Non-Degree Studies for Access Studies

Eligibility for Access Studies

If you haven’t completed a degree but you’d like to take courses for general interest at UBC outside of a degree program, you can apply as an Access Studies student.

To be eligible, you must meet all the following requirements:

If you’re a senior citizen or a current high school student, there are additional steps you’ll need to follow. Review the information in the sections below.

Considerations for Access Studies students

  • Enrolment for Access Studies students is limited to 6 credits per term and a lifetime maximum of 24 credits.
  • Being admitted to UBC as an Access Studies student does not guarantee enrolment in requested courses or admission to a degree program at UBC.
  • You may be able to transfer your course credits to a future UBC degree program at the discretion of the faculty you apply to.
  • To register, you'll need to meet course prerequisites through previous study, relevant experience, or instructor permission.

Application dates

Course start date Application deadline
September for Winter Session Term 1 July 15
January for Winter Session Term 2 October 15
May for Summer Session Term 1 or 2 March 15

How to apply

Select your courses

  1. Search the Course Schedule for eligible courses in Arts, Forestry, Land and Food Systems, or Science.
  2. Select "Course Search" and enter the subject area or keywords for your area of interest, making sure that you meet the stated course restrictions and prerequisites.

Apply online

New students

If you're new to UBC, or have previously applied to but not attended UBC, you’ll need to create a new student account.

  1. Create an Education Planner BC account online. 

  2. Fill in your personal information and academic history.  

  3. Click Start Applying and select "University of British Columbia" as the institution.

  4. Select the appropriate Admissions Category based on your academic history.

  5. Select “Access Student” under First Program Choice. You do not need to select a second program choice.

  6. When asked, make sure to include the list of course(s) you’re interested in taking or the specific program under which you would like to take courses.

  7. UBC Admissions will email you with a confirmation of your application and next steps.

  8. After completing your application, email any additional and required documents to

Current students 

If you have previously been admitted to UBC or if you've registered in courses at UBC, email with all of the following information:

  • Full name

  • Previously assigned UBC student number

  • Your Non-Degree Category, which is “Access”

  • Intended start date

Senior citizens

BC residents 65 years of age or older are eligible to apply through Access Studies to take courses for general interest if they meet the following requirements:

  • They are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • They do not hold a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution.

Tuition costs for senior citizens

Normally, senior citizens do not pay tuition or student fees, except for programs within Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, or any faculty or school where existing facilities and resources are limited.

If you wish to opt in to the full suite of student fees, please email

Expect to pay about $100 to $150 per course for course materials, which are available through the UBC Bookstore.

How to apply as a senior citizen

Follow the same application instructions as mentioned above, then email with proof of your date of birth, such as a photocopy of a passport or driver's license. Include your UBC reference or student number.

Concurrent high school students

To be considered for concurrent studies at UBC as an Access Studies student, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You are in good academic standing.
  • You are enrolled in a British Columbia secondary school in a program that meets regular UBC entry requirements.
  • You can provide a written recommendation from your high school principal.
  • You have the written consent of your parent or legal guardian.

How to apply as a high school student

Submit your application and required materials by the deadline, and UBC Admissions will submit them to your chosen faculty for evaluation.

Once you have been approved by the faculty for enrolment in courses at UBC, you will receive an email with confirmation and registration instructions. Forward supporting documentation to with your full name and UBC reference (student) number.

UBC STEPS Forward program

If you have developmental or intellectual disabilities and are interested in attending post-secondary education in a way that supports your strengths and learning style, consider applying for the STEPS Forward program.

If you have questions