Find your community

Students smiling

There are so many reasons to study engineering – from being able to work in a well-paying job right after graduation to applying your knowledge and critical-thinking skills to make things better. Here’s another reason to add to the long list: the incredible community you’ll join from the very first day you step on campus.


A welcoming community of diverse individuals

If you read through the profiles of UBC Engineering students and alumni, one thing comes through loud and clear: this is an inclusive community where you will make lasting friendships. 

Our program attracts a diverse group of students, from both across Canada and internationally. 

They have very different backgrounds, interests and personality types. Yet they share a curiosity about the world and are willing to put in the time and energy to transform seemingly daunting challenges into innovative solutions.

Students and alumni

Group projects promote connections

Starting in your first year, many of your class assignments will be group-based design projects. You will be part of a team of students asked to come up with a solution for an open-ended problem. You might meet your new best friend through these group projects or just make a connection with a new study partner. 

“One of the projects you do in first-year engineering is to build a cardboard chair,” says alum Divya Budihal, who is now a robotics and autonomy software engineer at Zipline (a company that uses drones to deliver medical projects). “Every single person on my team ended up going into a different specialization, which I think was our superpower! We won an award for best design and briefly considered whether we should launch our chair as a product. I became very close with one team member who also shared my passion for global development and we worked on a start-up idea together for a few years afterwards.”

Another advantage of this focus on group work is that you’ll be learning skills for life. 

You’ll learn how to work effectively in a team, building on each member’s strengths and integrating the diverse perspectives of your peers to solve engineering challenges that affect us all. 

As Biomedical Engineering student Madhini Vigneswaran says: “Group projects are very important – it’s how things get done in the real world! In biomedical engineering, you have to connect and work with medical professionals, as well as engineers and other. Knowing how to communicate, be part of or lead a team, resolve conflicts – all those skills are really enhanced over your engineering degree.” 

Foundation year  Cardboard chair project  

Zipline  Biomedical Engineering


Madhini Vigneswaran


Events foster community

Although students entering first year are sometimes apprehensive about how easy it will be to make friends, UBC Engineering students tell us that this is not the case at all. Group study sessions and events are easy ways to connect with others. 

“The engineering community is a definite highlight of the program,” says Electrical Engineering student Jasia Azreen. “There’s a lot of support for students, including tutoring and mentoring sessions hosted by the Engineering Undergraduate Society as well as more general ones from AMS.”

A few years into her time at UBC, Sharlene Santiago switched into engineering from science. Here’s what she had to say about the difference between the two: As a science student, I tried making friends the usual ways, but it was really hard. In engineering, it was so much easier. Everyone was encouraged to join the group chat for their discipline and you could get updates on events and easily to reach out to people in your classes. Engineering is often viewed as a difficult program, and it is. But there are lots of support systems in place and the community is very tight knit."

Engineering Undergraduate Society  AMS

Don’t forget all the stuff going on outside of class! Vancouver and Kelowna are vibrant cities, and both are located next to world-renowned areas for outdoor adventure. 

University is a lot more than just coursework, and you’ll be amazed at all the experiences available to you.

UBCV and UBCO have something for everyone

Learn from others on design teams

Design teams are a great way to meet people and learn from others – and UBC has more student engineering design teams than any university in Canada. Whether you’re interested in aircraft or cars, robotics or sustainability, there will be a team for that.

Teams are entirely student run. And while they can be a lot of work, they are an incredible way to dive into an area you are passionate about (and perhaps travel internationally to enter a competition, as well!).

Alyona Glazyrina, for example, says that her experience as part of the UBC Mars Colony design team was the highlight of her time at UBC. 

“In second year, I had to learn computational fluid dynamics for the Mars Colony work, even though you don’t normally study this until fourth year,” she says. “Getting to preview some of that material and learn from senior engineering students was really great. Now that I am captain of the design team, I am sharing my knowledge with others.”

Design teams  UBC Mars Colony

Engineering might not be what you think it is


Capstone projects are like being part of a mini-consulting firm

In the last year of your engineering degree, you’ll work on a full-year capstone project with an industry partner to come up with a solution to a real-world challenge. You and your team will spend hours together as you work through the design process develop a solution that meets your client’s needs. 

When students are asked about the highlight of their experience, time and time again they mention how amazing it was to be creating something as a group that no one individual could ever solve on their own.

For example, in 2024, one group of Materials Engineering students worked with Hatch Engineering to develop a process for recycling lithium-ion batteries. As they say in a summary of their project, “Each of us made significant contributions to different elements of this project. There’s a lot of pride that comes from looking at the process flow diagram or feasibility study, to take just two examples, and knowing your role in putting that together. We were also a very strong team and supported each other throughout the year. Finally, this project was a lot of fun. In many ways it felt like we were operating like a consulting firm working with a client – which is what many of us will likely end up doing after we graduate!”

Capstone project  Hatch Engineering

Why engineering is the most versatile degree

Setting you up for a successful career

Chemical Engineering alum Erin Madro says that learning from your peers and learning how to work in a group are some of the most important skills she developed at UBC. 

Erin Madro

“What I loved about the engineering program is that it’s far more collaborative than it is competitive,” she says. 

“The program is designed to push a huge volume of information at you and the only way to get through it is by working with others and leaning on each other for support. You don't realize how important that is until later on in life when your professional career is all about working together with people in teams.” 

An engineering student at the Design and Innovation day exhibit

Want to know more about UBC Engineering?

Sign up to receive emails from us, and every few weeks we’ll keep you up to date on topics to help you learn more.

Subscribe now

Design & Innovation Day, Kai Jacobson

Start Your Future at UBC Engineering

You may not know yet if you’re interested in leading an organization. But one thing is certain. Starting your future at UBC Engineering will give you a well-balanced education and sought-after skills – the first step and the foundation for a challenging and rewarding career.

Undergraduate Admissions


Latest Research in Action Stories

Learn from professors who are outstanding leaders in their field.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Social Media The globe is the default icon for a social media platform. TikTok The logo for the TikTok social media platform. Calendar Location Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.