Application Information

Deadline for application and all supporting documents is December 1, 2017 for TESL (On-Campus) and MLED programs for Sept 2018 start date. The application deadline for the Online MEd program in TESL is March 15, 2018.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applicants for 2018 intake can begin their Online Application in August 2017.

Admission start date is every September only for Phd and International Applicants.

Program / Concentration Program Start Date Program Application Deadline
PhD in Language and Literacy Education (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
PhD in Teaching English as a Second Language (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
MA in Modern Languages Education (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
MA in Literacy Education (international applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
MA in Literacy Education (domestic applicants) September 2018 February 1, 2018
January 2018 July 1, 2017
M.Ed. in Modern Languages Education (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (On-Campus) (all applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
M.Ed. in Teaching English as a Second Language (Online) (all applicants) September 2018 March 15, 2018
M.Ed. in Literacy Education (international applicants) September 2018 December 1, 2017
M.Ed. in Literacy Education (domestic applicants) September 2018 February 1, 2018
January 2018 July 1, 2017
All applications are done through the Faculty of Graduate Studies Online Application. Please note that your online application will not be processed until you have completed payment online and electronic reference notification will not be sent to your referees unless you have completed the application.If you are applying to begin study in 2016, you will normally scan and upload digital files (.pdfs) of the documents below in the application system and will be advised later on whether paper documents are required.
Document Upload Guidelines

How to scan, format and label files.

  1. Scanning:
    • Scan the front and back of each page of the document.
    • If the document contains multiple pages, all pages must be contained in a single file and the pages must be scanned in the correct order.
    • For transcripts – ensure the scanned document includes the institution’s name, grading scheme, your full name, the names of your courses and the grades you have received.
    • Ensure the orientation of the scanned document matches the original document. For example, a transcript that is printed vertically (or portrait) should be scanned so it appears in the portrait format.
    • Scan in black and white.
    • Scan using 300 dpi resolution.
    • Scanned documents must be legible and must include all identifying marks and information. If scanned documents are not legible, it may delay processing of your application.
  2. File size and type:
    • File size cannot exceed 10 MB.
    • Documents are preferred in PDF form. BMP, GIF, JPEG & JPG files are also accepted.
    • To reduce the size of a file, reduce the height and width of the image and lower resolution as required.
  3. File Name and Features:

This format is recommended for the file name of each document:
For example:
Transcript-University of British Columbia.pdf
Statement -of -Intent Kelly -Smith.pdf

  • Keep the file name brief and relevant to the content. If possible, avoid using non-English characters in the file name.
  • Do not use brackets ( ) or quotation marks (“) or other non-alphanumeric characters in the file name.
  • Separate words with a dash ( – ).
  • PDF files cannot include a digital signature.
  • PDF Files cannot include Document Assembly restrictions.
  • Do not include password protection as we will not be able to view the file.

Scanning Transcripts and Degree Certificates

Please ensure your transcript includes the following:

  • Scans should be of your official university documents, such as official transcripts and diplomas, not other forms of grade sheets.
  • If not on the transcript, the grading scale must also be provided. Usually this information is found on the reverse of your transcript document.
  • If your transcript and/or degree certificate is issued in a language other than English, upload a scanned copy of your official, original language documents and English translations.
  • Please do not upload your syllabus, course schedule, or any other documents along with your transcripts. If these documents are needed to support your application, you will be asked for them in another section of the application.

Transcripts Required

A record of study is required from each post-secondary institution you have attended.

  • Scans should be of your official university documents, such as official transcripts and diplomas, not other forms of grade sheets.
  • All transcripts uploaded as part of your application submission are considered unofficial by UBC.
  • If you are offered admission and you wish to accept the offer, you will also need to provide official transcripts. To be considered official transcripts must arrive at UBC in envelopes which have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution. If the official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then two official copies of the degree certificate are required.
  • Current and former UBC students – you may not need to submit official UBC transcripts as part of your graduate application. Please check with the program to which you are applying for more information. However, please be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).


Reference Letters:

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. 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:

Electronic references: Many graduate programs utilize an electronic reference (“e-ref”) system. 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.

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 the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope. We cannot accept e-mailed reference letters from applicants or referees.

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


If you have questions or are having difficulty with the application form, please email: Include your full name and the program to which you are trying to apply, and a description of the problem.

See the Faculty of Graduate Studies Application and Admission

If you are sending your official documents, please note that all courier costs are to be borne by the applicant. The department is unable to accept application documents unless the delivery cost is prepaid. Until your supporting documents are received by the department, you are responsible for the delivery of your supporting documents. If you have questions with regards to your couriered documents, check with the courier company.

  • If you are offered admission and wish to accept the offer, you will be also required to submit official transcripts and degree certificates. Two copies of official transcripts and degree certificates from all colleges and universities previously or currently attended in official, sealed envelopes of the issuing institution (photocopies are not acceptable), to be sent directly to the Department from the issuing university. Applicants who previously attended UBC may request the Department to obtain a copy of their transcripts from Student Services and these will be forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Transcripts from other institutions already on file in the Registrar’s Office are the property of the Registrar’s Office; therefore, new transcripts must be ordered for the use of the Department.
  • Three letters of reference must be received by the Department. There are three possible formats: electronic references, paper letters of reference, or paper reference forms (see Letters of Reference). We strongly encourage electronic references through the online application system, in which case a paper version is not required. If sending paper references, the reference letters must be received in a sealed envelope, signed and endorsed by the referee. Photocopies and scans of reference letters, or those received without the sealed, endorsed signature of their referee are not acceptable.
  • English Test Requirement. Please see “English Requirement” tab for instructions and test score information.


For the documents below, you are able to upload in the Online Application.

  • A brief statement of intent (~500 words) that outlines the applicant’s academic strengths and the specific interests he or she would like to pursue within Language and Literacy Education. The statement of intent is required from all applicants (both PhD and Master’s) and can be uploaded in the online application.
  • Resumé/Curriculum Vitae,  a short summary of relevant professional and academic background. The CV/resume can be uploaded in the online application. See the following suggested items with a CV_Sample.


The following is required for all Ph.D. and M.A. applicants:

  • Writing Sample – An example of scholarly writing, such as a portion of a master’s thesis or a short scholarly paper (maximum 30 pages; please do not send books or hardbound copies). Please upload your writing sample as an electronic file (doc or pdf) in the online application.

Applicants who completed degrees from a university outside North America in which English is not the primary language of instruction 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 the application, and an official test score report ordered from the testing agency may be required.Applicants who have received a degree from a North American university are not required to submit TOEFL, TWE, IELTS or MELAB scores. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to graduate studies are:

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language, minimum score 580 (paper-based) or 237 (computer based), or new minimum TOEFL score of 92 (with a minimum of 22 for each component).
TWE – Test of Written English. For those who take either the paper-based or computer-based TOEFL should also take TWE (Test of Written English) and have a minimum score of 5.

MELAB – Michigan English Language Assessment Battery. Minimum overall score 85.

IELTS – International English Language Testing System. Minimum overall band score 7, with no component less than 6.5.

Score submission for IELTS:

UBC requires an official score to be sent to us electronically from the test centre.

On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results being sent to. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, you have to use the following details on the application:

  • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia
  • Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
  • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

Score submission for TOEFL:

  • use the University of British Columbia’s institution code 0965
  • give the reason for taking TOEFL “to enter a college or university as a graduate student”

UBC accepts either:

  • an official paper score report sent directly to the university from the testing centre
  • electronic submission.


For more information regarding English Requirements please here.

For supporting documents, please send to the Graduate Department Address mailing address below:

Department of Language & Literacy Education
Graduate Program Assistant
Room 2013
Ponderosa Commons
6445 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z2

  1. Is there a distance learning program?
    Not as yet.
  2. Can I send photocopies of my transcripts? It's really difficult to get my university to send original transcripts.
    No, you cannot send photocopies. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will only accept transcripts and degree certificates that have either been sent directly from the originating university to UBC, or, if sent by the applicant, they must be received at UBC in envelopes that have been sealed and endorsed by the originating university.
  3. I have not been to university for many years so it is difficult for me to locate someone who can comment on my academic ability. My current principal is willing to write a reference. Is this sufficient, or should I try and locate my university professors?
    We require three references including an assessment by at least one university instructor. If you have problems obtaining an academic reference, you should contact the Graduate Advisor.
  4. Is it possible to transfer credits from another university? What is the maximum number of credits that can be transferred and how do I do it?
    Yes, it is possible, as long as it conforms to the transfer policies outlined here: The maximum number of credits that can be transferred is twelve providing the credits were not counted toward the completion of another credential, and that at least a B standing (UBC 74%) was obtained. The time limit for eligibility of courses for transfer to a graduate degree program is five years at the time the student commences their program. The student must request the transfer through their pro-tem Advisor.
  5. What is the difference between an MEd graduating paper and an MA thesis?
    A graduating paper is different from an MA thesis. The former is optional whereas the latter is required. A graduating paper is typically under 50 pages long and is not based on empirical research whereas the latter is usually 60-100 pages long and involves data collection and analysis. MEd papers are awarded 3 credits and MA theses are awarded 9 credits, and it normally takes one additional year after coursework is completed to conduct research, write, and defend an MA thesis. MEd students who want to do a graduating paper should talk to their advisors at the end of the first year of their program so that they have enough time to plan the paper and to work on drafts of the paper.
  6. Could I, as an MEd student, do a graduating paper based on original empirical research and be eligible to apply for a PhD program?
    We do not have the resources to supervise MEd students to do research. MEd students who wish to do research should apply to be transferred to our MA program. They should discuss the intention with their advisors at the end of the first year of their program. We will process the request based on an assessment of 1) the applicant's performance in courses during their first year; 2) their potential to do research; 3) their selection of a suitable research topic and preparation of a short proposal; and 4) the availability of a supervisor able to supervise research on that topic. For admission to our PhD Programs in LLED students must normally have completed original research (e.g., theses) in their masters programs. However, this requirement may not apply to admission to PhD programs at other institutions.
  7. What is the minimum time to complete the MA degree?
    There is no minimum time. On average students take 12 to 24 months to complete their master's program. Normally, it takes 24 months of full-time study to complete an MA degree and 12-24 months of full-time study to complete an MEd degree.
  8. Can I complete an MA or MEd program by part-time study?
    Yes, you can complete an MA or MEd program by part-time study if you are a domestic student, however MA candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for full-time study. International students are not eligible for the part-time schedule option.
  9. Can I apply for the waiver of TOEFL/IELTS since I will finish my master's degree in the States?
    If you have a MA or MEd from a recognized North American university, TOEFL/IELTS is not required.
  10. What is the time limit on my TOEFL/IELTS score?
    Graduate program applicants whose degrees are from a country other than Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and the English speaking countries of the West Indies, are required to submit a satisfactory official score report from one of the following organizations, obtained no more than two years prior to the application date.
  11. Does your department require a GRE?