Graduate Admissions


Apply via UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies


Applications to the Chemistry Department are made through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Online Application Form.

On the online application form, prospective students may list any potential faculty member they may be interested in working with. Listing faculty names is only intended for identifying fields of research of interest and can potentially facilitate connections with the faculty member once a prospective student has received their letter of admission.

NEW: Effective October 1, 2022, international applicants will be charged an application fee of $60 CDN; for domestic applicants, the fee is paid for by the department.

The Department welcomes applications from students with undergraduate or Master's degrees with high standing. In most cases, students enter graduate study with chemistry degrees but applicants with other backgrounds, such as physics, biology, or mathematics, are also given consideration. Please review the Minimum Academic Requirements: CANADIAN or U.S. Credentials or Minimum Academic Requirements: INTERNATIONAL Credentials. Applications which do not meet these minimum requirements will not be accepted.

For direct entry to the PhD program:

UBC Chemistry strongly encourages all international applicants to apply for direct entry into our PhD program, as the number of admissions offered to international MSc applicants is very limited.

Applicants who meet the academic requirements (see below) and demonstrate advanced research ability, may apply for direct admission to the PhD program. Students entering directly from a bachelor's degree must, within the first 24 months of study, complete 12 credits with a first class average, of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500 level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first class standing, to maintain registration as a doctoral student.

For direct entry to the PhD program, an overall average of B+ (from all courses taken in their Bachelor’s degree) is required for all applicants.

For entry to the MSc program:

For applicants who hold a credential/degree from a Canadian or USA post-secondary institution, a B+ average in senior undergraduate level courses is required.

For applicants who hold an international credential/degree, an overall average of B+ (from all courses taken in their Bachelor’s degree) is required.

Application Procedure

Please allow at least 45 to 60 minutes to complete the online application. Be prepared to provide information and answer questions about personal and contact details, academic history, test scores, funding information, experience and interests and reference contact information and answer questions related to your specific program of study. You will be able to save your application and continue it at a later date. For security reasons, you'll be automatically logged out of the application if you do not save your page data within 60 minutes.

Supporting Documentation

You will be required to scan and upload documents such as transcripts (including your ranking within your own department), degree certificates, award and/or scholarship documentation, related test scores (if required), statement of intent, Curriculum Vitae, etc.

If you are unable to upload supporting documentation, paper documents may be sent directly to the Chemistry Department.

For Applicants from a university outside Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom:

English Language Proficiency: Applicants from a university outside Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.  The minimum overall TOEFL score for graduate admission to the Department of Chemistry is 92 on the internet-based test with minimum component scores of 23, 22, 23 and 22 for reading, writing, listening and speaking, respectively. For IELTS, a minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic IELTS test. Self-reported test scores on applications are considered unofficial. Applicants must also contact the testing agency (TOEFL or IELTS) and request the official test scores be sent to UBC electronically as part of their application.

Note: English language proficiency scores are not required if the language of instruction in your country is English at the post-secondary level. Please include an institutional document indicating as such with your application.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General and Subject (Chemistry or another applicable subject) test scores are not mandatory. While it is advantageous to submit GRE test scores, it is not a requirement.

Letters of Reference

Three references are required for an application to Chemistry. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

There are three possible formats for references:

1) 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 or upload a reference document as an attachment.

2) Paper letters of reference.  Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on referee's official letterhead and must be mailed directly to Chemistry in a sealed and endorsed envelope.

3) Paper reference forms. UBC provides a general reference form. Your referee may fill out this form and mail it directly to Chemistry in a sealed and endorsed envelope.

Award Opportunities

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Application Deadlines

For September applications, the online session will open on October 1.  Deadlines to apply and provide all supporting documentation vary.  For international applicants, applications must be submitted by March 1 and all supporting documentation (including official test scores) received by March 31.  For applicants from Canada or the US, applications must be submitted by April 1 and all supporting documentation received by April 30.

International students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow sufficient time (up to 4 months) for the study permit application process.

We do not contact applicants regarding incomplete applications/missing documentation.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact us and inquire as to the status of their application in a timely manner (i.e., on or before official deadlines).


Graduate Admissions
Department of Chemistry
2036 Main Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Frequently Asked Questions for further information.