Minimum Admission Requirements

Now that you are thinking of applying to the ECE department as a Graduate Student, it is important that you understand the minimum qualifications required for admission to our graduate program before you apply. An understanding of the below will help you put forward an application of the highest quality for our faculty and staff to review.

In ECE, there are two levels of admission requirements. First, applicants must meet the minimum UBC-wide requirements for admission. Second, applicants must meet the additional ECE Department minimum requirements below which are mandatory before you will be considered for admission to our graduate programs.

For admission to M.Eng.

Applicants to the M.Eng. program must have an accredited four year (or equivalent) Bachelor's degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering or a closely related field. Applicants chosen for admission to the MEng program are normally from an internationally-ranked university and are recommended to have previous industrial experience. Industry experience, strength of GPA, and university rankings are included as part of our selection process. Please note that the MEng program is course-based and applicants do not receive a faculty supervisor upon admission. GPA and language requirements are the same as for M.A.Sc. applicants. MEng students are also required to submit a video answer to an interview question as part of their application. Instructions are included on the online application when you apply.

A note for MEng hopefuls: our MEng program is highly competitive, and it is of utmost importance that applicants meet each of our requirements in order to be considered. In many cases due to the competitiveness of this program, simply meeting the minimum requirements does not lead to admission, as we are only able to admit the strongest applicants in our applicant pool each year.

For admission to M.A.Sc.

Applicants to the M.A.Sc. program must have an accredited (by UBC) four year Bachelor's degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering or a closely related field. It is preferred that M.A.Sc. applicants have a GPA in the first-class range and show some demonstrated aptitude for research.

For admission to the Ph.D.

Applicants to the Doctoral program should have a course and thesis-based Master's degree, similar to an ECE M.A.Sc., as well as a Bachelor's degree. References must include a detailed support letter from the thesis supervisor. Applicants applying to the PhD program with a previous undergraduate degree or a course-based Master's degree must review the "Direct to PhD" application requirements. Applicants who have completed a degree by research only (such as an M.Phil) may have to complete a year of additional coursework as part of their Ph.D. program.

Admission to the PhD Program with a Previous Course and Thesis-based Master's Degree

Applicants applying should have:
- A recognized course and thesis-based Master’s degree which includes graduate level courses and a written thesis
- References must include a detailed letter from the thesis supervisor
- North American degree holders must have an overall average of B+ (76% at UBC) in your master’s degree program
- Non-North American degree holders must review the academic entrance requirements for students from your country at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
- Applicants who have completed a degree by research only may have to complete a year of additional coursework as part of their Ph.D. program.

Admission to the PhD Program with a Previous Undergraduate Degree

This is also known as a direct entry PhD. In addition to the usual M.A.Sc. requirements, you must have:
- A first class standing in your bachelor’s degree and evidence of prior research ability. First class standing is indicated for each nation by UBC G+PS guidelines (80% minimum or equivalent for Canadian institutions). It is understood that such a grade-average is a minimum requirement and depending on the overall applicant profile, higher grades can be expected.
- Hard evidence of research experience and ability, by way of previous research internships, for example. Ideally, you should be a co-author on a manuscript or paper accepted in a high visibility, rigorously peer reviewed academic venue, e.g., an internationally recognized journal, or, in certain disciplines (especially computer and software engineering), top tier conferences.
- Prospective supervisors of direct entry students must submit a maximum one page explanation of why the student is deemed sufficiently-prepared to be directly admitted to the Ph.D. program.

Admission to the PhD Program with a Previous Course-based Master's Degree

In addition to the usual M.A.Sc. requirements, you must have:
- Hard evidence of research experience and ability, by way of previous research internships, for example. Ideally, you should be a co-author on a manuscript or paper accepted in a high visibility, rigorously peer reviewed academic venue, e.g., an internationally recognized journal, or, in certain disciplines (especially computer and software engineering), top tier conferences.
- Prospective supervisors of students with a previous course-based masters degree must submit a maximum one page explanation of why the student is deemed sufficiently-prepared to be directly admitted to the Ph.D. program.

The most common question we are asked is whether an IELTS or TOEFL score is necessary if a degree has been completed in a program where the medium of instruction is English. Unless you completed a degree from one of the countries mentioned below, we require an official current language score and will not waive this requirement. Your file will not be processed until we receive the score, nor will you be considered for conditional admission pending further English language training/scores.

Applicants who have recently completed a degree in one of the following countries do not need to submit a language score. Degrees must have been completed within the past 5 years of the date of application to our department in order for this language score requirement to be waived.

Australia, Botswana, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the English-speaking countries of the West Indies.

Other applicants, including Canadians, who have completed their most recent degree in other countries must submit a current, official TOEFL score of 100 on the IBT with minimum component scores of 22 (reading, listening) and 21 (writing, speaking); or an IELTS academic test score (NOT general) of 7/9 with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component. Notwithstanding the above exceptions, the department has the prerogative to request proof of proficiency in English from any candidate where there are concerns that a lack of English proficiency may interfere with success in the graduate program.

If your TOEFL score is within a few points of the minimum score (eg. 95+ on the iBT) you will not be asked to rewrite the test but your lower score will be pointed out on your evaluation and if a professor (or the MEng Program Advisor for MEng applicants) decides to accept your application he/she will have to provide a low-TOEFL rationale. We do not make exceptions for the IELTS score of 7/9. If you have a score of 6.5 we unfortunately will not be able to accept it.

No, GRE scores are not mandatory for applying to our MEng, MASc, or PhD programs. You are welcome to submit GRE scores if you have them to provide further support to strengthen your file.

Applicants from Canada and USA

Applicants to the Masters' programs must have a minimum of a B+ (3.3 on a 4.0 point scale) average in senior level coursework (at UBC this would be 300 and 400 level coursework). Applicants to the Doctoral program must have a minimum B+ (3.3 on a 4.0 point scale) average overall in their Master's program. We will not admit students whose GPA falls below this minimum, even if they have 12 credits of first class grades.

For specific requirements for applicants from other countries, please check the requirements on the following website:

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/check-your-eligibility

The minimum standards set by the department are based on faculty members' experience with many applicants from varied backgrounds. They are designed to increase the success of our selection process and facilitate our incoming graduate students' success in the program.

It is very unlikely that you would be considered for our graduate programs if you do not meet the UBC or ECE minimum standards. Admission to our graduate programs are very competitive. Applicants with limited resources should consider whether their applications are likely to be competitive before applying, as application fees are non-refundable. Simply meeting our minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, and most of our successful applicants greatly exceed the minimum requirements.

For some departments, in exceptional cases the Faculty of Graduate Studies will admit North American students with otherwise very strong qualifications, who do not meet the 76% overall requirement but who do have 12 credits of First class senior course work. This is useful in areas like the Fine Arts, where recognition of a portfolio of work may be more important than grades. However, the ECE Department does not admit students based on this criteria and we require an overall GPA of 3.33 or B+ in 300 and 400 level courses as stated.