Changes to Undergraduate Admissions for Secondary School Applicants in 2019

In the 2019 admission cycle, the University of British Columbia introduced a new, holistic approach to assessing secondary school students applying for undergraduate admission. Now, the entirety of the applicant’s secondary school transcript, including all courses taken at the Grade 11 and Grade 12 levels, will be considered in the undergraduate admission decision. UBC will look at grades in all academic courses with particular attention to those in subject areas that are relevant to the applicant’s intended area of study at UBC.

Where possible, UBC may also consider the number of Grade 11 and 12 courses presented in order to recognize students who challenge themselves with a heavier course load. Similarly, the admission decision may also consider rigour ofcoursework in order to better recognize students who have challenged themselves with coursework that includes more advanced or post-secondary level content.

UBC encourages students to actively explore their academic interests in secondary school. As a result, the admission evaluation will omit a course with the student’s lowest academic course grade if it is in an area that is unrelated to their intended area of study at UBC. Similarly, there may be some non-academic courses (where grades are not used) that speak to the student’s intended area of study at the university that are looked upon favourably in the admission process.

The courses required for admission (i.e. the prerequisites) to undergraduate programs have not changed from previous years. Students who present the minimum requirements for admission (as described in the table outlining “Program Requirements for Canadian Secondary School Applicants” will be eligible for consideration.

Admission to The University of British Columbia is competitive and satisfying the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. In addition to presenting the necessary prerequisite courses, an applicant’s admission decision will be based upon the following principles:

  1. To what extent has the applicant excelled in secondary school, as evidenced by their grades?
  2. To what extent has the applicant challenged themselves in secondary school, as evidenced by the number and academic rigour of courses completed?
  3. To what extent has the applicant taken courses in subjects that are relevant to their intended area of study at the University?

Taken in conjunction with the UBC personal profile, the UBC undergraduate admission decision approach rests on a holistic assessment of the applicant, placing value on all learning in secondary school.

Page last updated: April 24, 2019

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