University Transition Program

Specialized & Enrichment Programs
Student Group:
Secondary Students

The University Transition Program is designed to support academic excellence while promoting social and emotional development of academically gifted adolescents who are committed to the goal of early entrance to university.

“Preparing Gifted Adolescents to Achieve Their Goals of Early Entrance to University”

Application Form:

The University Transition Program is designed to support academic excellence while promoting social and emotional development of academically gifted adolescents who are committed to the goal of early entrance to university.  Graduates of the two-year program achieve early entrance to UBC by writing the four provincial examinations required by the faculty of their choice. 

A maximum of twenty students in each of Year One and Year Two develop academic knowledge, skills, and confidence within a context of rigorous curriculum, career exploration, and academic and social relationships supported by a diverse learning community and a culture of scholarship excellence. 

Students are required to link social responsibility to strategic learning skills related to topics such as goal-setting, self-discipline, a strong work ethic, creative problem solving and effective organization and time management.  Students engage in career exploration through visits to university classes, opportunities to interact with program graduates, mentorship and seminars with university professors. 

Typical applicants are within the ages of 13 and 15, currently completing Grades 7, 8, or 9, and achieving beyond the 99th percentile in standardized tests in mathematics, reading, writing, and reasoning/problem solving.  Successful applicants are committed to a goal of early entrance to university and typically pursue academic interests independently, apply theoretical knowledge and abstract concepts easily, prefer advanced level work, enjoy an accelerated learning pace within an intensive learning environment, and are prepared to work diligently and contribute to the Transition Program learning community.

The program is located on the UBC campus and accepts 50% of enrolled students from outside of Vancouver School District. Unique in Canada and British Columbia, the program offers students a stimulating intellectual peer group, qualitatively differentiated curriculum, university location with its resources and facilities, and learning experiences led by senior secondary Vancouver School Board teachers and UBC professors. 

The intense program attends to individual student needs and encourages both peer and graduate student support.  The program is administered through University Hill Secondary School; program development, policy and leadership is facilitated through District Learning Services, Vancouver School Board. Policy decision-making is the responsibility of the representational Transition Program Steering Committee.