Master of Applied Science (MASc)

Program DetailsMASc Admissions

The Master of Applied Science (MASc) program is intended for students who are interested in pursuing advanced studies and research at the postgraduate level. The MASc degree requires the completion of a thesis and course work.

The expected MASc time-frame is roughly 24 months. MASc degree candidates registered as full-time students are required to spend at least one winter session at the University. MASc candidates may also register as part-time students. In either case the program must be completed within five years of initial registration. To complete the degree, an examining committee of three, including the supervisor, a co-reader, and the committee chair, conduct a public examination after copies of the student’s thesis have been made publicly available.

MASc Program Details

Requirements to complete the MASc Program

  • Completion of a total of 30 credits
  • Successful completion of an MASc Thesis (EECE 599) which culminates in a MASc Thesis Defense, worth 12 credits
  • 18 remaining credits must be from course work – Full time students usually complete these 18 credits of coursework during their first year in the program. Students are required to obtain approval of their course selection from their thesis supervisor before they register for courses.
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering courses (EECE, ELEC, or CPEN) must make up at least 6 of the overall 18 credits of coursework.

Please note the following important program restrictions:

  • For students with a previous degree in a subject other than Electrical and Computer Engineering, at least 12 credits must be taken in ECE department courses
  • Directed studies courses can only count for a maximum of 3 credits towards the MASc program
  • Only a maximum of 6 credits of undergraduate 400-level coursework can be counted towards the 18 course credit requirement.

The MASc Thesis Defense

The MASc Defense (also known as the MASc exam) serves as a departmental review of the candidate and his/her research, in which an audience is welcome.

A student’s MASc defense (also known as the MASc Exam) is typically scheduled by the supervisor by emailing help@ece.ubc.ca with the date, time, and examining committee member details. Once the defense is scheduled, the student must provide copies of their thesis to the members of the students’ Supervisory Committee for review, with at least one week allowed for reading and comments prior to the exam date.

The examining committee must comprise of the Research Supervisor, one Co-Reader, and the Committee Chair. The Chair acts as moderator of the defense.

For further detailed information on UBC thesis procedures, please see the following Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies websites, which students must refer to for proper preparation and submission of their thesis once their defense is complete:

Preparing for a thesis – https://www.grad.ubc.ca/current-students/dissertation-thesis-preparation
Submitting a thesis – https://www.grad.ubc.ca/current-students/final-dissertation-thesis-submission

The MASc Defense should proceed as follows:

The student will present a brief summary of their thesis (not to exceed 25 minutes in length).

Members of the audience should be asked for questions. Following these questions, a short break should be announced to allow any members of the audience to leave if they desire.

This will be followed by an oral examination in the general area of the thesis. Each examiner should ask questions for 15-20 min, with the option of a brief second round for follow-up questions. The Chair may ask a question or two out of interest or for purposes of clarification but is not normally expected to do so.

Following the examination, the candidate and audience members will be asked to leave the room and the Committee will hold a private, “in camera” session. The Chair will ask the Committee members to give their feedback on the student and the student’s performance during the examination, and moderate a discussion to determine a final grade.

  • The grade will be based on the quality of the research and the preparation and defense of the thesis. To assist the committee, a marking guide is provided.
  • A failing grade (less than 68%) must be accompanied by a written summary from the committee outlining the reasons for this decision. If a student fails the exam, the examining committee may recommend a re-examination at a later date, but the committee is not required to do so.
  • The examining Committee may recommend that the thesis is acceptable in the form presented, or it may request changes be made to the thesis before the title page is signed. Responsibility for ensuring that such changes are made will lie with the Supervisor.

The Chair will then recall the student and supervisor and announce the decision and grade. The Chair may ask at this time that the title page of the thesis be signed by the Committee or may ask that the student first make required revisions.

The Chair will then complete an MASc Examination Report and submit it to the department in a timely manner. After members of the Examining Committee have signed the thesis approval form, the student will be required to submit the thesis to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Questions about the MASc program can be directed to our student services staff by emailing help@ece.ubc.ca

MASc Admissions

Applications for the January 2023 start date are open from May 1st to June 1st. Applications for the September 2023 start date will be open from October 15th to January 15th.

Before applying, we recommend that prospective students explore the general research areas that the ECE department is structured around:

Prospective applicants can also explore the personal web pages of the faculty members they might be interested in working with. Our faculty listing can be found here.

We recommend that prospective students also consider their financial situation and the costs of living in Vancouver during a graduate program. For information on the financial requirements of living in Vancouver and studying at UBC, please visit our Costs page.

Questions about MASc Admissions can be directed to our student services staff by emailing help@ece.ubc.ca.

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 following ECE Department minimum requirements which are mandatory before you will be considered for admission to our graduate programs.

Dates and Deadlines

Students applying for September admission will be notified of a decision in the Spring. Students applying for January admission will be notified of a decision in late Summer. These rough timelines of results depend on the number and competitiveness of applications being reviewed.

Application Requirements

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 bachelor’s GPA in the first-class range and can show demonstrated aptitude for research.

Applicants to the MASc program must have a faculty member who is willing to supervise them before they can be admitted. It is not mandatory to find a supervisor before applying, but you are welcome to contact faculty beforehand to inform them of your interest in applying. Please note that all complete applications are made available to all faculty members for review. When you apply, you will be able to indicate your preferred supervisors or research groups you are interested in working with.

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 following ECE Department minimum requirements which are mandatory before you will be considered for admission to our graduate programs.

Grade Requirements:

Applicants to our MASc program from the US or Canada must have a minimum B+ (3.3 on a 4.0 point scale) average overall in their Bachelor’s program. For specific requirements for applicants from other countries, please check the UBC minimum requirements here. Due to the competitiveness of our MASc program, it is preferred that MASc applicants have a GPA in the first-class range.

Language Requirements:

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, 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. The department may request proof of English proficiency from any candidate where there are concerns that their language skills may interfere with success in the 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 noted on your application. 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.

Please note that in some cases there are a few other forms of acceptable language scores that are approved at UBC for submission. Please see the following website for more information: https://www.grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/application-admission/english-language-test.

Application Documents

Hardcopies of documents are no longer required to apply for our programs. If you are admitted to UBC, further instructions on submitting hardcopies will be sent to you directly. We will require the following when you submit your online MASc application:

Official Transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended (college, university, etc.): You are required to upload a PDF version of your official transcript that clearly shows your university grading scale. Please note that we do accept current transcripts from degrees that are in progress at the time of application.

  • UBC students do not need to provide transcripts to their applications for their UBC degrees, as we already have UBC transcripts on file.
  • Please upload a PDF version of your overall GPA calculation if your GPA is not clearly indicated on your official transcript. For Canadian and US universities, GPA is calculated using only upper-level (300, 400, and graduate-level) courses. For international students, GPA is calculated using all grades listed on the transcript.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): Your CV should outline professional employment experience, education, publications, and awards which you feel should be taken into account in considering your application for admission and/or scholarships. Please ensure that you list the titles of research projects / graduation theses. If your thesis or other writing is available online, please consider including links to your work.

UBC-Specific Statement of Purpose: A clearly written (two pages maximum) Statement of Purpose outlining your goals for your program. Specifically, you should detail why you would like to attend UBC to engage in studies leading to a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your interest area, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research goals, and your future career goals. Additionally, please indicate whether you have been awarded or have applied for any scholarships for your time in our program, and include amount of funding, duration of funding, etc.

TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required): See above for specific language proficiency requirements. Please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores must be sent in via ETS transfer from the test centres directly. We are unable to accept any other means of TOEFL or IELTS submission.

  • For TOEFL submissions, we only accept academic test scores (NOT general). Please use the UBC institution code 0965 when sending in your scores to UBC. If asked for a department code, please indicate the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.
  • For IELTS submissions, please indicate on the IELTS application form the following:
    • Name of institution: The University of British Columbia
    • Name of person/department: Graduate School Admissions
    • Address: 170-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2, Canada

A scan of your Permanent Resident Card (if applicable): If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, you are required to submit a PDF scan of both sides of your Permanent Residency card or, if you have not yet obtained a card, of your Record of Landing in Canada.

Three Reference Letters: All three reference letters must be submitted by your referees to your application. At least one of your references should detail your academic achievement and how you would perform in a graduate level degree program. Please be sure to contact your referees in advance of your application so that you have their correct contact information. When you apply, you will be asked to provide the following referee information, and an email will be automatically sent to them asking for their reference submission via either our e-reference form or uploading a written letter:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • An official institution email address – personal email addresses (gmail, yahoo, etc.) cannot be accepted.
  • Contact information at his/her institution
  • Title or position held

GRE scores are not required: All applicants are welcome to submit a GRE score in support of their application if they wish, but it is not required for a complete application. If you choose to submit a GRE score, please ask GRE to submit their examination report to UBC using the institution code 0965.

How To Apply

Submit Your Application Online through UBC’s admission portal

The online application system will ask several ECE-specific questions. Please think about the following questions in advance of beginning your online application:

  • Which research area are you interested in?
 Acronym Research Area
 BIOT Biomedical Technologies
 COMM Communication Systems
 COSE Computer and Software Systems
 EPES Energy Systems
 MINA Micro and Nano Technologies
  • For MASc and PhD applicants, which faculty members are you interested in working with?
  • Do you require financial support?