Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering (PhD)

Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Electrical and Computer Engineering Program is for students interested in pursuing advanced studies and research in Biomedical Technologies, Communications Systems, Computer and Software Systems, Energy Systems, or Micro and Nano Technologies. Applicants to the program must have a high scholastic standing and must have demonstrated an aptitude for research to be admitted to the Ph.D. program, as the program is designed to develop the ability for independent research.

Electrical and Computer Engineers develop computing systems, from chip architecture to mobile applications, to communications protocols as well as the energy systems to allow these devices and all other electrical systems to function. The discipline has a huge impact on society because it helps to design the systems we use in everything from health to finance to safety.

In this program students can choose to contribute to research on technologies very close to or already in the market or technologies that are in the early stages of research such as quantum computing or carbon nanotubes.

What makes the program unique?

Electrical and Computer Engineering is one of the largest graduate programs at The University of British Columbia with over 75 faculty members and 400 students. All of our faculty members lead distinguished research programs. The faculty members also collaborate with colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science as well as with industry leaders. These collaborations allow our students to work beside world-leaders in their area of interest. Our students use cutting-edge technologies at The University of British Columbia’s many research facilities and centres of excellence as well as in the field.

 

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Engineering
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Applied Science

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Application Notes

Applicants are required to upload to their application a PDF version of their Official Transcripts from each post-secondary institution (college, university, etc) that they have attended, showing both sides of the transcript document to include the university grading scale.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

100
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

No

Prior degree requirements

Applicants to the Ph.D. program must have a course and thesis-based Master's degree and references must include a detailed letter from the thesis supervisor. Applicants who have completed a course-based only Master's program are not generally eligible for the Ph.D. program. Applicants who have completed a degree by research only may have to complete a year of additional coursework as part of their Ph.D. program.

Other Requirements

All applicants are welcome to submit a GRE score, and while GRE scores are not mandatory, international students are strongly recommended to submit them. Please ask GRE to submit their examination report to UBC using the institution code 0965 (UBC). Applicants who have recently (within 5 years) completed a degree in one of the following countries do not need to submit a language score: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and the English-speaking countries of the West Indies. Other applicants, including Canadians, who have completed their most recent degree in other countries must submit a current TOEFL or IELTS (academic, not general) score. Unless you have completed a degree from one of the countries mentioned above within the past 5 years of your application, we require an official, current language score and will not waive this requirement. Our department does not consider conditional admission in the case of pending English language training.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2019
Transcript Deadline: 31 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2019

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

211 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 200 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (9)
British Columbia Institute of Technology (3)
Langara College (2)
University of Tehran (2)
University of California - San Diego (2)
Chinese Academy of Science (2)
University of Calgary (2)
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (2)
Qatar University (2)
University of Alberta
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Amazon (6)
Intel Corporation (5)
Qualcomm (4)
Microsoft (4)
BC Hydro (4)
BC Cancer Agency (3)
Point Grey Research (3)
BroadbandTV Corp. (3)
AMD (2)
Fortinet Technologies Inc. (2)
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Software Development Engineer (7)
Engineer (6)
Research Scientist (4)
Research Engineer (4)
Senior Consultant (3)
Senior Engineer (3)
Embedded Software Engineer (3)
Director (3)
Chief Executive Officer (3)
Software Developer (3)
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

The Doctoral program in Electrical and Computer Engineering prepares students for employment directly after completing the degree or to pursue further a career in research at a public institution. Some of our recent graduates are now working with Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Samsung, D-wave, BC Hydro, Bell Mobility, Sierra Wireless, PMC-Sierra, TELUS, Bank of Montreal, BC Children’s Hospital, The Government of Canada, Drobo, Siemens Canada, Celestica, Cisco, Alpha Technologies, etc. Many of our M.A.Sc. graduates have also gone on to pursue their Ph.D. with us at UBC. Some graduates have completed their PhDs at institutions such as Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Some of our graduate students have also founded companies; a recent example is Veridae that was acquired by Tektronix.

Alumni on Success

Michel AlSharidah

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Employer
Public Authority for Applied Education and Training

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* 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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20172016201520142013
Applications267172161145144
Offers4439475257
New registrations3735353237
Total enrolment186188199218229

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 75.5% based on 151 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 136 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 2.66 years and the maximum time is 8.66 years with an average of 5.16 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. 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 [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 - 12:30pm - Kaiser 4055, Kaiser Building, 2332 Main Mall

Zenan Jiang
Chemical Vapor Deposited Single Layer Graphene as Transparent Electrodes of Flexible Photovoltaic Devices

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - 12:30pm - 418, MacLeod Building, 2356 Main Mall

Mahdi Yousefi
Safety-Preserving Control of Systems with Multiplicative Model Uncertainty: With Application to Closed-Loop Anesthesia

Friday, 14 December 2018 - 9:00am - 418, MacLeod Building, 2356 Main Mall

Carlos Antonio Sanchez
Overcoming Obstacles in Biomechanical Modelling: Methods for Dealing with Discretization, Data Fusion, and Detail

Friday, 14 December 2018 - 12:30pm - 418, MacLeod Building, 2356 Main Mall

Dawood Mohammed Safo Almasslawi
Design Principles for Homecare Documentation Based on Classifying and Modeling Workarounds

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - 4:00pm - Room 200

Guanpeng Li
Understanding and Modeling Error Propagation in Programs

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Aamodt, Tor (computer architecture, optimizing compilers, Computer architecture, Microarchitecture and programming models for energy efficient computer accelerators)
  • Abolmaesumi, Purang (Biomedical Engineering with emphasis on computer-assisted surgery, image-guided therapy and medical image analysis, prostate cancer)
  • Beznosov, Konstantin (usable security and privacy, mobile security and privacy, computer security and privacy, online social networks security and privacy)
  • Bhargava, Vijay (Green communications, cognitive and cooperative wireless systems, MIMO-OFDM systems, cross-layer analysis)
  • Chen, Yu Christine (modeling, analysis, and control of electric power systems.)
  • Cheung, Karen (microfluidics, tissue engineering, biosensors, additive manufacturing, organ-on-chip, BioMEMS, neural interfaces)
  • Chrostowski, Lukas (silicon photonics, biosensors, biophotonics, quantum computing, optoelectronics, photonics, optics, semiconductor lasers)
  • Cretu, Edmond (Clean Energy,Microsystems, adaptive MEMS, micro-instrumentation, nonlinear signal processing, BioMEMS ultrasound imaging)
  • Dumont, Guy A (biomedical engineering; automatic drug delivery; mobile health; global health; anesthesia; physiological monitoring;, Adaptive control, predictive control, control of distributed parameters systems, advanced process control, applications of wavelet analysis, biomedical applications of control, pulp and paper process control)
  • Dunford, William (Electrical power conversion, electric vehicles, alternative enery and sustainable development, DC systems with load and battery management., Clean Energy, power conversion, ranging from utility to microelectronic applications)
  • Fedorova, Alexandra (design of system software: the software that manages the hardware and decides how to allocate its resources to applications; building better performance tools.)
  • Fels, S Sidney (Human computer interaction, human 3D biomechanical modeling, speech synthesis, medical applications of modeling, computer vision, interactive arts and music)
  • Garbi, Rafeef (Medical Image Computing, Machine learning in Medical Imaging, Computer Vision, Image Processing and Analysis, Biomedical Engineering)
  • Gopalakrishnan, Sathish (computer and software systems, real-time and embedded computing (computer systems as part of the real world); cyber-physical systems, Real-time systems, distributed systems, resource management)
  • Ivanov, Andre (microelectronics; integrated circuits, computer chip design, smart grid, engineering curriculum, Computer and Software Systems, Emerging Micro/Nano Technologies)
  • Jaeger, Nicolas A (Integrated-optics, fiber-optics, optical sensors, optical measurement of voltage and current in power substations, ultrahigh-speed electro-optic modulators, ultrahigh-speed measurement techniques)
  • Jatskevich, Juri (Power and energy systems, smart energy grids, power electronic systems and converter circuits, electrical machines and drives, controls, electromagnetic transients, computer modeling and simulation, distributed and parallel simulation)
  • Kruchten, Philippe (software, software design, software development, engineering design, entrepreneurship, project management, profession, licensing, Architecture of large-scale, software-intensive systems Software development processes Software project management)
  • Lampe, Lutz (Communication Systems, Wireless Communications, Mobile Communications, , Communication and information theory, Smart Grid, Grid diagnostics, Ultra-wideband (UWB), Wireless sensor networks, Localization and tracking, RFID, Cognitive radio, Power line communications, Compressed sensing, Machine Learning)
  • Lemieux, Guy (vector processors, parallel programming, programmable logic devices (PLDs, FPGAs), computer architecture, computer arithmetic, custom computing hardware, computer engineering, Programmable logic and computing systems, multiprocessor and computer architecture)
  • Leung, Cyril (Wireless communications, cellular systems, multihop mobile networks)
  • Lis, Mieszko (Computer and Software Systems)
  • Madden, John (artificial muscle, wearables, smart materials, electronic skin, supercapacitors, electrochemical devices, medical devices)
  • Marti, Jose (Computer modelling of response to disasters, Infrastructures Interdependencies Simulation (I2Sim) project, electric power, Energy systems)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Primal Ruwan Wijesekera
    "Dr. Wijesekera developed a contextual permission system to better safeguard personal and sensitive resources in smartphones. The new permission system significantly increases privacy protection of current mobile platforms over the status-quo by engaging the users more effectively." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Ildar Irekovich Muslukhov
    "Dr. Muslukhov investigated how users and application developers protect sensitive data stored in smartphones. The results of his research suggest that both sides struggle, but in different ways. While smartphone users often choose easy-to-guess passwords, application developers lack specific knowledge required to keep data secure." (November 2018)
  • Dr. S.M. Shahrear Tanzil
    "Dr. Tanzil investigated how local cloud resources can be utilized for 5G wireless networks. His proposed computation and caching methods reduce operating cost of 5G networks while maintaining quality of experience. His findings enable users to enjoy a wide variety of augmented reality and personal assistance applications using mobile devices." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Mohammad Ghadir Khoshkholgh Dashtaki
    "Dr. Khoshkholgh studied the analysis and design of large-scale wireless cellular networks comprising of millions of devices. He developed sophisticated mathematical models permitting fast and accurate performance evaluation of such networks without requiring expensive and time-consuming industry simulations." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Shekoofeh Azizi
    "Dr. Azizi's research focused on improving decision-making models for diagnostic ultrasound. She explored novel explainable learning methods for prostate cancer detection. The developed technique overlays information about the presence and distribution of cancer on ultrasound images during biopsy and can improve the detection of aggressive disease." (November 2018)
 

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If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2019
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2019

Program Information

Supervisor Search

 

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