With the risk COVID-19 poses to students, staff and instructors, we have cancelled the September 2020 and January 2021 International Graduate Studies Preparation Program.
You may be interested in the Pre-Graduate School Online Program. This new part-time program is for upper-year undergraduate students and recent graduates wanting to apply to a Canadian master’s program.
Do you aspire to study in a master’s program at a Canadian or American university? Learn how to succeed and thrive in North American master’s programs in the International Graduate Studies Preparation Program (IGSPP).
Guided by our experienced instructors, find your ideal academic path, and develop the advanced academic skills needed to improve your chances of gaining admission to graduate school.
Gain the know-how to succeed and thrive as a graduate student in a new culture through structured activities, courses and seminars, workshops and community explorations. And get an edge in competitive graduate school admissions with a first-hand understanding of North American university applications, and academic expectations and standards.
This program will not only be beneficial for the preparation of graduate school, but also guide you in your life. Both the program and staff are fantastic, and it's also a good chance to have an experience learning at UBC, one of the world's most famous universities. You will meet amazing people, and have meaningful experiences here.
Mengying (Cathy) Cao
Program Post-IGSPP: UBC Sauder School of Business, Master of Management
In this guided program, acquire the essential academic and social-cultural skills to succeed and thrive in North American graduate studies, all in a safe, supportive environment at a top-tier university.
IGSPP is designed for university graduates with a minimum English language level of IELTS 6.0/TOEFL 82 or equivalent. Students who do not meet the English language requirement for direct entry into IGSPP are encouraged to enroll in the combined IGSPP plus English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program.
- Full-time, 14 weeks
- Begins with an orientation to the program, UBC and Vancouver, and a personalized assessment
- Includes 24 hours per week of structured activities in small groups of students under the guidance of instructors
- Attend instructor-led classes that model group work common in graduate programs
- Be introduced to an optional self-directed online course and work in a seminar related to your academic discipline with a UBC scholar
- Participate in on-campus networking events and social activities
- Optional: Study alongside UBC graduate students in an online UBC Experimental Medicine graduate course offered by the UBC Faculty of Medicine
- Optional: Combine IGSPP with the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program offered by the UBC English Language Institute
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The International Graduate Studies Preparation Program (IGSPP) offers you the opportunity to:
Plan your path
Develop a personalized plan by identifying your academic goals. Discover how to match your skills, interests and academic achievements with a Canadian or American university graduate program that is right for you.
Get ready to apply
Learn how to approach the complex process of applying for graduate school. Gain an overview of how admissions differ from university to university, such as transcripts, references and test scores. Not only do you build English written and oral skills to effectively communicate in personal statements on your application, you come away with an understanding of the role culture plays in writing applications.
Prepare to succeed
Learn the skills to excel and thrive in graduate school. Build your confidence by developing critical thinking, teamwork and networking skills that are important in Canadian and American post-secondary institutions. Strengthen your research and writing skills for academic and professional purposes.
Most importantly, I learned how to learn in a North America university. It can be hard to perform excellently in a totally different education system. I cannot imagine how frustrated I would be in graduate study without taking IGSPP. Secondly, IGSPP equipped me with all the skills I needed to apply for a graduate program. It's important for young people to […] find our passion; I'm glad that I found it.
Yichen (Roxanne) Xu
Program Post-IGSPP: Concordia University, Master of Economics
Although there is no guarantee that graduates from IGSPP will be admitted to UBC or any other post-secondary institution, program graduates have been accepted into UBC, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of San Francisco and other prestigious institutions.
IGSPP is also not a degree program, nor is it a direct path to graduate study at UBC or any other university. For more information about admission to graduate programs at UBC, view UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
The International Graduate Studies Preparation Program is a full-time, 14-week program. Small groups of students spend approximately 24 hours each week in structured activities in the classroom and in the community.
The IGSPP curriculum includes the following components:
- Program orientation
- Essential skills course
- Graduate seminars and program advising workshops
- Socio-cultural activities and networking
Students may combine IGSPP with the following options:
- UBC Experimental Medicine graduate course offered by the UBC Faculty of Medicine (additional requirements and fees)
- English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program from the UBC English Language Institute (additional fees)
Familiarize yourself with the program with a comprehensive overview of the objectives, outcomes and expectations of the curriculum. Your orientation also includes:
- an introduction to the University of British Columbia campus and Vancouver
- strategies on adjusting to living and studying in a new culture, and understanding Canadian-style family life
- instructions on using the Vancouver public transit system.
During orientation, you are assessed on your communication abilities, cultural competence, and academic and career plans. This program component is designed so we can get to know you as an individual, and to clearly outline to you the skills required to gain admission to graduate school.
Essential Skills Course (15 hours per week)
Develop the essential skills for success through class activities that include discussions, lectures, presentations, case studies, debates, problem-based learning and general data gathering and reporting.
- Focus on academic skills, planning, culture and argumentation.
- Working on your own and in teams, pursue your academic interests and report your findings to your peers and instructors.
- Set your academic goals, plan your academic path and research graduate schools to which you are interested in applying.
- Research interests of potential academic supervisors and ways to secure grant money to support graduate study plans. While building general research skills, this component also offers an opportunity to practise academic responsibilities and ethical considerations used widely in Canada and the US.
- Through debates and mock and student-led seminars, become familiar with Canadian- and US-style academics as you develop verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing. Topics such as academic ethics and responsibilities are also examined.
- Learn the expectations and cultural differences of classroom work in Canadian and American universities. Build communication skills, knowledge of local culture and confidence in communicating effectively in English in professional, academic and community settings.
- Develop greater clarity, forcefulness and appropriateness in the ways in which you express yourself in academic assignments.
- Learn how to articulate a thesis, organize points in support of that thesis, develop those points, and address the audience appropriately.
Optional Online Course Work (approximately 7 hours online; 3-5 hours study time per week)
The amount of coursework done online in graduate-level programs is increasing. This online course component allows you to become more familiar with online learning and what is required to be successful. Study an online course that matches your academic interests. Courses on edX®, also known as massive online open courses (MOOCs), allow you to study subjects from the best universities in the world.
Choose from four streams:
Examples of edX courses introduced in IGSPP seminars
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Seminars (3 hours per week)
Graduate seminars are one of the clearest differences between undergraduate and graduate level studies. In Canada and the US, they are usually small sessions with a scholar and other graduate students who discuss readings, and engage with all types of ideas.
Develop your skills in a safe, supportive environment along with a small group of IGSPP students. In academic seminars related to the online course you’ve chosen. Discuss culture, research communication and similar topics. They are one of the best ways for graduate students to demonstrate their scholarship, and an essential way to develop knowledge in an academic field during graduate school.
Program Advising Workshops (1 hour per week)
Program Advising Workshops are your opportunity for personalized, guided academic planning in a small group setting to help you find the perfect master’s program for you.
- Learn how the typical requirements of admission such as applications, transcripts, references, language proficiency and admission test scores vary from university to university.
- Gain skills to effectively communicate application information, such as personal statements of interest, in an academic program.
- Identify academic goals.
- Establish an academic plan, and research graduate programs best suited to your skills, interests and academic background.
- Navigate the complex process of applying to graduate school.
Past IGSPP students have had opportunities to meet with professors, program staff and graduate students from UBC and other universities to learn more about programs of interest as well as programs they may not have previously considered.
Socio-cultural and Networking Activities (Optional; minimum 3 hours per week)
You can participate in on-campus networking events and social activities organized by a campus guide. Meet people in the UBC community, including faculty and students. Learn from grad-themed workshops, and enjoy team-building exercise pub nights, sporting events on campus, and participate in casual sport activities. Build your network and make lasting friendships.
Events are posted weekly and students sign up according to their interest. There is at least one social and/or networking activity per week.
Online Experimental Medicine (must meet additional academic and English-language requirements and pay additional tuition fees)
Study virtually with Canadian and international graduate students in a UBC Experimental Medicine graduate course which include:
- MEDI 501: Molecular and Cellular Biology of Experimental Medicine
- MEDI 502: Experimental Medicine Methodology
- MEDI 503: Introduction to Clinical, Patient Oriented and Translational Research
IGSPP students participate fully in the Online Experimental Medicine graduate courses but do not receive credit.
Note: Space is extremely limited in UBC Experimental Medicine courses and not all courses are available at any given time.
English for Academic Purposes (additional fees apply)
Combine IGSPP with the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program offered by the UBC English Language Institute to make a longer, eight-month program.
EAP is an integrated skills program for intermediate to advanced English students who want to develop their academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The program is delivered in a full-time, 16-week format with up to 28 hours in class per week.
Students who do not meet the English-language requirement for direct entry into IGSPP but who have an IELTS 5.5, TOEFL 65 or equivalent are encouraged to enroll in the combined IGSPP plus EAP program. Students who achieve IELTS 6.0 or complete the EAP program at level 500 are eligible to enter IGSPP.
Students who meet the English language requirements for direct entry to IGSPP may also choose to enroll in the combined IGSPP plus EAP program. EAP is suitable for students with higher levels of English-language ability. Placement tests at the beginning of the session will determine your level in the EAP program.
Our core instructors are professionals with extensive experience in adult education for international students. Students also benefit from the expertise of graduate and post-graduate academics from within the UBC community and guest lecturers from UBC faculty.
Program Start Dates
|IGSPP||September 3 - December 17, 2021|
|IGSPP plus Online Experimental Medicine||September 3 - December 17, 2021|
|IGSPP plus English for Academic Purposes (EAP)||EAP, May 3 - August 17, 2021 +
IGSPP, September 3 - December 17, 2021
|IGSPP plus Online Experimental Medicine||CAD$15,000|
|IGSPP plus English for Academic Purposes||CAD$19,750|
Fees are listed in Canadian dollars (CAD) and include all elements of the IGSPP curriculum (as described under Curriculum), as well as:
- wireless internet access
- some instructional materials
- student assessments
- access to UBC libraries
- UBC student identification
- presentation of an award of completion to all graduating students
Fees do not include application fee, accommodation, airfare, local transportation, medical insurance, optional socio-cultural activities, textbooks (if required for optional courses) and other personal expenses.
Payment Schedule (International and Canadian students)
|Application Fee (non-refundable)||Due with application||CAD$200|
|Program Deposit||Due upon acceptance into program||CAD$3,000|
|Balance of Tuition||Due 30 days before program start date|
IGSPP plus Online Experimental Medicine Course
IGSPP plus English for Academic Purposes
- Review Admission Requirements for full details on language and education requirements.
- View How to Apply for full details on the application and payment process.
- Apply to the program.
View Policies for all admission, withdrawal and cancellation policies.
We have created an IGSPP Pre-departure Handbook that provides important information and advice on how you can prepare for IGSPP, and about living and studying in Canada. We strongly recommend that you read it carefully before leaving your home country.