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English Language Competence

As English is the language of instruction at UBC, all applicants, regardless of country of origin or of citizenship status, will be required to demonstrate competence in the English language prior to admission. Competence is expected in all four of the following skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

This requirement is distinct from the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) requirement for first-year English courses and Science One at UBC.

English Language Proficiency Standards and GRE Requirements for applicants to graduate programs.

With the exception of applicants to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, applicants may demonstrate English language competence by one of the following:

  • Completion of four or more consecutive years of full-time education in English in a country where English is the principal language, or at a recognized international secondary school that uses English as the language of instruction but operates in a country where the primary language is not English, as determined by UBC. Such education must include BC Grade 12 English or equivalent and can be in a combination of secondary and post-secondary education.

  • A minimum final English (non-ESL) grade in one of the following:


IB English A1 or A2 (Standard or Higher) 5
AP English Language and Composition 4
AP English Literature and Composition 4
GCE Advanced-Level English B

  • Successful completion of the equivalent of four years of full-time instruction in a school/institution in Canada in which the major language of instruction is other than English but where the level of English proficiency required is equivalent to that in English-language schools or institutions in Canada. Such education must include the equivalent to BC Grade 12 and can be in a combination of secondary and post-secondary education. (This will include applicants from CEGEPs who have completed English as a first language).

  • Graduation from a recognized degree program at an accredited university at which English is the primary language of instruction and in a country where English is the principal language.

  • Successful completion of 6 credits of post-secondary first-year English studies for which UBC gives transfer credit.

  • Successful completion of the UBC Vantage College program meets the English Language Admission Standard for all direct-entry undergraduate degree programs.

  • The competence standard indicated on one of the tests of English language proficiency as listed in the English Language Proficiency Tests' table that evaluates skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing.


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