Transferring into UBC Engineering
A Q&A with Erin Fehr, Student Recruitment Officer
Why should I consider transferring into UBC Engineering in second year rather than starting out at UBC in first year?
While we always recommend starting your degree where you plan to graduate from, there are lots of great reasons to transfer into UBC Engineering in second year. Like many students, you may be interested in doing your first year at a post-secondary institution closer to home. You may like the idea of smaller class sizes, shorter commuting times or being able to live at home for another year, among other factors. Or you might not have the competitive marks needed to gain admission to first-year engineering at UBC.
Whatever the reason, if you’re dreaming of being an engineer and want to study at one of the best places to pursue your engineering education in Canada, you have options. There are established paths you can follow so that you can do your first-year education elsewhere and then transfer to UBC for the remainder of your degree.
What are my options for transferring into UBC Engineering for second year?
The most straightforward option is the Engineering Transfer Program, which is offered at nine partner institutions across British Columbia. With this option, you will complete the same first-year engineering curriculum at the partner institution as you would if you were a student at UBC. You’ll take courses in calculus, physics and chemistry, as well as some introductory engineering classes. If you complete all the requirements within one academic year (September to April) and get a 3.1 GPA, you can be admitted directly into year two of UBC Engineering.
There are other options as well. Through the post-secondary transfer option you might be accepted into UBC Engineering if you have completed 27 equivalent credits that can count towards our first-year program. If you’re going this route, I recommend you carefully plan out your first-year courses. If you’re transferring from another BC post-secondary institution, use the BC Transfer Guide; otherwise, the UBC Transfer Credit Search Tool can help you out. You want to make sure that the courses you choose for your first year match as closely as those in our program so that you can get full credit and be eligible for admission to second year.
When do I choose my program?
Gaining admission to second-year UBC Engineering is the first step. If you’re planning on studying at UBC Vancouver, you’ll also need to choose and apply for which of the 14 engineering programs you want to study. Like those students who completed their first year at UBC, you’ll be asked to rank your order of preference for the 14 programs. Depending on your GPA, you may or may not be placed in your top choice. You’ll need higher GPAs for some of the more competitive programs.
If you’re applying to study at UBC-Okanagan, you will choose from the four programs offered there – civil, electrical, manufacturing and mechanical – and be placed in your program of choice.
Are students who transfer into engineering in second year as successful?
Definitely. Our data show that students who choose the Engineering Transfer Program are just as academically successful as those who started first year at one of the UBC campuses.
If I transfer in second year, will I have missed out on making connections at UBC?
Not at all! Second-year engineering is when students choose their program of focus, so that’s when students often start building those close connections with others in their program. Each department has its own clubs and events, and you’ll have lots of ways to get involved and meet other engineering students. Other opportunities – like co-op, work experience or studying abroad – also start being offered for students in second year and up. And of course, UBC has an incredible variety of extracurriculars you can pursue, so you will have lots of chances to meet great friends and participate in the events and activities that will make your undergraduate experience amazing.
When should I apply to transfer to second year UBC Engineering?
I recommend that you apply by the December 1 deadline for first round offers. You’ll find out earlier if you’re conditionally admitted and you can make sure to submit your second-year placement form by the May deadline. If you apply for admission between December 1 and the final January 15 deadline, you won’t find out if you’re admitted to UBC Engineering until mid-May or late June, which could also interfere with getting into the programs you are most interested in.
Any other words of advice?
If you’re thinking about studying engineering at UBC, the Engineering Transfer Program offers a seamless and stress-free way to make the transition from a partner institution to second-year UBC Engineering. You won’t have to worry about whether you’ll get credit for the courses you’ve taken. You can be confident that you’re studying the same first-year curriculum, preparing you for success no matter which engineering program you choose at either of UBC’s campuses.