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The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Urban Systems is designed for early-career professionals with undergraduate credentials in disciplines related to urban systems who want to advance their careers in this in-demand area. The program equips you with the high-level technical skills needed to develop practical and sustainable solutions to meet the challenges associated with large urban infrastructure systems.

Cities and their growing populations depend on infrastructure to provide energy, water, sanitation, telecommunications and healthcare. Developing and maintaining infrastructure solutions that are safe, affordable, reliable, environmentally sustainable and resilient over the long term is a challenge of incredible complexity and breadth. 

The MEL in Urban Systems degree integrates engineering, urban planning, management and leadership into a single program. Students gain high-level technical skills that enable them to understand and manage the challenges associated with large urban infrastructure systems while acquiring management and leadership training - a skill set that is highly relevant in today’s business environment.

The MEL a 12-month degree starting in January that follows a project-based curriculum. While 70 per cent of your Urban Systems courses will focus on your technical specialization, the remaining 30 per cent are leadership development courses that will enhance your business, communication and people skills. Delivery of the management and leadership courses are in partnership with UBC's Sauder School of Business. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the MEL in Urban Systems.

What Makes The Program Unique?

It only takes 12 months to complete the program and get an MEL degree. Starting in January, in the Urban Systems program, you will:

  • Deepen your technical skills
  • Sharpen your business skills
  • Develop as a leader
  • Collaborate with industry partners

MEL students are required to have professional experience before starting the program. That means you will be part of a mature student cohort with a variety of professional and career experiences to draw on when you collaborate on projects with one another. Access to this diversity of knowledge and experience is essential to your development.

Read some of our alumni stories on our website to find out how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Urban Systems degree.

Career Options

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally by a wide range of employers — from municipalities and utilities to transportation providers and engineering consulting firms — seeking technical experts who can also manage and lead teams. Graduates will take on roles as city engineers, management consultants, city planners, policy advisors and entrepreneurs. Read some of our alumni stories of how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Urban Systems degree. Graduates of this program started in positions, such as Transportation EIT, Project Initiation Assistant Manager.


Visit the Urban Systems - MEL page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

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