Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Program Description

The thesis-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mechanical Engineering is an advanced research-based degree. The program offers students an opportunity to work at the highest level of research, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students complete their candidacy examination within 18 months and complete their doctoral dissertation research within three to four years. It is normal department practice to initially register students in the M.A.Sc. the program, and to transfer them to the Ph.D. program upon completion of the M.A.Sc. (or earlier if recommended by the supervising faculty member).

Students taking their Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering can select one of four research areas: Design and Applied Mechanics, Mechatronics and Manufacturing, Thermofluids, or Biomedical Engineering.


What Makes the Program Unique?

With eight Research Chairs and almost every research faculty member holding a least one NSERC grant, we have one of the most active research programs in Canada and consistently produce industry and academic leaders.

UBC is ranked in the World’s Top 40 Universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute of Higher Education and our Mechanical Engineering professors are recognized nationally and inter­nationally as leaders in their fields.

We offer affordable, competitive tuition fees and extend a number of scholarships, awards, top-ups to external awards, entrance fellowships, Research Assistantships (RA's), and Teaching Assistantships (TA's) to our students.


Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements.

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - Internet-based

  • Overall score requirement: 93
  • Reading: 22
  • Writing: 21
  • Speaking: 21
  • Listening: 22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

  • Overall score requirement: 6.5
  • Reading: 6.0
  • Writing: 6.0
  • Speaking: 6.0
  • Listening: 6.0


Career Outcomes

87 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 78 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):

Sample Employers in Higher Education

  • University of British Columbia (4)
  • King Saud University (2)
  • University of Saskatchewan (2)
  • University of Adelaide
  • UNIKA Atma Jaya
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • University of Tehran
  • Abu Dhabi University
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Ohio University

Sample Employers Outside Higher Education

  • Pratt & Whitney Canada (3)
  • Coanda Research and Development Corporation (3)
  • Westport Innovations (3)
  • FPInnovations (2)
  • Candu Energy Inc. (2)
  • PARC Inc.
  • Paperra
  • Vanmok Innovative Engineering Solutions
  • WK Investment Network

Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer (4)
  • Project Engineer (2)
  • Scientist (2)
  • Manager (2)
  • Senior Piping Engineer (2)
  • Research Engineer (2)
  • Principal Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Business Development Manager
  • Director

Career Options

The graduates of the Ph.D. program find employment at academic institutions and in high-level research and development positions in industry and other institutions. Recent Ph.D. alumni have gone on to work as tenure-track professors in major Canadian and US universities. Others have been employed as research scientists, project managers, and team leaders in high-tech startups or S&P 500 companies.

Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and a ... Read More

The Faculty of Applied Science oversees administrative procedures for the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the School of Community and Regional Planning, the School of Nursing, and all engineering activities at the Vancouver campus and the School of Engineering at the Okanagan campus. Read less