FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is IGEN?
Excellent question, my friend. UBC Integrated Engineering (IGEN) is a program that provides a multidisciplinary education unlike any other offered by the university. IGEN develops a core competency in all aspects of engineering fundamentals and then gives the students flexibility in choosing their areas of specialization.
The program also emphasizes systemic project design through interdisciplinary teams, using entrepreneurial methods to solve real-world problems. Finally, IGEN provides students with the communication and leadership tools to accomplish their goals.
Who can apply to IGEN?
Anyone in first-year status at UBC or at a transfer institution can apply to join IGEN in their second year. Upper-year students from other faculties and departments may also apply to transfer late into the program, however, they will have to make up any missed core courses within the IGEN curriculum.
What courses would I take in IGEN?
Please see our
Course Listings under ACADEMIC.
What separates IGEN from other programs?
The most similar program to IGEN at UBC is Engineering Physics. They are also multidiscplinary, but focus on mechatronics (MECH, ELEC, CPEN) with a strong foundation in math and physics.
IGEN introduces you to all of the eight traditional disciplines and then allows you to design systems and products that incorporate an understanding of two or more of these fields. Instead of having one final capstone in your graduating year, we introduce you to project design from the start and give you three opportunities to get comfortable with it. And unlike electrical or mechanical engineering capstones, everyone gets to propose their own ideas for projects and choose from a list of student proposals as well as industry-sponsored challenges.
IGEN also has its own Technology Entrepreneurship course (IGEN 340) that is designed to make you think about solutions for real-world problems and be able to write your own business proposals, financial models, and conduct market research.
How do the project courses work?
In second year, in IGEN 230, you will start off first term by making a line-following robot. This introduces you to the principles of CAD (SolidWorks) and electronics design and allows you to learn from your classmates' own problem-solving methods. In second term, you will propose a project idea and form groups with those who choose the same idea. You will research, design, procure parts, build, test, and present your final project to your classmates and the public at the UBC Applied Science Design and Innovation Day.
Third (IGEN 330) and fourth (IGEN 430) year project courses follow in this suit, with the group projects encompassing two terms instead of one. Your professors expect an increase in the technical rigor of your projects in upper years, and in IGEN 430 your group size is halved to increase the individual contributions of each member. IGEN 330 is most often taken alongside IGEN 340 - Technology Entrepreneurship to help you design projects that are founded on appropriate market research and sustainable business models.
In fourth year, you also have the option to take APSC 486 - New Venture Design instead of IGEN 430.
IGEN is multidisciplinary, yet you say we choose a major and minor. How does that work?
The IGEN curriculum is set up to introduce you to the fundamentals of eight engineering disciplines (ELEC, MECH, CPEN, CIVL, MTRL, MINE, ENVE, CHBE). These courses are chosen to meet accreditation requirements as well as to cover the prerequisite knowledge needed for your upper-year technical electives.
As you progress through your degree, your STT will require less compulsory courses and will have more room for technical electives. You must choose your technical electives such that you fulfill nine (9) credits in one discipline, six (6) credits in another discipline, and three (3) credits in a tertiary discipline -- the latter of which can be a third, separate discipline or one of your other two disciplines.
Please refer to the ACADEMIC section of this website to see the full list of courses.
What co-op and internship options do IGEN students have?
EngCORE gives IGEN students access to MECH, ELEC, CHBE, ENPH, CIVL, MTRL, and CPEN co-op listings, giving you the greatest number of opportunities and the best odds. We also recommend that you extend your scope beyond co-op and apply to internships outside of EngCORE independently. You can intern in whatever role that you see fit, depending on the specializations that you have chosen to integrate and the projects you have worked on.
Some past IGEN internships: power electronics for Tesla superchargers, pipeline engineering for TransCanada, civil infrastructure testing in Arctic Canada, software engineering at Microsoft, manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells engines, PCB design for the Tesla Model X low voltage system, designing test equipment at Ballard Power Systems, product management for a bike startup, and designing control systems for buck converters in DC-DC microgrids.
What kind of career can I have with an IGEN degree?
That is entirely up to you! Due to their holistic background in a variety of engineering disciplines as well as entrepreneurship and project design, IGEN graduates do very well in roles that require a systemic understanding of several technical fields, such Product Design, Program Management, and Consulting. You can also flex your technical electives and project skills and become a specialist in PCB design, mechanical modelling, or software development and work your way up from individual contributor to director of engineering.
Want to deep dive into a certain field? You may also choose to pursue graduate school.
Can I get my PEng license with an IGEN degree?
Absolutely. UBC's Integrated Engineering is a fully accredited engineering program and is recognized by EGBC. When you apply to write the Professional Engineer's examination, you can request to be licensed either as an Integrated Engineer OR as one of your major/minor disciplines (e.g. professional Electrical Engineer, if that was your major).
What is the admission average?
Like all UBC engineering departments, the admission average varies each year depending on demand. As IGEN develops its reputation, it becomes more competitive and thus the admission average is likely to rise.
Due to the nature of APSC's admission process for second-year engineering placements, we recommend striving to excel in your academic performance in first year to increase your chances of securing your first choice.
What should I write in my BBA essay?
The broad-based admissions essay helps the admissions team get a more realistic representation of each applicant beyond the scope of your transcript.
IGEN's values are Community, Diversity, and Ingenuity. We strive to foster a tight-knit community of students with unique backgrounds and professional interests; those whose experiences and perspectives transcend the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines and spark collaborative innovation. We encourage you to highlight the qualities that will make you a great fit for IGEN.
Given that IGEN typically serves well those who are self-motivated, entrepreneurial, and hands-on, we recommend highlighting times in your life where you have demonstrated these qualities or outlining why you would like to develop them.
Have an idea for a project? Include a brief description and why you would like to work on it (do not include technical design details). Do you see yourself running your own company? Tell us about what inspired you to have this goal. Find yourself having to compromise by choosing between two or three engineering departments? Describe the interests you have to integrate these disciplines in a particular field.