Application Procedures

The graduate admissions process at UBC is a collaboration between the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Department of Anthropology. The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies determines whether an applicant meets the minimum admission requirements which they have set, while the Department of Anthropology determines if an applicant meets the academic standards required for graduate level study which they have set for the program. Please make sure to visit the Prospective Students section of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

For current graduate application fees and payment procedures, please refer to this page.

How To Apply

Please carefully read all of the information relating to the application form, fees, and supporting materials before proceeding to complete the online application form.

Applications are due online on December 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm PST.

  1. Submit your application online.
  2. Upload scanned transcripts and all supporting documentation online. (Please note that the file size cannot exceed 10MB. Preferred file format is PDF but you may upload: BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, RTF, TXT.)


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 (see the bottom of the page).

1. Apply Online

Complete the online application. To be considered for September entry, please submit your completed application including all supporting documents, reference letters and official, endorsed transcripts, by the deadlines noted below. The online application will open on September 1st, 2020.

Early submissions are encouraged.

2. Submit Supporting Documents

Statement of Interest

In the online application portal, you will be given the opportunity to add a Statement of Interest describing why you wish to pursue graduate studies at UBC and in which area of research you want to concentrate your work. Your prospectus or statement of interest should be around 500 words (two pages, double-spaced). For more information, click here.


The most important first step 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 and to determine if there is a good ‘fit’ with faculty expertise. Please be aware, however, that all admissions decisions are made by committee and are only communicated after the application deadline following full review of all submitted applications. Please visit our Department of Anthropology website via the People page where you will find a comprehensive list of our current faculty and their research interests.

Supporting Document Checklist

Your full online application should contain the following (Please note that the file size cannot exceed 10MB. Preferred file format is PDF but you may upload: BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, RTF, TXT.):

  • Application form (online)
  • Scan of official degree certificate (only if your degree is from a country that does not show that the degree has been conferred on the transcript) and if necessary English translation, submitted online
  • Anthropology requires a TOEFL score of 600 (paper), 250 (computer) or 90 (internet-based). The UBC Institution code is 0965.
  • For more information on TOEFL and other language tests that we accept (e.g. IELTS, PTE, CAEL), please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies pages on English proficiency requirements.
  • If you are admitted to our program, two (2) copies of official transcripts of all previous academic work from each university or college attended are required, including for courses taken but not yet completed. If the academic records are in a language other than English or French, you must arrange for certified translations to be attached. Official, original or certified copies of the original records must be received in sealed envelopes and endorsed by the issuing institution. Please note that an official degree certificate must also be submitted if your degree is from an institution that does not indicate on the transcript that the degree has been conferred. For more information on the requirements for transcripts, please see the Faculty of Graduate Studies page for domestic and international students' requirements respectively.
    • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year courses.
    • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in the field of study.
      • Alternatively, applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in a specific graduate program, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program and approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

    • Three (3) reference letters are required for a complete application. The three references the applicant chooses should be given to individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. There are three possible formats for references:
    • Electronic references: In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note, that we are unable to accept e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, MSN or other free e-mail accounts for referees.) A unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference (e-reference) or upload a reference document as an attachment.

    • Your prospectus should be around 500 words (two pages, double-spaced). It should indicate your proposed area of study, outline what research you plan on undertaking in graduate studies, how you plan to accomplish your research, who you wish to work with, etc. Essentially, it outlines your research interest and intent at the graduate level.

    • The writing sample is to assess your writing. It is appropriate but not necessary for it to be on the topic of your grad work. If you are applying for the PhD program, we prefer to have students submit some portion of their MA thesis or major paper because our time commitment to PhD students is greater than for MA students. If you are applying for the MA program, an undergraduate upper-level major paper is appropriate. Please try to limit your writing sample to 20 pages double-spaced. If you wish to submit a writing sample that is longer than 20 pages, please include a rationale for doing so in your submission.

    • Provide details of education, academic awards, relevant work experience, relevant volunteer experience, publications, conference presentations, etc.


    For further details on the application process and requirements, please click here.

    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.

    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 deadline noted above and that you provide them with appropriate timelines.

    If you are admitted to our Graduate Program, you are required to submit 1 copy of all official transcripts from the issuing institution to the UBC Anthropology Department, and 1 copy to the Graduate Studies Office by postal mail to the addresses below:

    Anthropology Mailing Address:

    Department of Anthropology
    University of British Columbia
    6303 NW Marine Drive
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

    Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Address:

    Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
    University of British Columbia
    170-6371 Crescent Road
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

    We look forward to receiving your application.