Opening pathways

The Indigenous University Preparation Pathway (IUPP) at Simon Fraser University helps Indigenous learners prepare and transition to undergraduate studies. Our pathway offers first-year academic credit courses that integrate humanities and social sciences with Indigenous perspectives.



What are IUPP’s general admission requirements?

Applicants must normally have:

  • Graduated from high school
  • Foundations of Math 10
  • English 11 or English 11 First Peoples

I didn’t graduate from high school; can I still apply to this pathway?

YES! We know that your grades do not always represent your academic potential which is why we at IUPP thoroughly review each applicant’s application and interview them to learn about their unique story. We like to believe that anything is possible if you remain dedicated and work hard so we would encourage you to apply even if you were not able to graduate from high school.

I don’t meet SFU’s English or math requirements, can I still apply?

YES, we offer 3 Foundations courses in our curriculum for students who may not yet meet SFU’s general requirements (requirements are 70% in English 11 and 12, and 70% in Math 10 and 11). Completion of our 3 Foundations courses listed below, gives students 8 units of Foundations courses.

Term 1 - FAN X91-2 (Part 1): Foundations of Analytic and Quantitative Reasoning

Term 2 - FAN X92-2 (Part 2): Foundations of Analytic and Quantitative Reasoning

Our quantitative courses (FAN X91-2 and FAN X92-2) help students and can be used by both students who wish to upgrade their background in math, and students who want to refresh their skills after several years away from mathematics. Achieving a grade of C or better would allow students to gain quantitative proficiency and proceed to Q courses.

Term 2 FAL X99-4: Foundations of Academic Literacy

Our academic writing course (FAL X99-4) introduces students to the kinds of reading and writing they will encounter in lower-division courses across university disciplines. Achieving a grade of C or better would allow students to gain writing proficiency and proceed to W courses.

I don’t live in BC or in the lower mainland, can I still apply?

While we do not yet know if classes in Fall 2021 will be virtual or in-person, we would encourage you to apply! You do not need to be a BC resident to be eligible for our program and if costs of relocating to BC for potential in-person classes is a concern, we may also be able to see what funding options are available to you, accordingly.

I have been working for the past several years and have not studied in a long time, is this pathway still for me?

IUPP provides MANY supports for our students, ensuring that they do not feel overwhelmed. Our pathway ensures that applicants have additional supports as they transition into university.

Our course, FASS 120-2: Learning Strategies for Academic Success, teaches studying strategies you will be able to use throughout your academic route and while also ensuring your mental wellbeing.

Courses and Course Schedule

Can I study at IUPP as a part-time student?

Currently, since the program is cohort-style and there is a set class schedule, the program is only offered as full-time since there are 4 courses per term (8 courses in total). However, a full-time course load allows you to be eligible for appropriate funding along with allowing you to gain organizational and time-management skills.

Will classes be online or in-person in Fall 2021?

As of Feb 24th, no decision has been made by the Committee. There are two possible scenarios, the first is a near-to full scale return to our campuses in September 2021. The second is a significant return to face-to-face interactions with many pandemic protocols still in place. As more information becomes available over the coming months, the Committee will make a decision about which of these plans to implement. They are aiming to make this decision by the end of May 2021.

Do you offer classes in the evenings or on the weekend?

Currently, we do not offer classes in the evenings or on the weekend, our classes are usually Monday-Friday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. However, we may offer classes in a wider range of times in the future if our program continues to grow!

I hate math and English, what if I don’t do well in these courses?

Our program has numerous supports to ensure you succeed even if Math or English are not yet your strength.

For example, our foundational math and English courses have lots of readily available support. Our Math courses promote a lot of continuous practice and are taught in small groups to ensure that our fantastic mathematics professor can personally support individual students during class. In addition, the course professors and academic mentors hold office hours numerous times in the week to continually support our students through the course.

Similarly, our English courses have lots of supports as well, including office hours and academic mentors.

We strongly believe that with enough hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish in anything!


Is there an application fee for IUPP?

No, our program is free to apply, there is no application fee to encourage everyone to apply, regardless of socioeconomic status!

When is the application deadline for IUPP?

Even though deadlines for SFU and other undergraduate programs may have passed already, our prospective students can still apply to our program. While we do not have an application cut-off deadline, we encourage you to apply early to our program since applying early allows us to adequately support you to get funding.

How do I apply to IUPP?

Complete the online application form here which includes:

  • Contact Information
  • Voluntary and confidential self-declaration
  • Two short answer questions so we can learn more about you
  • High school transcript
  • One letter of reference (non-family)
  • Documentation (eg. official high school transcript) may be uploaded along with the online application form, or sent by email, by postal mail or handed in-person.
  • Attend the in-person (currently virtual) interview with Selection Committee.

I graduated from high school more than 5 years ago, who can write me a reference letter since I am no longer in contact with my high school counsellors?

Anyone who is not a family member, who you feel knows you well and may be well-acquainted with your accomplishments, can write a reference letter for you! Some examples are teacher, professor, counsellor, former employer, supervisor, colleague, client, etc.

I have taken more classes since having graduated high school, do you still want my high school transcript?

While we do require a transcript from our applicants to consider them, these transcripts can be from any of your most recent academic courses. Your transcript can be from your high school or if you took any upgrading or post-secondary courses at a college or university, please share that transcript with us.

I don’t have all my documents yet but want to apply, is that possible?

YES! Even if you do not yet have access to your transcript or reference letter right away, you can still submit your application with all the other sections completed and just submit your missing documents later via email to iaupp@sfu.ca

If you are experiencing confusion on how to attain your academic transcript, feel free to email at iaupp@sfu.ca and we can help guide you as well!

I am having trouble completing the application form, what do I do?

Don’t worry! Email us at iaupp@sfu.ca and we will provide  you with support for filling out the application form!


How much are the pathway fees?

The pathway fees from the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar were (these fees are subject to change for the new academic year):

  • Total tuition and supplementary fees: $5,565.12
  • Plus SFSS Health & Dental Plan Fees (if applicable)
  • Book and supplies cost may be evaluated at approximately $936/term.
  • Additional costs may arise for residence or meal plan fees (if applicable). .
  • Click here for more details specific to IUPP fees.
  • Click here for learn more about SFU’s fees and tuition.

I am a current (or former) Youth in Care, what are available funding options for me?

Funding options for youth in care:

The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program waives tuition fees for B.C. students who are former youth in care between 19 and up to their 27th birthday who are attending a B.C. public post-secondary institution.

Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF)

This program provides grants of up to $5,500 per program year to former B.C. youth in care students between 19 and 24 years of age. Students may receive a maximum of four grants.

Students should be applying on a term by term basis.  The forms can be submitted to the the SFU Financial Aid and Awards office to complete the confirmation of enrollment section.

Agreements with Youth Adults (AYA funding)

The Agreements with Youth Adults (AYA) program can assist you if you have been in foster care or had a youth agreement. This program can provide assistance, with costs of things such as housing, child care, tuition and health care while you go back to school, or if you are attending rehabilitation, vocational or approved life skills programs.

Aged Out brought to you by Former Youth in Care

This online resource was created by and for youth that have been in care or are currently in care.  This interactive website explores topics such as education, health and wellness, housing, money & income and ID Needs.

Other funding opportunities may be available as well!

How can I fund my education through this full-time pathway, since I cannot work while studying?


Since the IUPP is a university preparation program, it is intended to meet the full-time eligibility requirements for most government-funded sponsorship programs. You may be eligible for sponsorship by First Nations band funding, funding through Métis organizations and/or funding from Inuit organizations. https://www.sfu.ca/students/fees/howtopay/methods/thirdparty.html  

ACCESS - Aboriginal Community Career & Employment Services Society

ACCESS provides education and training services to Indigenous people (Status, Non-Status First Nations, Inuit and Métis) living in Greater Vancouver. If eligilible, they provide funding for tuition, books and living expenses.


It is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada.

Indspire provides hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and awards to thousands of Indigenous students every year and you may be eligible for some of them.

Deadline dates: February 1, August 1, November 1


Links below have a compilation of different bursaries available for your educational journey


Aboriginallearning.ca provides resources for First Nations, Métis and Inuit learners wishing to pursue or continue college or university (post-secondary) studies in British Columbia

Student loans and grants through Studentaid BC as a full-time student

Since our program is a full-time 8-month long program, student loans and grants (for full-time) are available to our students. If you are receiving sponsorship, it may not exclude you from receiving student loan funding. Government student loans may consist of loan funding which is repayable and grant funding which is non-repayable.

Although student loan funding is repayable, there are many debt management programs available which can assist you if you are financially unable to make your payments. Please see the StudentAid BC page on repaying your loan.

You may also be eligible for some scholarships and grants listed here.

Unsure or want more information? Ask us!


What are supports available to our students?

Our current team includes:

  • Our IUPP staff
  • Our amazing professors
  • Our supportive academic mentors

Each member of our team is readily available to guide and support you with any challenges you may experience during IUPP. They will always try to either help you themselves or point you in the right direction!

There are also numerous free support services offered by SFU for Indigenous students to ensure your mental wellbeing that we tell our students about. These services include counselling sessions, live chats etc.

Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)

The ISC provides a space for to enrich our students’ academic, social and cultural lives.

There are many (currently virtual) services and programs for our students.

These services:

First Nations Student Association is an independent student-run organization which hosts several events and services to support our students.

Pathway-end Transition

What do I get after completing this pathway?

Successful completion of all IUPP courses and a GPA of 2.5 at the end of our program guarantee direct admission to SFU* with full transfer units! While there can be more specific program requirements, successful completion of this program means you will not need to apply for admission to SFU to continue your studies here!

* Additional requirements for Faculties other than the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) may apply. For example, to transfer from FASS to the Faculty of Science, you must first meet at a minimum these specific admission requirements:

  • Minimum SFU CGPA of 2.00 (attained by successfully completing IUPP)
  • Minimum 12 units completed at SFU (attained by successfully completing IUPP)
  • Minimum of 3 Faculty of Science courses taken at SFU, with a minimum C+ in each of the three courses (one must be Math 150, 151, or 154).


What are my housing options?

SFU Residence and Housing is a living learning community made up of towers, traditional residence halls, studio style apartments and townhouses.

All rooms are private single rooms (i.e., no roommates) which means that you won't have to share your room with anybody.

Find out more about the different housing availabilities here.

Please feel free to send us your question via email (iaupp@sfu.ca) or the form below. You can also call us at 236.668.5308.

Contact us

Are you:

IUPP contacts

Dr. Antonieta Mar-y-paz Rivera
Director, Indigenous University Preparation Pathway
RCB 8107

Audrey Heath
Indigenous Student Life Coordinator, Indigenous Student Centre & Indigenous University Preparation Pathway
AQ 2002

Mailing address

Robert C. Brown Hall (RCB) Room 8107
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6