International Students

At UBC, international students make up approximately a quarter of the graduate student body. We value this diversity and take steps to encourage and support international applications to our graduate programs.

International Applicant Process

All UBC Master of Data Science (MDS) applicants must meet the same rigorous admission standards.

As an international applicant, you can apply online through the same admissions process as Canadian residents or Permanent Residents of Canada. However, there are a few additional requirements that you must meet and documents you must provide.

If you are an international applicant you must obtain a study permit in time for a September start. As there are no deferred admissions for the program, you should consult the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website on study permit processing times prior to applying for the program. Please note that application fees are not refundable.

Language Requirements

If your last (undergraduate or graduate) degree is from a university where a language other than English was the official language of instruction, you must have taken and met the minimum required scores in one of the following English language proficiency exams within the past 24 months:

 Vancouver campusOkanagan campusComputational Linguistics 
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)minimum score is 100-ibt or equivalentminimum score is 90-ibt or equivalentRecommended minimum score is 100-ibt or equivalent
IELTS (International English Language Testing Service)minimum overall band score of 7.0 is required with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS testminimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS testRecommended minimum overall band score of 7.0 is required with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test

Score Submission


  • TOEFL scores must be issued to UBC directly from the Educational Testing Centre.
  • Please ensure that you include the following on your TOEFL sheet:
    • use the University of British Columbia's institution code (Vancouver and Okanagan campuses): 0965
    • give the reason for taking TOEFL "to enter a college or university as a graduate student"
  • UBC accepts either an official paper score report sent directly to the university from the testing centre or an electronic submission.


  • UBC requires an official score to be sent to us directly from the test centre.
  • On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results sent to. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, you have to use the following details on the application:

For applications to the Vancouver campus:

  • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia
  • Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
  • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

For applications to the Okanagan campus:

  • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus
  • Name of person/department: College of Graduate Studies
  • Address: 1161 Alumni Avenue, Kelowna BC V1V 1V7, Canada

Additional Documentation Requirements

As an international student, you will need:

  • A valid passport. Please make sure that your passport is valid for the entire length of your studies in Canada. If your passport expires while you're in Canada, all of your immigration documents, your health care coverage and your Social Insurance Number will expire at the same time.
  • A study permit: You require a study permit for the duration of the year-long program. Student permits can take up to four months to process, so it’s essential to apply as soon as you accept your UBC offer.

Learn more about study permits

  • A temporary resident visa (TRV), depending on your country of origin. For example, you will require a TRV if you are a citizen of China or India. Please visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to see if you require a TRV.
  • Documentation for your family if they are coming to Canada with you.


UBC’s International Student Guides for the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses are excellent starting points. They describe documentation requirements, health insurance, taxes, travelling and staying in Canada after you graduate. They also include information on academic support, money and banking, health and safety, as well as information about resources available for your family, if they accompany you.

Guide to Graduate Studies for International Students