MASc/PhD Application Instructions

MASc/PhD Application Instructions

Application Requirements

NOTE: The instructions on this page are for MASc and PhD applicants only. Students interested in applying for our professional programs (MEng or MEL) should visit our Applications and Admissions information page, which will point you to the application instructions for each specific program. NOTE: Please note that we have been informed that UBC is in the process of increasing tuition fees. These changes are currently pending. The proposed increase will take effect after May 2018.  This page is divided into the following sections:

Canada/US Applicants


Normally, applicants for a master’s degree program must hold the academic equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from UBC including one of the following:
  • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC) in third- and fourth-year courses.
  • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year courses in the A grade range (80% or higher at UBC) in the field of study.


Applicants for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) must have completed one of the following requirements prior to admission:
  • A master’s degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution with clear evidence of research ability or potential.
  • A bachelor’s degree with one year of study in a master’s program with 12 credits of first class average, of which 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first class standing. Also, clear evidence of research ability or potential.
  • In exceptional cases, applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree with an overall average in the A grade range and who demonstrate advanced research ability may be granted direct admission to a doctoral degree program on recommendation of the admitting graduate program and approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students entering directly from a bachelor’s degree must, during the first year of study, complete 12 credits with a first class average, of which at least 9 credits must be at the 500-level or above and at least 9 credits must be of first class standing, to maintain registration as a doctoral student.
For a full list of requirements for Canada/US applicants, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

Applicants from other countries

Application criteria is dependent on the country in which you studied. Visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for the full list of country-specific criteria.

Application Components

The following components are necessary for when you are completing your application:
  • PDF scans of official transcripts (front and back) from all past post-secondary institutions at which you studied*
  • 3 letters of reference
  • English proficiency exam* (required for applicants from universities outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction).
  • An identified research supervisor
  • Letter of Intent (maximum 1 page).
  • CV (maximum 3 pages including list of publication).
For more information on these criteria, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. Please note that we do not require that applicants take or submit results for the GRE.

English Requirements

NB: Our minimum English requirements may be different than those of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

English Proficiency Tests and Minimum Requirements

Reading Writing Listening Speaking Overall
IELTS (Academic) 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.5
TOEFL 22 21 22 21 93
International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
On the IELTS application form you will be asked to specify institutions where you would like the results to be sent. To ensure UBC receives your results correctly, use the following details on the application: 1. Name of institution: The University of British Columbia 2. Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions 3. Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
1. Use the University of British Columbia’s institution code 0965, and the Mechanical Engineering department code 68. 2. Give the reason for taking TOEFL “to enter a college or university as a graduate student”   * Transcripts/certificates and English proficiency test results (with the exception of TOEFL iBT) must be scanned and uploaded to the application system as PDF files. These will be used for initial evaluation of the applicant. Official paper documents will not be required or accepted until after an applicant receives an offer of admission.


Application and Scholarship Deadlines

Recommended deadline for applicants applying for departmental scholarships [1] Final application deadline Applicants applying for NSERC, Affiliated Fellowship, or other G+PS awards
Domestic December 1, 2017 December 1, 2017 Refer to G+PS website
International December 1, 2017 December 1, 2017 [2] Refer to G+PS website
[1] It is strongly recommended that you apply before December 1, 2017 to be considered for all departmental funding opportunities. The majority of departmental scholarships are given away in the first round, which includes applications received before January 1. Any remaining award money will be distributed to the applicants who applied after December 1. Please also note that offers are typically sent out starting mid January. [2] International students are responsible for ensuring they have enough time to gather visa and appropriate documentation to start the program September 1st. Deferrals are not normally accepted.

January Intake

January intake into our graduate programs is not common, as the majority of research positions are filled in September. For availability of research positions, we strongly encourage interested applicants to talk directly to the faculty member with whom they are interested in working. Applications will be accepted online from June 1 to September 1.


Application Instructions

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Supplementary Instructions

Application History

Please list all post-secondary institutions you’ve attended in reverse chronological order (the most recent school first).

Program-Specific Question

For Ph.D. applicants, last degree refers to your Master’s degree; second-to-last degree to your Bachelor’s degree. State your original grade scale (do NOT convert it into a different scale). If your institution uses the grading system 0-100, your maximum attainable GPA should be 100.

Self-reported GPA

Bachelor’s: Include all 300/400 level courses (no matter when they were taken) within the Engineering degree. If no 4th year grades are issued at the time of application, report GPA based on 3rd year grades only. Master’s: Overall GPA (include all grades earned in your program).
Bachelor’s: Overall GPA (include all grades earned in your program). Master’s: Overall GPA (include all grades earned in your program).

Supporting Documents

You will have 14 days after the deadline to have all required supporting documents uploaded to your online application. Applications missing the required electronic supporting documents after 14 days past the deadline will not be considered. DO NOT send any documents to UBC during the first stage of your application. Paper applications and paper copies of supporting documents will not be accepted. The department will review scanned PDF versions of documents uploaded to the online application portal, and will only require official paper documents if an applicant receives an admission offer and the offer is accepted. Information regarding submitting official paper documents will be outlined in the conditional admission letter. No registration or start of program is allowed until the conditions are fulfilled.


After Applying

Admissions Procedure

Admission to the Graduate Program is on a competitive basis and is not automatic even if minimum requirements are met. Once an applicant has submitted all required electronic documentation and it has been determined that minimum admission standards are met, the file is reviewed by faculty members. Please note that a supervisor is required for entry into our graduate research programs; if you are not selected by a faculty member, you will not receive an offer letter. Selection is based on many factors including grades, reference letters, publications (if any), work experience, available space in area of research interest, and acceptance by potential supervisors. The number of applicants and the number of available spaces vary from year to year. We regret that we are unable to accept many excellent qualified applicants due to space and funding considerations. The admission process is timely and varies for each student and program. Faculty members evaluate applications on an ongoing basis; as such, we cannot provide a specific date for a decision.

Add to your Application

Once you’ve completed your application and uploaded all supporting documents, we start to consider your application. You can make changes to your referee information or add additional documents through the application portal using your CWL. Successful applicants will be contacted via email. Please be patient while our office considers your application. We understand and sympathize with your concerns about your application, however, we would appreciate if you refrain from calling or emailing to check your application status as all successful applicants will be notified as soon as the department makes a decision. Thank you for your understanding.

Offers of Admission

Applicants are sent a conditional admission offer by the Department, which will indicate which faculty member has agreed to supervise them. The letter may also state whether or not financial assistance is available. If financial assistance is available, the supervisor is expected to contact the applicant independently. Once the applicant has received the conditional admission letter, they must accept or decline the offer through the application portal. If the offer is accepted, official paper copies of transcripts, certificates, and English proficiency scores (if applicable) must be sent to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at the following address:

Graduate School Admissions University of British Columbia 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

Please see the information provided by G+PS regarding official documents for domestic and international applicants. Admission offers will not be finalized and applicants will not be allowed to register in a graduate program until all required official documents are received and validated by G+PS. After receiving notification of official acceptance from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students should refer to the information for newly admitted students on the G+PS website. International students can find additional information on required documentation for studying and working in Canada here.


Contact Us

Can’t find the answer to your question on our website? Email us at Any admission inquires sent to other accounts will not receive a response.