The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) welcomed UBC to Syilx Okanagan territory in 2005. Since that time, UBC Okanagan has welcomed over 450 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit graduate students from across Canada. UBC Okanagan respectfully acknowledges the traditions and customs of the Syilx Okanagan people in whose territory the Okanagan Campus is situated.

Graduate students play an important role in contributing to the innovation and discovery currently shaping our communities. At UBC Okanagan, students have access to global teaching, learning and research opportunities. As part of a tight-knit and supportive community, graduate students build close relationships with teaching and mentoring faculty members, other students, and staff on campus.

Admissions and Awards

The College of Graduate Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements for all applicants. Each graduate program may have additional requirements. Many graduate programs make a point of taking into consideration the full range of academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that lndigenous applicants bring to their preparation for graduate study.

We recommend that all potential applicants refer to specific Graduate Degree Programs for detailed information regarding the program and specific admission requirements.

Many graduate students come to UBC with families. Our University Children’s Learning Centre gives priority to faculty, staff, and students, with UBCO students given discounted rates.

To reduce barriers and support the recruitment of Indigenous graduate students, effective April 1, 2022, the College of Graduate Studies introduced application fee waivers for Indigenous applicants.

Graduate student applicants who self-identify as Indigenous (i.e.. First Nation, Métis, or Inuit), and whose traditional territory resides primarily within Canada, are eligible for an application fee waiver.

Please note: In the event of a false self-declaration, we may cancel the application and/or withdraw any offer of admission, whether accepted or not.

Request the application fee waiver

Prospective Indigenous applicants should email prior to submitting their application. Applicants will be provided with a unique code to use when submitting their application.

When emailing to access a fee waiver, please include the following information:

  • Name:
  • Email address:
  • Full program name (e.g., PhD in Civil Engineering):
  • Intake (e.g., September 2023, January 2024, May 2024):

Already applied and paid the application fee?

Indigenous students who paid the application fee after April 1, 2022, are eligible for a refund of their application fee up to 60 days after the submission of their application. To receive a refund for your application fee please email

1. Find a Program & Supervisor

Explore UBC Okanagan’s master’s and doctoral programs to find information about programs and supervisors.

A supervisor is a faculty member who mentors graduate students in their research.  Many research-based graduate programs expect students to identify a prospective supervisor prior to applying for admission.


  • Check the program website. Most programs provide lists of faculty members/potential supervisors and their research interests. Follow program instructions on how best to approach potential supervisors.
  • View potential supervisor’s profiles online and familiarize yourself with their work and publications.
  • Write a brief email to them indicating your knowledge of their research and how it fits with your interests (be specific, refer to their publications).
  • Share your intention to apply to a graduate program & interest in working with them.
  • Include a couple of points about your background.
  • Ask if it is OK to refer to them as a prospective supervisor in your application.

2. Check Admission Requirements 

Review the requirements for your chosen program.

3. Prepare Your Application

Make sure you have all the components for your application. You are also encouraged to provide information in your application regarding the academic, cultural, personal and professional knowledge that has strengthened your preparation for graduate study.

4. Apply Online

Access our online application system. 

5. Self-Identify

Although it is not required, you are strongly encouraged to self-identify as an Indigenous applicant in the online application. Self-identification ensures you are recognized as eligible for Indigenous-specific award opportunities and receive communications from Indigenous Programs and Services, as well as have a chance to be recognized in our annual Indigenous Graduation Celebration.  Learn about self-identification.

Your application is important to us. If you have submitted an application to the College of Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus, please allow up to 10 business days after receipt of the document(s) for verification and processing. Verified documents will be updated on your online checklist. If you have questions regarding the completion of your application, please check your online checklist by logging into the online application system.

Several funding opportunities are available specifically for Indigenous graduate students, including the following:

Additional funding opportunities are available broadly to graduate students, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, federal grants, and scholarships.

Learn more

Resources and Support

The College of Graduate Studies, in partnership with Indigenous Program and Services and faculty members, are here to assist and support Indigenous students throughout their journey, from application to graduation.

Together, we recognize the importance of building the lndigenous graduate student community at UBC Okanagan and the valuable contribution of Indigenous scholars for the academy and their communities. Whether it’s beginning your graduate studies, graduating, pursuing postdoctoral fellowships, becoming a faculty member or mentor, we are here to support your journey through lifelong connection to you and your community.

Graduate program (Master’s and PhD) applicants and students who have self-identified as Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, and Inuit) may contact UBCO’s Indigenous Graduate Student Advisor for general support, advocacy, and referrals. Note that program-specific advising is provided by the designated Program Coordinator and/or faculty supervisor.

Our Indigenous Graduate Student Advisor is Eli Kelly. You can reach him at

SAGE is a province-wide, inter-institutional, peer-support/faculty-mentoring educational program. The program supports Indigenous students to make significant educational and social change using research, Indigenous knowledge, and community-oriented approaches. Non-Indigenous graduate students engaged in Indigenous research are also encouraged to participate in SAGE.

Learn more

UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan sets out a series of eight goals and 43 actions that the university will collectively take in order to advance our vision of becoming a leading university globally in the implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights.

Learn More

On September 24, 2019, students, faculty and staff gathered to witness UBC Okanagan’s declaration of Truth and Reconciliation commitments.


Community Profiles

David Lacho

In the process of helping grassroots movements find their voice, David Lacho also found his own.

Katrina Plamondon

A drive for relational and community-connected work lead Katrina, a UBC Okanagan professor, on a path towards health equity.

Marlowe Sam

For alumnus Marlowe Sam, a university campus situated in the traditional territory of the Okanagan Sylix people has distinct advantages.

Mary Song

Indigenous Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student Mary Song pays forward the guidance she receives from elders.

Indigenous Centre

The Indigenous Centre provides a sense of belonging and community for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students at UBCO. This home away from home is committed to enriching the quality of the student experience for Indigenous students by promoting access, providing capacity building opportunities, and celebrating success.

Open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm, in UNC 210.

  • UBCO Indigenous Centre space, including tables and chairs


The College of Graduate Studies

1161 Alumni Avenue
Kelowna, BC  V1V 1V7
Tel: 1 250 807 8772
Fax: 1 855 320 5630


Indigenous Programs & Services

UNC 212, 3272 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V1V7
Fax: 1 250 807 8460