Application Information

Submitting an application? Try our Application Checklist and the Admission Process Flow Chart.

There are several steps to the application process:

  • Review the program entrance requirements
  • If you meet the requirements, submit an online application through Evision
  • Upload pdf versions of all official transcripts
  • Completed application packages are reviewed by the admissions committee. At this point an applicant is either approved or rejected. If the application is approved:
  • The application will be made available to our PI’s
  • The strongest applicants will be invited to our Annual Prospective Graduate Recruitment Day
  • The applicant must find a supervisor before we can finalize the admissions process
  • If a supervisor offers a position in his/her lab, we will continue with the formal admission offer
  • If we are unable to offer you admissions, an option available to you would be to share your application with other disciplines in the Life Science Institute. There will be no need to submit a new application or pay the application fees. Please advise us by email, if you wish to have the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences, or Department of Microbiology and Immunology review your application.


September start: Canadian and International applicants apply by January 15.

January start: Canadian and International applicants apply by May 1. Please be advised that only one to two positions are normally available each year for a January consideration. Students planning to begin in January should find a supervisor prior to applying.

We do review applications submitted after these dates. However your chances of finding a supervisor and being invited to the interview day are higher, if you keep to the deadlines listed above.

Supporting Materials

A completed application package must contain the following supporting materials:

1. Online application form and fee

You may apply online at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Application fees are $112 for Canadians (and Permanent Residents, Refugees, Diplomats) and $168.25 for International Applicants.

2. Three reference letters

The online application system will send a link to your referees with the emails provided. Links are sent after the application submission and payment of application fees. If your referees encounter difficulties with the e-ref, advise them to email grad program coordinator.

  • Referees should prepare and sign the letters or forms
  • Provide contact information: telephone number and email
  • Referees must hold PhD degrees and faculty-level positions (Instructors, Assistant or Associate Professors, Professors) or an industrial equivalent (i.e., management level scientist)
  • We will accept one reference from a Postdoctoral Fellow or Research Associate
  • We cannot accept references from graduate students or teaching assistants
  • We cannot accept personal or character references

Ideally referees should comment on the applicant’s:

  • Ranking in their program
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Communication skills
  • Work ethic
  • Technical laboratory ability
  • Ability to perform research
  • Ability to assess scientific papers
  • Ability to present seminars
  • Ability to interact with others in a research setting
  • Discuss applicants contribution to publications and /or presentations

3. Transcripts and degree certificates

The official transcripts uploaded to your application will permit us to offer you conditional admissions. To  finalize your admissions offer, please arrange for 2 sets of final official transcripts showing degree conferral to be sent directly to The Faculty of  Graduate and Post Doctoral Studies. International applicants must provide original language transcripts and degree certificates, and certified English translations of both documents. If these documents are not received, UBC will not open your registration. In addition to satisfying the document requirements for admissions, we highly recommend ordering additional copies of official transcripts prior to traveling to Vancouver. These extra documents may be used to support future major scholarship competitions. Students are not required to submit UBC transcripts to finalize admissions.

When do you send the final official transcripts? Since most degree granting takes place in May or June, anytime after this event would be satisfactory. Your documents should confirm completion and degree conferral.

4. A personal statement

Upload a personal statement which describes your career goals and your proposed research area. You should also state why you feel you will be a successful graduate student and describe the qualities you will bring to the department. This statement should be at least a half page in length and no more than one page.


Applicants with degrees or will receive a degree from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA are exempt from English Proficiency requirements. To fulfill the English Proficiency requirements applicants must provide a TOEFL record. Please enter university code = 0965 and Dept code = 34. TOEFL scores are valid for only two years.The test must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of application submission. Minimum  overall TOEFL score is 106 internet-based, (iBT). If you are unable to provide a TOEFL, we will accept an IELTS overall band score of 7.5 or higher.

6. GRE

Regardless of citizenship, all applicants with credentials which are not from Canada and the USA must submit a GRE report. GRE requirement is based on education not where you are living. For example, a Canadian citizen with a BSc degree from Mexico must provide a GRE report. To be competitive, a score of 160 in Quantitative section and 4 in the Analytical section is recommended. GRE must be within the recent two years from date of application. GRE scores are to be sent directly to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Please enter school code = 0965 and Dept code = 0202.

Please mail paper supporting materials to:
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UBC
Life Sciences Centre
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada


Please see our FAQ or contact our graduate secretary at or 604 822-5925.