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This online two-year, 30 credit specialized program is designed to prepare surgical care professionals from many disciplines to address surgical challenges and contribute to finding solutions in low resource settings globally.

The program provides a strong foundation for present and future global surgical care professionals by developing knowledge and skills in the interpretation and use of published experience and research, balanced with applied learning in low resource settings. Students will spend four to eight weeks in an underserved location globally, producing practical “on-the-ground” skills. The location of the placement is determined by the student in consultation with a program advisor.

A blended model of practicum based learning and on-line teaching methods facilitate the participation of candidates from across Canada and around the world.

Academic Progress Requirement

For students who begin the MGSC in September 2023 or later, all SURG courses in the MGSC are graded on a pass/fail basis with 74% being required to pass. Students will not receive a grade or percentage on their transcript, but will receive a notation of Pass or Fail.

Students who began the MGSC prior to September 2023 will remain on a percentage grading system.

What makes the program unique?

Our graduate program is an innovative, online program focused on the global burden of unmet surgical care. Learners will build on their health-care related disciplines to gain the fundamental knowledge, critical thinking tools and practical skills needed to lead the way to improved access to care by addressing the gap that exists between surgical need and the equitable provision of safe surgical care in low resource settings.

The Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC) is an online two-year, 30-credit specialized program consisting of 8 courses designed to prepare surgical care professionals from many disciplines to address surgical challenges and contribute to solutions in low-resource settings globally. The MGSC includes the option to complete a specialized stream in Canadian Low Resource Settings, focusing on the unique issues affecting surgical care in rural and remote low resource settings in Canada.

Each 3-credit course is delivered completely online over a period of 12 weeks. Courses are designed to bring different and complementary essential aspects that provide depth and breadth to the subject. Students research journal articles, view videos, complete course-specific tasks and assignments as well as engage in facilitated online discussion forums.

By expanding students’ knowledge of conditions, and global circumstances, that shape surgical care globally, graduates will become leaders in this emerging academic discipline and equipped to play an integral part in provision of global surgical care in low resource settings.

This Masters program bridges the gap between the international demand and the health professionals' education to meet the learning needs of this growing cadre of students. Currently, there are no accredited graduate-level degree programs available to this cadre that focus on surgical care issues and this Masters program is unique in the world.

Program Structure

The MGSC is an online two-year, 30-credit specialized program designed to prepare surgical care professionals from many disciplines to address surgical challenges and to contribute to finding solutions in low resource settings globally. The program is designed for graduate students, postgraduate trainees, surgical faculty, or surgery-related allied health care workers across the globe.

A blended model of practicum based learning and on-line teaching methods facilitate the participation of candidates from across Canada and around the world. Students spend four to eight weeks in an underserved location globally, producing practical "on-the-ground" skills.

Students are required to complete 30 credits of SURG courses which include the 6 credit Global Surgical Care Field Practicum.

  • SURG 510 (3) Surgical Care in International Health
  • SURG 512 (3) Global Disability: A Surgical Care Mandate
  • SURG 514 (3) Surgical Care in Humanitarian Disaster Response
  • SURG 516 (3) Program Planning and Evaluation in Surgical Care Low Resource Settings
  • SURG 517 (3) Clinical Research Methods for Surgical Procedures with Global Surgical Comparisons
  • SURG 518 (3) Surgical Care in Canada's Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities with Global Comparisons
  • SURG 542 (3) Directed Study in Global Surgical Care
  • SURG 560 (6) Global Surgical Care Field Practicum
  • Elective (3) Approved by the Graduate Advisor

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

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: 90









IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5









Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

Applicants should:

  • hold a health-care-related degree such as Doctor of Medicine (MD), Nursing (BSN), Midwifery (BMW), etc.;
  • have been involved or specifically plan to be involved in surgical care programs in underserved regions globally, whether clinically, educationally, administratively or in research.
Other Requirements

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements stated above, but who have had other significant formal training, relevant professional experience, and/or otherwise possess demonstrable knowledge or expertise that would prepare them adequately for successful study in the graduate program, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the Director of the Branch for International Surgical Care and the approval of the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

2) Meet Deadlines

Application open dates and deadlines for an upcoming intake have not yet been configured in the admissions system. Please check back later.

3) Prepare Application


All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.


Course-based programs do not have a thesis component. While they may assign academic advisors to students, they do not require applicants to reach out to individual professors / faculty members to seek commitment as their thesis supervisor. Please do not contact faculty members for the purposes of thesis supervision if you are applying to this program.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support


FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$5,169.05$9,963.45
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) Not applicable
Other Fees and Costs
Student FeesVary
Deposit to accept offer (if admitted)
Deposit requirement$1000.00$1000.00
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options.

Employer support

Organizations may provide their employees with tuition benefits as part of an employment package to support lifelong learning of their workforce.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

Professional / course-based programs usually do not provide merit-based funding. Some programs may offer bursaries.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

Upon completion of the program, learners will be able to:

  • Articulate and discuss both historical and current dimensions of the evolving global surgical care discipline;
  • Apply critical thinking to current and proposed global surgical care projects and programs;
  • Provide leadership in global surgical care, including in the areas of care delivery, infrastructure development, education and research;
  • Analyze barriers to surgical care in underserved populations globally, including both internationally and within Canada (e.g. rural Indigenous communities) and foster solutions;
  • Initiate, design, implement and evaluate a surgical care project (research or educational development) in partnership with host colleagues of a low resource setting globally;
  • Critique programs of disaster mitigation and contribute to disaster readiness both nationally and internationally;
  • Actively contribute to monitoring and evaluation programs of global health initiatives;
  • Provide leadership in advocacy at decision making levels for addressing the unmet surgical care burden of underserved populations globally;
  • Apply the skills of one’s own professional background to the spectrum of the global surgical care discipline.

Graduates will be capable of providing leadership in global surgical care initiatives. Courses on project and research methodology and on monitoring and evaluation methodology, together with a supervised field practicum will enable graduates to determine barriers, challenges and opportunities present in unmet surgical care burdens and to propose and facilitate solutions, in partnership with national host colleagues, to these burdens. They will significantly contribute both as prepared participants and as leaders in the discipline.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.


New Registrations611976
Total Enrolment2425242416

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 73% based on 11 students admitted between 2015 - 2018. Based on 22 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 0.68 years and the maximum time is 3.78 years with an average of 2.28 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs.

Further Information


This program is designed to prepare surgical care professionals from many disciplines to address surgical challenges and contribute to finding solutions in low resource settings globally.

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Program Enquiries
If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

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