Graduate Awards Overview

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 available awards and selection criteria for UNBC students.

Graduate/doctoral students applying for admission

Those students who receive an offer of admission are eligible to apply.  Once you have received an offer of admission to UNBC, you will be issued a user ID and PIN number.  International students must pay their International Tuition Deposit prior to receiving access to the online awards application

Apply for Awards Online By:  Signing into your MyUNBC portal.  Go to "Student Applications" and click on Awards & Financial Aid.  Then from the top menu click on Financial Aid, and select Web Applications.  Current students ensure you are using the UNBC wifi option (vs. eduroam wifi option).

Annual UNBC 2024-2025 Award Competition - Open until Apr 1st

Your award types/categories will be 'Graduate Awards (Master's/PhD)' and 'General Awards'.  Plus, also see the Graduate Entrance Research Scholarship and BC Graduate Scholarship information below for more admission type awards.

If you do not have an admission decision yet, you can research these award categories in the Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide.

It is recommended that you do not limit your search to only your specific program, as you may miss awards that are open to all students. You can keep a list of those awards you feel you meet the eligibility and criteria for. You can also look to see if the awards you are interested in require any additional supporting documentation (located within the 'application instruction' or 'note' section of the award's description).

UNBC graduate/doctoral students continuing in their program 

Current students are able to apply using your MyUNBC portal.  Go to "Student Applications" and click on Awards & Financial Aid.  Then from the top menu click on Financial Aid, and select Web Applications.  Your award categories/types will be: "Graduate Awards (Masters/PhD)" and "General Awards".

Graduate Entrance Research Scholarship (GERS) 

Valued at $17,500 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 a Graduate Admission GPA of 3.67 or greater, and an alignment with UNBC's research priorities.

If applicants to a UNBC Master's or Doctoral program meet the eligibility requirements they will be considered for this award. There is no application form to complete however not all students will receive this award.  For more information, and for timelines for when GERS offers will be communicated to successful recipients, go to: GERS Info  

BC Graduate Scholarship Program (BCGSP) for Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents

Valued at $17,500.00 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 Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills (the ministry) as a merit based scholarships 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, 2024. 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.

For more information, and for timelines for when BCGSP offers will be communicated to successful recipients, go to:

Award Information


Unless otherwise stated these definitions apply to the criteria listed in the online Awards Guide.

Academic Excellence

Normally a minimum A average, equivalent to or greater than a 4.00 GPA.

Academic Proficiency

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.

Minimum Standing

For the purpose of awards eligibility, minimum standing ("passing grades") shall be considered equivalent to satisfactory academic standing.

Cumulative GPA

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.

Health Sciences

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:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Community/Health Science
  • Disability Management
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

Award Types


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.

Award Categories


Graduate Awards are set aside for students who have been admitted into the Graduate Studies program at UNBC.

Graduation Awards

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.

Administrative Policies

Unless otherwise stated these policies apply to the criteria listed in the online Awards Guide.

Graduate Awards

Students commencing or continuing in Graduate Studies at UNBC are encouraged to apply for UNBC's Graduate Awards. Depending on award eligibility/criteria, applicants may be evaluated on the basis of their Admission GPA (AGPA) or their Cumulative GPA (CGPA).

Awards Ceiling

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 September and the January Semesters. Funds will be deposited directly into the students' UNBC accounts in two equal disbursements, just prior to start of classes in the September Semester and the January Semester.

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 via email to the Awards and Financial Aid Unit via  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 tuition/fees owing to the University. If the amount of the award or awards exceeds the unpaid tuition/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.