Frequently Asked Questions – Graduate Applications

No, we do not require a GRE score for either the MA or PhD program in Germanic Studies.

The full list of instructions for reference letters can be found on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Your referees can submit their confidential letters of reference in any one of the three following ways:

1. electronically using the secure online application system. When you fill out your application, you have the option to enter your three referees’ email addresses. After you submit your application, the referees are emailed automatically with a secure link to upload their reference letter. Your referees can upload a copy of their signed reference letter (on university letterhead), or fill out the reference form online.

2. *paper reference letter on official letterhead of the referee's institution

3. *paper reference form using the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies reference form. A link to the form can be found here.

*NOTE: If the reference letter is sent by regular mail (option 2 or 3), each paper reference letter must be in a separate, sealed envelope which is endorsed (signed) across the seal. UBC will not accept envelopes that have been opened. Please read the full list of instructions for reference letters.

  • If you entered your referees' email address on the online application system, they should have received an email delivered automatically by the online system. *The automatic email is sometimes routed to the referee's junk mail folder by mistake, so if they do not receive an email, ask them first to check their junk mail folder.
  • The application system will not accept email addresses that are free accounts such as Gmail. The email address must be official, i.e. from an academic institution.

Please refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application FAQ page for additional information about the application system and reference forms.

Please refer to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies application FAQ page for instructions and answers to frequently asked questions about the application system.

Starting in 2014, we are requesting digital copies of certain documents, which you will be prompted to upload in the application system. Please note: you will need to refresh your browser after uploading each separate document, in order to view it.

If you are still having trouble uploading your documents in the system, please contact the Graduate Program Assistant.

No. Reference letters must be in English. Any reference letters written in German must be officially translated into English.

If your reference letters are written in German, this is what you need to do:
•    take the sealed reference letters 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 directly to our program

UBC does not accept
- documents that do not arrive in sealed envelopes endorsed by the certified translator
- documents notarized by a notary public
- documents endorsed by a lawyer, professor, judge etc.
- unofficial translations
- non-literal translations

No, you are not required to choose or be in contact with a potential research supervisor, although you're free to do so if you wish. You can read summaries of our faculty members' research interests here.

You will be prompted to upload your statement of intent/research proposal, writing sample and CV in the online application system. If you uploaded these documents, you do not need to send a paper copies. If you are not able to upload digital copies of your documents, you must contact the graduate program assistant.

*Note: You MUST send the following paper documents: 2 sets of your official (or certified) transcripts, diplomas (if required) and official English translations, in addition to scanned copies you uploaded in the online application system.

The checklist does not update automatically. If you uploaded your documents, you should be able to see them in the list (you may need to hit refresh), which means they have been uploaded successfully. The graduate program assistant will contact you if any uploaded documents are missing.

We must receive 2 sets of official transcripts from all universities/colleges you attended. We require official paper documents of all transcripts, in addition to a copy of the transcripts you upload in the online application system.

Per the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website, please follow these instructions:

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.

If you have International Transcripts, please ensure you follow all instructions (including the instructions for official English translations.)

Yes. You must provide 2 sets of transcripts from each post-secondary institution you attended.

No, you do not need to provide official transcripts for your studies at UBC. However, you must provide official transcripts for all other post-secondary institutions you attended.

When you apply, you arrange for official transcripts which are current at the time of your application. In other words, the transcripts you send us may not be final yet. The admissions committee can use the transcripts we have on hand to evaluate your application.

If the admissions committee approves your application, and you are recommended for admission, and at that point we have still not received your final transcripts,  what we would do is recommend you for "Conditional Admission" pending the receipt of your final transcripts & diploma.

No, your documents do not all have to arrive at the same time. We compile your application materials as they arrive. However, please make sure your transcripts are in sealed envelopes and the university/registrar has endorsed (stamped) the seal of the envelope. Paper reference letters must be confidential, in sealed envelopes, endorsed (signed) across the seal.

Please read the full list of  instructions for transcripts (Canadian or International) on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.