The University of Northern British Columbia is committed to encouraging students from diverse backgrounds and experience to further their academic education through the establishment of scholarships, which promote academic excellence, and bursaries, which assist students in overcoming financial barriers to post-secondary education.
All awards established at the University of Northern British Columbia are subject to acceptance by the University Senate. The online Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide is a comprehensive listing of awards available to UNBC students.
To view detailed information on available awards and selection criteria consult the Scholarship, Bursary and Awards Guide.
Main Annual 2021-2022 UNBC Award Competition - Opens Oct 15th to Mar 1st
Applicants for Graduate Studies (Master's & PhD) for May 2021, Sep 2021, Jan 2022 should be aware that the main Annual UNBC Award Competition ("Graduate Awards" and "General Awards" award categories) should be applied for during the period noted above.
If applicants receive an emailed offer of admission from UNBC, they will be given a UNBC Student ID and access to apply using the online awards application via their MyUNBC / Awards & Financial Aid / Award Application portal.
HOWEVER, if graduate applicants have not received an emailed offer of admission by mid-February 2021, the applicant should contact the UNBC Awards & Financial Aid Unit for a paper Graduate/General Awards Application. IMPORTANT NOTE: Paper award applications will NOT be sent out prior to mid-February 2021.
Continuing Graduate Students (Master's & PhD) should be able to login via www.unbc.ca to their MyUNBC / Awards & Financial Aid / Award Application portal and complete the "Graduate Awards" and "General Awards" award categories.
If additional documents are required, it is strongly recommended that they be emailed in PDF or MS Word version via firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: References (1 page maximum) MUST be emailed directly BY THE REFEREE to email@example.com.
All other documents can be emailed by the student (i.e. resume, proof of belonging to a specific organization, etc.). Once submitted, the same type of document can be matched to those awards that require it (so only one reference/per referee needs to be submitted, etc.). Additional documents are kept on file for one year, so new ones will need to be supplied for each main Annual UNBC Award Competition. To determine if additional documents are required, please refer to the "Application Instructions" area within each award's description.
Graduate Entrance Research Scholarship (GERS) - Applicants Automatically Considered For
Valued at $15,000 each, these scholarships are available to full-time* students who are entering a Master's or Doctoral program at UNBC for the first time who have not previously held an Entrance Award**. To be eligible for an award students must have the intention to enrol in a Thesis or a Project based degree. Consideration is based on academic proficiency (Graduate Admission GPA of 3.67 or greater) and an alignment with UNBC's research priorities.
UNBC's research priorities can include but are not limited to:
- UNBC Strategic Research Areas: Environment and Natural Resources; Community Development; Northern, Rural and Environmental Health; First Nations and Indigenous Studies.
- A connection to the mandate, goals or areas of specialization within the UNBC Graduate Studies Program.
If applicants to a UNBC Master's or Doctoral program meet the eligibility requirements they will be automatically considered for this award, there is no application required. Students will find out if they have received an award shortly after they receive notification of their admission decision.
* Applicants/students in the MBA Program are not eligible to apply for this scholarship as the MBA Program is offered on a weekend delivery basis.
** A Graduate Entrance Scholarship (GES), Graduate Entrance Research Award (GERA), Graduate Entrance Research Scholarship (GERS). GES & GERA competitions no longer active past January 2020 Entry.
BC Graduate Scholarship Program for Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents - October 15, 2020 to March 1, 2021
Valued at $15,000.00 each, these awards are available to full-time students who are entering a Master’s or Doctoral program at the University of Northern British Columbia. Scholarships are provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training(the ministry) as a merit based scholarship to reward student excellence within research-intensive and professional graduate programs.
Eligibility: Students must be in a graduate level program and have completed between 0 - 12 months of studies by September 1st, 2021. Students must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. Students cannot have previously received a BC Graduate Scholarship or other Entrance Award from UNBC during their program.
Eligible degree programs will include both research-intensive and professional graduate programs, with an emphasis, but not exclusive focus, on disciplines related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship and Design, Indigenous and regional programs. Consideration is based on academic proficiency (minimum graduate admission GPA of 3.67) and an alignment with UNBC's research priorities. Students can only apply once during their degree. Priority will be given to students who have not previously received a UNBC entrance award.
Unless otherwise stated these definitions apply to the criteria listed in the online Awards Guide.
Normally a minimum A average, equivalent to or greater than a 4.00 GPA.
Normally a B+ average, equivalent to or greater than a 3.33 GPA.
Satisfactory Academic Standing
Normally a minimum B average, equivalent or greater than a 3.00 GPA.
For the purpose of awards eligibility, minimum standing ("passing grades") shall be considered equivalent to satisfactory academic standing.
For continuing graduate students, academic standing shall be determined by the cumulative GPA in the student's current graduate program.
Full-time Graduate Student
A full-time student is a graduate student who applies for admission with full-time status and who enrolls in six credits or more per semester, or is enrolled in a thesis, project or comprehensive examination.
Resident of Northern BC
A person who resides in a northern community located within the regions established under the College and Institute Act for the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, and Coast Mountain College. For UNBC Award purposes the above encompasses north of 100 Mile House up to the Yukon border, east to the Alberta border, west to Haida Gwaii. A resident of northern British Columbia is defined as a person whose principal residence for twelve consecutive months immediately prior to admission at UNBC is within the defined region.
For those awards where "health sciences" is stated in the criteria, students who are considering a career in health sciences related fields are encouraged to state their academic/career goals on the appropriate online awards application. Examples of eligible programs included but are not limited to:
- Community/Health Science
- Disability Management
- Social Work
An award may be a fellowship, scholarship, bursary, prize or other monetary recognition assigned to a student.
Usually available only to graduate students, awarded on the basis of high academic achievement (academic excellence or academic proficiency) toward which secondary criteria may be applied.
Awarded on the basis of high academic achievement (academic excellence or academic proficiency) toward which secondary criteria may be applied.
Awarded on the basis of demonstrable financial need, provided the student has met the requirement of satisfactory academic standing, toward which secondary criteria including academic achievement may be applied.
The award's value may be non-monetary, such as a book or other gift-in-kind, or if monetary, its value is normally less than $250.
The award is an academic medal, awarded on the basis of academic excellence or academic proficiency, toward which secondary criteria may be applied.
Graduate Awards are set aside for students who have been admitted into the Graduate Studies program at UNBC.
Please see Academic Regulation 17 (Academic Distinction).
Graduation with Distinction
Each year a very small number of students will be graduated with Distinction. Selection criteria take into account the student's overall academic record and, as appropriate, the quality of the thesis; and are applied by a Dean's Committee on Graduate Honours chaired by the Dean of Graduate Programs. Students do not apply for graduation with distinction.
These awards may be available to a variety of UNBC students, including new undergraduates, transfer, undergraduate in-course students, and graduate students. Some awards may also be available to Faculty.
Unless otherwise stated these policies apply to the criteria listed in the online Awards Guide.
Students commencing or continuing in Graduate Studies at UNBC are encouraged to apply for UNBC's Graduate Awards. To be considered for awards adjudicated on the basis of criteria such as community service or written research intent, it is recommended that students submit a resume, or curriculum vitae and thesis proposal along with a completed Graduate Awards application form to the Awards and Financial Aid Office. Applicants may be evaluated on the basis of their admission GPA or their cumulative GPA.
The University reserves the right to limit the amount of money awarded to any student and, if necessary, to reassign awards to other students by reversion. The Senate Committee on Scholarships and Bursaries will generally recommend that no individual student receive an award or combination of awards exceeding a determined value. Currently the Graduate award ceiling is $15,000 per academic year (this does not include external awards).
It is generally understood that students will be enrolling in both the Fall and the Winter Semesters. Funds will be deposited directly into the students' UNBC accounts in two equal disbursements: the first on or about September 10 and the second on or about January 10.
Awards over a determined value may be disbursed on a monthly basis over a twelve month period.
Awards for continuing graduate students may normally be deferred for a period of one semester only. Requests for deferrals must be made in writing to the Awards and Financial Aid office. New graduate students who have been offered an entrance award may be granted a deferral of their award only if they have been granted a deferral of their admission to UNBC.
The University reserves the right to apply awards proceeds against outstanding fees owing to the University. If the amount of the award or awards exceeds the unpaid fees for the semester, the student may apply for a refund of the excess balance after the add/drop deadline has past.
The full amount of scholarships, fellowships, and bursaries that are received by students with respect to your enrolment in a program that entitles you to claim the education amount are not taxable and are no longer reported as income on your tax return. If you are not eligible for the education amount, report on your tax return only the amount that is more than $500.
Any award may be withheld or cancelled for any of these reasons: lack of suitable candidates; failure to meet the terms and conditions of the award; withdrawal from the University or withdrawal of the award by the donor. Furthermore, the University assumes liability for the payment of scholarships, bursaries, prizes, and other awards only to the extent that expected gifts from donors or returns from particular investments of endowed funds are realized. The University also reserves the right to make whatever changes are required, including cancellation of particular awards or changes to criteria.
Unless otherwise stated, all awards are conditional upon confirmation of full-time registration at the University of Northern British Columbia in the semesters immediately following the granting of the award.