Welcome Guide for New Students

Welcome to UBC Mechanical Engineering! This guide goes over everything you should do to prepare yourself for your arrival at UBC. If you have any questions please contact the Student Services Office.

  1. First, create your Campus-Wide Login (CWL).
  2. Afterwards, use your CWL to log on to Workday Student (formerly the Student Service Centre - https://workday.students.ubc.ca becomes live May 21, 2024) where you can:
    • Register for courses
    • Review your financial situation (payments are due May, September, and January)
    • Review your awards and fill in the acceptance form
    • Update your personal information

A list of courses offered at UBC can be found under Registration in SSC.

Registration / Change of Registration Form: submit to the Student Services Staff for courses that the SSC prevents you from registering in.

Watch your deadlines: Course change & withdrawal dates

Mandatory courses: All M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. students are required to register for a thesis course all year around (both in Winter and Summer terms) until program completion.

Once you are registered, you can obtain a UBC card and U-pass from the UBC Bookstore – bring a photo ID and your student number.

Soon after your arrival to Canada, you’re required to apply for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) by submitting the application and a copy of your visa. The MSP waiting period is 3 months during which you will be covered by iMED (the mandatory basic health insurance program).

What is iMED, the BC Medical Services Plan(MSP), and the AMS/GSS Health & Dental Plan?

Applying for MSP

What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

A SIN is required if you expect to work on campus (e.g. as a Teaching or Research Assistant) or receive a major scholarship paid through the UBC Payroll system.

How to apply for a SIN:

Fill in the Employment Contract Form (provided by your employer) and submit it along with the SIN application and supporting documents to a Service Canada Centre.

Remember that a SIN and Study Permit have expiry dates and must be renewed at least 3 months in advance. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining up-to-date documents lies with the student. Remember also that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport remains current.

The majority of research graduate students (M.A.Sc. and Ph.D) are offered a RA by their supervisors. Such assistantship is funded by research grants for specified projects which virtually always constitute thesis projects. A RA may be held in conjunction with a Teaching Assistantship or a scholarship.

How to set up your RA Appointment:

  1. Apply for a SIN (see #4)
  2. Ensure all your information in Workday Student (formerly the Student Services Centre) is up-to-date (e.g. local address, local phone number, updated email account, etc.)
  3. Ensure you have completed the Department Safety Training Requirement – see #9 for more details.
  4. Ensure to provide both a copy of your study permit and the SIN confirmation receipt (or a plastic card – back and front) to the Graduate Program Office. Without them no RA appointment can be made.
  5. Submit Payroll Direct Deposit form to the payroll office directly. RA and TA positions are paid semi-monthly (in the middle and the end of the month).

An appointment may take up to five business days after all information is received. Incomplete information may cause a delay in payment.

Graduate students working as Teaching or Research Assistants can apply for a Pay Deduction/Fee Deferral. Please visit the UBC Student Services website to find detailed instructions on how to submit an application.

Please Note: Effective May 2020, UBC will no longer offer payroll deduction as a payment option but fee deferral will be continue to be offered.

Requires assisting in undergraduate laboratories, tutorials, and marking. These may be held in conjunction with other assistantships or scholarships. Assignments are based on 4 hours of work per week and remuneration is approximately $1,500 per term. Click here to apply!

Graduate students working as Teaching or Research Assistants can apply for a Pay Deduction/Fee Deferral. Please visit the UBC Student Services website to find detailed instructions on how to submit an application.

Please Note: Effective May 2020, UBC will no longer offer payroll deduction as a payment option but fee deferral will be continue to be offered.

The department has a policy that all students, both Graduate and Undergraduate, must have accident insurance. In fact, we do not allow anyone to use the workshop without insurance. However, even if you never use the workshop, you must have insurance to cover you in case of an accident while working in a research lab or some similar activity.

It covers injury sustained by an insured person while participating in classes, research on campus and field work, including direct travel to and from home, classes, research site and field work sites who is covered – registered UBC students.

Students must have the BC Medical Plan or its equivalent from another province in place (basic medical care) in order to be eligible for the Student Accident Insurance. The cost to enrol in the Student Accident Insurance program is $7 per student per year, and can be paid at the reception in the main office.

Both the Safety Course and the Bullying Harassment Training are Mandatory to all incoming/current graduate students.

New employees and students of the Mechanical Engineering Department must receive both trainings prior to being given access to work in labs or workshops. This is a legal requirement.

The basic training includes the UBC Introduction to Lab Safety course plus a local laboratory orientation to each lab in which you will be working. Mech lab orientations will be conducted by your supervisor or their designated lab manager.

You should complete these prior to applying for lab keys and fob so that you can attach them to the request. Note anyone seeking unsupervised lab access, other than to purely computer labs, and anyone who will be working in, or assigned a desk in a research or teaching lab, is required to complete the safety training before being granted access.

Depending on your position and type of work, you may also be required to take a more in-depth course in addition. You should discuss this with your supervisor and register for appropriate courses – being sure to submit all course completion confirmations to the reception in the main office (CEME 2054).

Laboratory and workshop keys and alarm codes will be authorized only after Safety training is completed and we have the record of completion.

After completion of the Introduction to Lab Safety and your local Laboratory Orientation, submit the following documents to the reception.

  • Your completed and signed access (key/alarm request) form (available at the reception or on the information portal);
  • Completed and signed Orientation to your Mech laboratory;
  • Confirmation of completion of the Intro to Lab Safety course from Risk Management.

Annual award administration (for NSERC Doctoral Level Scholarship, NSERC Master’s level Scholarship and UBC Affiliated Fellowships) is held during the Winter Term 1 (September to December) and instructions (e.g. internal deadlines) are announced when the time comes. New students who are planning to apply for these awards are advised to bring some extra final official transcripts from previous institutions for award application. The department notifies students about more external/internal awards/scholarships opportunities all year around via the internal group email account.

Please Note: the awards above are only available for MASc/PhD students only. 

(not applicable for 2020W - contact students@mech.ubc.ca for questions)

Any postal mail delivered to the office will be put in the alphabetical boxes located outside the main office. Messages for you may also be left there, so please check your box at least once a week. Cheques and registered mail will be held at the reception and a student name will be posted on the chalk board across from the mail box. Please Do NOT have personal mail sent to the department.

Attend the Orientation for graduate students, as this will have important information on academic advising, safety training, expectations for participation in the program, and more. Here are the audio and slides from the general orientation for Fall 2021: