You Belong Here
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.
Indigenous people at all levels of academia are a key factor in generating a vibrant learning culture that embraces lndigenous ways of knowing, learning and creating. UBC Okanagan’s campus embraces graduate students as part of the fabric that promotes indigeneity while supporting students on their learning journey.
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.
UBC Okanagan respectfully acknowledges the traditions and customs of the Syilx Okanagan people in whose territory the Okanagan Campus is situated.
You can see the connection to the Syilx Okanagan Nation on campus through our bilingual street signs which are written in both English and n’syilxcen, the Story Poles and the Okanagan Nation flag in the main campus courtyard, and the variety of events and programming provided throughout the year.
UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan
The Indigenous Strategic Plan sets out a series of eight goals and 43 actions 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.
UBC Okanagan’s Declaration of Truth and Reconciliation Commitments
On September 24, 2019, students, faculty and staff gathered to witness UBC Okanagan’s declaration of Truth and Reconciliation commitments.
ADMISSIONS FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS
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.
Application fee waiver
UBC Okanagan is committed to meeting the challenge issued to Canadians by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to engage in an ongoing process of reconciliation. 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 for January 2023 and all future admission intakes.
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.
HOW DO I USE THE FEE WAIVER?
Prospective Indigenous applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submitting their application. Students will then be provided with a unique coupon code to use when submitting their application.
When emailing email@example.com to access a fee waiver, please include the following information:
- Email address:
- Full program name (ex. PhD in Civil Engineering):
- Intake (ex. September 2023, January 2024, May 2024):
WHAT I HAVE ALREADY APPLIED AND PAID THE FEE?
Indigenous students who paid the application fee without knowing about the fee waiver 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO APPLY
The College of Graduate Studies is looking forward to reviewing your application for admission to our master’s and PhD programs.
Applying to the College of Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus is a simple four-step process:
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.
tIPS FOR FINDING A SUPERVISOR
- 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.
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.
AWARDS FOR INDIGENOUS STUDENTS
UBC Okanagan provides funding opportunities specifically for Indigenous graduate students, including the Indigenous Graduate Entrance Fellowship and the Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Program allows institutions to recommend applications from self-identified Indigenous applications beyond the institutional assigned quota.
Additional funding opportunities are available broadly to graduate students, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, federal grants, and scholarships.
In the process of helping grassroots movements find their voice, David Lacho also found his own.
A drive for relational and community-connected work lead Katrina, a UBC Okanagan professor, on a path towards health equity.
For alumnus Marlowe Sam, a university campus situated in the traditional territory of the Okanagan Sylix people has distinct advantages.
Indigenous Interdisciplinary Studies graduate student Mary Song pays forward the guidance she receives from elders.
Resources and Support
Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE)
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.
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.
Indigenous Programs & Services provides community and culturally appropriate services and support to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students. You belong here.