University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

On this Page:


School of Biomedical Engineering

The department was established through a partnership between the Faculties of Applied Science and Medicine. It offers a BASc program that is a collaborative programme with the Faculties of Applied Science and Medicine.

The Master of Engineering (MEng) is a 12-16 month program where the students engage in a combination of course-work and internship or co-op work experience. It stresses on the clinical and industrial aspects of biomedical engineering. Financial assistance is generally unavailable to students in the Master of Engineering programme. Top international students may be eligible to receive an entrance award of up to $2,000 towards tuition. The Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Biomedical Engineering is a 2-year research-based programme that trains students in the fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering and provides an extended research experience.

The department has 25 faculty apart from affiliate faculty and adjunct faculty. The core faculty focuses on three main research themes: 

  • list items Cellular & Molecular Engineering, 
  • list items Imaging & Computational Biology, and 
  • list items Human Interfacing Devices.
  • There are a number of leading research centres at UBC contributing to Biomedical Engineering research, including:

  • list items Michael Smith Laboratories
  • list items Biomedical Research Centre
  • list items Life Sciences Institute
  • Sprinkles

    Chemical and Biological Engineering

    The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering was formed in 1999. It has established a worldwide reputation for the quality of its graduates and faculty.  At present, there are 30 full-time faculty in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, along with a support staff of 17. They have a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) undergraduate programme that combines lectures and hands-on lab activities along with industry visits and design experiences.

    The Department provides a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree that is a 12-16 month programme. Co-op programs are offered for Master of Engineering program. The Master of Engineering Leadership is a one-year professional degree program where students undergo cross-disciplinary technical instruction and personal leadership development.  Masters in Engineering Leadership (MEL) programs include:

  • list items Clean Energy Engineering
  • list items Green Bio-Products
  • list items Integrated Water Management
  • The Department offers these research degree graduate programs:

  • list items Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.): The programme provides the students with extensive research experience in biomechanics, biomaterials, biochemical processing, cellular engineering, imaging, medical devices, micro-electro-mechanical implantable systems, physiological modeling, simulation, monitoring, and control, medical robotics.
  • list items Master of Science (M.Sc.): Students take foundational courses on physical, chemical and biological sciences, transport phenomena, kinetics, separations, process engineering and design and economics
  • Students with a background in Engineering will receive a Master of Applied Science degree. Students without an Engineering background will receive a Master of Science degree.


    Civil Engineering

    The department is known for being dedicated to world-class research and state-of-the-art facilities. They were ranked No. 1 in Canada and 26th in the world by 2015 QS World University Rankings. The department offers two course-based degrees - MEng and MEL (Master of Engineering leadership), at the graduate level and also a research-based MASc degree. There are over 200 graduate students working in research labs. The Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering (MEng) programme is available in the following areas of specialization:

  • list items Environmental Systems Engineering
  • list items Geotechnical Engineering
  • list items Hydrotechnical Engineering
  • list items Project & Construction Management
  • list items Structural & Earthquake Engineering
  • list items Transportation Engineering
  • To complete the MEng degree, students need to finish 30 credits of coursework.

    The Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering (MASc) programme is available in the following areas of specialization:

  • list items Civil Engineering Materials
  • list items Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  • list items Environmental Systems Engineering
  • list items Geo-Environmental Engineering
  • list items Geotechnical Engineering
  • list items Hydrotechnical Engineering
  • list items Project & Construction Management
  • list items Structural & Earthquake Engineering
  • list items Transportation Engineering
  • To complete the MASc degree, a student needs to complete 30 credits through 18 credits of coursework and a 12-credit MASc thesis.

    The laboratories in the department are:

  • list items Earthquake Engineering Research Facility
  • list items Annacis Island Wastewater Centre
  • list items Geotechnical Laboratory
  • list items Geo-Environmental Laboratory
  • list items Hydrotechnical Engineering
  • list items Materials Engineering
  • list items Structures Laboratory
  • list items Drivers Simulation Laboratory
  • list items Bureau for Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • list items Freight Security (BITSAFS) lab
  • Sprinkles

    Electrical and Computer Engineering

    The department provides courses in the fields of information and communication technology focusing on the more traditional areas of power, control and electromagnetics. The graduate school offers two Master's programs and enrolls over 350 students from many countries. It offers two programmes:

  • list items M.A.Sc.: This programme requires the completion of a thesis and coursework. Students who have enrolled in the M.A.Sc. program can choose to transfer to the M.Eng. program. An M.A.Sc. is expected to take about 24 months.
  • list items M.Eng.: This programme is designed for students who are looking for an alternative to a thesis-based research program. The programme requires students to complete 30 credits of coursework with the option of completing a supervised project.
  • Areas of concentration include: 

  • list items Communications
  • list items Computer Systems
  • list items Energy Production
  • list items Energy Utilization
  • list items Micro/Nano Electronic Systems
  • list items Signal Processing
  • list items Software Engineering
  • The research areas for the department are:

  • list items Biomedical Technologies
  • list items Communication Systems
  • list items Computer and Software Systems
  • list items Emerging Micro/Nano Technologies
  • list items Energy Systems
  • Sprinkles

    Geological Engineering

    The Geological Engineering program is highly regarded and internationally renowned. It has a proud and rich history, with Geological Engineer Reginald W. Brock serving as one of the first five professors hired by UBC in 1915 as well as the first Dean of Applied Science. The Bachelor of Applied Science provides students with a solid broad background in science and engineering.

    The department offers master programmes with two options, course-based professional development option (MEng) and thesis-based research experience option (MASc). There are six faculty members in the department.

    Faculty members have research interests in the following general areas:

  • list items Landslides, Debris Flows, Runout Analysis, Hazard Assessment
  • list items Groundwater Hydrology, Groundwater Contamination & Remediation, Reactive Transport Modeling, Environmental Geochemistry
  • list items Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering, Open Pit & Underground Mine Design, Tunnelling
  • list items Other research areas include Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Geology, Economic Geology And Applied Geophysics. 
  • Sprinkles

    Materials Engineering

    The department offers both undergraduate programme and graduate programmes. There are various options for graduate studies: the Master of Applied Science (MASc) for students with a BASc in Engineering, and the Master of Science (MSc) for students with a BSc in Science. 

    Both the MASc and MSc are research-based degrees requiring the completion of 18 credits of coursework, at least 12 of which must be at the graduate level, and a research thesis. A MASc/MSc degree should normally take 18 to 24 months to complete.

    The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) is a professional programme focused on Advanced Materials Manufacturing (AMM) for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in APPLIED SCIENCE and/or ENGINEERING as well as industrial experience in the manufacturing sector. The AMM MEL requires students to take 18 credits of advanced coursework related to materials manufacturing and 12 credits of coursework related to professional leadership development over 12 months.


    Mechanical Engineering

    The department is a world leader in mechanical engineering and research. The faculty members hold multiple research chairs in four main areas:

  • list items Thermofluids
  • list items Biomedical
  • list items Mechatronics and Manufacturing
  • list items Design and Applied Mechanics
  • There are over 200 graduate students and 30 undergraduates working in the research labs, funded by over $8 million annually through government and industry grants.

    The Department offers the following graduate degrees - Master of Applied Science (MASc) and Master of Engineering (MEng).

  • list items The Master of Applied Science programme is suitable for students wishing to pursue a thesis-based Masters. An MASc degree is expected to take around 24 months to complete.
  • list items The Master of Engineering is a course-based program designed for engineers wishing to upgrade their training.  
  • Students interested in the MEng can apply for one of the following areas:

  • list items Mechatronics Design
  • list items Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • list items Biomedical Engineering
  • list items Mechanical Engineering
  • 1. Mechatronics Design combines the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering in the study of Integrated Modelling, Analysis, Design and Manufacture of Electromechanical and Mechatronic Systems. These principles can be applied in various industries including Transportation; Manufacturing and Production Engineering; Biomedical and Healthcare Technologies.

    2. The Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (MEng NAME) requires students to take a specialized set of courses that draw material from Mechanical, Civil, and Materials Engineering, focussing specifically on the design, construction, maintenance and operation of waterborne vehicles.

    3. The Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering is a 16-month programme. The program emphasizes the clinical and industrial aspects of biomedical engineering and prepares students for careers in hospitals and private industries.

    4. The Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering is aimed at students interested in pursuing an accelerated technical degree in an area not covered by the department’s other MEng programs.  The normal time for the completion of this course is 12 months including a capstone project.

    5. The Master of Engineering Leadership is a one-year professional degree programme for practising professionals. Students undergo cross-disciplinary technical instruction and personal leadership development in this programme. It is provided in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Clean Energy Engineering.

    The department is supported by many research centres and facilities including Advanced Numerical Simulation Laboratory; Aerodynamics Laboratory; Centre for Hip Health and Mobility; Clean Energy Research Centre; CNC Machining High Head Laboratory; Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (CARIS); Engine Research Laboratory; Finite Element and Design Optimization Laboratory; The Institute for Computing, Information, and Cognitive Systems (ICICS); Industrial Automation Laboratory (IAL). 


    Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering

    The department has maintained a reputation for producing first-rate mining engineers and research. In 2003, the department underwent a major renovation and added a state-of-the-art classroom, a larger conference room, and a redesigned main office.

    The facilities meet the demands of the mining industry. The instructional building, the Frank Forward building and the research facility, the Coal & Mineral Processing Laboratory are fully equipped. There are two graduate degree programs offered by the department in Mining Engineering:

    1. MEng (course-based, professional)
    2. MASc 

    The purpose of an M.Eng. degree is to increase student’s skills and knowledge in a particular aspect of mining or mineral processing. In this programme, students are expected to take additional courses. Degree students can specialize in one of four areas:

    1. Mining Geotechnics
    2. Mineral Processing
    3. Mine Environment
    4. Mine Economics and Finance

    The MASc program encourages interaction between universities in North America and other countries. In many cases, this collaborative outlook leads to joint research projects and student exchanges. 


    Pure Sciences  

    1. Bioinformatics

    The Bioinformatics Graduate Program offers M.Sc. degrees to students willing to do research in the field of bioinformatics. M.Sc. students are required to complete a total of 6 courses. All the mandatory courses have to be completed, and students pick additional electives to complete the 18-course credits required.

    2. Botany

    The Botany Department is a part of the Faculty of Science and is one of the largest and strongest Botany Departments in North America, offering a wide range of research and educational programs. The department has more than 40 full-time faculty members, several part-time faculty or associates and about 85 graduate students. Students in the Master's program need to complete 30 credits. 

    3. Chemistry

    Facilities in the department include:

  • list items Biological Services Laboratory
  • list items High-Resolution NMR Spectroscopy
  • list items Mass Spectrometry / Microanalysis
  • list items Shared Instrument Facility (SIF)
  • list items X-Ray Crystallography
  • list items IT Services
  • list items Electronic Engineering Services
  • list items Glassblowing Services
  • list items Mechanical Engineering Services
  • The department has more than 500 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Each degree requires 12 credits of coursework unless the candidate already holds an approved MSc. Most courses are worth 3 credits.

    4. Computer Science

    The department, established in 1968, is one of the best computer science departments in North America. It has celebrated faculty including a Canada 150 Research Chair, four Canada Research Chairs, and many Fellows of prestigious societies including the Royal Society of Canada, ACM, IEEE, SIAM, and the Sloan Foundation.

    The department is at the centre of AI work at UBC, via CAIDA, the UBC-ICICS Centre for Artificial Intelligence Decision-making and Action. The faculty was responsible for major developments such as Aspect-Oriented Programming, key developments in computer vision, and soccer-playing robots (precursors of the international RoboCup initiative). They lead Canadian Networks of Centers of Excellence and UBC’s Designing For People network and training program. 

    There are two choices available to MSc students: the thesis option (12- or 6-credit thesis) and the essay option (3 credit essays).  The choice between the two options depends on what the student hopes to achieve with the MSc degree. The department also offers a Masters of Data Science programme.

    5. Earth and Ocean Sciences

    The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences was formed in 1996 with faculty members from the former Departments of Geophysics and Astronomy, Geological Sciences, Oceanography.

    The university offers:

  • list items MSc in Atmospheric Science
  • list items MASc and MEng in Geological Engineering
  • list items MSc in Geological Sciences
  • list items MSc and MASc in Geophysics in observational and theoretical glaciology
  • list items Climate variability
  • list items Geodynamics of the crust
  • list items Mantle and core of Earth and other planets,
  • list items MSc in Oceanography.
  • 6. Mathematics

    The University of British Columbia offers an M.Sc. degree in Mathematics. It usually takes two years to earn a Master's degree. Students may also be interested in programs offered through the Institute of Applied Mathematics and the Department of Statistics. Research is done in:

  • list items Algebra, Algebraic Geometry
  • list items Applied Mathematics
  • list items Differential Geometry, Mathematical Physics, PDE
  • list items Discrete Mathematics
  • list items FluidLab
  • list items Harmonic Analysis
  • list items Mathematical Biology
  • list items Number Theory
  • list items Probability
  • list items Topology
  • 7. Microbiology and Immunology

    The department provides offers an MSc program which is a research-based program comprised of course work, teaching assistantship, thesis completion and defence. The combined MD/PhD program is a 7-year program offered jointly by the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and is designed for students who want to pursue a career as clinician-scientists.

    8. Physics and Astronomy

    The department offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Applied Science in both physics and astronomy. In addition, the Master of Science program is an accredited one and is offered with a sub-specialization in Medical Physics]]

    9. Statistics

    The Department presently has 17 regular faculty members plus four Professors Emeriti and a number of Associate Members, Adjunct Professors, and Honorary Research Associates and Honorary Professors. The Department offers an MSc in Statistics, an MSc in Statistics with a concentration in Biostatistics, and a PhD program. The department also offers a professional MSc degree in Data Science. The programs can be completed in less than 2 years.

    Research areas:

  • list items Bayesian Statistics
  • list items Bioinformatics/Genomics/Genetics
  • list items Biostatistics
  • list items Environmental and Spatial Statistics
  • list items Forest Products Stochastic Modeling Group
  • list items Modern Multivariate and Time Series Analysis
  • list items Robust Statistics
  • list items Statistical Learning
  • 10. Zoology

    The department opened its doors to students in 1924. The MSc degree requires a combination of coursework and research for a total of 30 credits. 12 credits of coursework are taken, with the remaining 18 credits for thesis research.

    Students can choose graduate and senior undergraduate courses in Botany, Microbiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Zoology, Earth and Oceans Sciences, Fisheries, Genetics, Conservation, etc.