Current Students FAQs

Courses | Leave of Absence (LOA) | Graduation


Directed Studies courses are designed by an Instructor to meet the needs of one or more students in an area that is not addressed in the current curriculum. Students need to make an arrangement with a particular Instructor for a Directed Studies course.

Yes, up to 40% of the total number of credits required for the MPH program. Equivalencies will be assessed by course instructors and then an application made to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to transfer credits. In some cases students may be granted exemption for courses. This means that the student does not need to take the course but will not be granted equivalent credits, i.e. the credits will need to be obtained from other courses.

Yes. You may take courses outside of our School that count towards the MPH, with the approval of the Program Director. Please note that the faculty/school/department in charge of the course has the final say regarding whether or not you can take the course.

Yes, students can take courses at other Canadian institutions via a number of agreements. The content must similar to that required for the MPH program and have the approval of the MPH Program Director and relevant course instructor. Through the Western Dean's Agreement and the Graduate Exchange Agreement, students do not have to pay extra tuition fees to take courses outside of UBC in a variety of Canadian institutions.

UBC graduate students can take up to 6 credits of undergraduate studies. As SPPH 400 is a required course, MPH students have 3 credits remaining. Please note that in general, we will only allow 4th year undergraduate courses to count towards your MPH degree and only at the discretion of the MPH Program Director.

Yes, SPPH students can audit courses. You need to complete the Change of Registration Form before the deadline and request permission from the Instructor. The form then needs to be submitted to the academic Program Manager for final approval from the Program Director. This request must be complete by the deadline as set out in the UBC Calendar.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Read the Faculty of Graduate Studies policy on LOAs, then send a rationale to the MPH Program Director, noting the specific type of leave and how the dates you will need to be away from the program. If approved, you will need to fill out the Leave of Absence form.

Tuition does not need to be paid for the number of approved terms of LOA, although there is a Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies administration fee of approximately $95 per term.

UBC graduate students can take a maximum of 12 months leave during their entire degree. Students requiring additional leave will need to provide additional support and rationale, and approval is contingent on the MPH Program Director and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.


UBC grad students now can have their degrees awarded 4 times a year: in September, November, February, and May. The application is done on the SSC. When grad students apply to graduate, they will see two days: one for awarding of their degrees by Senate and one for the formal conferral at a graduation ceremony in May and November. Students must apply to graduate, and applications are available almost all year round. Check the UBC Calendar for the application deadlines of each convocation. Emails will also go out to all SPPH students when the deadline is approaching. It is very important that you apply for graduation on time; otherwise, you may not be allowed to graduate and you may have to pay additional tuition.

You pay 3 installments a year, in September, January and May. The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires that full-time students pay a minimum of 3 installments.

If you complete all of your program requirements by December 31st of your second year, we'll make a note of that on the form we send to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) and you won't have to pay the January & May installments of your second year.

If you complete all of your program requirements by April 30th of your second year, we'll make a note of that on the form we send to G+PS and you won't have to pay the May installments of your second year.

If you take longer than 2 years to complete the program, you will keep paying the tuition fees each term that you are still enrolled in the program.

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