Register for courses at UBC on exchange

Restrictions on courses and how registration works at UBC for exchange students

Registration overview

Course numbers and levels 
Generally, courses at UBC are numbered as follows:

100: First-year
200: Second-year
300: Third-year
400: Fourth-year (final year of undergraduate degree)
500+: Graduate-level courses

Course-load requirements 

Undergraduate exchange students typically take between 9 and 15 credits per semester at UBC, depending on degree requirements at home university. Go Global is not able to advise you on the minimum course load required by your home university. Students must maintain registration of minimum of 9 credits per term to be considered as a full-time student at UBC. If you are living on campus or considering to work with a valid Study Permit, you must maintain your full-time student status. There is a credit limit for both full year (30 credits/year) and single-term students (18 credits/term). 

Getting permission to take a restricted or full course 

If you want to take an undergraduate course offered by Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Science that is full or restricted, you must first complete this Registration Form, have it signed and returned to Go Global after arriving on campus.

For undergraduate courses offered by other faculties that are full or restricted, you can visit the advising office of the respective faculty after arriving on campus to seek approval

Taking graduate-level courses 

Undergraduate students wishing to take graduate-level courses are required to complete the Enrolment of Undergraduate Exchange Students in Graduate Courses form after arrival at UBC. 

View more information about taking graduate-level courses under the Faculty of Graduate Studies section below. 

Course + program restrictions

Many faculties, schools, and programs at UBC are available to visiting exchange students; however admission into some programs is limited. Further course information can be obtained on UBC's Course Schedule web page and on the faculty websites.

We cannot guarantee access to specific courses, even if they are required by your home university.

Faculties Not Available to Exchange Students

  • School of Audiology and Speech Sciences
  • School of Journalism
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • School of Nursing
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • School of Rehabilitation Sciences

Admission into programs is limited, please be sure to check the course restrictions relevant to the faculty and programs listed on this page.

Applied Science

Engineering courses that are normally restricted to inbound exchange students will be available to students coming to UBC from universities that have a Coordinated International Experience (CIE) student mobility agreement with UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science. Students applying from CIE partner institutions to engineering courses at UBC will be required to meet stated course pre-requisites (if any are listed in the UBC Academic Calendar).

All Engineering Courses (100 and 200-level courses APSC, BMEG and graduate level courses)

There is limited space for exchange students in the Faculty of Applied Science. Only those students applying to be admitted to the Faculty of Applied Science will be permitted to register in Engineering courses. Also, only those students pursuing a degree in Engineering at their home university will be admitted into this faculty for exchange.

While UBC will make every effort to register Engineering students in their requested courses, registration in requested courses is not guaranteed. Applicants are encouraged to have a back-up plan in the event that they are not accepted. Courses with a lab component are not available due to space limitations.

100- and 200-level courses are not available due to space limitations.

APSC 450 is not available.

BMEG 410 and 456 are not normally available. Effective 2017W, special permission may be granted if student is enrolled in a Biomedical Engineering-related program at their home institution and must be pursuing a degree in Engineering as per Faculty of Applied Science restrictions. All courses are subject to course availability at the time of enrolment – some sections are limited in size.

500-level (graduate) courses only available to graduate students or senior undergraduate students who meet the requirements set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students coming as undergraduate exchange students can only be enrolled upon arrival on campus. Please be warned that 500-level courses are significantly more challenging and time-consuming than undergraduate courses.

In addition to the restrictions noted above, all UBC students are subject to course registration restrictions and pre-requisites as noted in the Course Schedule. Please note that admissions and registration for exchange students in the Faculty of Applied Science may not follow the same timelines as for exchange students in other UBC faculties.

Chemical Engineering course restrictions

CHBE 362, 364, 365, 366, 376, 401 and 464 are not available

Civil Engineering course restrictions

CIVL 311, 315, 316, 445 and 446 are not available.

Electrical + Computer Engineering course restrictions

CPEN 391, CPEN 491, CPEN 492, ELEC 391, ELEC 491, ELEC 492, ELEC 493, and ELEC 494 are not available

Mechanical Engineering course restrictions

MECH 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225 – MECH 2 program is not available.

MECH 366, 420, 421, 422, 423, 467 – Mechatronics courses are generally not available. Special permission may be granted in exceptional circumstances if all of these conditions are met:

the student is enrolled in a Mechatronics program at their home institution;the home institution is specifically requesting these courses as they map to core requirements at the home institution;the student has had an interview with the Mechatronics coordinator to ensure their background is appropriate and they are a suitable candidate for the course.MECH 356, 492 – These courses are controlled by Wood Science

MECH 305, 306, 405 – These courses contain labs that are severely space-limited, and may not be available

MECH 328, 457, 458, 459, 493 – students must have an interview with the instructor to determine if they are a suitable candidate for these courses before they can be registered. We reserve the right to refuse any student who may not have the appropriate background or language skills due to the team-based or client-based nature of these courses, or remove them from the course within the change of registration period if their background proves to be insufficient.

All courses are subject to course availability at the time of enrollment – some sections are limited in size.

Clean Energy Engineering is not open to exchange students
Pulp and Paper Engineering is only available to graduate students

Architecture + Landscape Architecture


Students with four years of architectural training before their exchange at UBC may apply to take graduate-level courses. These courses should be designated as second-year or higher.

Environmental Design

Must be enrolled in a comparable undergraduate environmental design program.

Urban Design graduate-level courses (UDES 500-level) are not available.

Landscape architecture

Graduate program with limited undergraduate courses. Must be enrolled in the second year (or higher) of a comparable undergraduate or graduate professional landscape architecture program.


Anthropology - Graduate courses (500-level) not available.

Chinese Language

ALL incoming students who wish to take ANY CHIN-titled courses (or ASIA 389/399) are required to complete an “On-Line Placement Questionnaire” to obtain a placement approval for registration. Students without the approval will be removed from the class.

Students may not enroll in more than one level of Chinese Language in the same term.

Creative Writing

Most 200-level courses are available. 400-level courses are not open to exchange students. If you are requesting 300-level courses, please submit the following documents to

  1. syllabus/course outline of the pre-reqs course you have taken at your home university
  2. a short (10 pages at the very most) writing sample, in English, ideally in the genre you want to take.

If you have any general or background questions, please email

Economics course restrictions

ECON 390, 490, 492, 495 and 499 are not available.

Courses that are restricted to special programs such as Bachelor of International Economic courses (BIE), Coordinated Arts, and Vantage College are not available

Graduate courses (500-level) not available.

Honours courses are open only to top students with averages of 85% and above with approval from the department: ECON 304, 305, 306, 307 and 425 have limited availability.


First-year (100-level) courses, ENGL 210, ENGL 211, ENGL 489, ENGL 490, ENGL 491, and ENGL 492 not available.

Limited availability in courses.

Film - Many courses, particularly production courses (FIPR), are not open to exchange.

First Nation and Indigneous Studies

FNIS 100, 210, and 220 are open to exchange students.  

FNIS 310 and FNIS 320 are restricted to FNIS majors and minors only.

FNIS 400 is restricted to FNIS majors only. 

All other FNIS courses offered (including graduate-level courses) can only be taken with permission from the instructor. 


Students planning to study French while at UBC should be aware that, unless they have completed at least three years of French and can participate comfortably in courses taught exclusively in the French language, they will not be able to take more than one French course per term. Below that level we offer only a single sequence of one-term courses in language acquisition.

History - Most courses last for the full year (Sep - Apr)
Italian - All ITST courses are conducted in English.
Media Studies - Courses in the Bachelor of Media Studies are not open to exchange students. FIPR 233, FIST 240, FIST 340, INFO 250, INFO 419, INFO 456 are restricted to BMS students only.

Political Science

Registration in Political Science is very limited.

Political Science or International Relations majors may register in a maximum of three 300-level courses/term. Non-Political majors may not have access to 300 level courses.

  • All first- and second-year courses are open to exchange students.
  • Fourth-year seminars not available (all 400-level courses are seminars except for POLI 465).
  • Graduate courses are limited.
Pschology - Graduate courses are not available
Theatre - many courses are restricted

Visual arts

Limited availability. A portfolio is required for students interested in studio art courses (except for 100-level courses, which are open to all students).

University writing centre courses

WRIT 098 and WRIT 099 are open to exchange students but are not covered under your tuition waiver. You will need to pay tuition for these courses.

School of Community + Regional Planning

All Community + Regional Planning

No courses are currently offered due to the creation of a new Master's program and limited resources to accommodate exchange students.



Students interested in exploring education and who have completed two years of studies, may take Education courses (ADHE, CNPS, ECED, EDCP, EDUC, EPSE, EDST, LLED) at the 300-400 level except for those listed below. Please consult with a Education Faculty Program Coordinator. Students who are enrolled in a similar teacher education program at their home institution should contact a Education Faculty Program Coordinator about taking a limited number of Bachelor of Education degree program courses.

Art Education - EDCP 301 and 302 not available. 
Business Education - EDCP 372, 375, and 378 are not available.
Business Education - EDCP 372, 375, and 378 are not available.
Computing Studies Education - EDCP 373 is not available.
Counselling Psychology - All 300-400 level CNPS courses are available. 
Curriculum Studies - EDCP 358 and 468 are not available.

Educational Psychology + Special Education

EPSE 308, 310, 311, and 312 are not available.

Educational Studies - EDST 401, 403 and 404 are not available
English Education - LLED 366 and 377 are not available.
English as an Additional Language - LLED 315 is not available.
French Education - LLED 325 and 371 are not available.
Higher Education - Courses available at the graduate level only.
Home Economics Education - EDCP 391 is not available.

Language and Literacy Education

LLED 336, 350, 351, 352, 353, 360, and 361 are not available.

Mathematics Education - EDCP 340 and 342 are not available.
Technology Studies Education - EDCP 371, 374, 377 are not available.

Graduate Studies

Faculty of Graduate Studies restrictions

Before applying to graduate studies at UBC, please check the Faculty of Graduate Studies website to see if you meet their minimum requirements. Many departments also have higher TOEFL requirements for graduate students.

Economics, psychology, business and anthropology courses are not available to exchange students at the graduate level.

Students who intend to conduct research while on exchange must have a UBC faculty member ready to supervise their time at UBC prior to completing their online application.

Classification as a graduate student at your home university does not necessarily mean that you will be considered a graduate student at UBC. There is limited availability in graduate-level courses.

Undergraduate students wishing to take graduate-level courses are required to complete the


Many courses are restricted and have a limited class size, particularly KIN 230, 231, 261, and 284.

Land and Food Systems

Land and Food Systems restrictions

Graduate exchange students can take up to 6 credits of 500 level FRE courses, subject to approval by the MFRE program. Please contact Gabi at to seek approval


Law restrictions

Law courses are only open to students from universities that have a law exchange arrangement with UBC and have been nominated via that arrangement.

Students applying to law must have completed at least one year of law studies with an average of 70% (or equivalent).

Access to specific courses is not guaranteed. Students should plan to complete their core requirements at their home university.

Space in seminar courses is typically limited. Graduate law courses are not available.

This list of universities highlights the the universities with which UBC has a Law-specific exchange requirement.

Please refer to this comprehensive list of universities with which UBC has a Law-specific exchange agreement and to this guide for more detailed information on course availability and restrictions.

Library, Archival + Information Studies

Courses available at the graduate level only.


Population + Public Health

Population + Public Health restrictions

Most SPPH courses are available at the graduate level only; however a small number of undergraduate courses are also available. All courses are subject to course availability at the time of enrolment and some courses are limited in size. Please follow the instructions for course requests as indicated on our website. Note that SPHA courses are not open to exchange students.


Science restrictions

Some courses in the Faculty of Science are similar enough to other courses in the faculty that students can only obtain credit from one. Review the Credit Exclusion List to determine which courses count towards the same credit. Please do not list more than one of these courses in your selections.

Science courses with laboratory components may have restricted enrolment because they are requirements for UBC students. Consult the relevant department if you're interested in taking any of these courses.

Botany - Courses available at the graduate level only.

Marine Science

MRNE courses are taught at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) located on Vancouver Island. Students wishing to attend these courses must submit a separate application to BMSC. Additional fees will apply.


  • Limited space in PHYS 210, 219, 229, 309, 319, 348, 408, 409A, 409B, 420C (Lab or seminar type of courses i.e. 348 and 420)
  • PHYS 401, 402, 473, 474 are honours courses restricted to Engineering Physics and our honours students. Available if space permits. Exchange students with strong academic standing can be considered. After being registered, students need to speak to the instructors at start of classes to make sure they truly meet the prerequisites for the courses.
  • PHYS 349/447 are directed research courses. Department approval is needed
  • PHYS/ASTR 449 are honours thesis courses, not open to EXCH students.
Zoology - Courses available at the graduate level only.


Sauder School of Business restrictions

Please review the special guidelines for students.

Students nominated by their home university and accepted on exchange to the Sauder School of Business are allowed a maximum of 12 credits of COMM/COHR per term. Additional credits may be considered if space is available.

Students not on exchange with the Sauder School of Business may request to take commerce courses but enrolment may be limited and is not guaranteed.

COMM101, 202, 286V, 311, 466, 486B, graduate (500 and 600 level), BUSI, and COEC courses are not available. Dual degree courses are not available: COMM120, 126, 220, 320, 321, 328, 420, and 421.

Enrolment in second-year courses (200-level) may be limited.

The following are commerce courses for non-commerce majors: COMM100, 329, 398, 458, 465, 473, and 493.

Application, dates + practical info


Wendy Kang

Email enquiries + drop-in advising

When emailing us, please include:
  • Your student number in the subject line
  • Your full name and if you are an incoming or outgoing exchange student in the body of the email
Drop-in advising

Mon: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tue: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Wed: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Wendy Kang

Incoming Exchange Advisor

Go Global

Telephone: 604 822 0942

International House
1783 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2