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UBC welcomes excellent students from around the world. This page describes our selection criteria and procedures.

Proven Academic Ability

Applicants for graduate study should have completed a four-year bachelor's degree (preferably with honours) in mathematics or a closely related field, with a strong grade-point average (GPA). The required GPA depends on the applicant's previous institution: students from Canadian universities should have a GPA of 76% or higher in third- and fourth-year courses; students from universities in the USA need 3.3/4.0 or more in third- and fourth-year courses. Most applicants we admit surpass these levels by a large margin.

Proficiency in English

Applicants from a university in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language. Students may present their choice of:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum overall score of 100;
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 7.0 with no other component score less than 6.5;
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): minimum overall score of 84.

Core Mathematical Knowledge

In order to obtain a graduate degree in Mathematics, a student must have completed courses in the following topics at the senior undergraduate level or above:

  1. Real Analysis (including metric spaces, Lebesgue measure and Integration)
      Examples at UBC:
    • Real Analysis (Math 420 and 421, or Math 507 and 510)
  2. Complex Analysis
      Examples at UBC:
    • Complex Analysis (Math 440 or 508)
  3. Abstract Algebra
      Examples at UBC:
    • Abstract Algebra (Math 422 and 423, or Math 501 and 502)
  4. A mathematical topic different from those above
      Examples at UBC:
    • Applied Analysis (Math 400 and 401)
    • Probability and Stochastic Processes (Math 418 and 419)
    • Theory of Differential Equations (Math 416 and 417)
    • Differential Geometry (Math 424 and 425)
    • Algebraic Topology (Math 426 and 427)
    • Calculations of Variations and Optimal Control (Math 402 and 403)

Priority for admission is given to students who have completed each of the four requirements above. Students admitted in spite of a gap in their background will be required to address it during their first year at UBC.

Admission to a Doctoral Program

Admission to a doctoral program normally requires the applicant to hold a Master's degree in Mathematics or an equivalent qualification. Thus most recent Bachelor's graduates, including those who seek a doctorate, are admitted to a Master's program at first.

University regulations allow students without a Master's degree (or equivalent) to enter the Ph.D. program directly only if they are nominated by a Department and

  1. hold a Bachelor's degree with First Class honours, or
  2. hold a Bachelor's degree and have completed one year of study in a Master's program, earning at least 12 credits with at least 9 credits of first class standing and at least 9 credits at the 500-level or above, and show clear evidence of research ability. (Transfer directly into a Doctoral program is not permitted after the completion of the second year of a Master's program.)

Students who earn a Master's degree at UBC are not guaranteed a place in our PhD program. A formal application for PhD studies is required. Students with a satisfied Master's supervisor, a source of financial support, and a willing doctoral supervisor (all of whom may be the same faculty member) have a high probability of success.

How to Apply

Each year we welcome 30 - 40 new students from over 200 applications. Although the official application deadline is December 31, 2017, we strongly encourage interested students to apply as early as possible after the application open date of October 1, 2017.

Application Procedure:

Students seeking admission to graduate studies in Mathematics should apply using the online application form.

All supporting documents (see the document checklist below) can be uploaded as electronic files into the online application. Applicants will not be expected to submit official hard-copy transcripts for verification unless they receive an admission offer.

If an admission offer is made, applicants will then be required to forward their official transcripts directly to The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, #170 6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2.

Document Checklist:

Complete online applications must include the following:

  • an online application form
  • a curriculum vitae (cv)
  • a statement of research interests
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Scanned pdf copies of all post-secondary official transcripts in English (including marking keys for the transcripts), as well as degree certificates for all colleges/universities attended or currently attending (with the exception of UBC Vancouver transcripts).
  • Evidence of proficiency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB) if required by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Note: The minimum requirements for admission are set by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. We receive many more applications from students meeting those requirements than we can possibly admit. An important factor in many admissions decisions is an enthusiastic recommendation from a potential faculty supervisor. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students seeking admission to graduate studies in Mathematics identify one or more potential supervisor(s) within their areas of research interest, and indicate this in the online application.

Please refer to the various research groups and the faculty associated with each of them here.

More Information

For more information about Graduate Studies in the Department of Mathematics, please contact the Mathematics Graduate Chair, Dr. Dan Coombs [gradchair(at)], or the Mathematics Graduate Program Coordinator [admiss(at)], or the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies.