Graduate Admissions

Greetings! Thank you for your interest in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the University of British Columbia. We are currently welcoming applications for the Fall 2024 intake.


To be eligible for consideration for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Masters’ Degree Program at UBC, the applicant must:

*Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program only covers the expenses of the admitted scholars.

*Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply for this award.

*Funds from the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC cannot be applied to pursue programs at other academic institutions.


These dates may vary from those posted on faculty websites. Please note that if you are applying for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC, you must submit all your documents (including your reference letters) by the dates requested below.

Step 1: Assess Your Eligibility

Step 2: Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application December 1, 2023

Step 3: UBC Faculty Applications:

  • Forestry: January 11, 2024
  • Land and Food Systems: January 9, 2024
  • Science: January 9, 2024

*Applicants applying to these programs should consider the different deadlines. Late submissions will not be accepted.


Please read through all the application steps outlined below before proceeding to the application. This will help you understand our entire application process, answer any questions that may arise, and help you avoid any errors.

Step One: Assess Your Eligibility

  1. Decide your Program(s) of Interest from the list.
  2. Consult the link below identifying the Minimum Academic Requirements/International Credentials for Graduate Students, listed by country to determine your academic eligibility for the program and the Mastercard Foundation scholarship. *Given that the number of applicants exceeds the number of positions available, a record that satisfies basic entrance requirements does not guarantee admission to graduate studies* 
  3. Consult the program website to determine if you possess the appropriate background experience.

Step Two: Additional Tests

If your Bachelor’s degree was not taught in English, make arrangements to take an English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS) and have the results sent to UBC. Please visit this website to confirm whether you meet UBC’s English requirement.

Step Three: Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application Package

You must complete the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application before you apply to UBC. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Applications are due on December 1, 2023. We ask that all applications be submitted electronically in a single PDF document, via email as this is faster and costs less. Late or incomplete packages cannot be accepted and UBC is not responsible for any packages not received by the deadline.

In order for the Selection Committee to determine your eligibility for this scholarship, you must demonstrate financial need, a commitment to give back and how your education will contribute towards the transformation of your community, your region or your country in Africa. You must:

  1. Complete the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application Form. If submitting a hand-written Form, ensure that the document is clearly legible.
  2. Submit the Personal Statements. An answer to each question not exceeding the word limit must be typed and submitted, essay format is not acceptable:
  3. Submit a CV/resume. This should include any relevant education and work experience
  4. Provide two reference letters. Please provide two reference letters on official letterhead that will attest and speak extensively to your community service, volunteering abilities, and leadership potential. If your referees would like to send their letters directly to us for privacy reasons, please note that these should be sent to us via email by December 1, 2023. Any letters sent after this date will deem your package as “incomplete”, and hence, will not be considered for the scholarship. The same referees can be provided for your academic application given that they meet the requirements. However, a strong preference will be given to references that can attest to your leadership skills, commitment to community services and why you are suited for this award. Please note that each faculty will have specific requirements for reference letters separate to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program – make sure to follow these requirements.
  5. Transcripts. Please attach a legible copy of your (unofficial) transcripts. If your transcripts are in a language other than English, note that you will be required to also provide a translation.
  6. Submit the Checklist, Application Form, Personal Statements, CV, two reference letters on official letterhead, transcripts, and signed declaration. Upon completion of your Application Package, please submit a copy of your package as one pdf. document via email to Note that the declaration must be signed by hand, electronically, or typed, otherwise, the package will be considered incomplete.
  7. Please tell us your story. What is of importance to you and reflects who you are? (200-300 words max.)
  8. Describe a recent, meaningful involvement in your community, including what your role is/has been in the activity/ies. (200-300 words max.)
  9. Why are you interested in studying at UBC, and how do you envision your chosen program of study at UBC helping you to reach your long-term career and personal goals? What drives you to achieve your goals? (200 – 300 words max.)
  10. Persistence is crucial to the completion of this application. Please describe a situation where you had to overcome a significant obstacle/challenge(s) to reach a goal. How did you react to this challenge, and what did you learn from the situation? (200 – 300 words max.)
  11. What else should we know about your financial condition in order to consider you for this scholarship? (200-300 words max.)

Step Four: UBC Faculty Applications

  1. Apply Online: Once your Mastercard Foundation Application is complete, eligible applicants will receive an email with instructions to submit an online application to UBC:
    1. Review the instructions for faculty applications
  2. Application Fees: You may be eligible for a fee waiver if your citizenship and correspondence address is located in one of the world’s 50 least developed countries, according to the United Nations. Please visit this website to check which countries are on the list: 
    1. If your country is not listed above, please request a fee waiver when you are submitting your Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program application package. If you are invited to move to the Faculty Application step, we will provide instruction on how to use a fee waiver during the program application process. If you submit your application without applying your fee waiver, we are unable to provide a refund.

Step Five:  Reviewing Process

  1. In February 2024, faculties will nominate candidates for admission for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. A university-wide selection committee will review scholarship applications from the three faculties, rank them and select award recipients. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted at this time and invited to submit a video interview.
  2. In April 2024, only the Mastercard Foundation Scholar award recipients will be contacted and soon thereafter an announcement of award recipients will be made. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are not able to respond to applicants who have not received the scholarship.

Now that you have read the entire application process and determined you are eligible to apply, you can download the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Application.

For further questions about the UBC Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, please email:


Please note that faculty applications for Mastercard Foundation Scholarship applicants may be different than what is posted on faculty websites. Be sure to review deadlines as noted in the IMPORTANT DEADLINES section above.