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Below are frequently asked questions and answers relating to the ELEC program.


What is Electrical Engineering?

As an engineer, you will combine your strong mathematical and scientific capabilities with your curiosity about the world around you and how it works. You might be assembling robots or designing software, envisioning the means for environmental protections or finding new ways to communicate with people in the most remote regions of the world.

The Electrical Engineering Program begins in the second year of undergraduate studies after completing the required first year engineering courses. Students will graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering. In electrical engineering students can choose to focus on anything from the electronic properties of microscopic devices and newly discovered materials to the generation and distribution of power in international electric power grids.

What are examples of the typical types of work or tasks that someone in Electrical Engineering does?

The students complete projects that allow them to apply the principles that they learn during lectures, in a very practical way. In the second year program, they work in small groups of 4-6, which gives them valuable experience in cooperation, leadership, time management and communication. The projects provide intimate knowledge of how theoretical knowledge is applied in the real world as well the principles of design. They learn practical skills such as circuit design, mechanical design and software design as well as mechanical (machining), computer (programming) and electrical prototyping (bread-boarding / soldering). The final evaluations focus just as much on the quality of the design as it does on the functionality of the prototype.

In the project featured in this video, all of the groups were tasked with measuring the resistance of a human hand, but each group applied it in a very different way. One group created a driving simulator, which sped up or slowed a simulated car, based on the pressure applied by the fingers to the resistive sensor. A second group created a lock, which would only open after the correct finger sequence had been detected by the resistive sensor.

Connect to a previous student for more student experiences!


What are the typical courses that someone in Electrical Engineering takes?

Students in electrical engineering can choose to specialize in various streams like biomedical engineering. Depending on what students would like to focus on, several courses are available. For example, ECE offers courses in nanotechnology and microsystems to expose electrical engineers to important scientific and technological concepts that are changing the natures of electronics, computing and sensing. ECE also offers courses on chip design, optical devices, microelectromechanical systems, transistors and biological nanotechnology.

The complete curriculum as well as courses for specific streams are available here.

To learn more about specific courses, check out the course descriptions here.


What options or streams are there in Electrical Engineering?

There is a wide scope of professions available to electrical engineers. In the senior years of your studies you can choose to concentrate in the area of electrical engineering that most interests you.

The option is:

• Biomedical Engineering

For more details, check out the Electrical Engineering page at our website.


What are typical student experiences in Co-op like for Electrical Engineers?

Electrical and Computer Engineering students often choose to participate in the Engineering Co-op Program offered by the Faculty of Applied Science. Available to both undergraduate and graduate students, the Co-op Program gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in addition to their degree. All participants are put through an intense screening process in ensure employers are provided with top students with leadership capabilities and a strong work ethic.

"I really like to be in different cities and work in different places. I've been very lucky and had opportunities to work in Ottawa and Toronto, and I even had a chance to go on an exchange program in Singapore and explore South East Asia. I find that spending a good 4 or 8 months working in a different city would allow me to have a better knowledge of the environment, the people, and the living style. It helps one to have great opportunity to live like a local, and that's one of many reasons I love Engineering Co-op. And it was the reason why I decided to apply for the [student] exchange program. Being a part of Co-op and the exchange programs are the two of the best decisions I've made in my life. I've gained so much valuable knowledge that I would never learn in school." ~ Rita Chen, Fourth Year Electrical Engineering Co-op Student

Student Experience

What are the unique student experiences in Electrical Engineering?

University is about more than just lectures, labs, and late-night study sessions. During your time at UBC, you will have many opportunities to meet people from all over the world and experience new things. You can build a solar car with friends, visit Silicon Valley on a field trip with other students and influence your learning environment by participating in student societies and clubs.

Here is a list of Engineering clubs and society that host amazing events throughout the school year!

How does Co-op work with the program?

Undergraduates can apply for the Engineering Co-op Program at the beginning of their 2nd year of their Engineering degree. The year-round program entails one spring and one fall work term as well as three summer work term. Participation in the program will require an extra year of study for undergraduates to finish their B.A.Sc.

More information on the Engineering Co-op Program is available on the website here.