Master of Engineering


The Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering (MEng) program is a non-thesis, course-based professional graduate program in Civil Engineering, and is available in the following areas of specialization:

Note that the specialization does not appear on the degree parchment or on the transcript.

Successful completion of the MEng degree requires the completion of 30 credits of coursework, subject to various constraints and requirements as provided below. For further information, please contact the Civil Engineering Graduate Support Office.

University Policies and Regulations

All students should also be aware of the relevant campus-wide Policies and Regulations within the University Calendar, including the Statement on Academic Freedom. They should also be aware of the relevant University Policies, giving particular attention to: Policy LR2 – Research; Policy LR11 – Inventions; Policy SC6 – Scholarly Integrity; and Policy SC3 – Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

Coursework Requirements

The MEng Program requires completion of at least 30 credits of coursework beyond the Bachelor’s degree. The 30 credits are subject to the following requirements:

  • 500 level courses. A minimum of 24 credits of graduate level courses (numbered 5XX) must be completed, of which at least 12 credits must be in Civil Engineering (labelled CIVL 5XX).
  • CIVL 597.  All students are required to register once at the start of term 1 in the appropriate section of CIVL 597 Graduate Seminar (1 credit, Pass/Fail mark); however, they are encouraged to attend the seminar series (without subsequent registration) throughout their time in the program.
  • CIVL 592. A maximum of 6 credits may be taken through CIVL 592 Directed Studies.
  • CIVL 598. A maximum of 6 credits may be taken through CIVL 598 Topics in Civil Engineering. (These are courses that have not yet been approved by the University Senate.)
  • 300/ 400 Level Courses. A maximum of 6 credits of 300 or 400 level courses may be taken.
  • 100/200 Level Courses. 100/200 level courses may not be used for credit towards the MEng program.
  • Specialization Requirements. Coursework requirements specific to each area of specialization must be satisfied and may be found under Areas of Specialization.

Students are required to obtain approval of their course selection from their Specialty Advisor.

Coursework Regulations

Coursework Plan.  Prior to registering in any courses, all MEng students are required to secure the approval of a Coursework Plan from their Specialty Advisor. The student should initially develop a draft plan that lists the proposed courses and schedule, taking account of course availability (not all courses are offered every year) and term in which they are given (see Course Schedule), and may take account of prior courses, core course substitutions and elective course selections in the manner indicated below. This will assure adherence to course credit requirements, coursework regulations, an appropriate course load and selection, and no scheduling conflicts.

Minimum Course Marks.  A minimum of 68% is required in each course used for credit. However, a maximum of 6 credits with grades between 60 and 67% may be accepted for credit, if the candidate has an average greater than or equal to 68% in all coursework. Supplemental examinations are not granted to graduate students: a course in which a grade of less than 60% is obtained may be repeated for a higher standing, subject to approval of the Department. A student who obtains a grade of less than 68% in more than 6 credits will normally be required to withdraw for inadequate academic progress.

Prior Courses and Transfer Credit. Transfer credit arrangements for the MEng degree correspond to those indicated by Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (see Transfer Credit). These allow students to transfer up to 12 credits of coursework taken prior to or after admission to the current program, subject to certain constraints. The courses cannot have been used to satisfy the requirements of another credential; they cannot have been used as a basis for admission to the current program; they must have been taken within five years of admission to the current program; and a standing of a least 74% must be obtained in the relevant courses.  For clarity, transfer credits may be applied to all courses used for credit in the current program, including CIVL 500-level courses, but not for CIVL 597, and need not entail exact course equivalencies. Students requesting transfer credit, including advanced credit from prior studies, should consult the Specialty Advisor upon entry or prior to registering in affected courses; the Special Advisor may so recommend to the Graduate Advisor for written approval.

Core Course Substitutions. A Core Course may be substituted by an elective course if the equivalent course has already been taken.

Selection of Elective Courses. Elective Courses may be selected from the list of Approved Elective Courses for the relevant specialization, CIVL 592 (which needs to be arranged with a particular instructor), a relevant CIVL 598 section (if available) and/or other courses including 300/400 level undergraduate courses and courses outside Civil Engineering. However, beyond the Approved Elective Courses, the final selection of elective courses requires the approval of the Specialty Advisor, typically at the time of Coursework Plan approval. At all times, Department-wide course credit requirements and constraints need to be strictly adhered to.

Part-Time Status, Leaves of Absence and Program Duration

MEng students are normally considered full-time, but may apply for part-time status, and/or may apply for leaves of absence during their programs. (Such changes in status may impact the level of tuition fees charged.) In particular, MEng students may be granted a leave during the summer session when they do not register in courses. In any event, the program must be completed within 5 years of initial registration.

Leaves of Absence. Students may apply for a leave of absence to have time away from their academic responsibilities. Leave is granted for personal, health, professional, or other reasons. Leave, not including parental leave or leave to pursue concurrent programs, is limited to one year for MEng students. A leave will normally begin on the September 1, January 1 or May 1, and will extend for a period of four, eight, or twelve months.

The Department must approve all leaves of absence, and requests for leaves for medical reasons must be accompanied by a doctor’s note recommending the leave. It is understood that students with on-leave status will not undertake any academic or research work, or use any University facilities during the period of leave. Students must inform the University immediately upon return. Building access requests during leaves will be denied. The time spent on leave is not counted as part of the allowed time for completion of the degree.

Parental Leave. Any graduate student who is welcoming a child into their family is eligible for parental leave. Students are permitted a leave of between 4 and 12 months.

Financial Support

MEng students are not eligible for financial aid administered by the Faculty of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies, nor for financial support made available through the Department of Civil Engineering. The sole exception is that MEng students may apply for Teaching Assistantships within the Department (see Funding); however a very limited number of TA appointments are directed to MEng students. Some scholarships and awards exists for M.Eng. students. Eligible MEng students will be automatically considered for applicable awards.


Extenuating circumstances may justify additional time to complete the degree program. A request for a one-year extension must be justified and supported by the student’s Specialty Advisor, but this requires a compelling rationale. A second year’s extension requires a compelling rationale from the Specialty Advisor and an explanation of the special circumstances that would justify the exception. All extension requests must be made through the Department by emailing and must include a schedule showing how the thesis will be completed in the period requested. Extensions will not be granted beyond two years.

Co-op Program

MEng students have the opportunity to apply to the Co-op Program in order to gain paid work experience during their program at UBC. Typically, the program starts with a mandatory pre-employment training workshop in the Fall; then, after completing two terms of study, the students proceed with two four-month work terms (in the summer and fall), and then return to campus to complete their programs as necessary. MEng students apply here.

Transfer between Programs

MEng to MASc or PhD. A transfer from the MEng to the MASc or PhD is usually based on invitation from a faculty member. For more information, please see Transfer Degree or Program on the G+PS website.

Program transfers involving other Departments. Such program transfers are possible if the original and intended disciplines are closely related. Otherwise, if the intended transfer is to a distinct discipline, then it is treated as a new admission.

Transfer of Specializations. It is also possible to transfer between specializations within the same program. Transfer requests will be considered after completion of Term 1 courses.

The following requirements relate to the various transfers:

  • All transfers must be supported by a strong rationale relating to the student’s personal or professional goals and a review of the student’s academic qualifications.
  • All transfers need be approved by the current and intended Research Supervisors / Specialty Advisors and the Graduate Advisor.
  • The effective date of transfer must correspond with the beginning of a term, and must not be earlier than the beginning of the term in which the transfer is recommended.
  • A program transfer does not change the maximum time allowed for completion of degree program, so that the start date of the intended program is taken as the start date of the original program.
  • Transfers between programs involving a change of discipline are treated as new admissions.
  • Bear in mind that transfers between programs may have implications for student funding.

Additional information is available on the G+PS website. The relevant forms, which indicating the supporting materials and approvals required, are available here.

Degree Application

Upon the completion of program requirements, a MEng candidate must apply for graduation and thereafter inform the Civil Engineering Graduate Support Office.