Youth Canada

Need a Challenge? Try UBC’s Access Studies Program

9-09-2008 by Grace Chen

Need a Challenge? Try UBC’s Access Studies Program

Have you ever felt bored to death by undemanding high school courses? Have you ever desired to challenge yourself to a university-level course? It is your final year at high school. You are in grade 12 and realize that you have already completed your school’s grade 12 and/or AP courses in grade 11. You are in a situation in which you have numerous spare blocks and are unwilling to waste your time milling around doing nothing. There is the option of graduating early: having satisfied all the requirements, you can potentially move on to university after grade 11. However, some people might be unwilling to graduate early or just simply did not have enough time to submit university applications before the deadline.

A UBC program called Access Studies facilitates and allows motivated, diligent high school students to take university level courses at UBC. To apply, simply go to the website here, and click APPLY NOW under the tab “HOW TO GET STARTED” on the left menu. Follow the straightforward instructions and fill out the forms. You will be asked to provide basic contact information, parental consent form, a letter of recommendation from your high school principal, an up to date transcript, and a statement of academic intent regarding what courses you would like to take and why (including course name, section number, and course number.) After a few business days, you will receive an email from Access Studies with your UBC reference number written on it. The application fee of $60 will be collected upon registration.

The Access Studies department will then forward your request to the faculties that you have expressed interest in. NOTE: the success or failure of your enrollment request is the faculty’s decision, not that of the Access Studies department. After obtaining consent from that particular faculty, you will be bestowed the privilege to take courses in that faculty, provided that there’s enough space for regular UBC students. Access Studies students are usually only approved for enrollment in the ART faculty. Due to the overwhelming population of Business school, you will not be permitted to enroll in business courses.

Remember to navigate the Student Service Centre here for any necessary financial payments. Before making decisions on what courses to take, you should browse the faculty’s website and the UBC calendar for specific information on selecting courses. Remember to check the Access Studies website for detailed information on eligibility and the maximum credits that you can take. As an Access Studies student, you, like other regular full-time UBC students, have the duty of paying UBC student society fees and the rights of a UBC card and a U-Pass. You will be given access to libraries, computer labs, and any other UBC facilities.

It is crucial to understand that your academic intent and transcript are critical during the application process. Make sure that you sound determined and know what you want when stating your academic intent. Before selecting courses, you should also check whether or not you have satisfied the preliminary requirements of that particular course. Moreover, your registration date usually opens after most of the UBC full-time students have finished selecting their courses. As a result, your chances of getting into an extremely popular course will not be very high. Hence, you should make sure that you register as soon as your registration begins.

Lastly, it is also important to let your school counselor know what you are doing at UBC. The course credits that you will obtain through Access Studies can then be transferred to most Canadians and some American universities. Having those credits will also place you in tremendous advantage over other applicants when you apply for university. When arranging your timetable, keep in mind that you have to include enough time to commute between UBC and your high school. Allow extra time for travel.

Enjoy your time at UBC!

Image courtesy of user "McPig" at via Creative Commons License.