Pre-med alternative pathway

Engineering education is generally seen as the first step towards practicing the profession of engineering. In reality, many engineering graduates have found their engineering education to be an exceptional preparation to pursuing careers in other professions, including medicine.

In light of the extensive use of engineering technology in healthcare, the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC has established an alternative pathway for engineering students. This path allows engineering students organized access to courses required for application to most medical schools while completing their accredited engineering degree.

Admissions and program of study

A maximum of 25 newly admitted high school students per year will be accepted into the Pre-Med Alternative Path. A completed application form and high school grades will be used to select students to enter the Pre-Med Alternative Path. A copy of your Secondary School transcript needs to accompany your application.

Students will be required to maintain a minimum average of 80% to remain in this alternative path. In your first year of engineering your courses will vary from the standard first-year timetable in the following way:

Pre-Medical Pathway 1st Year STTEngineering 1st Year STT
APSC 160APSC 160
MATH 100, 101 and 152MATH 100, 101 and 152
PHYS 157, 158, 159 and 170PHYS 157, 158, 159 and 170
WRDS 150WRDS 150
APSC 100 and 101 APSC 100 and 101
Where you will differ: 
CHEM 121 and 123CHEM 154


In addition to the normal requirements of the engineering program of study for Years 2, 3 and 4, the following courses are also strongly recommended:

  • BIOL 121
  • CHEM 205, 233, and 235
  • BIOC 202 and 302, or BIOC 303

Depending on the engineering program, some of the above courses may be accepted by your program in place of required science courses or in place of technical electives as part of their degree requirements, thus reducing additional time needed. Consult the specific programs for details.


  • The Pre-Med Alternative Path requires additional courses beyond the number required for a regular engineering degree. Students should expect an additional term to complete these course requirements along with their engineering degree requirements.
  • Engineering Co-op students who may need to alter their co-op sequence to accommodate course requirements for the Pre-Med Alternative must meet with a Co-op Coordinator to discuss scheduling alternatives and deadlines.
  • Different medical schools have different course requirements. Students are strongly advised to verify the course requirements with prospective medical schools.
  • Course requirement is only one of the criteria used by medical schools to assess applications. It is the student's responsibility to be informed of the applicable criteria.

Eligibility criteria

  • Admission to the BASc program
  • Biology 12 (or equivalent - may be completed during the summer prior to entering the BASc program)

Application deadline

  • May 15 by 11:59pm PST (the May immediately before you start your 1st year in September)

Application and selection process

Pre-Med Alternative Path Application Form

  • Applications and supportive documents to be submitted via the application from above
  • Prospective applicants may be required to attend an in-person interview.


Important Considerations

Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Pre-Med Alternative Path does not provide students with priority placement into 2nd year Biomedical Engineering. Students wishing to pursue Biomedical Engineering should review information about the pre-Biomedical Engineering path (pre-BME path).

Learn more about the pre-BME path

Biomedical Engineering Options (MECH or ECE)

Acceptance into the Pre-Med Alternative Path does not imply acceptance into one of the Biomedical Engineering options. Students are welcome to apply to those options via a separate application. See Undergraduate Options for more information and application details.

Learn more about BME Options

An engineering student at the Design and Innovation day exhibit

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