FAQ

How do I accept the offer of admission?

In most cases, students admitted to graduate programs at UBC receive a letter from the department as well as an email and letter from the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FoGS). The letter from FoGS is your official offer of admission. You can send an email to grad.edst@ubc.ca, a letter, or a fax (see contact information) once you make your decision. If you decide to not accept our offer, this may open a space in the program for another applicant, so please let us know as soon as you can. If you cannot begin the program when you expected, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant or Graduate Adviser to discuss deferring your admission or reapplying for a later start date.

What is a pro tem adviser and when should I meet with her/him?

In the admission letter you will find the name and contact information of your pro tem (temporary) adviser. This person is responsible for answering program and departmental questions; for advising about applying for scholarships or fellowships; for completing a program of study worksheet; and for providing guidance in the early stages of your program. It is important to contact your pro tem adviser as soon as possible after being admitted and DEFINITELY before you register for courses. Once courses are opened for registration, many fill up quickly, so to avoid disappointment, meet with your adviser and ensure you understand the requirements of your program.

How should I prepare to meet with my pro tem adviser?

First, read the Tips for Success document for your degree program. This document lists important events in your degree program, from acceptance through to graduation. The timeline for your degree gives you a good idea of the normal sequence in which these events occur and highlights policies and procedures you should know about.

Second, download and read the Program of Studies Worksheet for your degree program and specialization (Policies and Forms). This worksheet contains information about required courses and provides space to indicate what elective courses you intend to take. If you don’t find the worksheet for your specific program on the website, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant.

Third, visit the Courses section of the department’s website for the session you intend to begin your program. Review the course offerings for that session and list the required courses that are scheduled and any elective courses that are attractive to you. You can also visit other departmental websites to see what courses they are offering. Research methods courses are offered by several departments in the Faculty of Education. To see a consolidated listing of all research methods courses, visit the website of the Office of Research in Education.

When you meet with your pro tem adviser, he or she will complete the Program of Studies Worksheet with you. It is not necessary to identify all courses in your program before you begin, but completing this form is an important first step in getting started with your studies. You can complete the top half of the form before meeting with your adviser. A copy of the signed worksheet should be provided to you by your adviser and the original will be placed in your file.

Is there an orientation for new students?

Each September EDST holds an all-day orientation for new students to the department and then a refresher orientation in January. All newly admitted students will be notified of the date, time and location of the orientation. The orientation presents an overview of the department, introduces people in various administrative and academic roles, provides an opportunity to meet other students in your program, and to get answers to your questions. All incoming students will be sent email notifications of the schedule for orientations, so please be sure that we have a current email address for you.

Are there special resources for international students?

If you are an international student, you will find a great deal of useful information at the Student Services Website. Here you can download a Pre-Arrival Guide, the detailed International Student Handbook, the Grad Guide, and get additional on-campus resources. This site also has information on the International Student Orientation (highly recommended for all incoming international students) and the services, programs and events at International House. International Student Advisers at International House can provide information about visas, immigration and employment, medical insurance, and your cultural transition to Canada and UBC.

In addition, the Faculty of Education has an International Office that offers an orientation for new international students each year. For students in our department, we have prepared a list of tips for success which you can review and download.

How do I register for courses?

You can register for courses online through the Student Service Centre. Incoming students receive a date for when they can begin the registration process. In order to access the Student Service Centre (SSC), you will need to set up your Campus-Wide Login (CWL). This provides you with an ID and password that you can use to access the SSC along with other secure electronic services on campus, including the Web-based email system my.ubc.ca.

To create a CWL account, visit www.cwl.ubc.ca. We encourage students to register in courses as soon as possible for two important reasons: First, by registering as soon as you can, you get the best selection of courses. Some courses do fill up quickly so registering early gives you greater choice. Second, courses with low enrolments may be cancelled, so registering early will decrease the chances of this happening.

If a course you wish to take is full when you attempt to register, it is a good idea to check back periodically to see if the course has new spaces. If you absolutely need a course and it is full, contact the instructor, explain your circumstances, and ask if you can show up at the first class session to see if space is available. Also, students add and drop courses during the first week of classes, so check occasionally during the first week to see if space has opened up in the course you want.

How do I find housing?

The website for UBC Housing and Conferences provides information about on-campus housing options and application procedures, as well as information about child care programs operated by UBC. The AMS operates Rentsline, a website with off-campus rental listings.

How do I obtain a student library card?

At UBC, your UBC card is your library card, your student ID card and your voting identification for student elections. Students can get a UBC card in person at the UBC Bookstore but you will need photo ID and a valid student number. Please visit the UBC Library for open hours and more information.

What are the fees?

For more information about fees visit the UBC Calendar: Fees, Financial Assistance and Scholarships.

How do I pay my tuition and fees?

Tuition and fees are due three times a year, typically in the first weeks of September, January and May. The amount of tuition and fees you owe will appear in your account on the Student Service Centre website.

Can I opt out of certain fees?

You can opt out of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Medical/Dental plan if you can provide evidence of other coverage. There are deadlines for opting out of this program, so call the Health and Dental Plan Information Line at 1.877.795.4421 to learn about the process and the deadline. You can also opt out of some other fees by making a special application. Details about opting out can be found in the UBC Calendar: Fees, Financial Assistance and Scholarships.

Students in both PhD and EdD programs are regarded as full-time, but master’s students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents have a choice of paying fees on a full-time (Schedule A) or part-time (Schedule B) basis. See the UBC Calendar: Fees section for details on the differences between these two payment schedules. All beginning students are assumed by the university to be full-time, so if you plan to be a part-time student paying on Schedule B, you must complete an Application for Part-time Payment Schedule B form available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies – Student Forms webpage and submit it to the EDST Graduate Program Assistant before you begin your program. Read the application carefully because paying on Schedule B means you will not be eligible for certain forms of financial support.

Please note that you cannot change your payment schedule once you begin your program. That is, you cannot switch to full-time payment if you have signed the “Application for Part-time Schedule B” form at the beginning of your program and conversely, you cannot switch from Schedule A or full-time payment of fees to paying part-time fees once your program has begun.

What scholarships and awards are available to me?

Please visit the Funding page on our website.

How do I apply for a teaching assistantship?

Each year there are a limited number of assistantships available in the department. All teaching assistantships are posted to the department’s website and distributed on one or more of the listservs described below. Most teaching assistantships for the winter session that begins in September are filled during the prior spring and summer, but occasionally a teaching assistantship will be posted and filled on short notice during the winter session. Most teaching assistantships are awarded to experienced students in the second year of their program or later.

How do I apply for a research assistantship?

Research assistantships become available throughout the year and may or may not be posted. The best way to learn about research assistantships is to talk with faculty members who have projects you may be interested in working on. Make your interest in serving as a research assistant known to faculty and ask them to notify you if an assistantship becomes available. A few academic assistantships are also available each year and are posted on the EDST website and via EDST-net. These are usually posted and filled in the spring and summer.

Is there an EDST listserv?

The Department communicates to students through a Departmental email listserv. This is how we inform students about deadlines, awards, research assistantship positions, workshops, etc. To be added to this listserv please send an email message to shermila.salgadoe@ubc.ca.

There are also other specialized listservs (like ADHE-net and EADM-net) you may wish to join once you begin taking courses. If you find yourself on a list that is not as relevant as you hoped, you can simply send another message to majordomo@interchange.ubc.ca with the following text in the body: unsubscribe [name of listserv]. If you wish to unsubscribe to edst-students, for example, the message should be: unsubscribe edst-students.

How do I update my contact information?

Send any change of contact information to the Student Information System (SIS) http://ssc.adm.ubc.ca/sscportal/servlets/SRVSSCFramework and to the department so we can maintain an accurate database on our students. Send your change of contact information to grad.edst@ubc.ca.

What if I need to take a leave from graduate school?

If you find that for health, work, or other reasons you must put a hold on your studies, please speak with your adviser about requesting a leave of absence from your program. Students are generally permitted a total of twelve months of leave during their graduate programs, not including parental leave to care for an infant. You can request a leave for four-, eight-, or twelve-month periods.

Do I get a snail mail box?

There is a folder for student mail in the Ponderosa Commons Oak House mailroom (PCOH 2002).

Is there funding for students to attend conferences?

Please visit the Funding page on our website.

How do I get to UBC and around Vancouver?

All students attending classes on campus have a monthly charge included in their fees to pay for a pass called the U-Pass. It is valid from September to April on all public transit routes in the Lower Mainland. You can find details about how to get your pass and its other benefits on the TREK website. Information on getting to the UBC campus from the airport, or by car, bus or train, and the shuttle service between campus residences and the closest grocery store is also available there. You can view a detailed campus map at www.maps.ubc.ca.

What is a peer adviser?

The peer adviser is a graduate student hired to assist other students as they navigate graduate school. She/he maintains regular office hours to meet with students to discuss any concerns they may have about their programs.

The peer adviser also keeps up-to-date information on university resources available for students, including those resources specifically designed to support international students.

Who is the peer adviser?

Visit the Student Support Network page for information on all GAA contacts.

How do I get office space?

Please see the Policies and Forms page to download and submit a Call for Space Application form.

How do I apply for graduation?

Download the tips for success from our website.

What do all the acronyms and terms mean?

AMS
Alma Mater Society
EDST
Department of Educational Studies
FoGS
Faculty of Graduate Studies
GAA
Graduate Academic Assistant
GSFE
Graduate Student Council of the Faculty of Education
GSS
Graduate Student Society
Pro tem adviser
Temporary adviser
RA
Research Assistant
SSC
Student Services Centre
SSHRC
Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada
CGS
Canada Graduate Scholarship
TA
Teaching Assistant
TAG
Teaching and Academic Growth (The UBC Instructional Improvement Centre)
TREK
Department providing transportation services and information
UGF
University Graduate Fellowship