Taking Courses Outside of UBC

UBC provides a wide range of courses for your academic pursuits. As a UBC BCom student, you are expected to complete your degree requirements at UBC through on-campus or UBC Distance Learning courses, or on Go Global exchange. The Undergraduate Office is here to provide you with the information you need to help you achieve your personal and academic goals. 

In certain circumstances, students may be eligible for/granted a Letter of Permission to take courses outside of UBC. Before submitting an online form to request an LOP, please read the following information carefully.

Letters of Permission (LOP)

In certain circumstances you can be granted permission to study outside of UBC with a Letter of Permission (LOP). Without an approved LOP, your transfer credits may not be counted towards your UBC degree.

You do NOT need a LOP if you:

  • are taking courses at a partner university through Go Global Exchange
  • have cross-campus registration at UBCO. For this you will need to complete a Cross-Campus Registration form
  • are leaving UBC to complete your degree elsewhere
  • do not intend to apply credit completed towards your Bachelor of Commerce degree

You need a LOP for:    

  • The Explore French language program
  • City Studio
  • Semester in Dialogue
  • To participate in a for-credit program endorsed by Arts Indigenous Student Advising (AISA): BCOM students interested in these programs should still connect with an academic advisor at the UGO for more information and are expected to request the LOP through the UGO
  • To participate in a for-credit unique experience not available through UBC
  • To participate in a for-credit program or Field School recognized by a UBC Department
  • In certain exceptional circumstances to meet core BCom degree requirements 

You are eligible for a LOP if:

You are in good academic standing

Students who are on academic probation or who had a failed session in the current or prior academic year (September to August) will not be approved for an LOP.

In order to understand if exceptions can be made to this, please connect with an Academic Advisor at the UGO.

You are a returning student

First-year students will not be granted LOPs in their first Winter session at UBC.

You have enough transfer credits left

The residency requirement states that a minimum of 50% of your degree requirements (61 credits) must be completed while registered as a student in the BCom program. Go Global exchange credits are eligible towards these minimums.

Note that the maximum number of transfer credits that can be obtained through LOPs is 12 credits.

The course is a lower-level elective

All required COMM courses (and CPSC courses for BUCS students), and upper-level elective courses must be completed at UBC.

If the course is offered at UBC a LOP request will not be approved.

The institution is accredited

Because transfer credit is only granted for courses that can be considered equivalent to something that UBC would offer, credit will only be granted for academic study at recognized post-secondary institutions.

The course is considered a unique opportunity to enhance your degree

This rationale must be provided in writing. Note that LOP requests based on proximity to your home, or for financial reasons such as a lower tuition cost, will not be supported.

Submit a LOP request

Requests are reviewed individually and you will be notified with a decision by email. The process to evaluate an LOP request can take several weeks, so please factor this into your planning.

Other things to note:

Recommendations: a course recommendation by a professor or division does not guarantee that an LOP will be approved.

Admission to the other institution: an LOP issued by UBC does not guarantee admission as a visiting student to another institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all entry requirements as a visiting student at the host institution.

Concurrent registration: Concurrent registration at both UBC and other post-secondary institutions is not recommended. 

Scheduling conflicts: if you decide to pursue a course at another institution while taking courses at UBC we expect that you will prioritize fulfilling academic responsibilities at UBC. Students are expected to make note of any scheduling conflicts between coursework and/or exams at UBC and the other institution. UBC will not support academic concession requests based on such conflicts.

Expiration of the LOP: An LOP can be used only for the Term that it is granted. For example, if you have an LOP approved for Winter Session Term 1 and decide to take the course in Winter Session Term 2, you will need to reapply for a new LOP.

Applying the transfer credits to your degree: to be eligible for transfer credits, BCom students must have approval from an Academic Advisor in the UGO before registering at another institution. Please review https://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/registration/transfer-credits/letter-permission

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