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Graduate Admissions FAQs

Application and Admission Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you evaluate my background/transcripts and tell me if I am eligible or qualified to apply for your program, or what my chances of acceptance are?
A:  We receive approximately 400 applications each year. We do not have the resources to provide pre-application evaluations. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine eligibility. In order to determine basic eligibility for graduate programs, (ie. GPA and program) you should refer to the Faculty of Graduate Studies webpage. Please see the recommended and required background checklist for MSc. and PhD applicants, and browse through our graduate courses. If you do not have a sufficiently strong background in Statistics, we cannot recommend that you apply.
Q: How many applications do you receive every year, and how many are accepted into the program?
A: Last year we received over 400 applications, and were able to admit approximately five percent of these applicants.
Q: Can I start the program in January instead of in September?
A: No. We do not have a January start date. We only offer a September intake.

Q: Do you offer part time MSc. or PhD program?
A: No, we do not offer any of our programs on a part time basis. Our programs are intensive and immersive, and we do not offer a part time option at this time.

Q: How much is tuition? Do you offer any funding? How do I apply for financial assistance?
A: Please see our web page on Funding for information on tuition and funding. All admitted applicants are considered for funding, and a separate application is not required.

Q: The Co-op Program looks perfect for me! How do I apply?
A: If you are accepted into our MSc program, you will then be able to apply for the Co-op Program during your first semester of study.

Q: Do I need to find a supervisor before I apply? Will it increase my chance of admission?
A: No, you do not need to find a supervisor before you apply - you will have plenty of opportunities to decide during the first year of your program.  Admissions are decided by the Graduate Admissions Committee, not by individual faculty members.  Indeed, most faculty members expect that the Graduate Admissions Committee will handle all admissions decisions without consultation.  However, if you have a research or career plan that aligns well with a specific faculty member, you may contact that faculty member to discuss.  Be sure to give specific details of your interest, not a generic email.
Q: My undergraduate degree is not in Statistics. Can I still apply to the program?
A: Yes. We sometimes admit students from different backgrounds. However, you must have the minimum required Statistical background to be considered.
Q: I have only taken an introductory course in Statistics, but I am really interested in the subject, and want to do my MSc. in your department. Can I be admitted, and make up the required background during my first year?
A: No. If you do not have a sufficiently strong background in Statistics, and do not at least meet the minimum recommended background, we will not be able to admit you to the program. Our MSc. program is rigorous, and requires a strong knowledge of Statistics. Courses are advanced, and there is no room for review or introductory material. However, if you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Statistics, you may take the recommended courses as a non-degree student, or pursue a second degree in Statistics, and then apply to the program.
Q: On your website, there is no mention of the minimum GPA requirement. Can you tell me the minimum required GPA?
A: All information regarding minimum requirements for domestic and international students can be found on the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies webpage. Please note that this is the minimum standard required for your application to be accepted for review. Our program is extremely competitive, and applicants must exceed the minimum requirements to be successful.
Q: The application deadline is January 15th, but I will not finish my degree until April. Can I still apply?
A: Absolutely! You must provide us with your most current transcripts. If you are accepted, you will be asked to send us your final transcripts once they become available.

Q: Can I send extra supporting materials such as a writing sample, publications etc.?
A: There is no need to send a writing sample.  If you like, you can send links to relevant material such as statistics publications.  However, please note that the admissions committee does not always have time to review supporting material other than what is required on the on-line application.  So please do not ask the committee to consider material that is not directly relevant to the program.
Q: I noticed that you do not require applicants to submit a GRE score. If I write the test and submit a score, will it increase my chances of acceptance?
A: The admissions committee does not review GRE scores, and sending your score will not increase your chances of admission.
Q: I am not a native English speaker, but I received a degree from a Canadian or American university. Do I still need to submit a TOEFL score?
A: No. If you COMPLETED a degree at a recognized university in Canada or the United States, or a university where English is the language of instruction, you are not required to submit a TOEFL score. If in doubt, please contact the admissions officer for more information.

Q: English was the language of instruction for my degree, however, my university is in a country where English is NOT the native language. Do I still need to submit a TOEFL score?
A: If the language of instruction at your university was English, then you are not required to submit a TOEFL score. However, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide proof of instruction in English. This proof must be supplied in the form of an official sealed and endorsed letter from the university registrar confirming that English is the language of instruction. In such a case, it must be clear that English was the language of instruction for your ENTIRE degree, not just for a few courses.
Q:  My TOEFL score is lower than the required minimum stated on your webpage. Can I still apply?
A: You may still apply. However, please remember that admission to our program is very competitive, and a score that is below the minimum will make your application less competitive.
Q: I am registered to take the TOEFL test in February, and the score will not be available until after the deadline. Can you evaluate my application without the score, or offer me conditional admission?
A: No. Your TOEFL score is an important part of your application, as it allows us to evaluate your language skills. Your application will be considered incomplete until we receive your official score from ETS. Please ensure you have scheduled your test early enough that the score will reach us before the deadline.

Q: What is the Institution code I need for ordering my test scores from ETS?
A: The Institution code is 0965.
Q:  Can I send my transcripts by email?
A: No. We do not accept email copies of transcripts. Transcripts must be uploaded onto the online application system.
Q: My referee does not want to submit her reference letter online. Can she send it via email? Or through the mail?

A: The UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies has specific policies regarding reference letters. We do not accept references via email. Your referee is welcome to send the reference by mail, but the letter must arrive in an envelope that is signed and sealed by the referee. Referees may use the provided reference form, or a free form letter.

Q: My referee does not have a university email address, only Gmail. Can she still submit a reference letter for me online?

A: The application system has a strong firewall, and will only accept reference letters from institutional email addresses. If your referee does not have an institutional email address, you will need to have her submit her reference letter by mail, keeping the application deadline in mind.
Q: I have submitted my online application, but I want to edit it, and add more information. How can I do this?
A: Once you have submitted your online application, you cannot make any changes. Please read through your application carefully, and make sure all information is correct before submitting.
Q: I want to apply for some scholarships in my country. Can you evaluate my application early, and make a decision before the deadline?
A: No. In order to be fair to all applicants, we are unable to review applications and inform applicants of decisions until after the application deadline.
Q: When will I find out if I am accepted into the program?
A: We will do our best to evaluate applications and notify applicants as quickly as possible. Every effort will be made to notify applicants by the beginning of March. Notification is sent via email.

If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page or the application pages, please send an email with the subject line re:GRAD QUERY to the graduate coordinator, Ms. MairĂ©ad Roche at admiss [at] (subject: Grad%20Query)