Applying: Admissions Requirements

Several graduate students admitted to the M.A. and the Ph.D. program in Germanic Studies each year.

Application Deadlines- September 2017 intake:

MA applications: International Students; January 15, 2017.    Domestic Students; January 31, 2017.

Note: We will continue to accept both Domestic and International MA applications until February 24, 2017, but we will determine admission and the program entry date on a case-by-case basis for applications submitted after the official deadlines.

Ph.D applications: International Students; January 15 , 2017.   Domestic Students; January 31, 2017.

Applications for Sept. 2017 admission will open October 1, 2016.

Applications outside of the regular submission dates may be possible depending on qualifications and funding availability. Please contact the graduate advisor or graduate program assistant for details.

SSHRC Masters CGS Competition
Prospective students of the Master’s program may submit applications for funding in the year before they intend to take up study. (For deadline information, please see: SSHRC-NSERC Tri-Agency website. The deadline is normally December 1st.) In their online SSHRC application, students MUST indicate UBC as one of 5 universities they may wish to attend. Applicants to the CGS competition must immediately notify the graduate program assistant of their intention to apply for admission to the Master’s program, and submit their application for admission before the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

*If you have questions about the instructions or required documents, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page. If your question is not answered, then please contact the graduate program assistant.

Online application: Visit the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website to submit your application. If you experience technical difficulty, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Please note the application fee is non-refundable.

Students who wish to apply should first contact the graduate advisor and ensure they meet the admissions requirements for the Germanic Studies program as well as the admissions requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Applicants must submit all required documents directly to the Graduate Program (see Required Documents below). Once all application files are received, the departmental admissions committee will evaluate and rank them. Admissions decisions will not be made until after the application deadline. If your application is approved, the graduate advisor would then recommend your application for admission to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC.

*If you have questions about the instructions or required documents, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website before contacting the graduate program assistant.

  • 4-year degree (BA or equivalent) with an emphasis on German literature and culture (or related disciplines)
  • Degree must be from a recognized post-secondary institution
  • Canadian or US credentials - minimum academic requirement (meet ONE of the following two conditions):
    • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year courses, or:
    • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in the field of study.
  • International credentials - minimum academic requirement:
    • Requirements are different for each country - please select the appropriate country from the drop-down menu.
  • sufficient fluency in German and English (see Language Competence below)

Click here for more information about the Master of Arts Program.

  • 2 sets of official transcripts* for each post-secondary institution attended. You must also provide 2 sets of the official diploma (if the transcripts do not show that your degree was granted).
  • 2 sets of official English translations of all transcripts and diplomas - in addition to 2 sets of certified/official transcripts issued in the original language (if your transcripts are not issued in English). See International Transcripts below.
  • 3 confidential letters of reference
    • submitted electronically through the secure application portal, OR:
    • on university letterhead, each letter in a separate, sealed envelope, endorsed (signed) across the seal.
  • Evidence of English proficiency - TOEFL or IELTS score (see Language Competence below)

In addition, you will be prompted to upload the following supporting documents in the online application system:

  • A scanned copy of your official transcripts
    • Please scan both sides of your transcripts and ensure the grading key is included.
    • If your transcripts are issued in a language other than English, please upload the original as well as an official English translation.
    • IMPORTANT: You must also send the following paper documents: your official (or certified) transcripts (and diplomas, if required) in addition to scanned copies you uploaded in the online application system.
  • Writing sample (in German or English): one example that best demonstrates your scholarly writing, such as a term paper or a substantial scholarly paper
  • CV (curriculum vitae) or resume
  • One of the following:
    • Statement of intent (approx. 3 pages written in English describing your goals and prospective topic of study in our program) OR
    • Research proposal (3 pages) if you plan to choose the MA thesis option.

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has strict requirements for admissions documents. *The requirements for Canadian Transcripts and International Transcripts differ. Students with international credentials should review the requirements for International Transcripts below, read all instructions carefully and email the Graduate Program Assistant if they have any questions.  All transcripts, diplomas and translations must be in sealed envelopes. Transcripts and diplomas must have the official seal of the university.

Where to send your documents: Please send all documents directly to our program (mailing address noted below).

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in German (or from related disciplines) from an approved institution with clear evidence of research ability or potential
  • International credentials - minimum academic requirement:
    • Requirements are different for each country - please select your country from the drop-down menu.
  • Sufficient fluency in English and German (see Language Competence below)
  • Knowledge of the broad outlines of German language and literature and of German political, cultural and social history
  • Meet the entrance requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies

Click here for more information about the PhD Program.

  • 2 sets of official transcripts* for each post-secondary institution attended. You must also provide 2 sets of the official diploma (if the transcripts do not show that your degree was granted).
  • 2 sets of official English translations of all transcripts and diplomas - in addition to 2 sets of certified/official transcripts issued in the original language (if your transcripts are not issued in English). *See International Transcripts below.
  • 3 confidential letters of reference
    • submitted electronically through the secure application portal, OR:
    • on university letterhead, each letter in a separate, sealed envelope, endorsed (signed) across the seal.
  • Evidence of English proficiency - TOEFL or IELTS score (see Language Competence below)

In addition, you will be prompted to upload the following supporting documents in the online application system:

  • A scanned copy of your official transcripts
    • Please scan both sides of your official transcripts and ensure the grading key is included.
    • If your transcripts are issued in a language other than English, please upload the original as well as an official English translation.
    • IMPORTANT: You must also send the following paper documents: your official (or certified) transcripts (and diplomas, if required) in addition to scanned copies you uploaded in the online application system.
  • Writing sample (in German or English): one example that best demonstrates your scholarly writing, such as a term paper or a substantial scholarly paper
  • CV (curriculum vitae) or resume
  • Proposal for a PhD research project (3 pages)

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has strict requirements for admissions documents. *The requirements for Canadian Transcripts and International Transcripts differ. Students with international credentials should review the requirements for International Transcripts below, read all instructions carefully and email the Graduate Program Assistant if they have any questions.  All transcripts, diplomas and translations must be in sealed envelopes. Transcripts and diplomas must have the official seal of the university.

Where to send your documents: Please send all documents directly to our program (mailing address noted below).

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has strict requirements for admissions documents, and the procedures may be unfamiliar to those outside of North America. Detailed instructions from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies are as follows:

If your university can issue multiple copies of transcripts:

Send two official copies of your transcripts from all colleges and universities attended directly to the UBC program to which you are applying.

All transcripts must arrive at UBC in envelopes which have been sealed and endorsed by the issuing institution.

If the official transcript does not indicate the degree name and the degree conferral date, then two official copies of the degree certificate are required.

If your university issues only one original copy of transcripts/degree certificate:

Make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university. Ask your home university to:

  • verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records
  • attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp
  • put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the Registrar
  • mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to the UBC program to which you are applying

Translation of Transcripts

If you have graduated from institutions where the transcripts are issued in a language other than English, then in addition to the above you must:

  • arrange to have two sets of all official transcripts issued in their original language
  • obtain a certified literal English translation of your transcripts from your home university's translation service
  • send both the original transcripts and the literal English translation to the UBC program to which you are applying, in sealed envelopes endorsed by your university

If your home university does not provide English translations of transcripts, you must:

  • make a photocopy of your copy of your transcripts. Do not open a sealed, endorsed envelope containing transcripts intended for submission to your program.
  • take the copy to a certified English translator and ask them to provide a complete, word-by-word, literal English translation
  • tell the translator to put both the original language photocopy and the English translation into a sealed envelope, and endorse the envelope by signing across the seal
  • send the sealed, endorsed envelopes from the translator to the graduate program to which you are applying
  • send your original transcripts in the original language to the graduate program to which you are applying

Note: Academic records must be translated in their entirety, including any information that appears on the reverse side of any document.

UBC does not accept the following:

  • photocopies that have not been stamped, attested and endorsed by the Registrar at your home university
  • documents in envelopes that have been opened
  • documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the issuing institution or certified translator
  • documents that arrive without the official seal of the university
  • photocopies notarized by a notary public
  • photocopies endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
  • unofficial translations
  • non-literal translations

*Do not send academic records that are not in sealed and endorsed envelopes. It will only delay the processing of your application.*

Documents submitted in support of applications become the property of the University and may not be returned to the applicant or student. Students who submit irreplaceable material may request the return of that material. Such requests must be submitted with the original material. The office to which the material is submitted will return the material as soon as possible, and not later than six months after the student's graduation or last registration.

Students with international documents are encouraged to email the Graduate Program Assistant if they have any questions.

Language Competence

Sufficient competence in both German and English is required for admission into the program.

English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate competence in English by passing the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) before they can be admitted by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Minimum TOEFL score required by our program: 90 (internet-based exam) or 550 (paper exam)

Minimum IELTS score required by our program: 6.5 (minimum overall band score) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.

Please see the Graduate Studies website for instructions regarding English proficiency requirements.

If you have credentials from an institution outside North America whose official language of instruction is English, you do not have to take an English equivalency test. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant.

German Proficiency

German proficiency will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and you may be required to pass a placement test. Normally, four years of instruction in German language at the university level (or the equivalent of B2 level) are deemed sufficient. Please indicate your highest level achieved (e.g.GERM 410, 4th-year level German, B2/B1/C2/C1, Test DaF score, or equivalent). Those whose proficiency in German is not deemed sufficient may be required to take a remedial course. Applicants for a Teaching Assistantship are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in the German language.

All admissions documents must be sent directly to our program.

Mailing Address

Contact the Graduate Program

Please direct all inquiries regarding admissions requirements, required documents and application procedures to:
Charlene McCombs, Graduate Program Assistant
Phone: (604) 827-3550