Technical Electives

For basic technical elective requirements/constraints and a list of approved technical electives, visit our student-run IGEN website for more resources.

Complete IGEN Technical Elective Requirements Notes  

Last update – 2022 Sept 16.    (clarification for CHBE 356 and ELEC 341, allowing 1-credit surplus to continue students graduating in 2023 May)

Please contact the Academic Adviser for further clarifications, or if an error is in the material below (

  1. Student Advising on Technical Electives – There is no formal review procedure or approval during the year for these requirements, and is the student’s responsibility to ensure that requirements are met prior to applying for graduation during your final year.  To ensure you are on track, you are highly recommended to contact the IGEN Academic Advisor ( to regularly review your Technical Electives to ensure that they meet the requirements listed below.
  2. 18 Credits of Technical Electives – You must take 18 credits of technical electives in your third and fourth years.  You are encouraged to take a combination of 300- and 400-level courses that support your academic and career goals, given the constraints with respect to specialization, technical content, and other items noted below.
  3. Major, Minor and Tertiary Requirements – You must select nine (9) credits in one engineering discipline as your major, six (6) credits in a different discipline as your minor, and three (3) credits from a discipline of your choice as your tertiary requirement.  Your tertiary requirement is allowed to overlap with your major or minor.   The courses chosen should either be a core selection of the program, or a technical elective allowed by the program which is directly relevant to the chosen engineering discipline.  Consult with the IGEN Academic Advisor to discuss any courses which may require review.   
    1. Your Major and Minor areas should be separate engineering disciplines, but your Tertiary course may be combined to overlap with your Major or Minor, can be made up of additional credits from the two areas (see point #7 below), or can be an entirely different engineering discipline.
  4. Engineering Disciplines – You may choose to specialize in any engineering discipline offered by UBC-Vancouver.  The disciplines are listed on the engineering undergraduate program website.
  5. Maximum of 3 credits of 200-level course allowed as a prerequisite to other courses:   Some electives require a second-year course as a pre-requisite. A maximum of three (3) credits of second-year courses in the Applied Science faculty may be used as a technical elective if and only if it is a prerequisite for a third or fourth-year technical elective.
  6. Graduate Courses allowed – You can do a graduate course as a technical elective. However, note that to do a graduate course you must be in 4th year, have a 76% or better average, and obtain permission from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Also, some graduate courses are “piggy-backed” onto undergraduate courses, that is, the graduate course is the undergraduate course plus, for example, some extra independent work.
  7. Adding Credits from 4-credit courses –  You may use credits from 4-credit courses and combine them in different ways to make up an area of your Major, Minor, or Tertiary requirement, provided that you fulfill the requirement for Majors and Minors coming from different disciplines.  
    1. Note that this does NOT extend to 200-level courses, which are still limited to a maximum of 3 credits.
    2. In practice, students have been able to combine additional credits from different disciplines to make up the 3 credits required for the Tertiary requirement, there is no requirement that all 3 credits for the Tertiary requirement come from one discipline. 
    3. ELEC 341 / CHBE 356 – starting in Fall 2021, CHBE 356 will be a 4-credit course, and the Controls requirement for IGEN (either CHBE 356 or ELEC 341) will require a full 4 credits to complete.   The graduation requirement changed to a 4-credit requirement for IGEN students who entering 3rd year IGEN in Fall 2022 . UPDATE Sept 2022 – students planning to graduate in May 2023 is the final year where the 1-credit surplus form ELEC 341 will be allowed to count towards the 18-credit IGEN Tech Elective Count (Updated from: It has to be confirmed whether students who are entering 4th year IGEN in Fall 2021 and earlier who have completed ELEC341 are still allowed to use the 1 credit surplus formerly embedded into the program towards the 18-credit IGEN Technical Elective count. ELEC341 Controls Course – Note that there is a 1-credit surplus in the IGEN core program for students who take ELEC341 as the Controls option in the program (instead of CHBE356), as the Controls Requirement for IGEN only needs 3 credits. This 1-credit surplus from ELEC341 can be combined with other courses as part of the Major, Minor or Tertiary requirement.)
  8. Types of courses typically allowed
    1. Core technical required courses in the engineering disciplines which are taught by Applied Science, or technical electives directly relevant and to the engineering discipline
  9. Types of courses which need to be reviewed by the IGEN Academic Advisor prior to approval
    1. Core courses from other programs taught outside of Applied Science (e.g. science courses in MATH, CHEM, BIOL, STAT)
  10. Types of courses typically NOT allowed
    1. Design courses, Research-based courses, or Thesis courses, where there is a significant focus on open-ended group work or independent design work.   This includes (but is not limited to) courses where the core technical content for the course cannot be clearly identified before the course begins.
    2. Courses which are normally counted as part of Complementary Studies courses, which include:
      1. Technical Communication
      2. Engineering Economics
      3. Impact of Engineering on Society, Sustainability, and Environmental Stewardship
    3. Courses with significant overlap with existing required IGEN courses.
  11. Department-specific notes:
    1. CPEN –   300 and 400-level courses in Computer Science (CPSC) are allowed as technical electives for the CPEN option
    2. IGEN  – Integrated Engineering courses offers some 400-level courses directed towards Pipeline Engineering.   These courses may be taken and counted as an IGEN Major, Minor, or Tertiary requirement. In consultation with the IGEN Academic Advisor, some of these courses may be combined with other Engineering Disciplines to count towards those programs (possibly MECH, CIVL, MTRL).  Consult the Academic Advisor for review and approval.