New Students – Before Arriving at UBC

This information has been retrieved from:


First, create your Campus-Wide Login(CWL). After logging on the Student Service Centre, you can:

  • Register for courses
  • Review your financial situation (Payments are due May, September and January)
  • Review your awards and fill in the acceptance form
  • Update your personal information


A list of courses offered at UBC can be found under Registration in SSC.

If you cannot register in the course online (the course may be full, restricted or undergraduate level), please submit the change of registration form to Graduate Secretary.
Course change & withdrawal dates

All M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. students are required to register for thesis course all year around in order to maintain your full-time student status. Similarly, MEng students are required to register for project course all the time.

Once you are registered, you can obtain a UBC card and U-pass from the UBC Bookstore – bring a photo ID and your student number.


Students registered in a master’s program may be permitted to take up to 12 credits or up to 40% of the total number of credits needed for degree completion (whichever is more) at another university to be counted toward a University of British Columbia graduate degree. These credits cannot have been counted toward the completion of another credential, nor have been used to upgrade an applicant’s academic standing to justify admission. Only courses in which at least a ‘B’ standing (UBC 74%) is obtained will be considered for transfer. Undergraduate students who have maintained an overall ‘B+’ (76%) average in their completed third- and fourth-year courses, and who have completed at least 75% of the third- and fourth-year requirements for their undergraduate degree, may be eligible to register in graduate courses. Upon admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, these credits, to a maximum of 12 credits or 40% of the total number of credits needed for degree completion (whichever is more), may be applied towards a graduate degree. The 12-credit (40%) restriction does not apply to students in UBC approved Exchange Agreements established by the UBC Go Global Office. Requests for transfer credit must be accompanied by a letter from the program office addressed to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The letter must provide an academic justification for allowing the transfer credit on a course by course basis.


A majority of MECH graduate students are offered RA by their supervisors. Such assistantships are funded by research grants for specified projects which virtually always constitute thesis projects. A RA may be held in conjunction with Teaching Assistantship or scholarship.

How to set up your RA appointment:

1. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) if you don’t already have one (International students: please refer to the information below to see how to get one).

2. Ensure all your information in the Student Services Centre is up-to-date (e.g. current address, phone number, etc)

3. Ensure you have completed the Department Safety Training Requirement.

4. Ensure all followings have been submitted to the department :

  • A copy of your Study Permit/Visa
  • A copy of your Passport
  • A copy of your SIN confirmation receipt (or a plastic card)

5. The first paycheck needs to be picked up at the payroll office in person. Please bring your UBC card for ID verification. RA and TA are paid semi-monthly (in the middle and end of the month).

Note: RA appointment may take up to five business days to process after all necessary information has been received. Incomplete documents may cause delays in payment.

You may also apply for: Payroll Direct Deposit or Tuition Payroll Deductions/Fee deferral.


Course enrollment is mandatory for all incoming graduate students.

General safety training & quiz are available online (on VISTA). You should try to get your CWL and take the training and pass the quiz before you arrive on the campus so that there will be no delays in gaining access to your lab space or in beginning studies.

Keys, Fobs, and Alarm codes will not be authorized until safety training is fully completed and all required supporting documents submitted to the Department Reception desk.


The following information is for international students only:


Soon after your arrival to Canada, you’re required to apply for MSP by submitting the application and visa copy. MSP waiting period is 3 months which will be covered by iMED ( the mandatory basic health insurance program. iMED also will cover your trip (ten or less days) to Canada. The arrival date must be within the coverage dates.

What is iMED, BC Medical Plan (MSP), and AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan?


What is Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

SIN is required if you are expected to work on campus as RA, TA, or receive a major scholarship to be paid through UBC Payroll system.

How to apply for SIN:

1 – Submit the Employment Contract Form to Graduate Secretary.

2 – Submit the application form and all the supporting documents (including the form stated above) to the HRDC centre.

The center nearest to UBC Campus is:

Vancouver Human Resources Center
125 East 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC. V5T 1Z3
Phone: 604-872-7431 Fax: 604-666-1205
Hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

3 – Submit a SIN confirmation receipt to the Graduate Secretary for your appointment.

Remember that SIN and Study Permit have expiry dates and must be renewed at least 3 months in advance. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining up-to-date documents lies with the student. Remember also that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport remains current.