Course selection tips for Grade 11 or junior students

If you’re hoping to attend UBC in September 2019, it’s time to start planning which Grade 12 or senior-level courses to take. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Know your requirements

Choose Grade 12 or senior-level courses that meet:

  • your high school graduation requirements;
  • UBC’s general admission requirements;
  • UBC’s degree-specific requirements.

Your general admission and degree-specific requirements will depend on the UBC campus and degree you choose, and the high school curriculum you’re studying as a Canadian student or an international student.

When you apply to UBC, you’ll have the chance to choose a first-choice and second-choice degree. Make sure the Grade 12 or senior-level courses you choose meet the requirements for both degrees.

If you haven’t chosen a degree yet, don’t worry! Just make sure that, at minimum, you meet UBC’s general admission requirements. Every UBC degree has specific requirements beyond the general admission requirements, but some degrees have fewer than others.

Please note: Online and distributed learning courses must be completed by February 1 for those grades to be used as part of your admissions average.

Make sure you meet UBC’s English language requirement

Since English is the primary language of instruction at UBC, you will be required to demonstrate a minimum level of English before you’re admitted. There are nine ways to meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard for an undergraduate degree.

Start thinking about your Personal Profile

UBC will evaluate your application based on a combination of your academic achievements and personal experiences. The Personal Profile is your opportunity to tell UBC what you are most proud of, what is most important to you, and what you have learned from your experiences inside and outside the classroom. Start thinking about what you are learning – and want to learn – from those experiences in the coming year.

Do your best

A competitive university like UBC receives more applications than can be accommodated. We wish we could admit all qualified applicants, but we just don’t have the space. Beginning in 2019, UBC will be adopting a comprehensive approach to admissions that focuses primarily on your marks in academic courses, but also considers the breadth, rigour, and relevancy of your coursework. Find answers to your questions about the new admissions process.

Stay up to date

UBC’s admission requirements can change from year to year. Be sure to refer to the Applying to UBC page for the most up-to-date information.

UBC’s admissions process is changing in 2019

UBC’s admissions process is changing in 2019

UBC is changing how we decide who receives an offer of admission to study here. You’ll still need to meet UBC’s general and degree-specific admission requirements for Canadian high schools or international high schools – those haven’t changed. And you should still focus on your achievements beyond academics. What’s changing is how UBC will evaluate your courses and grades.

We know you have questions. Here are some answers.

Who’s affected, and how?

How exactly is the admissions process changing?

In the past, UBC looked at your grades in a limited number of academic Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses. Starting in 2019, we’ll consider all Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) classes in the admissions decision and look at academic factors beyond grades too.

Who will be affected by these changes?

If you are a Grade 11 (junior level) student, or any student hoping to enter UBC directly from secondary school in September 2019 or beyond, these changes will apply to you. If you are transferring to UBC from another post-secondary institution, such as a university or college, these changes do not apply to you.

Why is UBC making these changes?

The goal of the changes to UBC’s admissions process is to take a more holistic approach to evaluating your academic profile and to foster greater equity in admissions decisions among all applicants.

Will these changes make it more difficult to gain admission to UBC?

No. These changes will not impact how many students UBC admits.

Will I still have to complete a Personal Profile?


Course selection

If I’m starting Grade 12 (senior year) in 2018, do I need to change which courses I’m taking?

No. The general and degree-specific requirements for admission to UBC’s undergraduate degrees have not changed. You are not required to take more courses or different courses than before.

Will I have to take more courses under UBC’s new admissions process?

No. We’re recommending that you take at least six academic or non-academic Grade 12 (senior level) courses. There is no longer an approved course list – any Grade 12 (senior level) course you take can count towards your six. Note: If you’re graduating from a secondary school outside of Canada, the recommended minimum number of senior-level courses will vary. 

Does it matter which six Grade 12 (senior level) courses I choose?

Yes. Choosing courses that are academic in nature and/or are related to what you want to study at UBC may increase your chances of gaining admission to UBC.

What does UBC consider an academic course?

Academic courses fall within one of six subject categories: Language Arts, Mathematics and Computation, Sciences, Second Languages (including immersion programs), Social Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts. Applied design, skills, and technologies courses; career education courses; physical and health education courses; and faith-based courses are not considered academic courses. Regardless of where you go to school, you can refer to the BC Ministry of Education website for examples of courses in each category.

If I don’t have at least six Grade 12 (senior level) courses, can I still be admitted to UBC?

Yes. Be sure to explain why you took a reduced course load in your application. We’ll review each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a minimum number of courses required for the core academic assessment?

No. You are not required to take a certain number of courses, or to take courses from every degree-specific subject category related to the degree that you applied to at UBC, but you are encouraged to challenge yourself.

Admissions decisions

How will UBC be evaluating my courses and grades?

UBC will evaluate your courses and grades in several ways. For the overall academic assessment, we’ll look at your overall performance as a student. For the core academic assessment, we’ll look at your potential for the particular degree you’ve applied to. For the individual course assessment, we’ll look at your grades in individual courses that are particularly relevant to what you intend to study at UBC.

Will UBC look at my grades in all of my Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses?

No. All courses can play a role in our admissions decision, but we’ll only look at your grades in academic Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses. If you’ve taken a course at the Grade 11 (junior) and Grade 12 (senior) levels, emphasis will be placed on your mark in the Grade 12 (senior level) course.

Will UBC look at more than my grades?

Yes. In addition to grades, UBC will also consider the breadth, rigour, and relevancy of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) coursework. If you challenge yourself in school by taking more courses – academic or not – it shows that you’re able to handle a large course load. Similarly, it can also be worthwhile to take a non-academic course if it’s related to what you want to study at UBC (e.g., taking Physical Education when applying to Kinesiology).

I’d like to take more and/or more rigorous courses, but I can’t. Will I be penalized?

No. We understand that it isn’t always possible. Maybe you have family or work commitments, like caring for a younger sibling or working a part-time job to fund your education. Or maybe you live in a small community and your high school doesn’t offer Calculus, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Be sure to explain your circumstances in your application. We’ll review each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Will UBC be publishing the average marks required for each degree?

No. A holistic admissions process means that many different factors – not just grades – will be considered when making an admissions decision.

So what’s better: getting high grades, taking more courses, taking more challenging courses, or taking more courses related to what I want to study at UBC?

All of the above – in addition to a strong Personal Profile – can be useful. Many students will still gain admission to UBC based primarily on their marks in academic courses, but getting the highest grades in the fewest number of required classes is no longer the only way to show that you’re ready to study here. Demonstrating breadth, rigour, and relevancy in your coursework is not a requirement for admission, but it certainly can help.

I still have questions. Who can I talk to?

If you didn’t find the answer to your question here or on the How UBC evaluates your application page, talk to your high school counsellor or contact UBC.