BFA Application FAQs

When can I enter the BFA program?
To enter the BFA program, you need to be in third year or higher. This means you will require, as May 15th of the year you are applying, a minimum of 54 credits

I’m not a UBC student. Does this matter?
You need to have applied to become a UBC student before applying for the program. For Fall Admission, the deadline is usually the January prior. Please verify the actual date with UBC Admissions.

I’m going into my first year at UBC and I know I want to do the creative writing major. Will you take applications from first year students?
No. The creative writing major is a third and fourth year program. But there are lots of creative writing classes at the 200- and 300-level that you can take in your first and second year! Explore our expanded course descriptions for more detail.

How long does the BFA take to complete?
Most students complete the BFA in two years. They take 18 credits (6 half year classes) of workshop class per year.

How do I get in?
We take applications for students in March for admission the following September. Application is based solely on our faculty’s evaluation of your writing portfolio. We do not take grades, where you went to school, or anything else into consideration. For exact procedures regarding the submission of your portfolio please review the Guidelines and Application page.

Do I need to read the Guidelines?
Yes. All the way through. It’s not riveting reading, but it’s essential reading.

Will my credits at another institution transfer to UBC?
We don’t know. You should contact Arts Advising for questions regarding transfer credits.

What courses should I take before applying to the BFA?
Any 200 level Creative Writing Course at UBC will count as the one prerequisite, or an equivalent course at another institution. If you haven’t taken such a course we can, after consideration, waive this requirement. In general any class that will help you improve your writing is a good idea.

I don’t have 54 credits. Can I still apply?
The BFA major in Creative Writing is a third and fourth year program. Therefore you need to have third-year standing at UBC when you begin your program. Generally this requires 54 completed credits; we advise you check with Arts Advising if you are a current Arts student. Students in other faculties should check with their faculty advisers, and students applying to transfer into UBC should speak with Enrolment Services, for clarification on their standing.

Can someone look at my portfolio before I submit it?
No. We’re the people who evaluate it, so it’s not fair or ethical of us to give you specific advice on the material within it outside of a formal application. As a general rule you should put writing that you feel is strong and represents you well as a writer.

For the portfolio, can I use work that I’ve done in a creative writing class?
Yes. The portfolio should contain what you consider your strongest work. If that is something you’ve worked on in a creative writing class, then yes, you may use it in your application.

I applied last year and didn’t get in. Is it worth it to reapply?
Absolutely. Many good writers haven’t got in the first time they applied. Rejection is a huge part of being a writer, and you should never let it discourage you.

What are the workshop classes like?
The workshop classes consist of approximately 14 students, and each week the class will read and discuss student work, including yours. Assignments and page quotas vary by instructor.

Do you have funding or scholarships available?
At present, our undergraduate funding is extremely limited. The University at large has resources worth looking into but our Program cannot offer any financial assistance.

When is the deadline to apply, and will you accept late applications?
The deadline is listed on our website. If it’s not up to date, it will be updated well in advance of the actual deadline, which is usually late March/early April. We cannot accept late applications.

How do I submit my portfolio?
All applications are carried out through our application form; portfolios are uploaded here. The one exception to this is any recorded audio material for lyric and libretto, which can be mailed or dropped off to the program office.