UBC MEL MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees

Frequently Asked Questions

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Programs Information

The MEL and MHLP are 12-month full-time degrees, or 24-month part-time degrees* starting in January each year.

*Part time options are available for the following programs:

The MEL and MHLP courses begin in January and end in December. There is no fall intake (September).

All MEL and MHLP courses are held at the UBC Vancouver campus.

The MEL and MHLP are in-person degrees that are 12-month (full-time) or 24-month (part-time*) in duration. The programs are not offered online.

*Part time options are available for the following programs:

The MEL and MHLP are comprehensive professional graduate degree programs. It is mandatory that you attend classes and events. You will also need to set aside time to work on group projects, study and complete assignments outside of class. Some students have successfully managed to work and study, in a part-time capacity. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please Request a Call and our Student Recruitment Specialist would be happy to help you. 

Your class size will depend on the number of students enrolled in your specific program, and could range from five to 30 students. Some of your course classes may also include MEng or PhD students. Your leadership development courses will be attended by students from all MEL and MHLP degrees and could range from 70-100 students.

The MEL degree incorporates courses in leadership, business and communication that account for 40% of your course load. These courses are not available within traditional MEng programs, which tend to focus exclusively on technical knowledge.

In addition, the MEL degree is intended for professionals with three to five years of work experience, whereas the MEng degree is open to those who have just graduated with an undergraduate degree in engineering or a related field.

UBC MEL and MHLP students may be eligible for a number of external scholarships. Being a professional program, there are no scholarships, grants or funding offered by UBC. Students who require financial assistance are may wish to consider student loans through their home countries, employer scholarships, or loans through a financial institution. Check out the tuition and finances page for additional information.

Only students in programs that include a co-op component can use their 12 weeks of work experience towards the PEng accreditation. The only program that offers co-op is Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

You are far more likely to be accepted into a PhD program if you choose a Master’s degree that allows you to conduct research. The MHLP and MEL degrees do not contain any opportunity to publish research. As PhD programs are extremely competitive, if that is your ultimate goal, we encourage you to pursue a research based Master’s degree. That said, we have had students continue on to do a PhD after completing a MHLP and MEL degree and we would recommend that you research the requirements of the PhD you wish to pursue.

e@UBC provides real-world hands-on sessions for the UBC community that accelerate the growth of new ventures at all stages of development. The Lean LaunchPad Accelerator Program will help teams with innovative venture ideas greatly improve the odds of building a successful venture. Participants will apply an evidence-based approach to developing their new venture by generating business model hypotheses, testing those with end users and others in the ecosystem, and validating, eliminating or pivoting hypotheses. The ultimate outcome is a validated business model – the most critical initial step in the start-up journey.

Only five highly sought-after team spots are held for MEL and MHLP students. Interested students must (on their own time) form their team, decide on their venture idea and apply as a team by mid-April.

Eligibility Requirements

Not all MEL and MHLP programs require a minimum of three years of professional experience. Please check the eligibility requirements for the program you are interested in. Each application is assessed on an individual basis that takes into account work experience, references and your letter of intent.

If you do not meet all requirements, you may still be granted admission into the MEL or MHLP if other aspects of your application are strong. However, please note that the MEL and MHLP do require some professional experience as they are professional programs. For applicants who have none or very little professional experience, we recommend gaining more experience and applying in the future.

No. Most health-care professionals will be considered for the MHLP in Seniors Care or MHLP in Clinical Education.

No. Several of the MEL programs will consider applicants who do not have an engineering degree. Check the program you are interested in for its specific eligibility requirements.

If you do not meet the academic requirement of a 76% UBC GPA, or equivalent, you may be granted admission to the MEL or MHLP if you:

  • have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, or
  • possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare you for successful study in the graduate program.

If you are unsure if you should apply, please Request a Call and our Student Recruitment Specialist would be happy to help you. 

If you completed your undergraduate degree at an institution where English was not the primary language of instruction, you must submit an English-language proficiency test no matter how long you have worked or lived in Canada, the US or another country where English is the dominant language.

No, you do not have to submit a GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) test score for the MEL or MHLP.

No. Unfortunately, a completed post-baccalaureate degree (PBD) or post-degree diploma (PDD) taught in English does not satisfy UBC’s English language proficiency requirement. Your English language proficiency requirement can be satisfied by:

  • A bachelor or master degree from a country where English is the only official language
  • A bachelor or master degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction and this is stated on your official transcript

If you do not meet the English language requirement through your bachelor’s or master’s degree, an English language proficiency test will be required. Please learn more about English language proficiency test requirements.

My Application

We encourage you to choose three referees who know your recent accomplishments in a professional, academic, or volunteer capacity. Referees should be people who know you well and can speak to your ability to succeed in your planned program of study, such as recent employers, managers, previous professors, etc.

The online application system asks you to provide a business, academic or institutional email address for each of your three referees. Once you pay your application fee and submit your application, your referees will be emailed instructions and asked to complete an online reference form. They also have the option to upload a reference letter.

Free web-based email providers, such as Gmail and Hotmail, cannot access the online form and can only submit their reference via postal mail. We strongly recommend that, where possible, applicants pick referees that have a business or institution email addresses.

If your referee prefers to submit or must submit their reference via postal mail, please ensure they follow the instructions sent to them via email. Particularly, they must enclose their reference letter in an envelope and sign their name across the envelope seal. The reference letter must be mailed to our office directly from the referee.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the referees submit their references by the application deadline. Detailed instructions are provided in the email sent to your referee.

Since we cannot guarantee their authenticity, please note, we do not accept:

  • References that are sent by the applicant via mail or email
  • References that are sent by the referee via email

If your referee is not receiving the reference request email, please have your referee check their email inbox junk folder.

You can also re-send the email notification under the “manage references” section when you logon to the application portal.

If you need to change your referee, you can replace your referee under the “manage references” section of your application. You can only replace a referee once.

Only very limited edits can be made to your online application after it has been submitted. You can upload document to your application by logging into My Application.

We ask you to upload the final version of your resume and statement of intent. If you upload multiple versions or try and replace these documents at a later date, they may not be included in the application review process.

You may replace each referee once, change referee email addresses, and send reminders to referees through the application system.

If you need to update your address, log in to My Applications and select “Update Personal or Contact Details”. For changes to personal information such as citizenship, date of birth, or name, please contact graduate.apply@ubc.ca and include the appropriate documentation (e.g. birth certificate) to support your request.

To check the status of your application and to provide any new information or updated documentation required, please log into My Application. This is also where you can find Information about your references and the status of your reference requests.

For updates regarding documents received please allow for 5 business day after the expected delivery for your documents to be received and processed by our office. Processing times for confirming documents received at peak times can be longer. Please check your online application regularly, as contacting us will only delay processing times.

You will be notified by email when a decision has been made. You can expect to hear if you have been admitted by the following dates:

  • 1st Round: April 1, 2020 (Decision by May 1, 2020)
  • 2nd Round: July 1, 2020 (Decision by August 1, 2020)
  • CAN & USA only: September 1, 2020 (Decision by October 12, 2020)

Decisions can only be made on completed applications. Be sure to check your junk mail and promotions folder to ensure you do not miss notifications.

Your $5,000 deposit confirms your acceptance of the admissions offer and is non-refundable. However, if you are an international student and you are unable to obtain a study permit for reasons out of your control, the deposit will be refunded upon proof of your inability to obtain the visa.

In very specific circumstances, you may be granted a deferral. Please submit a deferral request outlining your reasons for deferring and your financial plan via email to the Program Coordinator. If your deferral request is accepted, you will need to complete the conditions set out in your offer letter, including the non-refundable deposit. Please note that you are only eligible to defer for one year. If you are unable to attend, your application will be withdrawn and you will lose your non-refundable deposit.

The UBC MEL and MHLP Professional Leadership Master Degrees admits on a rolling basis with three application rounds. The deadlines below are for completed applications. This means you need to make sure we receive all your documents and reference by this date in order for your application to be reviewed.

  • 1st Round: April 1, 2020 (Decision by May 1, 2020)
  • 2nd Round: July 1, 2020 (Decision by August 1, 2020)
  • CAN & USA only: September 1, 2020 (Decision by October 12, 2020)

*We highly recommend international students to apply by April 1st to ensure plenty of time to allow for the processing of study permits.

Online applications are open and accepting submissions for all January 2021 applications.

Looking to apply to the UBC Professional Leadership Master Degrees? Take a look at this simple 5 step video to help you understand the key stages and application requirements.

Looking for additional information – take a look at our how to guide.

Yes. You may submit your application without your letter of intent and resume, pay the application fee, and return to your ‘My Application’ later to upload your documents. Please note, you may only upload these documents once, so leave these sections blank when you submit your initial application, and be sure to upload these by the application deadline.

Once you have submitted your application, we will contact your referees. This will provide your referees sufficient time to submit their reference letters, while you complete your letter of intent and resume. Please note, all documents must be submitted prior the application deadline for your application to be reviewed.

It is recommended you submit your application, with your referees’ contact information, well in advance of the application deadline. Connect with your referees and inquire about how much time they would like to submit your reference. Typically, referees will appreciate 2-4 weeks to complete the references.

Keep in mind that all documents must be submitted before the application deadline. We cannot review your application until it has been completed, with your three references, letter of intent and resume uploaded.


There are four programs offered in a part-time capacity:

By enrolling in a part-time program, students will extend the duration of their degree to 24 months, from the full time 12 month option. 

There are four programs offered in a part-time capacity:

See part-time tuition fees for full details.

While there is some flexibility, if you’re completing one of the part-time programs* in the Master of Engineering Leadership or Master of Health Leadership and Policy over 24 months, you’ll generally take your business leadership classes and two technical electives in the first year of the program. In the second year, you’ll typically complete your core technical electives.

*Part-time program options:

The MEL is a comprehensive professional graduate degree. It is mandatory that you attend classes and events. You will also need to set aside time to work on group projects, study and complete assignments outside of class. Some MEL students have successfully managed part-time work and part-time studies. Part-time options are available for Urban Studies and Integrated Water Management. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please Request a Call and our Student Recruitment Specialist would be happy to help you.


The MHLP is a comprehensive professional graduate degree. It is mandatory that you attend classes and events, but the program offers a stacked schedule. This means full-time students typically attend for 2 full days per week. This provides some flexibility for health care professionals to continue part-time or casual work. You will also need to set aside time to work on group projects, study and complete assignments outside of class. Part-time options are available for Clinical Education and Seniors Care. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please Request a Call and our Student Recruitment Specialist would be happy to help you.


To assess your application, we need access to your academic history. If possible, please upload a scan of your transcript. If this is not possible due to COVID-19’s impact on your institution, we will accept an unofficial version of your grades. Ensure your uploaded copies of your transcripts are clear, show all your grades visibly, and include a grading scale. Combine all scans into one document per degree. In your application, use the GPA shown on your transcripts (do not convert). If are you admitted to the program, you will be required to submit official copies of your transcripts. Please review submitting your documents.

We appreciate that many testing centres across the world are currently closed.

If you have completed a test: we will accept unofficial documents for review. Please upload scanned versions of your documents to your application. Should you be offered admission, official test results will be required, sent directly to us from the testing centre. Please review submitting your English language proficiency results.

If you have not completed a test: you may apply without your proof of English language proficiency if you have been unable to complete a test, and your testing centres are currently closed. Should you be offered admission, you will be required to take an English language proficiency test and have official test results sent directly to us from the testing centres.

References are an integral part of your application. Please make every effort to submit all three references before the deadline. Submitting all documents is the only way to guarantee your application will be reviewed. However, given the circumstances, applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If your application is incomplete and we are unable to review it, we will let you know by email.

Yes, we encourage you to reach out if you have any questions. Please contact our Admissions Team.

If you applied and submitted all documents before the application deadline, you will receive your admissions decision on time.

The MEL & MHLP admissions team is working hard to ensure your application can be reviewed. You will be contacted for missing documentation or requirements. Be sure to check your email (including promotions and junk folders) daily and respond to any inquiries from apscpp@apsc.ubc.ca.

Yes. If you are accepted into the MEL or MHLP program, you will receive an official UBC offer of admission, found on your application portal. This letter is sufficient for your study permit application. The document condition does not need to be completed before you apply to your study permit. Study permits take longer than you think, so apply as soon as possible and refer to this helpful guide.

If your institution offers this service, please ensure the issuing institution sends a secure site link to the MEL and MHLP Office at apscpp@apsc.ubc.ca. We will then download your electronic transcripts via the secure, electronic delivery. Please note, we are unable to accept email attachments of any kind, even if sent directly from the issuing institution.

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