Why choose Biomedical Engineering at UBC?

Why choose Biomedical Engineering at UBC?

Are you interested in how engineering, medicine, life sciences, computer science, and mathematics work together to solve health problems? Do you want to help transform people’s lives? Biomedical Engineering at UBC could be the right program for you.


What is Biomedical Engineering? 

Biomedical engineers use engineering tools like design, modelling, and fabrication, and apply them to science and healthcare issues. They develop new technologies that enable doctors, therapists, biotech companies, and researchers to improve human health.

Technologies developed by biomedical engineers touch every aspect of our lives. They include the ultrasound images that give us the first glimpse of our children, extended-release drugs that allow us to sleep through the night, lifesaving cardiac stents, and high-performance robotic surgery.


What will you learn?

As a Biomedical Engineering student at UBC, you’ll take specialized courses to help you build a unique foundation in engineering, biology, math, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, design, and the healthcare system. In your third year, you’ll have the chance to customize your degree based on your interests. You can choose from four different streams:

  • Biomechanics and biomaterials teaches you about applying classical mechanics, and how to solve biological problems by viewing the body as an engineered structure.
  • Cellular and molecular bioengineering lets you apply engineering principles to cellular and molecular biology. You’ll focus on developing cell-based therapeutics in regenerative medicine and drug delivery.
  • Biomedical systems and signals helps you learn about the processes that produce and transform signals in biological systems, and the way that these signals are translated by the body.
  • Biomedical informatics and systems biology lets you explore genomes and patient healthcare information using math and data systems such as machine learning.

Through traditional classroom instruction, hands-on studio time, Co-op opportunities, and lab work, you’ll graduate with a deep knowledge of biology, human anatomy, and physiology, and understand how to combine it with engineering design. After finishing your studies, you’ll be ready to work across a range of life science-related jobs, such as designing biomedical devices or pharmaceuticals, or working in fields like medical diagnostics or clinical engineering.


The student scoop

Nadine Truter student story

Meet Nadine, who is learning how to design treatments at a molecular level to help cure patients’ illnesses.


What makes the program unique?

  1. Learn in-demand skills. Vancouver is home to over 300 life sciences companies – many of which are ranked in the top 100 technology companies in Canada. Globally, too, there is an increasing call for engineers with biomedical training, with the US Department of Labour Statistics estimating that the number of jobs for Biomedical Engineers will increase by 27 percent over the next three years.


  1. Discover each topic in depth. Although UBC’s Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs both offer an introduction to biomedical engineering as a specialization, the Biomedical Engineering degree provides a much deeper level of knowledge, suitable for entering the industry or academia. When you graduate, you’ll be accredited as a Biomedical Engineer by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).


  1. Prepare for a fulfilling career. Many Biomedical Engineering graduates go on to medical school, research or advanced degrees, or start their own businesses. For those who choose employment, you’ll be ready for a job in biotechnology companies, biomedical device companies, diagnostic companies, e-health companies, hospitals, government research facilities, or in areas outside life sciences. You’ll work on exciting projects like developing artificial organs, prosthesis, diagnostics, biomedical devices, instruments, and new safety devices.


  1. Gain work experience while you study. Co-op Education provides the opportunity for you to gain paid, full-time experience in a variety of work settings, test out possible career options, and begin building a professional network – all before graduation. You’ll benefit from a variety of support workshops, one-on-one coaching, and work experience relevant to your future career goals.


  1. Work on a real-life project. One of the program’s final courses is a real-world design project, which will challenge you to apply the skills you’ve learned to an open-ended problem in biomedical engineering. You’ll work in small teams under the supervision of a faculty advisor or a practicing professional engineer from the industry, and be tasked with designing a new device or technology to solve some of today’s toughest medical problems.


Don’t miss the Presidential Scholars Award deadline

Don’t miss the Presidential Scholars Award deadline

Don’t be late for this incredible opportunity!

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to be considered for a Presidential Scholars Award must complete their UBC application for admission by December 1, 2019 (11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time). That’s less than two weeks’ time.

Writing your online application and preparing your Personal Profile is not something you’ll want to rush, so make sure you’ve left enough time to complete both parts.


What are Presidential Scholars Awards?

Presidential Scholars Awards are one-time awards of approximately $5,000, and renewable awards of up to $80,000 which are paid over four years. The Awards are offered to Canadian high school students (including Quebec CEGEP students) who excel academically as well as demonstrating leadership achievements in the arts, community, athletics, or their school.


How do you apply?

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and you are applying to UBC from high school or CEGEP, you will be automatically considered for a Presidential Scholars Award based on the academic profile and Personal Profile sections of your online application.


Not interested in a Presidential Scholars Award?

If you don’t want to be considered for a Presidential Scholars Awards, you have until January 15, 2019 to apply to UBC. Don’t let that deadline stop you from applying earlier, though – with your application out of the way, you can truly relax over the winter break.

Start now by checking out our online application tips.



UBC Centennial Scholars Entrance Award

UBC Centennial Scholars Entrance Award

Are you a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or protected person in Canada hoping to attend UBC, but aren’t sure how you’ll finance it? If so, you may want to apply for a Centennial Scholars Entrance Award. These awards assist students who are academically qualified and hope to contribute to the UBC community, but would not be able to attend without substantial financial help.

Renewable and one-time awards

The awards can either be a one-time amount, or a sum given annually over four years. The value of the awards can range up to $80,000, which will will cover the full cost of your degree and living expenses.

Centennial Scholars Entrance Awards are available to students on both UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, and are given to incoming high-school students and post-secondary students transferring to direct-entry programs (programs you can enter directly in your first year of study).

Apply now for a Centennial Scholars Entrance Award

The application for the award is available online and is due by December 1, 2019, which is also the deadline for your application of admission to UBC. The award application includes an overview of your financial situation (including information from your parents, if applicable), an essay-style description of your circumstances, and a reference form with questions for a third party who is willing to speak to your accomplishments, character, and, if possible, your financial need.

Good luck with your applications! We’re looking forward to seeing new faces on campus next year.

Early application deadline for post-secondary transfer students

Early application deadline for post-secondary transfer students

There’s more than one way to become a UBC undergraduate. The majority of our students are admitted directly, but UBC also has a number of places available to those who have started their studies at a different post-secondary institution.

If you are a Canadian post-secondary student and you hope to transfer to UBC next year, read on to learn more about the application process.

Application deadline and process

UBC has an early application deadline for those transferring from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

If you apply by December 1, 2019, and submit your interim official post-secondary transcripts (and other required documents) by January 31, 2020, you will be considered for early admission based on your interim transcripts. If there are specific deadlines associated with your degree of choice, you will be notified once you have submitted your application.

If you attend a new institution that wasn’t included on your application, it’s important to contact us right away.

What happens if you miss the December 1 deadline?

If you apply between December 2, 2019 and January 15, 2020, make sure to submit your final official post-secondary transcripts and other required documents by the May 15, 2020 deadline. Your application will be evaluated with these final transcripts, and we will notify you about whether you have been accepted in June.

What if you don’t receive a first-round offer of admission?

If your application isn’t accepted based on interim post-secondary grades, there is no need to reapply. Your application will remain in our system and you will be asked to submit final transcripts by May 15, 2020 for an evaluation in June.

Remember, applying early doesn’t increase your chances of gaining admission, but it can mean your application will be considered earlier, and you’ll receive an update about your admission status sooner – between February and April.

Learn more about application deadlines for post-secondary students, or contact us to ask your questions. Good luck!

Planning your finances

Planning your finances

If you don’t have a financial plan for your first year of university, now is a good time to start thinking about how to manage your budget. There are lots factors to consider, and you might be surprised at how quickly your expenses add up.

Costs to consider

As a university student, you’ll be responsible for paying tuition and student fees. Your citizenship status usually determines whether you’ll pay domestic or international tuition fees, but there are a few exceptions.

If you’re applying for on-campus housing, you’ll also need to include residence fees in your budget, and factor in a meal plan on the Okanagan or Vancouver campus. If you plan to live off campus in the Okanagan or Vancouver, you’ll want to set aside money for rent, utilities, and groceries. And don’t forget to budget for clothing, entertainment, and your monthly cell phone bill!

To offset your costs, you can apply for various scholarships and awards at UBC, and see if you’re eligible for bursaries, loans, or other methods of funding support.

Need help?

Use UBC’s online cost calculator and budget-planning worksheet to get a better sense of your financial situation.

Join us for US Thanksgiving 2019

Join us for US Thanksgiving 2019

If you are currently studying at a high school in the United States, we’d love you to join us for US Thanksgiving at UBC’s Vancouver campus to get a taste of what you can look forward to as a UBC undergraduate student.

During this day of activities, current UBC students, staff, and advisors will show you the very best of what the university has to offer, and why UBC is consistently ranked among the top 40 research universities in the world.

Event highlights

  • Campus tour led by current UBC undergraduate students
  • Lunch with UBC students, staff, and advisors who can answer questions about what it’s like to study here and the programs you are interested in
  • A student panel with current undergraduate students who can offer their real-life student perspective of UBC

Date and registration

The event will take place Friday, November 29 on UBC’s Vancouver campus. If you are interested in registering, please log in or create an account on the Future Student Portal and scroll down to upcoming events you might be interested in. If you have any issues with registering, please contact us at vancouver.tours@ubc.ca.

How about visiting UBC’s Okanagan campus?

There will be campus tours and advisors available on Thursday, November 28, Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30 at UBC’s Okanagan campus. To register, log in to your account, look for tours and events, and click on campus.

We look forward to welcoming you!


How to change the degree you applied to

How to change the degree you applied to

Have you had a change of heart? If you’ve applied to one degree, but decided you’d rather pursue a different one, here’s what you need to do.

How to change your degree

  1. Check the admissions requirements for your new degree choice and make sure you meet the criteria.
  2. Be certain of the order of your choices – think of them as two separate applications ranked in order of preference. We will evaluate your first choice first, and if we offer you admission to that choice, we will stop there. We will only evaluate your second-choice degree application if you were unsuccessful with your application to your first choice.
  3. Be absolutely sure you want to change your degree, because it could affect your award eligibility. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you apply by December 1, 2019, your first-choice application will be considered for a Presidential Scholars Award. If you are an international student and you apply by December 1, 2019, your first-choice application will be considered for an International Major Entrance Scholarship. For all students, your new first-choice application will not be considered for an award if you make a change after December 1.
  4. After you’ve thought through the above, you can submit the changes of your first-choice and second-choice applications by January 15, 2019. Be sure to include your full name and UBC reference number, and we will update your UBC application accordingly. Your application changes will not be updated if your request is made after January 15, 2020.

Please submit your program change request here. You can use the same link to ask any questions you might have about about changing your degree.


Please note:

  • Some degrees (for example, Nursing on UBC’s Okanagan campus) can only be considered first-choice degrees. This means that if you select that program as your second choice, it will not be evaluated.
  • We will notify you if we cannot accommodate a change to your application.

And remember, you use the same UBC application to apply for degrees on both UBC campuses. Your first choice and second choice can be on the same campus or on two different campuses. January 15, 2020 is the deadline for submitting your application, and the deadline for changing the program you’re applying to.


International Scholars Awards application deadline

International Scholars Awards application deadline

Each year, UBC offers need- and merit-based awards to international students through our International Scholars Program. These students enrich our community with their distinct perspectives, committed involvement, and global initiatives. If you are an international student interested in learning more about becoming an International Scholar, read on!

What awards are available?

Two prestigious awards are offered through UBC’s International Scholars Program: the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award and the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award. Each year, the awards are given to exceptional international students entering undergraduate studies at UBC.

The Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award recognizes international undergraduate students who demonstrate superior academic achievement and leadership skills. The winners of the award will also have considerable involvement in student affairs and community service, as well as recognized successes in other areas.

The Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award recognizes outstanding international undergraduate students from impoverished or war-torn areas who have achieved academic excellence under difficult circumstances.

Who can qualify for the awards?

Both awards are need- and merit-based, and are specifically for students who would not be able to attend UBC without significant financial assistance. As part of the application, you will be required to complete a full financial declaration in order to determine eligibility, and you will need to be nominated for the award by your school. Students can only be nominated for one of the International Scholars Program awards. Once you are nominated, you will not be considered for any other UBC award.

(If you don’t have significant financial need and are therefore not eligible to be nominated for an International Scholars Award, you will automatically be considered for the Outstanding International Student Award and International Major Entrance Scholarship if you apply to UBC before January 15, 2020.)

When and how can you apply?

Applications for both awards are now open.

Your award nomination package must be postmarked by December 1, 2019. Nominees must also complete the UBC online application by December 1, 2019, and meet the UBC English Language Admission Standard by January 31, 2020. We strongly encourage you to submit your application for admission to UBC early, prior to the December deadline. This will ensure you have an admission decision in time for award nomination consideration.

Visit the International Scholars website for complete information about eligibility and to download the nomination forms.