Applicants for both the master’s and PhD programs are required to meet admission and application requirements for both the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at UBC and the School of Information.

Application procedures

Each of our programs has specific requirements and deadlines, but the application procedure is the same.

Note: The UBC School of Information is in the process of implementing a recently-redesigned curriculum for the MLIS. As part of this update, the UBC iSchool will be transitioning to a single intake admission model and phasing out the January intake. From January 2024 onwards, we will only be accepting applications for the September intake, with the annual deadline on January 15. Please apply by January 15, 2024, if you are interested in pursuing master degrees at the iSchool in September 2024.

 Application deadlineSupporting documents
Master of Archival StudiesJanuary 15February 1
Master of Arts in Children's LiteratureJanuary 15February 1
Master of Library and Information StudiesJanuary 15February 1
Dual Master of Archival Studies and Library and Information StudiesJanuary 15February 1
PhD programDecember 15January 15

We will require official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended, whether or not you completed the program or degree.

If you participated in a university exchange program, you must provide an official transcript from the exchange institution, even if the exchange study is confirmed on the transcript of your home institution.

Submit three confidential letters of reference. Preferably from instructors who have taught you at university or employers. All references must be submitted in English or must be accompanied by a word-for-word translation.

PhD applicants are encouraged to seek letters of reference from persons in academic communities who can assess the applicant’s research ability or potential. The references must contain original signatures and must be received in a sealed and endorsed envelope, or submitted electronically through the E-Ref system, initiated by the applicant in the online application system. Emailed references are not accepted. Applicants whose graduate work was completed three or more years ago may substitute a professional reference for one of the academic references.

Upload an up-to-date CV or résumé.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language. Accepted tests (taken in the past 24 months) include the TOEFL examination and IELTS.

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language (UBC’s institution code for the Test of English as a Foreign Language is 0965)

  • Internet-based Test - minimum score of 100
  • Paper-based Test - minimum score of 600

IELTS - International English Language Testing System

  • Must be the academic test
  • Minimum score of 7.5 with no band less than 7.0

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, upload a scan or photocopy of your PR card with your application.

Program-specific admission requirements

Do you identify yourself as an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations, Métis or Inuit? The School of Information is able to cover the application fee for applicants who self-identify as Indigenous on their applications (that is, First Nations, Métis or Inuit).

Please email the program to request a unique coupon code that must be entered in advance of submitting the application in eVision. Eligible applicants who have paid the fee will not be issued a refund. Applicants who apply to multiple programs may receive a coupon from one program but not another.


For admission to the program, a candidate must:

  • Possess a four-year bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from a recognized university in any academic discipline. We welcome degrees with areas of concentration in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and interdisciplinary studies, as well as dual degrees, double majors, and major/minors. Applicants holding undergraduate degrees in the master's degree subject areas (library science, archival science) are examined on a case-by-case basis. The admissions committee reviews degree transcripts closely for evidence of coursework showing significant theoretical and academic content.
  • Have achieved a minimum overall average in the B+ grade range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year level courses of a bachelor’s degree. This is the minimum admission standard; exceeding this requirement will increase the likelihood of being recommended for admission. For students with a degree from a university outside of North America, academic coursework from all years of study is used to calculate academic performance. International students should check admission requirements for their country via the UBC Graduate Studies website.
  • Show promise of superior professional performance as attested by letters of reference and the School of Information application questionnaire.

Include a personal statement within the constraints of 700-1000 words. Please address the following:

    1. Your primary reasons for entering the chosen information field (archival, library, or both).
    2. What you perceive to be the current/future challenges and opportunities in such field.
    3. Your career goals and how the program at UBC iSchool will help you to achieve them.

Please discuss how your prior experiences (paid or volunteer work, academic history, interests and hobbies, etc.) have prepared you to undertake rigorous graduate studies at UBC iSchool.

This statement should be within the range of 250-500 words.

Students interested in the Designing for People (DFP) specialization should apply to the DFP program separately after they receive acceptance at the iSchool. For specific admissions requirements or a timeline of how/when to apply, visit the DFP website.

Students interested in the Blockchain@UBC specialization should apply to the Blockchain@UBC program separately after they receive acceptance at the iSchool. For specific admissions requirements or a timeline of how/when to apply, visit the Blockchain@UBC website.


For admission to the program, a candidate must:

  • Possess a four-year bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a recognized university in a relevant discipline or in an area that is regarded as appropriate by the MACL admissions committee.
    • An undergraduate student considering working in the field of children’s literature should consult the iSchool about useful preparatory classes. An interview may be arranged at any time.
    • A broad cultural background is expected of MA candidates. The prospective student should select courses to give some acquaintance with the humanities and social sciences during undergraduate studies. Particular attention should be paid in undergraduate or graduate studies to courses in children’s literature, English, writing for children, child psychology, and the history of childhood.

In addition to the online application form, candidates must submit:

  • Copies of two essays as examples of your written academic work in English. If you are intending to complete a creative writing thesis as part of your program, one of your samples should be a creative writing piece you have written in the past;
  • A personal statement (one to three pages) outlining your goals and expectations for the program;
  • A brief statement of your area of thesis interest, with preliminary ideas for your thesis
    • This last statement will help the selection committee with respect to understanding which of the four departments working in the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program is likely to have a faculty member to supervise your thesis.
    • The thesis statement should be well-researched and cited.


The student must meet the overall admission standards established by the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Applicants must possess a graduate degree in library, archival or information studies. Consideration will be given to applicants with a master’s degree or equivalent in another discipline relevant to their field of research. First-class standing is strongly preferred. Applicants with a graduate program standing below B+ (upper second class) will not be considered for admission.

In addition, the Doctoral Studies Admissions Committee will consider the following in making its decisions:

  • The applicant’s suitability for advanced graduate work, as evidenced by the application and supporting documentation.
  • A match between faculty expertise and the applicant’s research interests.
  • The availability of a research supervisor among the UBC iSchool faculty.

Applicants must identify a potential research supervisor as part of their application and are encouraged to research faculty members to identify shared interests and the possibility of supervision. Please see the PhD program page for more details.

All PhD applications must include:

  • A statement of research (maximum 500 words) and a personal statement (maximum 500 words).
  • Three confidential reference reports,

Applications that do not include a research and personal statement, or the required letters of reference, will be considered incomplete and will not be adjudicated by the Doctoral Studies Committee.

Research statement (500 words)

The statement should describe the applicant’s research interest and articulate how the iSchool/prospective faculty supervisor is perceived to support this research. It may include a bibliography in addition to the 500-word research statement. Some guiding questions in developing the statement:

  • What issue will the research address?
  • Why is this issue important?
  • What is already known about the issue?
  • How is the approach innovative? How will it advance knowledge in the field?

Personal statement (500 words)

The personal statement should outline the applicant’s research experience, reasons for choosing UBC, and career objectives. It should describe how the applicant is qualified to carry out the research and what academic knowledge and experience he or she brings to the research proposal.

The Doctoral Studies Admissions Committee reserves the right to request an interview, in person, by telephone, by video conference, or to request additional references.

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