Forestry Grad Program Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Applicants

If you are just beginning your search and wish to know more about the graduate degrees offered by UBC Forestry, visit the following websites:

We welcome applications from both domestic and international students. Please visit our website for details regarding international admission requirements and our ‘How to Apply’ webpage for instructions on submitting an application.

The Forestry MSc/MASc programs are research intensive and focus on completion of a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.  Students receive training in research approaches, and also make contributions in their own right to the body of knowledge.  Securing the interest of a prospective faculty supervisor is a vital step in the MSc and MASc application process and interest must be confirmed before you submit the online application. Detailed information is available on our website: MSc/MASc program.

The MGEM, MIF, MSFM and MUFL programs are professional master’s degrees that provide advanced training and professional career development skills.

  • The MGEM degree is designed for foresters, ecologists, conservation managers and other practitioners worldwide seeking to improve their understanding of geospatial theory, methods, application and tools.
  • The MIF degree responds to an international demand for professionals that understand, seek, negotiate, and implement solutions for complex global forest challenges to adapt and succeed in changing landscapes. Through collaborative learning, the program pays specific attention to international forest governance to address the social, environmental, and business challenges related to global forest change.
  • The MSFM degree is designed for students whose career objective is the area of professional forestry (it meets the core academic requirements for certification of the member agencies of the Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations and the Society of American Foresters).
  • The MUFL degree equips students with the knowledge, skills, and networks to be forward thinking leaders in urban forestry, public policy, business, and leadership.

The MF degree is a course-based program offered as part of a dual-degree partnership with other European and Canadian Universities called TRANSFOR-M. It provides MF students with the opportunity to explore Forestry from a broad perspective in both Europe and Canada.

Admission requirements vary depending on the degree.  Visit these links for specific information:

Given that the number of applicants to our graduate programs exceeds the number of positions available, a record that satisfies basic entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. If you do not meet the minimum academic requirements, in exceptional cases we may still grant admission based on an applicant’s supplementary academic studies, work experience (if applicable) and referee reports. Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will only be considered upon the submission of a complete application.

Residency does not meet our English Language Proficiency requirement. If your degree is from a university outside of Canada in which English is not the language of instruction, you must provide an official language proficiency test score as part of your application. Please refer to our program admission requirements pages for detailed information on minimum scores and acceptable tests.

No, the GRE is not required for any Forestry graduate program application.

The average time for PhD degree completion is five years, MSc/MASc is three years and professional master’s programs vary from nine to 14 months in duration.

There are many opportunities for graduate students to work on campus, visit the careers page for more information.  Forestry faculty members may hire their thesis students as Research Assistants (RA), as part of their financial support package.  Teaching Assistant (TA) opportunities also exist.  Students in the professional master’s programs have intensive academic schedules and we do not recommend part-time employment during completion of these degrees.

For research intensive degree students, review our financial information page for more details.

For students in the professional master’s degrees, review the “Tuition & Funding” link for the degree you are interested in. Note that merit-based award opportunities for the professional master’s programs are very limited.


Steps for completing an application vary depending on the degree program. Review the specific admission requirements and application procedure first, before starting your online application.

It is the MASc, MSc and PhD applicant’s responsibility to secure a prospective research supervisor for their research intensive program application. Do not submit an application if you have not received confirmation from a prospective supervisor that they will review your application. The list of prospective supervisors, their specific areas of research and contact details are also available on our website, in Step #1 of the ‘How to Apply’ page.

No. Professional master’s students (MGEM, MIF, MSFM, MUFL, MF) do not complete a thesis and do not require a research supervisor.

You will need to scan and upload digital files (.PDFs) of your official documents to your online application. Please refer to our ‘How to Apply’ pages for a list of the required documents for your application. Transcripts from all your post-secondary institutions are required. Note: UBC transcripts do not need to be submitted.

No, we cannot accept references by email.

Referees are contacted via an automatic email (that you entered on your online application) with detailed instructions on how to submit a reference through the online application portal. Note: referees whose email addresses are from web-based free email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. will not be able to upload their reference submission but instead will need to mail in their reference letter. It is best to use institutional email addresses for your referees.

If you will be moving to Vancouver to attend UBC, we encourage you to apply for on-campus housing. Because demand is high, it is recommended to apply at the same time you submit your Forestry program online application. (The UBC Housing online application system is separate from our Forestry program online application). UBC Housing accepts their applications any time; you do not have to wait for an offer of admission. See the Housing website for complete information.

Post Application

Notification will be sent as soon as a decision is made. The turnaround time from submission of a complete application to notification of admission or refusal can vary widely. Professional Master’s notifications are on a rolling basis, but some applicants may not receive decision until after the application closing date. For thesis programs, admission decision timelines can vary widely, depending on the prospective supervisor.

Applications and Offers of Admission are valid only for the specific start date that you applied for and cannot be deferred from one year to another. If applicants need to reapply, some submitted documents (e.g., transcripts, CV, intent letter, questionnaire, reference files, etc.) may be reused as some documents are valid for two years from time of submission.

For thesis programs, on a case-by-case basis a change of start date may be possible to the following term (e.g. from September to January) within the same academic year.

If you have been offered admission to UBC, it may be a ‘conditional offer’ that is based on your electronic application with uploaded unofficial academic transcripts. To complete your admission, UBC must now receive and verify official versions (normally paper) of your transcripts and, if appropriate, degree certificates and English language translations. Please check your online application account for your list of required documents. You will be allowed to register in your graduate program after these documents have been received and approved by UBC. Failure to fulfill the conditions placed on your admission may lead to the revocation of the offer or the suspension of UBC registration status and University sponsored funding until admission condition requirements are fulfilled.

Please allow at least 3 weeks after sending your documents for UBC to update your online account.

No, if your degree is from UBC you do not need to submit your UBC transcript. But if you attended other post-secondary institutions (i.e., exchange year, study abroad, etc.), you may be required to submit these documents. You will be notified via your online application account which documents are required.

No, once transcripts are opened they will not be considered official documents. All transcripts must arrive at UBC in official university envelopes which have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution or sent via secure electronic delivery (NOT email) by the issuing institution. For transcripts sent via secure electronic delivery directly from the issuing institution, send to this email:

You can track the progress of your documents via your online application account. It can take at least 3 weeks to receive and validate your documents before your online account is updated.

If your official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then an official copy of the degree certificate is required.

If the official transcripts are issued in a language other than English, then you must also:

  • arrange to have sent to UBC 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 or certified English translator
  • send the literal English translation to UBC in sealed envelopes endorsed by your university or certified translator

For more information on international document requirements, visit our international student transcripts page.

Do not send your official documents to UBC Forestry. Instead, please send one copy of all required documents to:
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
University of British Columbia
170-6371 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z2 Canada

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may not require all post-secondary transcripts to meet conditions of admission. However, it may be advantageous for research intensive program applicants to send a copy of all their official documents to the Faculty of Forestry in case they are required for future award competitions.

A non-refundable acceptance deposit of $1,000 CAD secures your seat in the program and is payable after notification of acceptance into the MGEM, MUFL, MIF or MSFM program. The acceptance deposit will be credited towards the first tuition installment, but if the student does not commence the program the deposit is forfeited.

Students can pay their tuition a number of ways, visit the Paying Tuition for full details.

UBC International Student Advisors may be able to assist you with your study permit questions, visit the Immigration page for more information and to contact an advisor.

The Canadian government has introduced new policies that enable international students and graduates of Canadian universities to remain in Canada to work after graduation and potentially immigrate to Canada as skilled workers. Graduates of master’s and doctoral programs are especially well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.

The UBC International Student Development website has helpful information on:

More information is available from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.