Prospective Student FAQs

The UBC Film Production BFA degree program is geared to teaching the intricacies of filmmaking, inspiring creative independent films. Many award-winning shorts have come out of the program.

The Alumni have a high degree of success within the business - working throughout the world as award-winning Directors, Producers, Writers, Cinematographers, Editors, and Sound Designers, etc.

The UBC BFA program is not a trade school - and does not teach animation or visual effects. However there are exchanges with local schools which do teach these courses. Please look over the course offerings carefully to see if the training serves your needs.

Vancouver is a film-centre with many resources and the University has relationships with many companies and organizations through the city and the country. We encourage internships all over the city in a range of jobs in the industry.

The faculty and adjunct instructors come from a diverse background of experience from Hollywood to Independent to Documentary and Experimental Films.

The UBC Department of Theatre & Film has moved to first year admission to our BFA Programs (allowing entry directly from high school).

To apply to the Film Production BFA program you must have a valid UBC student number, meet certain academic requirements, and submit a portfolio of work. You can learn more about the process on our BFA How to Apply page.

Yes. We take later students but they have to come into the 2nd year of the program. You must still fulfill the 60 credits and it may take you an extra year to graduate.

No. The program has only one application time per year. You must start in the FALL term as the main production classes (233, 333 and 433) are year-long classes that start in the Fall.

For information about your first two years of study please visit the Faculty of Arts Degree Planning and Advising website.

This is at the discretion of the Program, but in general we look for at least a 72% GPA and consistency in grades over the previous year. The Film Production Program is very demanding and students need to demonstrate that they will be able to handle the increased workload and still maintain their academic performance.

The number of applications per year vary, but it is normally over 100.

Our courses give priority registration to Film Production Majors, but there are many courses that do have open spaces after these majors are registered. These spaces then go to students on a waitlist that you can sign up for on the student services centre course listings.

The open spots go first to waitlisted students in Film Studies, Creative Writing and Theatre. After that they go to students who have the required pre-requisites or necessary experience listed on the SSC.

Courses that have waitlists and that frequently have room for non majors are:
FIPR 233, 234, 235, 339, 434, 435, 436, 437,439.

Yes, you may take an additional degree - or you can apply for the DIPLOMA PROGRAM. Visit our Film Production Diploma page.

Students have to pay for their films in FIPR 233, 333 and 433. The cost of 233 productions are minimal, but the minimum cost of FIPR 333 is $2500 and for FIPR 433 is $3500.

In addition, students must cover the cost of productions in other classes, which vary depending on the ambition and complexity of those classes.

Facilities: HD projection capabilities in classrooms; 4 HD Final Cut Studio video editing systems; HD screening room with large format LCD television; Visual Resource Library 9,000+ titles; industry-standard digital cameras, grip and lighting equipment; Pro Tools sound editing and mixing; close ties to the Vancouver film industry via instructors and a very active Alumni Association.

There are special equipment deals with local rental houses providing a wide range of equipment opportunities at very low costs. Students shoot their projects on anything from 35MM to RED to Canon/Nikon HD cameras.

No, equipment is limited and restricted to projects done inside a FIPR class and supervision of a FIPR instructor. No exceptions are permitted.

No. Used consumer digital video on ebay or craigslist (or other auction or swap site) costs next to nothing. Your cell phone may have video capacity - and most likely you have a friend with some iPod/iPhone/iMac or PC with video capacity.

While the technical proficiency of your work is taken into consideration, we know that some applicants have access to more advanced equipment than others. We judge your work on its creativity, passion and commitment, not the equipment you use.

BFA students may wish to apply for an additional screenwriting specialty (admission through application and approval of CRWR faculty). If accepted, they may complete 12 credits from the following:

  • CRWR 406/494 Advanced Screenwriting for Television (6)
  • CRWR 406/002 Advanced Screenplay (6)

Please visit the Creative Writing program website.

The Film Production Program does not currently offer a Minor.

Students may graduate with a major in Film Production and a major in another department or program, however we strongly discourage this because the time commitment in the Film Production Program is much greater than most other departments. If you choose this route, be prepared to spend an extra year or more completing your degree.

Students who are doing a double major can graduate with a BA or BFA degree. Students are responsible for contacting the Undergraduate Advisor in the second program or department to ensure fulfillment of degree requirements in that unit. Students who are doing a Film Production Major graduate with a BFA degree.

The structure of the BFA is incompatible with the Co-op Program. This is because most of the required BFA production courses run the full year from Fall to Spring. Co-op requires that students take a full term off to work.

In the past, students who wanted to do the Co-op Program have completed it over several years after finishing the BFA Program.

No. Students wishing to do an exchange year generally do it prior to acceptance in the BFA or after completing the BFA. Students in the BFA wishing to do an exchange term, generally arrange it for the summer term.

A year long exchange is incompatible with the structure and goals of the BFA Program. The BFA is designed to provide students with a strong cohort learning experience whereby they learn together and advance each year to a higher level together. Also, as places in the BFA are very limited, if a student left for a year and then came back, they would use up two places in the Program, rather than one. A partial year exchange during the regular academic year is also not permitted as many of the BFA courses run the full academic year.

No, the BFA is not available as a part time program.

No. Deferrals are not permitted. You will have to re-apply the following year and admission is not guaranteed.

The possibilities are wide-ranging and change yearly. These will depend on your interests. Vancouver is a major film centre and the program has many alumni working throughout the business. In addition, UBC has relationships with the film unions, rental houses, and post production facilities, which can result in internships.

Visit the Alumni Spotlight page to see the success of many of our graduates in a variety of fields within film production.

There are several web sites that help you learn about the general costs at UBC.

We currently have two scholarships that are offered to final year students in the BFA Program. We do not offer entrance scholarships specific to the Film Production Program. Please look into UBC Scholarships.

This is a fantastic resource at UBC where professional alumni of the program mentor senior students who, in turn, mentor new students. You can read about it on our Tri-mentorship page.