The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with campuses and facilities in British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 1908 as the McGill University College of British Columbia, the university became independent and adopted its current name in 1915. It is British Columbia's oldest institution of higher learning and has over 60,000 students at its Vancouver and Okanagan Valley campuses. Most students are enrolled in five larger faculties: Arts, Science, Applied Science, UBC Faculty of Medicine and the Sauder School of Business.

In 2015, U.S. News and World Report and Times Higher Education ranked UBC among the 20 best public universities worldwide. With an annual research budget valued at $600 million, UBC funds 8,442 projects as of 2014. Faculty, alumni and researchers have received seven Nobel Prizes, 70 Rhodes Scholarships, 65 Olympic medals, 8 memberships in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and 208 fellowships to the Royal Society of Canada. The university has also educated three Canadian prime ministers, most recently Justin Trudeau, the current prime minister.



In 1877, only six years after British Columbia joined Canada, Superintendent of Education John Jessop submitted a proposal for the formation of a provincial university. The British Columbia University Act of 1908 formally called a provincial university into being, although its location was not specified. Building on a successful affiliation between Vancouver and Victoria high schools with McGill University, Henry Marshall Tory helped establish the McGill University College of British Columbia in the early 1900s.

On the first day of lectures was September 30, 1915, the new independent university absorbed McGill University College. The University of British Columbia awarded its first degrees in 1916, and Klinck became the second President in 1919, serving until 1940.

World War I dominated campus life, and the student body was "decimated" by enlistments for active service, with three hundred UBC students in Company "D" alone. By the war's end, 697 members of the University had enlisted. 109 students graduated in the three war-time congregations, all but one in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Heavy rains and melting snowfall eroded a deep ravine across the north end of the campus, in the Grand Campus Washout of 1935.The university was closed for 4 and a half days. Afterwards, the gully was filled with debris from a nearby landslide, and only traces are visible today.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced the Museum of Anthropology at UBC on July 1, 1971. At a construction cost of $2.5 million, the museum building designed by Arthur Erickson opened in 1976.

UBC's 15th president is Professor Santa J. Ono. He assumed the presidency on August 15, 2016. He served previously as the 28th President of The University of Cincinnati. Dr. Martha Piper, served as Interim President starting September 1, 2015, following the resignation of Dr. Arvind Gupta.



As one of the world’s top research universities, the University of British Columbia has created positive change at home and abroad for more than a century. Today their two major campuses—in Vancouver and the Okanagan—attract, nurture and transform more than 60,000 students from Canada and 140 countries around the world.


Vancouver Campus 

Located 30 minutes from the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver campus is a spectacular location that is a ‘must-see’ for any visitor to the city — where snow-capped mountains meet ocean, and breathtaking vistas greet you around every corner. The campus is home to more than 39,000 undergraduate and nearly 10,000 graduate students.


Okanagan Campus

The Okanagan campus is an intimate learning community embracing bold new ways of thinking that attract exceptional students and faculty. More than 8,300 students from throughout the Okanagan region, across Canada and 80 other countries are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in eight faculties and schools.



UBC highly values outstanding international research students. As such, they offer most international students in PhD or research Master's programs a tuition scholarship like International Tuition Award with regard to up to $3,200 per year that significantly reduces the international tuition fee. See the fees compared with some international peer institutions:



University of Toronto

USA (UC Berkeley)

UK (Oxford)

Australia (Melbourne)

Research Master's or PhD







  • The 2016 QS World University Rankings ranked UBC 5th worldwide in geography, 9th in education, 15th in agriculture and forestry, 17th in psychology, 20th in nursing, 24th in mathematics, 26th in English literature, 28th in both economics and medicine, 36th in sociology, 37th in political science and 39th in accounting and finance.
  • The 2014–2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked UBC 20th (1st in Canada) in life sciences, 21st (2nd in Canada) in social sciences, 35th (2nd in Canada) in physical sciences and 43rd (2nd in Canada) in engineering and technology.
  • The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UBC 28th in social sciences, 38th in economics and business, 41st in computer science and 51–75 overall in science