Access studies

student in classroom lecture

Access Studies is an innovative program that offers flexible post-secondary learning options to people of all ages and backgrounds. Through Access Studies, people with varied academic curiosities have the opportunity to pursue knowledge, stretch their minds, and tackle academic challenges.

Students in this category may take up to 6 credits per academic term, up to a maximum of 24 credits in total while registered as Access Studies students. Continuation as an Access Studies student is contingent upon maintaining a passing grade on all courses attempted.

Why take courses through Access Studies?

  • to achieve non-academic or professional qualifications
  • to upgrade non-academic or professional qualifications
  • for general interest

Visit the Academic Calendar for a full breakdown of the classification of students at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Email us at if you have any questions.

If you have already completed a degree, follow the steps to apply to UBC’s Okanagan campus as an Unclassified Student.


You can apply as an Access Studies student to take courses for general interest outside of a degree program if:

  • You meet the English language requirement
  • You meet UBC’s Criteria for Access Studies students
  • You have previous work, school, or volunteer experience
  • You don’t currently plan to start or transition to a UBC degree program
  • You don’t hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution


All students who are accepted into Access Studies will be assessed an application fee and will be required to pay an acceptance deposit upon successful admission.

Tuition fees for UBC students are assessed on a per-credit basis and depend on the level of the course and the faculty in which it is offered.

Most undergraduate courses are 3 credits (one term) or 6 credits (two terms) in value, although there are exceptions. The SSC course schedule will detailed the credit value of a course for Summer 2024 courses, and the Workday course schedule will detail the credit value of a course for Winter 2024/25 courses. Students studying on campus at UBC are assessed student fees in addition to their tuition. Some of these fees have opt-out provisions, highlighted on the site.

Most student fees are assessed on a per-credit basis, so depending on how many credits you are taking, the total amount of student fees owing will fluctuate.

Visit the Academic Calendar for the most up-to-date fees and policy.

Expect to pay about $100–$150 per course for course materials. Course materials are available through the UBC Bookstore.


Courses start: Deadline:
May (Summer Session Term 1 or 2) March 15
September (Winter Session Term 1) July 15
January (Winter Session Term 2) November 15

If you’re new to UBC

Step one:

Ensure that you meet the English Language Requirement.

Step two:

Visit the Course Schedule to view the courses offered and choose the courses that you are interested in taking.

Step three:

Apply through Education Planner BC:

  • Create an Education Planner BC account online
  • Fill in your personal information, contact information, and academic history
  • Click “Start Applying” and select the University of British Columbia
  • In the UBC application, select an appropriate Admission Category based on your academic history
  • Select “UBC Okanagan” and “Access Studies” under First Program Choice
  • When prompted, make sure to include the course(s) you’re interested in taking or the specific program under which you would like to take courses.

Step four:

UBC Admissions will email you with a confirmation of your application and next steps.

Step five:

After completing your application, email any additional and required documents to

If you’ve registered in courses at UBC’s Okanagan Campus before

Email your request for an Access Studies student application to including your:

  • Full name
  • Previously assigned UBC student number
  • Your Non-Degree Category, which is “Access”
  • Desired UBCO courses and their start dates (month and year)
  • Other relevant academic history information

What else do I need to know?

  • Enrolment for Access Studies Students is on a part-time basis in a limited selection of courses and programs.
  • Being admitted to UBC as an Access Studies student does not guarantee entrance to your requested courses or subsequent admission to a degree program at UBC.
  • To register you’ll need to meet course prerequisites through previous study, relevant experience, or instructor permission.
  • If you wish to audit a course, you will need to get approval from the faculty offering the course. Please note that in general, if you’re auditing a course, you’ll be expected to complete all course requirements except the final exam, and your transcript will show a statement of audit for the course. Read more about auditing courses.