UBC MEL MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees

Application Checklist

When you’re ready, you’ll begin your application for the MEL or MHLP program online. You can save your application and continue working on it at a later time. Applications are not reviewed by the admissions committee until applications are fully complete. Your application will include:

Letter of intent

The letter of intent is a critical piece of the application package. Think of it as an opportunity to personalize your application by telling us who you are and why you are applying to the program. Here are a few tips to consider.

Format and length

Similar to a cover letter for a job application, your letter of intent should look professional, be single-spaced and ideally fit on one page. However, you do have up to two pages if you need the space. If you find yourself going over one-and-a-half pages, see if you can edit the letter to be more concise and to the point.

You do not need to include an address line.

Address the letter of intent to the program director by using their full title and name (e.g., Dear Dr. Vladan Prodanovic). Avoid writing “To whom it may concern,” “Dear Sir/Madam” or using “Mr./Ms./Mrs.” You can find the director for your program by navigating to your program-of-interest and then selecting “Instruction and Leadership Team” from the sidebar.

Before you start writing

Your letter of intent should address the following:

  • Why this particular program is the best place for you to pursue your professional leadership goals
  • The skills and experiences you have that make you a strong candidate for your program
  • Examples from your career of your capacity for leadership and your ability to work in or lead interdisciplinary teams
  • How the program will help you achieve your professional goals
How to structure your letter of intent

Keep your opening paragraph brief with just a few sentences. Start with a compelling statement about who you are and why you are applying to the program. Summarize why are you interested in pursuing a specific MEL or MHLP program and briefly highlight two or three strengths that make you a strong candidate.

Follow your opening paragraph with two or three body paragraphs, with each summarizing a key strength or experience that has equipped you to succeed in the program. Provide concrete examples from your resume to back up your statements.

The body paragraphs will help the admissions committee understand the professional and academic experiences that have contributed to your leadership capacity within your industry. The goal of this section is to convince the committee that your skills and experience equip you to make meaningful contributions to an interdisciplinary learning environment and that you have the potential to be a forward-thinking leader within your industry after you graduate.

Your closing paragraph will be short – no more than two or three sentences. Thank the admissions committee for their time and reassert your interest in the program and how it will support your goals.

Mistakes to avoid

Many applicants include too much detail in their letters. The admissions committee is not looking for your life story or a full summary of your career. Focus on the quality of the examples you discuss, rather than quantity.

Remember that this is a professional program and not a traditional, research-based degree. Your letter should focus on your industry or healthcare sector experience rather than your research experience.

Finally, keep your discussion focused on the specific program you are applying to and not just the degree as a whole (MEL or MHLP).

Final tips

If you’re having a hard time writing the letter, you may be overthinking it! Take the pressure off by giving yourself permission to write a really rough first draft. Then, take the time to review and revise. Your letter will get stronger and more concise with each round of edits.

Another suggestion is to talk to at least two people before you start writing. Talk to a mentor about industry or workplace challenges and brainstorm examples from your professional career where you’ve made a difference. Talk to a friend about what they perceive as your key strengths and skills. After you’ve developed a solid draft of your letter, ask your mentor and friend to read what you’ve written for their feedback.

Ultimately, think about the letter of intent as a persuasive and concise summary of how your skills, experience and professional goals make you a great match for the specific MEL or MHLP program you are applying to.


Your resumé is a central element of your application package. It provides details about your professional background that our Admissions Committee will use to determine if you have the skills and experiences needed to succeed in the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership.

Take the time to create an up-to-date, comprehensive and professional resumé that is tailored to the program you are applying for. We recommend you follow a resumé format rather than a CV since you are applying to a professional program and we are most interested in learning about your industry experience.

Choose a concise, easy-to-read format

Your resumé should be concise, with the content fitting on two pages. Choose an easy-to-read font such as Calibri or Times New Roman and make sure the font size is legible, such as 11 or 12 point.

We recommend starting with a “Summary of Qualifications” section that describes your core industry skills, experience and knowledge. This can be followed by a list of your professional experiences in reverse chronological order, beginning with your most recent or current role.

Be specific and state your responsibilities or the specific projects you completed in each role. Consider including up to four or five accomplishment statements to state what you achieved. If you are new to writing accomplishment statements, watch this informative video from UBC Career Services.

Tailor your resume to the program

Before you start writing your resumé, read about the program to identify the skills and aptitudes the Admissions Committee will be searching for. You can find detailed information about your program of interest on our website under the program tab.

You can then customize your resumé to match the skills that are the focus of the program you wish to apply for and study. Each point you include when describing your achievements should demonstrate experiences and responsibilities related to your specific program of interest.

Limit the personal details you share

The only personal details you should include on your resume are your name or contact information. Do not include your age, ethnicity or cultural background, describe your physical attributes, or state your marital status or if you have children.

Carefully review your resumé

Take the time to ensure your resumé is professional, consistent and error free. Please make sure to:

  • Review your document for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Format your resumé for easy reading: ensure your fonts and punctuation are consistent across sections
  • Keep the formatting consistent between your letter of intent and resume

Remember, the Admissions Committee will be reviewing hundreds of resumés, so make sure yours clearly and concisely describes your professional achievements. This will help you stand out.

Just like your letter of intent, I recommend getting one or two people to review your resumé. They may be able to provide suggestions on which accomplishments to highlight in your professional roles and they can provide an extra pair of eyes to catch any typos or inconsistencies.

Ultimately, your resumé should give the Admissions Committee confidence that you have the skills, abilities and experiences to succeed and grow within the program.

Application questions? Learn what the Admissions Committee is looking for and how to create a strong application.

A copy of your transcripts and degrees certificates

You will need to upload a copy of your official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended as part of your application. Scan both sides of all pages of your transcript into a single PDF per institution before uploading.

Please note that UBC does not accept WES evaluations in lieu of transcripts.

If your transcripts are issued in a language other than English, submit both the original transcript and an official English translation. Please combine your scans into ONE document per degree. If your bachelor and/or master’s degree includes transfer credits from other institutions, we also require the transfer credit transcripts.

If your transcript does not indicate your degree name and conferral date, you will also be required to submit a copy of your degree certificate. Scan and upload a copy of your official degree certificate. If your degree certificate is issued in a language other than English, submit both the original degree certificate and an official English translation.

If you receive an offer, you will be required to submit an official hard copy of your academic documentation. UBC has strict regulations on the requirements for documentation to be accepted as official transcripts and degree certificates. See submitting your documents for additional details.

Three references

You need to provide contact details for three referees as part of your application.

To enable your referees to submit their reference forms online, please provide their institutional, business or academic email address on your application form, and not their personal email address.

If you provide a personal email address for a referee, such as Gmail, Hotmail or yahoo, your referees must submit their reference by postal mail. This may result in delays in processing your application. Reference letters may be sent to:

UBC MEL MHLP Professional Master Degrees
211-2386 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3

Your referees will be automatically contacted after you have submitted your completed application and paid the application fee. They can then submit their references at their discretion. They will have the option of uploading a reference letter, or completing a reference form. All references must be submitted in English.

You may want to follow up with your referees to ensure they submit their references by the application deadline. You can see if they have submitted their reference on MyApplication under Reference Details. If they have not submitted you can send them a reminder.

Question about references? Understand who you should choose as referees for your application to the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) or Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degree.

Proof of English language proficiency

For success in this program, you must be able to fluently speak, comprehend and write in English. If you completed your undergraduate or graduate degree in a country where English is one of the only official languages (such as Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom), this will satisfy the English language requirement.

If you completed your undergraduate or graduate degree in English, and this is stated directly on your transcript, this will also satisfy the English language requirement. If this is not stated directly on your transcript, you must complete and English language proficiency exam.

If you have not met the English language proficiency requirement through your undergraduate or graduate degree, book your English test early – you will need time to receive the results before you can apply to the program.

Tests must have been taken within 24 months of your application. Please review the English language proficiency requirements.

For the purpose of your online application, you may upload your unofficial English language proficiency test results to your application, or submit your results electronically:

  • TOEFL: Use UBC’s Institution code 0965; give the reason for taking TOEFL “to enter college or university as a graduate student”
  • IELTS: Use name of institution: The University of British Columbia; Master of Engineering Leadership or Master of Health Leadership & Policy: Graduate School Admissions.”

Understand how to meet the English language proficiency as part of the application to the MEL and MHLP degrees by watching this short and informative video.

Proof of residency

To apply to UBC, you must provide a proof of residency or citizenship document. For most applicants, this is a copy of the photo page of your passport. Your passport may be expired at the time of application, but make sure to renew it in time to travel to Canada, if applicable. 

If you are a permanent resident of Canada, please include a scanned copy of your permanent resident card.

Note: All submitted application materials, including irreplaceable documents, become the property of the UBC Faculty of Applied Science. Students who submit irreplaceable material may request the return of that material. Such requests must be submitted with the original material.