Special circumstances for students receiving awards


Most undergraduate students who earn scholarships and other merit-based awards are required to meet the minimum credit-load and academic performance criteria, according to the Regulations Governing University Awards. There are, however, there are some special circumstances in which exceptions apply.

Exceptions to minimum credit rules

To earn and maintain a scholarship or other academic awards, undergraduates must be registered in 24 percentage-graded credits in a Winter session. Students may be able to earn and maintain an award with a reduced credit load in the following cases:

Varsity athletes

If you are a UBC varsity athlete, you may receive and earn scholarships and academic awards on as few as 18 credits in the Winter session. You will need to provide a letter from Athletics confirming your commitment to the varsity team and the need to study at a reduced course load.

Students with a disability

  • If you're registered with the Centre of Accessibility 
    You will need a letter or email from an Accessibility Advisor confirming your registration and the need to study at a reduced course load. The letter must indicate the number of credits you can take each term, which would be equivalent to a full-time course load.
  • If you are not registered with the Centre of Accessibility
    You will need a letter from a medical professional confirming your medical condition and the need to study at a reduced course load.

Final year of study

If you are registered in fewer than 24 credits in your last year of study, you may retain renewable scholarships and be eligible for academic-merit based awards normally requiring 24 credits. This is possible if your faculty advising office can confirm that a reduced number of credits is enough to meet the May graduation requirements at the end of the Winter session.

Special circumstances

You will be required to submit supporting documentation to Enrolment Services confirming your inability to meet the minimum requirements under Senate Regulations.

Depending on the situation, the documentation can be from a physician, counsellor, academic advisor, or other appropriate professional.

If you've already provided documentation to another UBC unit or faculty who approves this request, you do not need to submit documentation to Enrolment Services. Enrolment Services staff can make a decision based on communication received from another UBC unit or faculty.

Students on exchange terms

A number of scholarships and awards are available specifically to students going on exchange. 

Maintain your award while on exchange

Students registered in exchange for only one academic term must complete a minimum of 12 credits during the UBC academic term to maintain their award and renewable award eligibility.

Eligibility for renewable scholarships after exchange

Recipients of renewable scholarship may continue to receive funding while registered in an exchange program. Students on exchange are expected to be enrolled in a full-time course load at the exchange institution. Since UBC scholarships are based on results from your previous Winter Session at UBC, you won't receive automatic eligibility because UBC will not have grades or credit information from your time away on exchange. You'll be required to submit an exchange transcript to Enrolment Services and meet the UBC award credit and academic requirements.

Eligibility for non-renewable scholarships after exchange

Students participating in an approved exchange program may be eligible to receive scholarships and other academic awards if they meet UBC Senate Regulations and the following special conditions:

  • For scholarships in the following Winter session, students on exchange must be registered in a minimum of 24 percentage-graded credits overall at UBC and their exchange institution during the current Winter session.
  • For faculty recommended awards, students normally need to submit an exchange transcript to their faculty or department. You can connect with Academic Advising for more information.
  • For awards managed by Enrolment Services, students must submit a copy of their exchange transcript by the award program deadline. For competitive scholarships, grades from exchange terms must be compared and converted to UBC grades so that a GPA can be calculated for award eligibility, where required.

Students on co-op terms

Students in a Co-op program may be eligible for scholarships in the following academic term, as long as they meet the UBC Senate Regulations and the special conditions below.

Non-renewable scholarships

Co-op term during a Winter Session 

If you have one Co-op work term and are enrolled in classes for one academic term in the same Winter Session, your eligibility for scholarships will be affected in the following ways:

For scholarships during a Co-op year

  • You must be registered in at least 12 credits during the academic term to receive the scholarship.
  • The full amount will be paid during the academic term, even if it would normally be split over both terms.

Scholarship eligibility for the following year

  • Co-op courses will not count toward academic averages when calculating awards eligibility for the following year.
  • Since you will have taken fewer credits during the year with one Co-op term, the average for scholarships will be calculated on the best 12 credits, normally based on 24 credits.
  • Because you will have only completed half a full course load during the Co-op year, you will only be eligible for scholarships at half its value the following year. This eligibility should balance out over the course of the degree, as it will take a year longer to complete and you will have an additional year of scholarship eligibility as a result.

Consider the following example scenario. A student receiving a $2,000 scholarship this school year was on Co-op for Term 1. They received the entire $2,000 in Term 2, since they were registered in at least 12 credits.

The same student is now being considered for a $3,000 scholarship for the following year. Their academic average is based on their best 12 credits, not counting the Co-op course. If the student is eligible, they will receive $1,500 of the scholarship, because they completed only half an academic course load this year.

Two Co-op terms during a Winter Session

You will have your award deferred to your next academic term during the Winter Session after your Co-op year.

Co-op courses will not count toward academic averages when calculating awards eligibility for the following year.

Consider the following example scenario. A student is registered in 24 credits during the 2022 Winter Session. Based on the grades in this session, they earn a Trek award for the 2023 Winter Session. They decide to complete two co-op terms in the 2023 Winter session, from September to December 2023 and January to April 2024. Their award will be deferred to the 2024 Winter Session, where they will once again be enrolled in academic studies.

Renewable scholarships

If you are a Co-op student with a renewable entrance scholarship, you will receive the same total monetary value, but the funding will be spread equally over the Winter Session academic terms only. You will still need to meet the renewal criteria specific to your scholarship.

Sign up for Direct Deposit

University awards are normally applied to your tuition first. If your award is greater than your tuition, you will receive a refund for the remaining amount. Direct deposit is highly recommended to ensure you receive the award funding. Sign up for direct deposit on your Student Service Centre (SSC) to have the refund directly deposited into your bank account.

If you have questions, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor (ES Advisor).

If you have questions