Postgraduate scholarships for studying in British Columbia


British Columbia (BC), known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant cities, is also a hub for academic excellence. Home to renowned universities like the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), and the University of Victoria (UVic), BC attracts a large number of international students aiming to pursue their postgraduate studies. Securing a scholarship can significantly ease the financial burden associated with higher education. Here’s a guide to understanding and obtaining postgraduate scholarships for studying in BC.

Postgraduate scholarships for studying in British Columbia

Types of Scholarships Available in British Columbia

1. University-Specific Scholarships: Most universities in BC offer scholarships specifically for postgraduate students, including merit-based, need-based, and department-specific awards. For example:

  • UBC Graduate Scholarships: UBC offers a range of scholarships, including the Affiliated Fellowships, which are open to all students regardless of nationality, and the University Graduate Fellowships.
  • SFU Graduate Fellowships and Awards: These include the Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship and the Private Awards, which are available to new and continuing students in various disciplines.

2. Government and External Scholarships:

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: Offered by the Canadian government, these scholarships are available to doctoral students and are awarded based on leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in social sciences and/or humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.
  • BC Graduate Scholarships: Launched to attract and retain the best and brightest students, including international candidates, this scholarship initiative provides funds to universities in BC to award to deserving students.

3. Industry and Private Scholarships: Several private entities and industry leaders offer scholarships aimed at specific fields of study. These scholarships often target areas of particular relevance to BC’s economy such as forestry, technology, and sustainable energy.

How to Apply for Postgraduate Scholarships

Step 1: Identify Your Eligibility

  • Review scholarship requirements carefully. Some scholarships might be restricted to Canadian citizens or residents, while others might be open to international students.
  • Check for field-specific eligibility, such as scholarships specifically aimed at students pursuing studies in environmental science, digital media, etc.

Step 2: Prepare Your Application

  • Highlight your academic achievements, including any publications, presentations, or awards.
  • Emphasize leadership and community involvement. Many scholarships look for well-rounded candidates.
  • Prepare a compelling personal statement and a research proposal that clearly outlines the relevance and impact of your intended research.

Step 3: Seek Recommendations

  • Obtain letters of recommendation from academics who are familiar with your work and character. Ensure these highlight your suitability for the scholarship you are applying for.

Step 4: Meet Deadlines

  • Application deadlines vary widely. Make sure you note these dates well in advance and submit your applications early.

Tips for Successful Scholarship Applications

1. Apply Early: Begin your scholarship search as soon as you consider postgraduate studies. Some scholarships have early deadlines, even before you are admitted to a program.

2. Apply Broadly: Don’t limit your applications. Apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for to increase your chances of winning at least one.


3. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated with new scholarships and changes in application procedures by regularly visiting the universities’ and funders’ websites.

4. Be Meticulous: Ensure your application is error-free and well-presented. Tailor your application to align with the scholarship’s goals and values.

5. Follow Up: After submitting your application, stay engaged by checking back periodically for any updates and responding promptly to any requests for additional information.

Is UBC hard to get into for Masters?

Yes, UBC is considered hard to get into for Masters programs. Here’s why:

  • Low acceptance rate: Compared to undergraduate admissions, UBC’s Master’s programs have a significantly lower acceptance rate. It can range around 18% – 23%, making competition fierce.
  • Strong academic background: Successful applicants typically have outstanding academic performance in their previous degrees.

Here are some additional factors to consider:

  • Program specific requirements: Admission difficulty can vary depending on the specific program you’re applying to. Some programs may be more competitive than others.
  • Well-rounded application: Beyond grades, UBC considers other aspects of your application such as research experience, letters of recommendation, and your statement of purpose.

If you’re aiming for UBC’s Master’s program, building a strong application with excellent grades, relevant experience, and a compelling statement of purpose is crucial.

How much scholarship does UBC give to international students?

The University of British Columbia (UBC) offers a range of scholarships to international students, with award amounts varying depending on the specific program. Here’s a breakdown:

  • International Major Entrance Scholarships (IMES) and Outstanding International Student (OIS) Awards: These merit-based scholarships are automatically considered for all applying international students. IMES awards range from $10,000 to $20,000 per year, while OIS awards range from $10,000 to $25,000 (one-time award). Combined, they can reach up to $35,000 per year.
  • International Scholars Program: This program offers prestigious awards that can cover a significant portion of your UBC education. Scholarships can reach up to $85,000 total, with $25,000 for the first year and $20,000 per year for subsequent years. Financial need is a consideration for this program.
  • Vantage One Excellence Awards: These awards are valued at up to $25,000 and are offered to students entering undergraduate studies in Vantage One Programs at UBC.


Postgraduate scholarships can significantly reduce financial barriers and enhance your educational journey. British Columbia offers a plethora of opportunities for ambitious students seeking advanced education in a dynamic and supportive environment. With careful preparation and a strategic approach, securing a scholarship in BC can be within your reach, opening doors to world-class education and a multitude of career opportunities.


Who is eligible for postgraduate scholarships in British Columbia?

Eligibility criteria vary depending on the scholarship provider. Some scholarships are open to domestic students (Canadians), while others are specifically for international students. There may also be requirements based on your field of study, academic achievements, and financial need.

What types of postgraduate scholarships are available?

There are numerous scholarship options in British Columbia, offered by universities, government agencies, private foundations, and other organizations. These can cover full or partial tuition fees, living expenses, and even research costs.

When should I start applying for scholarships?

It’s best to start researching and applying for scholarships well in advance of your program start date. Deadlines can vary, but many scholarships have deadlines in the spring term (around March-May) for fall enrollment.


Leave a Comment