Admission Requirements

Your application is complete only when all of the following items have been received:

  • Memo of Acceptance from a Research Supervisor.
  • Three Letters of Reference.
  • Official transcripts from each university you’ve attended, including degree conferral.
  • Application Form,  Application Fee.
  • TOEFL / IELTS / MELAB scores (for Foreign Applicants).

Please also see (below):
Department Admission Deadlines
Minimum Academic requirements
Admission Requirements for International Applicants
What happens to applications
Visa Requirements for Foreign Applicants

Memo of Acceptance from a Research Supervisor.
You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly, normally by email. It is suggested that applicants attach a resumé or CV to their email. Applicants may contact as many potential research supervisors as they wish and when the applicant has found a Research Supervisor, they should advise the Experimental Medicine Office. No applicant will be admitted to the program unless they identify and confirm a Research Supervisor. We will then send the Research Supervisor a Memo of Acceptance for their signature.

If an applicant cannot identify a potential Research Supervisor after reasonable efforts, they are free to send their CV and any supporting documents to our office and we will distribute them to potential research supervisors.

Three letters of reference.
References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

There are two possible ways to submit them:

  1. Electronic references: Our program utilizes an electronic reference system. In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note, that we do not accept e-mail addresses 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 or upload a reference document as an attachment.
  2. Paper letters of reference: If the applicant’s referee(s) wishes to send a hard-copy reference letter, the referee(s) can fill out the UBC general reference form and may also include a paper letter (on the referee’s official letterhead). The form (and the paper letter if applicable) must be mailed directly to the Experimental Medicine program in a sealed and endorsed envelope. Letters received in envelopes sent by applicants cannot be accepted. Our office is required to attach the envelopes to the letters as proof that this requirement has been met. Letters should be sent to:  Virginia Grosman, Experimental Medicine Program, Room # 10226 – 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9.

An official transcript from each university you’ve attended
When you are applying online, you will be asked to upload your transcripts.  These need to be official transcripts and uploaded front and back of the document. After you have been admitted into the program, you will be requested to provide official transcripts before the start day of the program.  These must arrive in a sealed envelope and should be sent directly from your university.  Transcripts in foreign languages must come with official translations. Transcripts in French are only accepted if they are from Canadian institutions,  for all other French-speaking countries a translation into the English language is required.

If your university issues only one original copy of transcripts/degree certificate:
Make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university. Ask your home university to:

  • verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records
  • attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp
  • put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the Registrar
  • mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to the UBC program to which you are applying.

Translation of Transcripts
If you have graduated from institutions where the transcripts are issued in a language other than English, then in addition to the above you must:

  • arrange to have one set of all official transcripts issued in their original language
  • obtain a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university’s translation service
  • send both the original transcripts and the literal English translation to the UBC program to which you are applying, in sealed envelopes endorsed by your university.

If your home university does NOT provide English translations of transcripts, you must:

  • make a photocopy of your copy of your transcripts. Do not open a sealed, endorsed envelope containing transcripts intended for submission to your program
  • take the copy to a certified English translator and ask them to provide a complete, word-by-word, literal English translation
  • tell the translator to put both the original language photocopy and the English translation into a sealed envelope, and endorse the envelope by signing across the seal
  • send the sealed, endorsed envelopes from the translator to the graduate program to which you are applying
  • send your original transcripts in the original language to the graduate program to which you are applying.

Please note: Academic records must be translated in their entirety, including any information that appears on the reverse side of any document.

UBC does NOT accept the following:

  • photocopies that have not been stamped, attested and endorsed by the Registrar at your home university
  • documents in envelopes that have been opened
  • documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the issuing institution or certified translator
  • documents that arrive without the official seal of the university
  • photocopies notarized by a notary public
  • photocopies endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
  • unofficial translations
  • non-literal translations.

Online Application Form
Academic years run from May to May. For example, an application made for September 2014 may be used for admission in January 2015, however an application made for January 2015 cannot be used for admission in May 2015.  A new application and fee must be submitted for every Academic year.

Please note that the Experimental Medicine Program supports the online application form, which is available here. You will require a Visa or Mastercard credit card to use the online application form.

Application Fee
Submit the application fee with the application.  Click here for information on the amounts of the application fee.

TOEFL / IELTS / MELAB scores (for Foreign Applicants)
Students whose degrees are from Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, or the English speaking countries of the West Indies do not have to take the TOEFL test. All other applicants must take the test. TOEFL scores must be sent directly to UBC from the Educational Testing Service (photocopies are not acceptable). When taking the TOEFL test, give the UBC institution code as 0965, and state the reason for taking the test as “to enter a college or university as a graduate student“. The department code does not matter, because the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies matches the TOEFL score sheets to the department listed on the UBC application form.
In order to qualify for admission to the Experimental Medicine program, the TOEFL score must be greater than or equal to 590 (or for the computer based TOEFL test, greater than or equal to 243). For the TOEFL internet based (iBT) examination, the required score will be greater or equal to 96, with no component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) scored less than 22. The test must have been taken within the last two years.

If the TOEFL exam is not available, IELTS or MELAB scores may be accepted. The minimum IELTS score should be 7.0. The minimum MELAB score should be 84.

Click here to go to the Faculty of Graduate Studies web page on Admissions.

Department Admission Deadlines

There are “nominal” deadlines for applying to UBC:

Canadian and US applications (Citizen or Permanent Resident AND last university Cdn/US):

The Experimental Medicine Program will follow the following guidelines:

To start in September – all materials must be received by the previous May 15
To start in January – all materials must be received by the previous October 15
To start in May – all materials must be received by the previous January 15
To start in July – all materials must be received by the previous March 15

International applications (Student visa required OR if last university not Cdn/US):

The Experimental Medicine Program will follow the following guidelines:

To start in September – all materials must be received by the previous February 15
To start in January – all materials must be received by the previous July 15
To start in May – all materials must be received by the previous October 15
To start in July – all materials must be received by the previous January 15

HOWEVER, there are cases in which a Research Supervisor is unable to commit to accepting a student by the stated deadline – e.g. until after they find out if they have received grants that will allow them to support the student. In such cases, we will send a memo to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requesting an exemption to the deadline. However, this request has to be initiated by the Research Supervisor not the student.

Minimum Academic requirements

Admission Requirements for Domestic MSc applicants
Students admitted to the M.Sc. program in Experimental Medicine normally possess a B.Sc. in life sciences, biology, zoology, biochemistry, or related disciplines, or have an M.D., D.M.D. or D.V.M. and must meet the general admission requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Admission Requirements for Domestic PhD applicants
For admission to the PhD program in Experimental Medicine, the student must hold a M.Sc. degree in a discipline as described above. Students with first class standing during their undergraduate degree and demonstrated experience in research can be considered for direct entry to a PhD program. Such admission will be conditional upon obtaining first class standing in the graduate level courses taken at UBC during the first two years.

Admission Requirements for International Applicants

Students admitted to the Experimental Medicine Program need broad background knowledge and possess the equivalent of a B.Sc. (for M.Sc. entry) or M.Sc. (for Ph.D. entry) in life sciences, biology, zoology, or biochemistry, or a related area, and must meet the general admission requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. To evaluate whether you meet the academic requirements for international students, please see the website on International Credentials of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

What happens to applications

Our department evaluates applications and offers admission to the students.  A notification is sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who will then send an official admission letters. Students will then need to provide the official transcripts before the start of the program, if they haven’t done that.

Students need to confirm acceptance of the offer of admission to Experimental Medicine.

Visa Requirements for Foreign Applicants

A Permanent Canadian Landed Resident form should be submitted directly to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada for details.

Please feel free to contact the Experimental Medicine office at any time if you have any further questions at medi.exptlmed@ubc.ca or call 604-875-4111-ext.63140.