Newly Admitted Students

Life in Vancouver

The International Student Office has published a useful guide for international students. Find answers to your questions on studying and working in Canada, health insurance, as well as step-by-step tutorials to prepare your immigration application and more.

View the International Student Guide here.

See also their Pre-Travel Guide.

On-campus housing

UBC Housing offers a wide range of on-campus housing for both single students and families.
• Green College 
• St. John’s College
• Acadia Park Student Family Housing 
• Brock Common
• Exchange 
• Fraser Hall
• Iona House 
• Marine Drive
• Ponderosa Commons
• tə šxʷhəleləm̓s tə k̓ʷaƛ̓kʷəʔaʔɬ 
• Fairview Crescent
• Thunderbird Residence

See also UBC Housing Essential Application Facts.

Off Campus Housing:

UBC campus is easy to get to by bike, car, or public transportation. Many graduate students live off campus in a variety of neighborhoods. 

Visit also UBC Living Off Campus.

For more information on Housing, visit G+PS Accommodation/Housing.

UBC set-up

Campus-Wide Login (CWL) 
The Campus Wide Login (CWL) system provides access to many of the University’s online systems, such as the Student Service Centre, Canvas, UBC Library, and more.

Once accepted as a graduate student, you are prompted to create a CWL account.


UBC Card
The UBC Card is your student identification card as well as your UBC library card. Showing this card at various locations may also allow discounts on purchases. Students may obtain either a physical or digital card. Make sure to obtain a physical card as it is required to access meal plans, e-commerce purchases, or be used to access buildings or facilities.
UBC Card: 

U-Pass / Compass Card
UBC has a special arrangement with Translink that allows UBC students to hold a bus pass at a discounted rate. All students pay for the U-Pass as part of their student fees so take advantage of this multi-zone bus pass. In order to use the U-Pass, students must first purchase an adult-class Compass Card and link it to the U-Pass account online monthly. When using your U-Pass to take public transit, ensure that a valid UBC card is carried with you. 

U-Pass / Compass Card: 

Wireless Internet Access
To get access to Wifi on campus, visit UBC IT website at

To obtain keys, email Isabel Ferens, and cc your supervisor to approve this request. We will request the keys on-line. You will receive an email from the Key Desk telling you when to collect your keys. Parking and Access Control Services is located in the UBC Bookstore, 6200 Univ. Blvd. There is a $20 key deposit required and you will need to show picture ID. The deposit will be refunded when the key is returned to Parking and Access Control Services.

Mailroom is located in BioSci 3158.

Getting a FASmail Account
FASmail is an enterprise email service for staff, faculty, and student employees of UBC, accessible via the Outlook Web application ( and through many standards-based desktop email applications.

To request a FASmail account, send your CWL account username to Make sure to NOT send your CWL password. It’s best to also include your supervisor’s name when emailing. Note that students should be on UBC payroll, in order to request for an account.

Ordering lab supplies and equipment
Please consult with your supervisor when ordering supplies and equipment.

Mandatory Training for All UBC Workers
Anyone working in a laboratory setting must have the following courses completed prior to beginning to do work in the lab:

1) New Worker Safety Orientation
2) Preventing and Addressing Workplace Bullying and Harassment Training
3) Workplace Violence Prevention Training
4) Privacy & Information Security Fundamentals, Part 1 & 2

Consult with your PI regarding which courses to take: What training is required for working in a lab?

Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee- (JOHSC)

Learn more about JOHSC in the following link: (UBC Risk Management)

Botany financial support information for students can be found at:

Students who receive Graduate Research Assistantship stipend and/or Graduate Teaching Assistantship pay will get paid twice a month, on the 15th and at the end of the month (or the closest business day before that date) via Workday payroll system. Thus, if students receive $2000 pay per month, they would receive 2 payments of $1,000. Note that before students start their studies, Graduate Program Coordinator will email them regarding setting up their payroll appointments.

Students who receive scholarship funding that are handled by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will receive payment just before or a little after the term starts. Thus, if a student has a scholarship of $12,000 (1-year funding), the student will receive $4,000 per term for 3 terms. Term dates are Term 1: September 1 to December 31, Term 2: January 1 to April 30, and Summer Term: May 1 to August 31.

Please ensure that you have set up the banking direct deposit via your Workday and Student Service Centre (SSC) accounts.

Make sure to check with the Graduate Program Coordinator first if you have any questions about your Graduate Research Assistantship stipend, TA pay, or scholarship funding, as she will most likely be able to answer the question(s) or direct you to the right person to contact.

Financial Support

All students admitted to the Botany Graduate Program are guaranteed a minimum level of financial support. Graduate student stipends are derived from a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA), Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), and scholarships. MSc students are supported for a minimum of 2 years and PhD students are supported for a minimum of 4 years. Please see chart below: 


Ph.D. Canadian
Take HomeTuition and FeesTotal Stipend
Years 1-427,7731,32029,093
Years 5 and up27,7733,74231,515
Ph.D. InternationalYears 1-427,7731,32029,093
Years 5 and up27,7737,43435,207

M.Sc. Canadian
Take HomeTuition and FeesTotal Stipend
Years 1-224,4716,62231,092
Years 3 and up24,4873,74228,229
M.Sc. InternationalYears 1-224,4827,43431,916
Years 3 and up24,4827,43431,916


  • All financial support is subject to satisfactory performance and annual review
  • PhD students receive tuition waiver for first 4 years of PhD studies
  • Students are advised to discuss their funding with their supervisor
    • when they approach their 5th year in the PhD program
    • when they approach their 3rd year in the MSc program

During a graduate career in the Botany Department, most students have occasion to apply for scholarships and other sources of funding. Competition for these limited funds is intense and various criteria contribute to your overall ability to win these awards. The most important criteria are (i) academic excellence (based on grades and letters of reference) and (ii) research ability or potential (this means primary research articles published in good national or international journals, presentations at conferences etc.). The other criteria include (iii) your oral and written communication ability, and (iv) interpersonal and leadership abilities.

TAs & Research Assistants

Teaching Assistantships (TA) / Research Assistantships (RA)

Students admitted to Graduate Studies in Botany who do not have a scholarship or fellowship are normally supported financially, subject to maintaining satisfactory academic standing and/or progress in research, by a graduate teaching assistantship plus a graduate research assistantship. In 2023-2024, a full TA stipend is $14,410.32 for GTA II TAs and $14,971.20 for GTA I TAs. 

The UBC Biology Website has more information on the TA program.

The balance of a student’s stipend is generally made up as a Research Assistantship from the supervisor. 

Foreign students are admitted on a student visa and are only permitted to receive payment for activities directly related to their graduate studies program such as the above mentioned scholarships and assistantships. A foreign student’s spouse may obtain a temporary work permit, provided the student is registered as a full-time graduate student. See also UBC International Student Guide.

Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships and Awards

PhD Tuition Waiver

Graduate Support Initiative funds are currently used to cover tuition fees for students in their first four years of their PhD program. To be considered, tuition must not be funded from other sources.

NSERC Scholarship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)

Please note that NSERC scholarships are only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The NSERC website may be accessed at Students who are eligible for NSERC funding MUST apply, so as to be eligible for other university funding. The doctoral competition occurs during September and the master’s competition during December of each year.  Please contact the Department of Botany for the departmental application deadlines.

Affiliated Fellowships

These are available to incoming students and registered full-time UBC graduate students. For more information, visit G+PS Affiliated Fellowships Doctoral Program and G+PS Affiliated Fellowship Master’s Program.

Please note that students applying for NSERC will automatically be entered in the Affiliated Fellowships competition; students need only complete the NSERC application.

Affiliated Fellowships competitions run concurrently each year with NSERC competition.  Please contact the Department of Botany for the departmental application deadlines.

Four Year Fellowships

The department offers a small number of four year fellowships each year to outstanding first year domestic or international PhD students. There is no separate application form for the Four Year Fellowships; they are awarded based on the information in the application for admission to the program. Visit G+PS 4YF for further details.

Jonathan Page Fellowship in Botany

A one-year $25,000 fellowship has been made available annually through a gift from the Ngan Page Family Fund, a charitable fund established by Jonathan Page (B.Sc. 1991, Ph.D. 1998) for an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Botany. Preference will be given to a student whose research focuses on plant biochemistry or metabolism. Jonathan studied under the eminent UBC Botany Professor Neil Towers, which influenced his career path. He has focused his research on the biochemistry of medicinal plants and is internationally recognized for his work on the cannabis plant. Jonathan co-founded Anandia Labs, a leading cannabis science company that was acquired by Aurora Cannabis in 2018. The fellowship is made on the recommendation of the Department of Botany, in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Read about recent fellowship recipient Elizabeth Mahon

Please contact the Department of Botany for the application deadline. 

Kay Earle Memorial Botany Fund Fellowships

Support for graduate student stipends

The Kay Earle Memorial Botany Fund was established in November 2019 to support Botany graduate students researching the use of plants to improve the environment in the areas of ecosystem services and crop improvement. This endowment fund will be used to support an annual competition in the Botany department. Students entering the competition must submit applications through a faculty member in order to be eligible. The Botany committee will review applications, and at its discretion select the successful recipients.

The Kay Earle Fellowships proposals are adjudicated through the Botany Scholarships committee’s graduate award competition, along with NSERC graduate fellowships, four-year fellowships, and affiliated fellowships.

Dewar-Cooper Fellowships

Support for graduate student stipends

In 2009, the estate of William Dewar-Cooper endowed the Dewar-Cooper fund in Botany.

“ for the support of chemical/genetic research involving nucleic acids studies with plants, plant viruses and related masked strains …” This endowment fund is used to support an annual competition in the Botany department. Students entering the competition must submit applications through a faculty member in order to be eligible. The Botany committee will review applications, and at its discretion select the successful recipients.

The Dewar-Cooper Fellowships proposals are adjudicated through the Botany Scholarships committee’s graduate award competition, along with NSERC graduate fellowships, four-year fellowships, and affiliated fellowships.

Read about recent fellowship recipient Yujun Peng