News & Events

Admissions questions? Find out if you are eligible

November 5, 2022
UBC MEL MHLP - Admission Questions: Eligibility Requirements

If you’re thinking about applying to the MEL or MHLP, you likely have some questions about the admissions process. In this series, we chat with some of our team members about the eligibility requirements and application process for the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degrees.

We spoke with Chelsea Ousey, Student Recruitment Specialist, about the MEL and MHLP eligibility requirements.

Tell us about your job.

I spend most of my day communicating with prospective students about the MEL and MHLP degrees. My goal is to help them understand if these programs can help them reach their professional and academic goals, and to answer their specific questions about eligibility requirements and the application process. If the applicant is admitted, I and my colleagues on the MEL and MHLP Student Services team then work with them as they transition to life as a student.

How can someone figure out if they are eligible for the program?

The best place to start is to review the eligibility requirements on the website. I also encourage everyone to attend an information session to gain a clear understanding of the program.

Once they’ve done those two things, if prospective students have any additional questions, they can always book an advising appointment where we’ll discuss their goals and career path to figure out if they meet the criteria and, just as important, if the program is the right fit for them.

What are the minimum academic requirements?

Both programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For students pursuing the MEL, we’re looking for a degree in applied science, like engineering, planning or architecture. For the MHLP, we’re typically looking for a degree in practising health care, such as nursing, pharmacy or occupational therapy.

Some MEL and MHLP programs have specific criteria, so applicants should definitely review the program-specific requirements. In the MEL programs in Clean Energy Engineering and Sustainable Process Engineering, for example, applicants need to have completed a second-year course in thermodynamics.

What are the minimum work experience requirements?

We are looking for three years of work experience in a field directly related to the program you want to study. So if you are applying to the MEL in High Performance Buildings you should have at least three years of experience in building design as an engineer or architect. If you are applying to Seniors Care you will need at least one year of experience working with seniors, or for Clinical Education you’ll need to have a background as a clinician.

Why is relevant and related experience so important?

The MEL and MHLP are professional master degrees. This makes them quite different from traditional academic degrees.

What you’ll be learning applies directly to your job and profession, and you’re far more likely to excel in the program if you have at least three years of professional experience in the sector you intend to study.

What if someone is not sure if they are eligible?

I encourage everyone who’s interested in the MEL or MHLP to start with an information session – these are interactive sessions and many eligibility questions get answered there. After attending the online information session, you’ll be invited to an advising appointment with a member of our student recruitment team. We can address any specific questions you might have, and help you in your next steps to apply.

How important is an applicant’s undergraduate GPA?

The MEL and MHLP programs require a minimum 76% average in your upper years or study (third and fourth year) if you completed your degree in Canada or the United States. If you completed your degree abroad, you will need to meet UBC’s minimum academic requirement for your country of study.  Having said that, if you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, but otherwise submit an outstanding application, you could still be admitted. However, the programs are competitive – so even if you meet all the criteria, you may not be accepted.

Any advice for those who are applying?

Check out how to apply: this guide will take you through the process step by step.

Start your application early and take your time. I suggest you submit your application and pay your application fee four weeks before the application deadline. Once we have those, we can contact your referees.

Remember that this application represents everything that the admissions committee knows about you. So make sure it is reflective and comprehensive. In your letter of intent, tell us how this program is right for you and how it will help you hone your skills. Have a friend or colleague review your entire application and give you candid and critical feedback. A second set of eyes can help identify areas that can be improved.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I applied to several master’s programs in early 2019, and despite working in the field of higher education for 10 years, I found that the application processes could be confusing! If you’re finding applications a little tricky to navigate, don’t worry – I can relate. I really enjoy helping prospective students decide if the MEL and MHLP are the best pathways for them to reach their professional goals and answering their questions about the admissions process. The best week in my job is when I see strong candidates I have been working with get accepted into the program. I often get to call them right after they’ve been admitted to congratulate them – and that’s really thrilling.

Admissions questions? Determine your eligibility for the program. Review some of the key eligibility requirements and application process for the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) and Master of Health Leadership and Policy (MHLP) degrees.