Graduate Programs

Comparing Programs

Below is a table that summarizes the difference between our various programs.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

Master of Applied Science (MASc)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Type of Program





12-18 months

24 months

48 months

Program Components

Graduate Seminar and Optional

Graduate Seminar

Graduate Seminar

Eligibility for Financial Assistance

May apply for Teaching Assistantships

Normally from their thesis supervisors and may apply for Teaching Assistantships, graduate awards and scholarships

Normally from their thesis supervisors and may apply for Teaching Assistantships, graduate awards and scholarships

Cooperative Education

Co-op options available. Approximately 4-8 month terms (Credits not applicable to master’s requirements)



Master of Applied Science

The Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Biomedical Engineering is a 2-year research-based program. The program trains students in the fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering and provides an extended research experience. Graduates are qualified for a variety of career routes, including continuing on to PhD programs as well as pursuing research and development positions in industry, hospitals and other institutions.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Engineering program offers students an opportunity to work at the highest level of research. Students are expected to complete their candidacy examination within 18 months and complete doctoral dissertation research within three to four years. Graduates find employment at academic institutions and in high level research and development positions in industry and other institutions.

Master of Engineering

The Master of Engineering (MEng) in Biomedical Engineering is a 12-16 month program aimed at students who wish to enhance their professional skills in biomedical engineering. Students engage in a combination of course work and internship or co-op work experience. The program emphasizes the clinical and industrial aspects of biomedical engineering and prepares students for careers in hospitals and private industry. Many students find employment as clinical engineers.

PhD Rotation

Students applying for the September intake will be considered for the Biomedical Engineering Rotation Program if they apply by January 1 with all references and official documents submitted.

One of the few offerings of its kind in Canada, the SBME PhD Rotation Program is a unique opportunity for students to meet, work with, and gain experience from multiple researchers across disciplines in the Biomedical Engineering space. Collaborative and interdisciplinary research is integral to scientific advancement – exposure to an array of labs and lab cultures is deeply valuable in broadening both a student’s view of their field as well as their skill set.

Consisting of three, three-month laboratory rotations, students work directly with potential supervisors. This rotation format ensures that when students choose their thesis supervisor at the end of the third rotation, they have found and already collaborated with the best possible fit for their PhD studies.

Students accepted into the Rotation Program are required to complete all three rotations.

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For students interested in both clinical medicine and basic sciences, UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Graduate Studies jointly offer a unique 7 year MD/PhD program. The PhD component of the combined MD/PhD degree is coordinated with various hosting departments and research programs within the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Medicine; the Biomedical Engineering Program participates in this program. Students admitted to this program receive a full fellowship for the period of their studies.

MD/PhD program applicants must apply directly to the Faculty of Medicine and not to Biomedical Engineering. For more information about admission requirements and the application procedure, please visit the MD/PhD program. If you wish to be considered for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering alone in case you are not admitted to the MD/PhD program, you will need to submit a separate application to the BME program.

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Engineers in Scrubs

The first of its kind in Canada, UBC’s Engineers in Scrubs (EiS) trains graduate students to be leaders in medical innovation with a design process that emphasizes impactful outcomes and collaboration with clinical stakeholders. This 8-month addition to the MASc, PHD, and MEng programs teaches biomedical engineers to navigate the interfaces between engineering research, medical research, clinical practice, and product development. Through the program, students receive a significant portion of their training in hospitals and other clinical environments.

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