You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

Classification of Students

  1. Access Studies. Applicants may be enrolled as Access Studies students upon approval by a faculty (a) to allow them to take a limited number of courses in a specific area to upgrade or achieve a qualification, or (b) when they do not wish to pursue a specific program. Distance Education students may be enrolled in this category.

    Students in this category may normally take up to 6 credits per academic term, up to a maximum of 24 credits in total while registered as Access Studies students.

    Students enrolled in a UBC degree program may not normally be concurrently registered as Access Studies students. Although documentation requirements vary by faculty, Access Studies applicants are not normally required to submit transcripts or other academic documentation of prior study.

    Students with English as a second language, however, are required to satisfy the English Language Admission Standard in the same way as applicants to degree programs.

    Students who have been required to withdraw from any post-secondary institution must provide official transcripts. To be welcomed as an Access Studies student, one must normally first complete a minimum of 15 credits of transferable coursework with a GPA of 2.0 on the 4.0-point scale since having been required to withdraw. Students who have been required to withdraw more than once from any post-secondary institution or program are not eligible for admission as Access Studies students.

    Continuation as an Access Studies student is normally contingent upon maintaining a passing grade on all courses attempted. Admission as an Access Studies student does not guarantee that a student will be able to register for any course offered. Admission as an Access Studies student does not imply future admission as a regular student.

    For further information about Access Studies, please contact Enrolment Services at

  2. Exchange. A visiting student studying at UBC under a Senate-approved student exchange program and enrolled in studies for transfer to a degree program at another university.

  3. Mature Student. An individual whose formal education was interrupted and who did not meet the normal requirements for admission but who demonstrated an intellectual maturity that permitted acceptance to the University. Mature students are permitted to undertake degree or diploma studies on the same basis as a regular student. Admission criteria are outlined under Mature Applicants.

  4. Qualifying. A student whose academic background entitles him or her to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies but who is considered to be inadequately prepared to enter a graduate program in the specific discipline (e.g., three-year degree holders from other Canadian universities, a student changing from one field of study to another, or a student upgrading his or her academic standing) may be admitted as a qualifying student. Qualifying students are not considered graduate students.

    If, at the end of a qualifying term or year, the graduate program and the College of Graduate Studies are satisfied with the calibre of the student's work, the student may apply for admission to a graduate degree program.

    Courses taken during a qualifying year or term that are necessary in order to meet the requirements for full admission to graduate studies cannot be transferred to a subsequent graduate program. However, other courses may be transferred upon the recommendation of the department and with the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

    Qualifying student status is available only to applicants who do not require a study permit to enter Canada.

  5. Regular. A student enrolled for studies leading to a degree, diploma or academic-credit certificate, whether on a full- or part-time basis.

  6. Unclassified. A student enrolled for studies not intended to lead to a particular degree or diploma. Unclassified students should normally have a recognized degree. Admission as an unclassified student does not guarantee that a student will be able to register for any course offered. Admission as an unclassified student does not imply future admission as a regular student. Students with a failed year in a faculty will not be admitted as unclassified until they have discontinued their studies for at least one year. After a second failed year, admission as unclassified will be subject to the approval of the Senate Admissions & Awards Committee.

    1. Unclassified Students Applying to Second or Subsequent Undergraduate Degree Programs.
      A faculty may limit the number of credits taken as an unclassified student that may be counted for credit toward a second or subsequent undergraduate degree. See individual faculty listings and/or contact faculty advisors for details.

    2. Unclassified Students Applying to Graduate Programs
      Courses taken as an unclassified (or non-degree) student may be approved for transfer toward a graduate program on permission of the department and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. See College of Graduate Studies.

  7. Visitor. A student enrolled in studies at the UBC Okanagan campus for transfer back to their current home post-secondary institution which is recognized by UBC. Students must be in good standing at their home institution and must submit an official transcript and a Letter of Permission with their application. Course registrations will be made on a space-available basis only. A Letter of Permission is valid for one session only. A Letter of Permission must be submitted for any subsequent sessions in which a student wishes to register for courses. For applicable fees, see Fees.

  8. Visiting International Research Student. An international student who is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or graduate-equivalent program at another university, or is a participant in a UBC-recognized (through Go Global) “bridging” program between undergraduate and graduate studies, who visits UBC for one month or longer to conduct research only.

    A Visiting International Research Student must be supervised by a UBC faculty member throughout the visit, and must have the written permission of their home institution or sponsoring program to visit UBC to conduct research. The Head for the unit or laboratory with which the visitor will be affiliated has final authority to approve a Visiting International Research Student visit. Students whose home institution has a formal academic student exchange agreement with UBC will be registered as exchange students unless reciprocity quotas are filled; in which case additional students may come under the Visiting International Research Student designation.

    A Visiting International Research Student will normally come to UBC for a maximum of one year. At the end of the approved visit period, the student may request an extension for up to one year. A visit lasting more than one year will require renewal of their permissions, registration, and fees.

    See also Visiting Graduate Student.

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