Apply to UBC on exchange

Getting started

To attend UBC as an exchange student, you must be enrolled at one of UBC's partner universities. Your home university's exchange office will determine your eligibility for an exchange program – contact them for details on their application procedures.

Your application will also be reviewed by our office. Applications to study in Applied Science, Architecture, Commerce, Creative Writing, Education, Forestry, Graduate Studies, Kinesiology, Land and Food Systems, Landscape Architecture, and Social Work will be reviewed by the faculty or department. Admission to these programs is limited.

Acceptance to UBC is confirmed once your home university's exchange office receives your acceptance letter. We recommend that you do not purchase an airline ticket prior to receiving your official letter of acceptance.

Application instructions

  1. Ensure you meet UBC's English language requirements.
  2. Review program and course restrictions. Read this information carefully to understand which programs and courses are available to exchange students.
  3. Complete the online exchange application. Once your university has sent us your name and email address, we will email you with further instructions, including the URL to our online application. Please submit your application by the deadline indicated in the email. Once you have submitted the online application, you will receive a confirmation email indicating your UBC student number. Students wishing to attend MRNE (Marine Science) courses must submit a separate application to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) after completing the exchange application. MRNE courses are taught at BMSC located on Vancouver Island. Additional fees will apply.
  4. Submit your application documents (e.g., transcript) to your home exchange office. Have your home exchange office forward all required documents to UBC by the deadline indicated in the instructions email.
  5. Apply for a Campus-Wide Login (CWL) account. This is required in order to complete UBC's online housing application, and you will need this login later to check your registration and pay your fees. If you experience difficulty setting up an account, please see the "Creating a CWL account tutorial" or contact the help desk for technical support.
    1. Visit the CWL Sign Up page.
    2. Proceed and agree to the Terms of Use.
    3. Select Student and Alumni from the list of choices.
    4. Follow the instructions to complete the application. Your default Student Service Centre (SSC) password is set to your 6 digit date of birth in the order of yymmdd (e.g. 920111). 
  6. Complete the online housing application. Due to high demand, on-campus housing for Term 1 exchange is not guaranteed even though priority is given to regular exchange students.
    1. Coordinated International Experience (CIE) Term 1 exchange students do not qualify for Priority Access and we recommend CIE Term 1-only students to look for off-campus housing because of the low chance of getting into a UBC residence.
    2. Regular exchange students and CIE Full Year/Term 2 students, please apply as soon as you have created a CWL account to log in on the Student Services Centre. Do not wait until you have been admitted.

Housing application tips

  1. Go to the Housing and Conferences Online Service Centre and log in under “UBC New Applicants, Students, Staff with CWL ID.”
  2. Log in with the CWL you created
  3. Select “Application,” and then “Apply.”
  4. Select the application for the 2020/2021 Winter Session (20W)
  5. When asked for your faculty, enter “Exchange Program, year 1.”
  6. There is a $50 non-refundable application fee.

We will inform the housing office whether you are coming for one or two terms as there is no place for you to indicate this on their application.

For off-campus housing resources, please see: 

Application document checklist

It's your responsibility to ensure that your university exchange office sends us the following documents before the deadline indicated in the instructions email:

Additional documents required by Faculties or Departments at UBC


  • Statement explaining your interest in the discipline of architecture and UBC's School of Architecture
  • Curriculum Vitae (resumé)
  • Two letters of reference (academic)
  • Portfolio (a representative sample of undergraduate or graduate level architecture course work)
  • TOEFL score of 100 (Internet-based)

Landscape Architecture

A portfolio of your design work is required for admission


If you want to participate in a teaching practicum, a criminal record check (from your local police authority) is mandatory. This requirement is the result of British Columbia legislation that requires a review of all candidates who will be working with children.


A DVD or VHS audition tape. Please email if you have questions about the audition tape.

Visual Arts

A portfolio (CD or slides) of your work in the areas you would like to take courses (e.g., sculpture, painting).