UBC Applied Science Professional Programs

Webinar Q&A

Thank you again for joining our webinar!

Here are the answers to the questions that were not addressed in the webinar. We asked each program director or administrator to answer the program specific questions.

We have arranged the questions by program, starting with questions that apply to all programs, and then alphabetically by program, so please scroll down to find your question. Some “program” questions may be relevant beyond their program, but because the prospective student asked the program specifically, we decided to keep the questions in those categories.

If you would like to rewatch the webinar, you can see it here.


Question: For the scholarship opportunity, do all of the reference letters have to be in by July 1 as well?

Response: We require at least 2 reference letters for you application to be reviewed. You can remind your referee personally or log on to your application account and send an email reminder to them.

Question: After admission can a student be allowed to pay the $5000 initial deposit twice and will the school issue admission letter, if the student is ready to pay the other half later?

Response: I’m afraid I don’t understand this question. The initial $5000 deposit is collected by the MEL/MHLP office and will be applied to your first-semester tuition account. Any further payments to your tuition account are made via UBC enrollment services. How to pay your tuition fees.

Question: Thank you for the broadcast. Regarding my IELTS: My 6.5 average IELTS was expired last February. However, I have been studying Masters in the UK, in Sustainable Built Environments, and granted my Masters last December. Can I apply without retaking the IELTS?

Response: Yes, as your masters’ degree must have been taught in English. This can be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

Question: I have 75.04% in my undergrad( Bach. in Engineering specialization in Electronics and Communication). But possess 4.5 years’ experience in Energy Sector. Am I eligible for this program or eligibility is strict to 76%?

Response: I would still encourage you to apply. When evaluating your application the directors look at your overall performance and will take into account your professional experience, resume and your statement of intent. How to apply.

Question: Hi, I see this course is very interesting and currently it is offered in Full Time at Campus. However, I am a working professional and would like to enroll in part-time MEL course. Is there any future plan in this direction?

Response: Currently we are unable to offer the MEL degree part time and there are currently no plans to change the format of the program.

Question: Is work experience absolutely necessary to be considered as an applicant? As a fresh chemical engineering undergraduate student. I am very keen on the clean energy program but lack the required experience.

Response: The MEL degree programs have been designed for professionals who already have experience and knowledge in the workforce and in the industry. Did you complete any clean energy related industry placements during your degree?

Question: What about living expenses in BC?

Response: Please use the cost of living calculator available on our website. This will help you plan your finances for living and studying in Vancouver. Cost calculator.

Question: Hi. I’m from Costa Rica, and I’m really interested in knowing about scholarships or financial aid or an assistantship for the Water Management or Urban Planning programs.

Response: The Faculty of Applied Science offers a limited number of entrance awards of up to CA$10,000 to MEL and MHLP students. All applicants who submit their application before July 1 will be considered for this award. You do not need to submit a separate application. These merit-based awards are given to selected applicants and only the successful recipients will be notified before the program starts in January. Aside from the merit-based award, there are no other scholarships, grants or funding offered by UBC for MEL or MHLP students. Students who require financial assistance are encouraged to look for external scholarships or loans that may be available to them.

Question: Hi, do new grads with co-op standings have enough work experience to be accepted by this program?

Response: Your co-op experience may be considered, depending on which MEL degree specialization you are interested in, what your co-op placements entailed, which industry they were in and how long the placements lasted for.

Question: How long, on average, does it take to get a job after that in Canada?

Response: This does depend on the industry, the role you want to gain employment in and how proactive you are in the job search.

Question: will 3 years community graduate student with over 20 years’ experience in the area of engineering in Leadership be accepted. Experiences from various major companies.

Response: To join the MEL degree programs you are required to have a recognized bachelor’s degree.

Question: What matters more when evaluating applications: academic or professional record?

Response: Both matter, it depends on your circumstances and the strength of your personal statement.

Question: If I have 1.5 years of work experience, how much does it affect my application?

Response: It depends on which MEL specialization you are interested in. The amount of professional experience required varies between specializations. Please check our website for further information on eligibility requirement for a specific specialization (click on “Programs,” click on the program you are interested in, scroll to “Eligibility Requirements”). Our website.

Question: Hi everyone thanks for the great explanation. I am between two programs. Clean energy and advanced materials manufacturing, where can I read more about both programs to make my decision?

Response: Please check our website for information about our Clean Energy Engineering specialization and our Advanced Materials Manufacturing one.

Question: I had my work experience while I am studying my undergraduate. Can it be considered for work experience?

Response: Yes, it can be considered as work experience, the length of placement, job role and industry will also be considered as applicants require professional experience in the industry relating to the MEL specialization they are applying to.



Question: Is a BSc in Physics considered a “related discipline” in order to meet the eligibility requirements?

Response: It would depend on the work experience when considering an applicant with a degree in Physics.



Question: What’s the Clean Energy Engineering process like? Are people with energy sustainability background accepted into the course?

Response: We welcome applicants with engineering background and/or relevant science background (i.e. environmental sciences) to apply for the program.

Question: How do clean-energy doctors see the oil and gas market once there is still a strong investment in the area? Do the sources tend to complement each other or is there a major dispute between energy acquisition and storage technologies?

Response: This is a very broad question. Experts in this area are certainly aware that oil and gas will still be a significant market in the foreseeable future (with projected share in the energy supply still dominating, perhaps even at a level of 75% by 2035). More people now talk about the fuel mix market as a transition toward, and in order to, attaining the goals of COP21, and there is significant focus on researching and providing cleaner solutions in the, still dominating, fossil fuel based energy supply market. We also recognize that the renewable market is growing at a fantastic rate (some indicators show the growth at an annual rate of 7%) and the number of jobs in the renewable market now exceeding those in the oil and gas. The program goals and curriculum are aligned with this broad range of emerging topics.

Question: I am a Power Systems Engineer with 6 years of experience. I did my bachelor and master in Electrical Engineering. I am a Permanent Resident in BC. I am in interested in MEL in Clean Energy Engineering. I have never taken a Thermodynamics course though. Can I take the Thermodynamics course online from a reputed university to fulfill this requirement?

Response: Yes, applicants are welcome to take online thermodynamics to fulfill this admission requirement. One course that we would recommend is offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera. For applicants who opt for this option, they are required to achieve at least 80% (A level) in this course.

Question: What impact has this world-renowned program had on global climate change?

Response: Although we have never attempted to quantify the impact that this program has on climate change, our former students work in a broad range of organizations and companies which are, one way or another, involved in various clean energy initiatives. Our students work in governmental offices, NGO, energy think-thanks, clean energy or energy efficiency consulting companies, as energy managers and specialists in school districts, housing associations, etc…. Some of our former students have their own companies in the clean energy sector.

Question: What does a typical day at school look like?

Response: Students are expected to take 2 – 3 classes per day with extra readings and assignments due on a regular basis.

Question: Do you consider prospective students with a good postgraduate degree, but has a lower GPA in his last 2 years of undergraduate program?

Response: Decision may be made on a case by case basis with a convincing argument in favor of the applicant.

Question: Is this program geared towards people seeking the opportunity to enter the field of clean energy in a technical role?

Response: This program is a mix of technical and business/management courses. It provides a solid technical overview of both supply and demand side management, but it doesn’t train students in advanced technical topics (i.e. design of wind turbine blades).

Question: How long, on average, does it take to get a job after that in Canada?

Response: We expect that, at least, half of our students obtain a job within 6 months from graduation.

Question: If I have 1.5 years of work experience, how much does it affect my application?

Response: Admission decisions are made according to different factors, including GPA, letter of intent, reference letters, English proficiency, and work experience. If you can demonstrate strong academic and professional capabilities in your submission, you will still be considered eligible to apply.

Question: Can students having a background in business and leadership education replace more technical courses in place of the leadership courses?

Response: Applicants are expected to have an engineering background or a relevant science background (i.e. environmental science) to apply for this program.

Question: Do international students, especially from South America, commonly applied to this program?

Response: Yes, we have applicants from Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and other countries/regions in South America.

Question: This is for clean energy engineering. How many years will I get a visa for this course?

Response: I assume you are referring to the post-graduate work permit.

Please also refer to the following website which states, ‘A post-graduation work permit cannot be valid for longer than the student’s study program, and the study program must be a minimum of eight months in length.’ Therefore if you are eligible for a post-graduate work permit it will be valid for up to 1 year because the degree is 1 year in length:

Question: What exactly are some examples of industry jobs that the clean energy prepare students for. Especially at the entry level?

Response: Please note that this professional program is designed for young to mature engineering professionals who already have at least 2 – 3 years of working experience before coming to the program.

The distribution of jobs is listed below,

Industrial – 14%

Commercial/Institutional – 20%

Consulting, commercial/institutional – 18%

New technology 11%

Renewable energy 7%

Utility 7%

Government 7%

Job status unknown 11%

Difficulty finding clean energy employment 5%

Question: I have just completed an undergraduate course in Mechanical Engineering student at SRM University, India. I would love to one day end up in Vancouver, to learn about and work on sustainable energy systems. Since this course requires three years of work experience as a prerequisite, I was wondering if you could help me regarding my reading list and learning over this time period. I would dearly like to know what material/texts you suggest I go through before pursuing such a course, as I could not find it on the course page, with the subject list. If I knew what textbooks the course refers to, I can start getting into the details of subjects that I care a lot about from now onwards, without having to wait another four years. I am particularly interested in CEEN 501,503,504,523 and 550.

If you give me this help I ask for, I can start learning about these subjects at once. Unfortunately, I do not have such guidance at my current university for this and this is why I look to you for help.

Please do let me know regarding this. P.S I had sent out a few emails about this to the mail ID I was given on your website (ceen@cerc.ubc.ca) but have received no reply to this, could you please let me know what I should do. I really enjoyed doing your online course ‘Blue is Green’ and your University and city’s philosophy regarding fields such as water management and clean energy. Thank you for taking such efforts, and conducting webinars such as today’s.

Response: We can possibly provide course syllabi, but most materials are supplied at the time the course is taken, and they may easily change (different case studies, etc.…) as this dynamic environment also changes.



Question: Is the Clinical Education focus available for the next cohort? Or is it still awaiting approval?

Response: Unfortunately, we are still awaiting approval…Because of the government changes in BC, I expect that the earliest we may receive a decision is the fall.  But, I would be happy to be surprised before then!



Question: Do you see graduates leading technical teams or managing them?

Response: They graduated a few weeks ago. They did not get to manage teams right out of school. They will.

Question: how much increase (in percentage) can we expect after completing this degree in the DSS specialization?

Response: I cannot answer this. We do not ask students for private detailed such as their salaries. (At least I do not) I have some anecdotal evidence of someone returning to their old employer and getting a 30% raise. Hard to draw a rule out of one case, though.

Question: Hi, what scope does Dependable Software Systems program have for a normal organization (not keen on dependability too much)?

Response: “Normal” organizations should care and will have to care more and more for the quality including dependability of their software if they want to remain competitive (I am not sure what you mean by “normal organization”).



Question: I have a first degree in Biochemistry with 7 years’ work experience in the telecommunications industry as a sales analyst, but with lots of interest in waste management and health & safety. I really love to take MEL Green Bioproduct’s, can there be a waiver of the work experience required for admission?

Response: A biochemistry background is a good fit for the program. We will be happy to consider your experience as an analyst. Please send us your resume, cumulative GPA or, if possible, transcripts at apscpp@apsc.ubc.ca and we can set up a skype call.



Question: Hello there, I graduated in civil engineering in IRAN, I am living in Vancouver from 3 years ago and I am permanently resident, I have more than 10 years’ experience in construction and civil projects, I am studying In BCIT in Architecture and Building Technology diploma part time,  do I still need to provide IELTS or TOEFL? My bachelor’s degree grade is 15 from 20.

Response: You would need an English proficiency test. Diplomas are not acceptable.



Question: I completed my doctoral research 3 years ago, I am interested in integrated water program in order to advance my leadership skills. Can I apply?

Response: Thanks for your interest in the MEL-IWME degree. Yes, you can apply. We will evaluate your academic, English, and professional experience credentials and make the decision accordingly. If it helps, you can contact the MEL-IWME directors and email them your CV, English test results and your transcripts (both graduate and undergraduate) for preliminary evaluation at apscpp@apsc.ubc.ca



Question: What are the differences of engineering leadership and master engineering and naval architecture? Do they share similar courses?

Response: They share the technical courses.  MEL students will be sitting with MEng students in the courses that have NAME, MECH, or CIVL designators.  In general, these are first-level courses in the particular discipline, e.g. CIVL 437 is first-level ship structures.  The MEng students go on to take second level courses in those disciplines, whereas the MEL students get business and management courses.

Question: For the internship of master engineering and naval architecture, usually where the students will be arranged to work?

Response: It depends upon the market at the time, and external internships can’t be guaranteed – in a few rare cases students have satisfied this requirement with a project at school.  Most students, however, have found positions in design firms, shipyards, ship owners, or classification societies.

Question: Is there any assistance provided for recruiting post this course?

Response: Not formally. But as part of the course, the student can develop a personal network of contacts that will be of great help in finding post-graduation employment.

Question: For the Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering program, I do not have the three or more years of relevant work industrial experience required, but I have one year of internship in my undergraduate, and I am also doing my master as mechanical engineering which has 2 years of duration. Is it possible for me to join in this program with this experience?

Response: I would recommend that you consider the M.Eng in NAME, rather than the MEL in NAME.

Question: Hi. I am currently working in a shipyard on a new building project. I had no engineering education background. My degree and master are related to ship management and law. Am I not qualified for the naval architecture program? What if I go Taiwan first and study for an engineering master, will I become eligible?

Response: Unfortunately you are not qualified for the NAME program.  We place a heavy reliance on a student’s previous foundation in calculus, solid mechanics, thermodynamics, and related disciplines.



Question: Please when will the on-line application be active to enable us to apply.

Response: REM online application system will go live on July 20th.

Question: Hi, I was wondering how the REM program will be different from the rest considering it will be taught at the Kelowna campus.

Response: Most of the leadership classes in the REM program are identical to those taught on the Vancouver campus. However, they will obviously be taught by different professors than those in Vancouver and may, therefore, have a slightly different flavor than the Vancouver courses. The technical courses in the REM program are, of course, unique to the program.

Question: This course I feel is good for me as I have managed projects as Project Manager over $450m so I need the course. However, I want to know the publicity this new course have in the industry as such after the course employers in Canada will recognize the course/certificate. The BC Provincial Nominee Program allows international students that have Masters in Engineering to apply for residency as I will come with my family. I hope they will recognize the course as it is new. Finally, the course cost looks high for international students can you review.

Response: We have an aggressive publicity campaign to both attract students to the program and make industry aware of the program. This campaign, for example, involves exhibiting at major conferences and trade shows. The international reputation of UBC as a leading university will also contribute to the recognition of this program. The program tuition, as stated on the university website, is correct.

Question: What does the MEL Resource Management cover and which industry can graduates work after graduation? Response: The REM program focuses on the leadership and technical skills required by engineers to lead large, multi-disciplinary projects in the resource sectors. It includes courses on the life cycles of large projects, regulatory and societal issues facing resource projects, and environmental risk analysis. For more information, please see the program’s website.

The program is relevant to any resource sector including oil and gas, forestry, mining, hydroelectricity etc.

Question: What type of renewable energy are you emphasizing on for both studying and research?

Response: The REM program does not emphasize any particular form of energy. Rather, the program focuses on imparting the leadership and technical skills required by engineers to lead large, multi-disciplinary projects in any energy sector.

Question: Since this is a newer program, how recognized is the MEL by professionals in the industry in terms of helping to find employment after graduation?

Response: We have an aggressive publicity campaign to both attract students to the program and make industry aware of the program. This campaign, for example, involves exhibiting at major conferences and trade shows. The international reputation of UBC as a leading university will also contribute to the recognition of this program.

Question: What type of renewable energies are you researching on? (Wind / wave / tidal current)

Response: The REM program does not emphasize any particular form of energy. Rather, the program focuses on imparting the leadership and technical skills required by engineers to lead large, multi-disciplinary projects in any energy sector.



Question: What are the supports from the school to students in terms of class performance, career placement?

Response: In addition to the formal scheduled classes, there is a professional development series of sessions for all students across the MEL/MHLP programs.  These have included preparing resumes, preparing for interviews etc. The program and the University have a number of workshops & support courses/resources to enable students to be successful. Some of these are specific to the professional programs and others are for all graduate students at the University. Click here for some examples of the types of resources available to graduate students at UBC .

Over the course of the program, you will have opportunities to make site visits and meet with leaders in the field through guest speakers etc.

Question: Seniors Care: Does this program help you to develop a knowledge base to analyze and develop health care policies in general or specific to seniors?

Response: There is a balance between Seniors specific policies and broader health care policies.  But, the emphasis in looking at the latter is to understand them for the ways they create the context of Seniors care.

Question: Seniors Care: Can you please share experiences from graduates on how this has helped their careers? Is this going to be useful for GPs trying to set up a practice in Seniors Care?

Response: As students come from a variety of disciplinary and experiential backgrounds they have built upon these to take the next step in their career with Seniors.  I do know that one of the physicians who is on our advisory committee, who has a practice with Seniors, says that she wishes this program had been available to her when she was developing her practice. If you contact us directly we can speak more specifically about your background and experience: apscpp@apsc.ubc.ca

Question: What is the age range? Do young people in their 20’s struggle? The age range is typically from the mid-20s to mid-40s.

Response: Students who are working in their second language find that they need to take some extra time to work through the readings and to prepare assignments, students who have more experience with Seniors & knowledge of the ‘systems’ of care find they can build upon those experiences to inform the course work. Younger students may have greater facility with some of the technical learning tools than students who have been away from school for a period of time.  It really depends.



Question: I will be graduating Master program from Cardiff University this year. But I will get diploma next year in June. Can I apply for next year January intake and do I still need to prove my English proficiency, since my bachelor degree is non-English?

Response: You can apply with your current transcripts but will not receive full admission until your official transcripts and degree certificate have arrived here. If you have a degree from a university that instructs in English you do not need an English test. This must be stated on your transcripts. You are welcome to apply for Jan 2018 and if you are successful, you can apply for a deferral. However, a deferral isn’t guaranteed.

Question: I’d like to know, how long ago the MEL programs were created, and specifically about Urban Systems, what outcomes did you get, did they satisfy the objectives you initially had? What could you tell us about the performance of those who completed this program successfully?

Response: The first group of students started in January 2016 and completed this past December.  In general, the delivery of the program has achieved the learning outcomes that we intended. We don’t yet have much information about the professional outcomes of the students, but at least one of the students is now working for one of the companies that she met and interacted with during the program.

Question: Hi, I am interested in the Urban Systems program and am wondering if you would accept an applicant with a BA in economics/geography and an MPA degree. As my undergraduate degree is non-technical, what would be my employment likelihood after taking this program (coming from a social sciences background)?

Response: We will consider students with non-technical backgrounds on a case-by-case basis, but generally, applicants would require work experience related to the built environment if their undergraduate degrees were not in engineering, architecture, planning, or similar.  Employment prospects would still be in the management and administration of municipal systems, but not directly engineering or other more technical roles.