University Of Northern British Columbia Graduate Programs And Regulations

Graduate Programs Admissions and Regulations

1.0 General Admission

In the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, UNBC respects and recognizes that the national boundaries imposed by colonization do not represent Indigenous citizenship and territories.

Therefore, UNBC recognizes all Indigenous students coming from nations in what became Canada and the United States as domestic for the purposes of application processing, application fee and tuition fees.

Prospective graduate students must submit an application online. There are three semester intakes for graduate admissions (September, May and January). Not all programs offer admission to each semester intake.

Programs normally have a priority deadline for submission of a complete application to be considered for entrance awards. As admission to graduate degrees is competitive, applications for admission should be submitted as early as possible.

Program application deadlines, intake information and application instructions are posted on the graduate application website:

All documents submitted to the Office of the Registrar must be in the original language in which they were produced. Documents not produced in the English language must be accompanied by a notarized translation into English.

Documents submitted in support of an application become the property of the University of Northern British Columbia and are not subsequently released. Admission to a Graduate Program is valid only for the semester indicated in the letter of offer of admission.

The University of Northern British Columbia specifically reserves the right to exercise its sole, absolute, and unfettered discretion in admitting individuals to the University, its programs, or courses.

Applicants who have been offered admission to a graduate program must indicate, in writing, their intention to accept or decline the offer of admission within 30 days. Failure to notify the University may result in cancellation of the offer of admission.

In order to be considered for admission to Graduate Programs, all applicants must provide the following to the Office of the Registrar by the deadlines noted above:

  1. An application for admission to Graduate Programs.
  2. Respective application fee(s).
  3. Three assessment reports (letters of reference) submitted directly to UNBC from the referees.
  4. Official transcripts (one copy) from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  5. Statement of Academic Interests (letter of intent).
  6. Official English Language Test Scores (required for applicants whose first language is NOT English) sent directly to UNBC from the testing agencies.

Individual programs may require the submission of additional application material in order for an application to be considered.

1.1 English Lang​uage Requirements

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at UNBC. Consequently, it is expected that an applicant be able to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in the use of English in order to receive and participate in classroom instruction and discussion as well as to complete written assignments.

Applicants whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship or country of origin, must submit evidence of English language proficiency prior to admission. French-speaking Canadians and Canadian First Nations language speakers are exempted from this requirement.

Students who have completed a degree program entirely in the English Language at a recognized institution from a country approved by UNBC where English is an official language may be exempted from this requirement. A listing of English Language Proficiency test exempt countries is maintained by the Office of the Registrar.

Acceptable evidence of English language proficiency may be any one of the following:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 90 or higher in the internet-based test, with not less than 20 in any of the Reading, Listening, Writing or Speaking components; or equivalent other TOEFL score. UNBC’s institutional TOEFL code is 0320.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic score of at least 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any of the four modules.
  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment) or the CAEL CE : overall 70, with no subtest below 60.
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) – CELPIT-A (Academic Reading and Writing): 4H – CELL (Listening): 4H – CELTOP (Speaking): 4H
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): 85 final score, with 3 in the speaking test.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English – Academic): 65 overall score, with a score of not less than 60 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • A final grade of 3.00 (B) or better in both the UNBC English Language Studies 50 and English Language Studies 170, obtained concurrently and prior to application for Graduate admission.
  • A final grade of 3.00 (B) or better in an articulated BCCAT EAP 4 program, prior to application for Graduate admissions.

In order to be considered valid, results must be sent directly from the testing agency/institution to the Office of the Registrar. Scores are valid for a period of two years.

Some graduate program may require higher English Language proficiency scores. Please consult the Program section of the calendar for additional requirements.

The University of Northern British Columbia reserves the right to consider, in addition to test scores, any factors that it considers appropriate in making a final determination of the English language proficiency of an applicant.

1.2 GRE Requirement​ for Graduate Programs

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is prepared and scored by the GRE Board and Educational Testing Service. UNBC’s institution code is 0320. The GRE is used widely by universities to supplement undergraduate records and other qualifications for admission to graduate study.

GRE requirements are prescribed by individual programs. For some programs, completion of the examination may be mandatory. Applicants are advised to check program listings for detailed information. However, the University of Northern British Columbia reserves the right to require a GRE score (on Subject and General Tests) for any applicant. Voluntary submission of a GRE score may facilitate the admission process.

1.3 Admission to Master’s Degrees

1.3.1 In general, an acceptable academic standing will be a four-year (120 credit hours) Baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from a recognized institution.

1.3.2 Grade point average of at least 3.00 (B) in the work of the last 60 credit hours (approximately the last two years). A Baccalaureate degree is required for entry. The minimum GPA of 3.00 (B) is
based on the UNBC 4.33 scale.

The GPA from sending institutions will be assessed and converted to the UNBC scale when being considered for admission. If the applicant has a Master’s or PhD, the GPA is assessed on the complete degree. 

Note: Higher entrance standards than those outlined in this section may be set by individual programs. Courses used in the calculation of the admission grade point average cannot be used as credit toward a graduate degree program.

University Of Northern British Columbia Graduate Programs And Regulations