Program Options

Program Options

Following MECH 2, UBC Mechanical Engineering students have the option to focus their degree in one of three specific areas–allowing them to pursue their interests in the broader context of Mechanical Engineering–or take a little bit of everything to get the most breadth out of their degree.

In the Biomedical, Mechatronics, or Thermofluids options, students take specialized electives in their field of study, while students in the General Mechanical option take electives across the board. Hover over the images below, visit the specialization-specific pages, and view the curriculum differences below to find out more about these options.


Biomedical Engineering involves the application of engineering principles to various aspects of medicine.

You might be interested in the Biomedical option if:
– You are interested in the design of biomedical devices, surgical tools, or protective equipment
– You have an interest in the analysis of human motion or of medical images
– You are interested in pursuing a degree in medicine

More on Biomedical Engineering>>


Mechatronics Engineering integrates the principles of mechanical, computer, electrical, and controls engineering.

You might be interested in the Mechatronics option if:
– You want mechanical engineering skills complemented by knowledge of electronics and computer engineering
– You have an interest in machines or robots
– You are interested in integrating sensors, actuators and intelligent monitoring tasks to mechanical devices

More on Mechatronics Engineering>>


Thermofluids Engineering is the combined study of heat transfer, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and combustion.

You might be interested in the Thermofluids option if:
– You are interested in the flow of fluid and heat
– You want to design cars, planes, boats, engines, energy production systems, or buildings
– You want to work in this field broadly but tailor your degree to your specific interests within the field

More on Thermofluids Engineering>>


General Mechanical Engineering gives you a taste of everything, with the freedom to take courses from all of the other areas.

You might be interested in the General Mech option if:
– You have multiple interests that do not fall under one area
– You want a broad, comprehensive understanding of mechanical engineering in general
– You aren’t sure what field you want to work in, or you want to maximize the variety of career options available to you

Curriculum Differences

The tables below present a list of the courses that are different between the General and the respective options. The courses highlighted in each table are courses that are unique to that Option.

Note: Due to limited course availability, students in any option are required to follow the regular Co-op schedule, regardless of their Co-op status. It will thus take students a minimum of three years (after completing MECH 2) to complete their degree. For a comprehensive list of courses and schedules, see the UBC Calendar program listing.

Please click below to view the curriculum of the individual programs.

Biomedical specific courses focus on areas such as orthopaedic biomechanics, injury mechanics, biofluids, anatomy, biomedical equipment and industrial and clinical medical engineering. Many of these courses contain a project or research component that boost the students' biomedical knowledge and help build the teamwork skills necessary to thrive in such a cross-disciplinary, robust and dynamic field. Students are also given the opportunity to experience the medical field first hand through visits to various research facilities and hospitals, and they often have a wide range of medical professionals invited into the classrooms to share their knowledge, experience and expertise. With small class sizes and accessible, supportive professors, students in the biomedical option get to know each other really well and build a strong relationship with each other and their professors.

General Mechanical Biomedical Option
BMEG 410 (Biomedical Equipment, Physiology and Anatomy)
BMEG 456 (Clinical and Industrial Biomedical Engineering)
MECH 439 (Biomechanics Research Seminar)
MECH 327 (Thermal System Design)
MECH 392 (Manufacturing Processes)
MECH 329 (Materials for Mechanical Design) MTRL 495 (Biomaterials)
MECH 457 (Mechanical Engineering Design Project) MECH 459 (Biomedical Engineering Design Project)
Technical Elective Biomedical or General Technical Elective
Technical Elective Biomedical Technical Elective
Technical Elective Biomedical Technical Elective

Information on each course can be found at

Mechatronics specific courses have focuses in areas such as computer programming, digital systems, electromechanics, mechatronics systems modeling, sensors and actuators, and mechatronics systems control. Many of these courses contain a lab component to bolster students’ hands-on and teamwork abilities. With small class sizes and supportive professors, students are able to get to know one another and receive support. Students in mechatronics have access to their own study space with some electrical lab equipment, computers, and a printer. This helps build a robust education for working in a cross-disciplinary field.

General Mechanical Mechatronics Option
CPSC 259 (Data Structures and Algorithms for Electrical Engineers)
CPEN 312 (Digital Systems and Microcomputers)
CPEN 333 (System Software Engineering)
ELEC 302 (Electronic Circuits for Electromechanical Design)
MECH 366 (Modeling of Mechatronic Systems)
MECH 420 (Sensors and Actuators)
MECH 421 (Mechatronics System Instrumentation)
MECH 423 (Biomechatronics)
MECH 326 (Mechanical Design)
MECH 327 (Thermal System Design)
MECH 329 (Materials for Mechanical Design)
MECH 358 (Engineering Analysis)
MECH 368 (Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation)
MECH 380 (Fluid Dynamics)
Technical Elective
Technical Elective
ELEC 344 (Applied Electronics and Electromechanics) ELEC 343 (Electromechanics)
MECH 305 (Data Analysis and Mechanical Engineering Laboratories) MECH 306 (Data Analysis and Mechatronics Laboratories)
MECH 457 (Mechanical Engineering Design Project) MECH 458 (Electromechanical Design Project)
MECH 466 (Automatic Control) MECH 467 (Computer Control of Mechatronics Systems)
Technical Elective Technical Elective

Information on each course can be found at

Thermofluids specific courses focus on building a firm foundation in thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and energy conversion. Thermofluids technical electives are key to adapting the curriculum to your personal interests. These courses cover topics such as Aerodynamics, Naval Architecture, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning), Thermal Power Generation and Efficient Energy Building Design. Many of these courses feature labs that encourage students to apply the theory they have learned in class to practical real-world problems. Students in Thermofluids can expect to learn industry-applicable practices and knowledge, and gain access to a wealth of advice from experienced professors and guest speakers.

General Mechanical Thermofluids Option
MECH 386 (Industrial Fluid Dynamics)
MECH 479 (Computational Fluid Dynamics)
MECH 489 (Experimental Thermofluids)
MECH 326 (Mechanical Design II)
MECH 329 (Materials for Mechanical Design)
MECH 368 (Engineering Measurement and Instrumentation)
MECH 392 (Manufacturing Processes)
MECH 457 (Mechanical Engineering Design Project) MECH 454 (Thermofluids Capstone Design Project)
Technical Elective General Technical Elective
Technical Elective Thermofluids Technical Elective
Technical Elective Thermofluids Technical Elective

Information on each course can be found at

Options Info sessions

MECH will be holding information sessions about Option Admissions (Biomedical, Mechatronics, Thermofluids) for all 1st year and current Mech 2 students. Each session will go over the application process, due dates, and what to include in your application package. The faculty member Option Coordinator will also be speaking in depth about their particular option and will be available to answer any questions you may have.

  • Mechatronics: Mon, Feb 4th at 12pm in KAIS 2020/2030
  • Biomedical: Tues, Feb 5th at 12pm in CEME 1203
  • Thermofluids: Wed, Feb 6th at 12pm in CEME 1203

Application & Admissions

There are two stages during which students may apply to an option: Early Admission, prior to the end of first-year Engineering, or Regular Admission in second year. Please click below for more information on the respective application processes.

Early admission to the Option takes place at the end of first year. To apply for Early Admission, students must have at least an 80% average in all first year courses, and must submit all the required documentation, as outlined in the Applications Process section below. No more than half of the available spaces in the program are filled by early admission.

Note: Acceptance is conditional on being placed in MECH and successfully completing MECH 2.

Regular Admission takes place at the end of second year. To apply for Regular Admission, students must have at least a 65% average and have successfully completed MECH 2 (including MECH 224 and MECH 225), and must submit all the required documentation, as outlined in the Application Process section below.

Please note that taking an Option requires students to take courses according to the regular co-op schedule, regardless of whether they are in co-op or not, as most courses are offered only once per year. This does not mean that co-op is required, but it does mean that completing the Option will take a minimum of three years after MECH 2.


Early Admission (first year students): February 28th, 2019, at 11:59pm.
Regular Admission (second year students): March 31st, 2019, at 11:59 pm.

Application Package

Your application must include the following documents:

  • An Options Application Form: 2018W Options Application Form
  • A Letter of Intent (addressed to the Option Coordinator) explaining why you would like to join the Option and the skills or experience you are bringing with you;
      2018W Options Coordinators are:
    • Biomedical: Dr. Tom Oxland
    • Mechatronics: Dr. Yusuf Altintas
    • Thermofluids: Dr. Patrick Kirchen
  • A copy of your current resume;
  • An unofficial copy of your grades from the Student Service Centre;
  • Optional: Up to 5 pages (8 ½“ x 11”, single-sided) of supplemental material to support your application. Supplemental material can range from letters of recommendation, projects, photos, etc. Applicants are encouraged to submit their own designs and innovations. Please do not draw or design anything specifically for this application, but instead show us what you “naturally” have done due to your creative interests. Please do not submit CDs, DVDs, physical objects, or similar.

***Please note that only electronic submissions will be accepted***

Complete application packages should be e-mailed to by the deadline.


Once your application has been received, you may be contacted to come in for a short interview, in mid-March (Early Admission) or early April (Regular Admission). You will be contacted via e-mail regarding the date and time of your interview. Please ensure you continue to check your e-mail regularly during the exam period.

Final Admissions

Final decisions on option admissions will be made by late March (Early Admission) or by early May (Regular Admission). You will be notified of the decision via email.