Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program FAQs

Definitions:

STT – Standard timetable
BME – Biomedical Engineering program
PBME – Pre-biomedical engineering STT (referring to a pre-BME first-year standard timetable)
PMAP – Pre-Med Alternative Path STT (referring to a pre-med alternative standard timetable)

 

BASc Students Currently in Year 1

The BME program is offered in the Faculty of Applied Science, Vancouver campus, and it is collaborative with the Faculty of Medicine.

No, students must take the PBME STT to be eligible for priority second year placement in BME. Students who take the PMAP in their first year will be eligible for placement in BME through the normal competitive process.

Yes, after the priority placement for students currently enrolled in the PMAP STT has been completed, the remaining seats in the program will be filled through the normal competitive placement process.

Students who do not have credit for CHEM 121 and 123 (or equivalent) or BMEG 101 and 102 may receive a placement in BME but may experience a delay of normal program progression due to missing pre-reqs for the second year courses.

Students who have not received advanced credit or did not complete the first-year English requirement or achieved a Level 5 on the LPI in the Winter Session are required to complete the first-year English/Communication requirement before beginning the second year program. If the requirement is not met, students will be limited to 12 credits in term 1 and will not be able to register in any further courses until the requirement has been fulfilled.

Yes, by completing the PBME STT, students will be eligible for placement in any other second year program provided they are eligible for second year by end of April. However, students must complete both CHEM 121 and CHEM 123 to be exempt from CHEM 154, or complete CHEM 154 at a later date for degree completion.

Students in the BASc program must satisfy three credits of first-year English for the BASc degree.

Advanced credit(s) for first-year English from AP, IB or A Levels can be used towards the first-year English requirement.

Students who plan to apply to UBC’s Faculty of Medicine must complete six credits of English prior to applying. More information about the pre-requisites for UBC’s Faculty of Medicine can be found here. If applying to another medical school, please check the admission website of the institution to which you are applying.

 

Students Entering Year 1

Yes, in addition to the normal application for admission process, for all Bachelor of Applied Science (Vancouver campus) programs, new students who are interested in BME are asked to complete an on-line supplementary form to declare their intention to register in the PBME STT.

As a competitive program, entry into the PBME STT will be based on academic standing, interest and approval of the program director. Individuals will be notified prior to their registration date if they have been approved to enter into the PBME STT for year 1. The instructions for the separate PBME STT application process is sent to students who have been admitted to UBC engineering via email, and is posted on our website.

The PBME STT is a slightly modified first year standardized timetable that gives students access to pre-requisites required for the BME undergraduate program. PBME STT is available to students who have already been admitted into the 1st year Engineering Program at UBC-Vancouver.

Taking the PBME STT does not guarantee placement into the BME undergraduate program, but does make students eligible for priority placement (see below) and gives them all the pre-requisites needed for second year BME.

BME is a competitive program. Students who applied but were not provided a PBME STT may be placed on a waitlist and will be notified by email if space becomes available.

No, students must take the PBME STT to be eligible for priority second year placement in BME. Students who take the PMAP in their first year will be eligible for placement in BME through the normal competitive process.

Students who are registered in the PBME STT may be eligible for priority second year placement in BME. In order to qualify for priority placement, students who are in the PBME STT must meet the following conditions

  1. Have a sessional average at the end of the Winter Session of 72% or higher
  2. Be eligible for year 2 standing as determined by Engineering Student Services
  3. Successful completion of CHEM 123 by May 15th
  4. Successful completion of BMEG 101 and 102 by May 15th
  5. Submit a second year program preference form and identify BME as your first choice. The form is released in March.

Students who complete the PBME STT but do not meet one of more of these conditions will still be considered for placement in BME through the normal competitive placement process.

Beyond the admission requirements to the Bachelor of Applied Science, students who are entering first year and intend on pursuing Biomedical Engineering are not required to have any additional high school courses, although we do recommend BC Biology 12 or equivalent.

 

Transfer Students Entering Second Year

Students who are applying to the BASc program (Vancouver campus), and are admitted to second year, will be considered for BME through the 2nd Year Placement process. Placement in BME or another engineering program is not guaranteed. Placement is based on the available seats in the program, competitive average and a personal statement.

Transfer students who receive a placement in BME may be deficient in the first-year requirements. They will be required to meet with a program advisor to ensure pre-requisites for second year courses in BME are met. For more information, please visit our website.

 

BASc Students Currently in Year 2 or Higher

Students who have completed a year or more in another Vancouver campus engineering program and who wish to transfer to BME must submit a Request for Engineering Interdepartmental Transfer. The form will open in mid-March.

Fourth year BMEG (bio-medical engineering) courses will not be available until Winter Session 2020/2021.  If the request is successful, students will need to meet with a program advisor to determine which courses from their current program would be transferable to the BME program.

 

Biomedical Engineering Options (in ELEC or MECH) Outside of BME Program

In addition to the new BME program, the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering offer undergraduates a Biomedical Option. Students who pursue this option are looking for a strong foundation in either Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, but have an introduction and focus on solving biomedical engineering problems that are related to the electrical or mechanical engineering focus of their main program.

Students who wish to apply to the Biomedical Option in either Electrical or Mechanical Engineering are asked to check their respective websites for additional information, application process and deadline.

Students in a Biomedical Option will receive a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering. As a reminder, students in the BME program will receive a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering.

The new BME program will not affect students who are currently enrolled in a Biomedical Option. Students will continue in their chosen program following the guidance of their home department.

Students in a Biomedical Option will be classified as either Electrical or Mechanical Engineering students. Only students who are placed in the BME program will be classified as Biomedical Engineering students.

 

General Questions about the BME Program

In years 2, 3 and 4, students who are in the BME program will be charged an additional fee of $750/year to cover the costs of additional labs. A continuation fee of $188/year will be added for each additional year beyond the regular 4 year program.

The BME program at UBC is not yet accredited. As with any new engineering degree program accreditation is sought from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) when the first cohort of students graduates. The current program has been developed based on current accreditation standards to ensure the program meets requirements outlined by the CEAB. The BME undergraduate program will apply for accreditation upon graduation of the first class of students.

The BME program has an integrated experiential learning component built into the program to include 4 separate optional Co-op terms for students. Please visit the BME website for more information.

Students who pursue the BME program will be part of the Coordinated International Experience (CIE) program. UBC has partnered with top institutions in Europe, Australia and Asia to ensure students can continue their BME studies in one of the partner countries. Students who wish to study abroad in a CIE partner institution will do so in 3rd year.

Biomedical Engineering is a young and broad field which focuses on solving problems and designing and developing technology associated with human health, biology, pathology and injury. Students in the BME program may choose to focus on particular areas that correspond with the four defined streams in the BME program, which are: Biomechanics & Biomaterials, Biomedical Systems & Signals, Bioinformatics, and Cellular Bioengineering.

BME is an interdisciplinary profession which combines the theory and design principals of engineering, with additional knowledge base in core areas of human physiology, biology and medicine. In contrast, fields like Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Computing Engineering or Chemical and Biological Engineering can be said to combine theory and design principals of engineering with additional knowledge base in mechanics and mechanical engineering (for Mechanical Engineering) and so on.

Research is included as part of the integrated experiential learning and students will have an opportunity to conduct research as part of a fourth year project. These details will be provided at a later date.

Students who train in biomedical engineering can find careers in biomedical and biotechnology industries, complete additional graduate training to obtain a MSc or PhD, or go on to take additional training in clinical professional programs such as medicine.

If your question is not covered above, please contact undergrad@bme.ubc.ca to help us update the BME FAQ page with additional information.