Graduate FAQs

Forestry Grad Program Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions

Program Info & Admissions

1. I’m interested in pursuing a graduate degree, but I don’t know which program is a good fit for me. Where should I start my research?

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

2. Are non-Canadians eligible to apply to UBC Forestry graduate programs?

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.

3. What is the difference between the research intensive (MSc/MASc) and the professional (MGEM, MIF, MSFM, MUFL, MF) master’s programs?

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.

4. What are the academic and program admission requirements?

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

5. My GPA does not meet the minimum requirement. Can I apply anyways?

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.

6. Do I meet the English Language Proficiency requirement if I’ve been living in Canada for the last few years?

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.

7. Is the GRE required?

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

8. How long are the research intensive and professional master’s programs?

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.

9. Does the Faculty of Forestry provide any part-time job opportunities for students?

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.


10. How do I apply?

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.

11. Can you recommend a faculty member to contact for my research intensive graduate 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.

12. Do the professional master’s programs require a supervisor?

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

13. What supporting documents do you require for my application?

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.

14. Do you accept references by email?

No, we cannot accept references by email.

15. How can my referees submit their references?

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.

16. Can I provide unofficial transcripts or are official transcripts required?

You must scan and upload digital copies (.pdfs) of official required documents in the application system. The scanned transcripts must be copies of your official transcripts, which usually means that you must order official transcripts from your institution(s), open the envelopes, and then scan and upload copies to the application system. Since this requires you to break the official seal on the transcripts, these are considered “unofficial documents”. These uploaded copies of your official documents will be used for the initial evaluation of your application.

If you are offered admission conditional upon receipt of official documentation, you must provide UBC with one set of official transcripts for every postsecondary institution you have attended for the equivalent of one year or more of full-time study. UBC reserves the right to also require any individual applicant to provide official transcripts for study of less than one year duration. Do not send official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission unless you have received special instructions from the graduate program to which you have applied.

17. Do UBC graduates need to submit their UBC transcripts?

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.

18. What is required for translated transcripts and documents?

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.

19. Transcripts for research intensive program applications (PhD, MSc/MASc)

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.

20. When will I know if I’m accepted?

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.

Once You Have Received Your Offer of Admission

21. Can I defer my acceptance to another year?

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.

22. I’ve received my offer of admission letter and see there are conditions. What does this mean?

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.

23. How long does it take for UBC to receive my documents?

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

24. I have official transcripts that I scanned for my application. Can I send these in to meet my conditions?

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:

25. Why does my online account say transcripts are still required after I have sent them?

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.

26. My online account says I need to send a degree certificate, but I don’t understand why this is required if I sent in my transcripts?

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.

27. I’m ready to send my official documents, where should I mail them?

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

28. Why is a non-refundable acceptance deposit required for the professional master’s programs (MGEM, MIF, MSFM, MUFL)

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.

29. How do I pay my tuition?

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

30. How do I apply for a study permit?

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.

31. Are international students eligible to work in Canada after graduation?

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.

32. What are my housing options?

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.

Funding & Award Opportunities

33. What types of scholarships are available to students?

For a compendium of awards available for UBC graduate students, see the Awards and Financial Aid page of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. For a compendium of opportunities for research funding, check the Research Funding page of the UBC Office of Research Services.

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.

34. When will my award be paid to me?

Installments of awards will be applied to your SSC account at the beginning of each term. For example, if you accept an award offer in early August that lists the first installment as the beginning of September, you will see the award funds applied to your September term fees (reducing your total fees owed) at the beginning of September. There may be a one-day delay before the award funding is deducted from your UBC fees owed.

35. When will I receive surplus/excess awards funds in my bank account?

Provided that you have accepted the award offer and signed up for direct deposit on SSC, you will have the balance of the award funds directly deposited to your bank account 3 to 5 business days from the payout date. The exact time period is dependent on the processing speed of your banking institution.

36. Why does tuition award not cover all of my fees?

Tuition awards (ex. International Tuition Awards, 4YF Tuition Award, AGF Tuition Award) are only for tuition costs. They do not cover the additional fees that students are charged each term (e.g. UPass, Medical). Your tuition award will therefore not cover you entire fees for the term; it will help with the tuition portion.

37. I have been assigned an award but it does not equal the amount expected for the year.

Annual funding (ex. International Tuition Awards, CGSM, 4YF) is typically assigned as a 2/3 installment in August (September and January payment dates) and a 1/3 assigned installment in April (May payment), provided the student remains eligible.

38. What should I do with an award offer with a value of $0?

If you have an award with a value of $0 (e.g. 4YF) offered to you, please accept it on the SSC. This allows the fellowship to be listed on your UBC transcript.

39. Who do I talk to about bursaries, loans, and other needs-based funding (including financial emergencies)?

a. In-depth information about needs-based funding such as loans, bursaries and other types of financial aid is available from the UBC Student Services.

Students may apply for UBC bursaries, but must be in receipt of full Canadian Government student loan funding and have “unmet need” after their loan funding as determined in their loan assessment. UBC bursaries are non-repayable awards. They are designed to help fill unmet need, the gap between your assessed financial need and available government assistance.

Please see the UBC Awards & Money Management website for summer and winter bursary deadlines and complete details.

Financial distress: If you are experiencing urgent financial distress, you can schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor, see this page for more details. If you are unable to resolve the situation through Enrolment Services, please contact the Forestry Grad Program Director, Julie Morey.

40. Do I have to pay my tuition and fees, or will my awards pay them for me?

SSC award payments are first applied against any outstanding tuition and student fees; please review your SSC financial account to determine if you have a positive balance (a refund will be issued to you) or a negative balance (you need to pay the balance by the due date) after your award payments have been applied. Please note that tuition awards do not cover student fees.

Note: Typically award funds are applied to your account at the beginning of each term. For example, if you accept an award offer in early August that lists the first installment as the beginning of September, you will not see the award funds applied to your September term fees (reducing your total fees owed) until the beginning of September.