Graduate studies

Beyond your UBC BCom

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As you explore the graduate school path, it's important to first determine why you want to go to grad school.

Maybe you’re interested in practicing law, specializing in a specific business discipline, or getting an MBA to help you climb the corporate ladder. Or, maybe you’d like to do academic research

Whatever your reason, to choose the right program and school, you need to consider your ultimate career goals. For help defining and creating goals, explore the Business Career Centre's (BCC) Career Goals Toolkit on COOL.

Applying to grad school

Grad school applications have many parts. They typically require:

  • A transcript
  • A standardized test score
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A personal admissions essay

You’ve probably heard of standardized tests such as the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examination), or LSAT (Law School Admission Test). They’re a way to compare students from different universities with different grading standards.

Whatever test you plan to take, familiarize yourself with the test format and investigate research library resources and online forums for study tips. Take the standardized test early to avoid missing your application deadline.

While standardized tests provide a numerical score, letters of recommendation and admissions essays provide more insights into the applicant's personal, professional, and academic background. That’s why good references from your professors and/or employers are important. If you’re serious about pursuing grad studies, remember to start building relationships early and maintain them.

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MBA programs

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can help advance your career and open doors to new opportunities. You’ll typically need an undergraduate degree and several years of work experience before doing an MBA.

Prospective MBA students take the GMAT, which measures their verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills. There are a number of test sessions each year. Some business schools also accept the GRE test.

Wondering where to apply? Explore the latest MBA program rankings and discover the UBC MBA.

Specialized master's degree programs

Alternatives to an MBA include specialized master's programs (SMP), which generally focus on a particular business area. These are growing in popularity worldwide.

Typically, these programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and can take less than a year to two years to complete. There are specialized business master's degrees in a variety of fields, including:

  • Data analytics (for example, the UBC MBAN)
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Operations management
  • Marketing

Prospective students will likely need to take the GMAT or GRE for these programs. Learn more about specialized business master's programs and see how a specialized master's compares to an MBA.

Law schools

Are you considering a law degree? There's no "best" pre-law undergraduate degree, but know that you'll need to do well in courses that involve synthesizing information, writing, and analytical reasoning.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized test administered four times yearly, assessing prospective law students' reading, writing, and logical reasoning abilities. Visit the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website for LSAT registration information. Some next steps include:

Want more info to help guide your decision?

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Here are some helpful articles to explore:


Search for graduate schools

Where do you begin to research the many options for graduate studies? Get started with the links below:

Graduate studies at UBC

UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral StudiesProvides news and information about upcoming events and deadlines
UBC Graduate Student SocietyActs as the independent voice of graduate students on UBC's campus, advises new students and provides information about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities
Master's Degrees at UBC SauderLearn about UBC Sauder's Full-Time, Professional, and International MBA programs, along with the Master of Business Analytics (MBAN) and MSc. in Business Administration


Universities CanadaIncludes a brief introduction to each university, including a profile, programs, academic year, enrolment, tuition fees, housing, and sports
Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies (WCDGS)Provides quick access to information about graduate studies at Western Canadian Universities and WCDGS annual meetings
Canadian Association for Graduate StudiesHighlights the 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs, the three federal research-granting agencies, and many other organizations

United States

Peterson's GuideSearch through thousands of graduate programs and prepare online for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT
Graduate Guide HomeSearch for US law schools, doctorates, and MBA programs by major and state--includes university contact details and email forms
Council of Graduate SchoolsThe Resources for Students section includes information on choosing a graduate school, financing graduate education, fellowships, and financial aid


International Graduate ProgramsA great search tool for graduate schools in countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand

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