Current Student FAQ

1. When are courses offered?

All of our courses are offered once per year, subject to enrolment numbers. For the updated list of SURG Courses, refer to the BGSC Course Schedule.

2. I want to take SURG 510 & 512 this September. Do I have to wait one year after completing SURG 510 to enroll in SURG 512?

Students in the GCGSC and MGSC are part of a cohort program and thus have the opportunity to take SURG 510 and SURG 512 concurrently. If you would like to take both SURG 510 and 512 this September, please email the BGSC Program Office at to request special permission.

3. How much time should I commit to each course?

The time commitment is usually comparable to a graduate-level, 3-credit, face-to-face course. Each course is estimated to require between 6 and 8 hours per week. However, this varies largely by individual study habits and preferences.

4. How do I register in the courses I want?

Instructions for course registration in Workday Student can be found here.

5. How do I drop a course?

Instructions on how to drop a course in Workday Student can be found here. Students can drop a course up until the add/drop deadline here. After the add/drop deadline, a “W” standing will be noted on your transcript. Please find the instructions on how to withdraw with a “W” here.

6. If I choose to drop a course after registering, can I get a refund?

Student’s enrolled in BGSC Graduate Programs are assessed tuition each term they are registered in the programs. For information about tuition refunds, visit UBC Refund of Tuition Fees.

If you do not want to take any courses in a given term, a Leave of Absence must be requested and granted by the BGSC Graduate Advisor. Please contact the BGSC Program Office at if you are planning on dropping courses.

7. What do I do if I can’t take a course each term or need time away from my program studies?

Please contact the program office at if you are planning on interrupting your studies. A Leave of Absence must be requested and granted by the BGSC Graduate Advisor before you can take time off.

Note: Students must complete all requirements within 5 years of starting the program

8. How do I request a Leave of Absence?

A graduate student who finds it necessary to interrupt his or her studies may apply for a Leave of Absence. Once you have reviewed UBC Policy & Procedures on Leave of Absence, please contact the program office at with your name, student number, reason for requesting the Leave of Absence and the anticipated duration of your leave.

9. What do I do if I have a problem in a course?

As in any course, any problem should first be taken up with the course instructor.

10. Where can I find my course instructor’s contact information?

You can contact the course instructor through the Canvas online learning platform. Alternatively, you may find it and other course details in Workday Student. See information on how to find course sections and view details in Workday Student.

11. I’ve completed all course requirements for my program. How do I graduate?

You must apply to graduate through your SSC account. Please first make sure your financial account is settled as you will not receive a diploma with outstanding fees.  Refer to Student Services – Graduation for more information.

  • Login to the SSC:
  • Go to Graduation > Apply for Graduation
  • Fill out required fields, and click ‘Save’
  • Wait for approval decision by the Faculty of Medicine. You can check your application status in the Graduation Details box on your application at the top of the screen.
  • After your diploma has been conferred, you can pick up your diploma or pay for courier.
    • Your diploma will be ready for pick-up at the Advising Centre in Brock Hall (1874 East Mall located at UBC Point Grey campus).
    • For courier, please log-in to SSC: Graduation tab > ‘Courier my Original Diploma’. You will be able to pay the courier fee and provide an address for delivery. Diplomas will be sent out as soon as the graduation ceremonies end.

Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC)

1. Now that I’ve been admitted to the GCGSC Program, which courses should I register in?

Full-time students: 2 courses per term – 1-year completion

  • September: SURG 510 and 512
  • January: SURG 514 and 516

Part-time students: 1 course per term – 2-year completion

  • September, Year 1: SURG 510
  • January, Year 1: SURG 514 or 516
  • September, Year 2: SURG 512
  • January, Year 2: SURG 514 or 516

2. How long will it take me to complete the program?

Some students who study full-time will complete the program in one year. Most students take two to three years for completion.

Students must complete their requirements within 5 years of starting the program.

3. I’ve completed all GCGSC requirements and graduated. When is the graduation ceremony?

There are no graduation ceremonies in UBC for distance education GCGSC students. Your degree will be conferred and the credential added to your UBC record.

Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC)

1. I have completed the Graduate Certificate and am now interested in pursuing the Master’s Degree. Are my credits transferable?

Courses completed as part of the Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC) program (up to a maximum of 12 credits) are transferable to the Master of Global Surgical Care (MGSC) program in accordance with UBC Transfer Credit Policy.

If you are laddering from the GCGSC or have taken BGSC SURG courses in the past, please review the UBC Transfer Credit Policy, then complete the Elective Approval Request Form requesting the transfer of credits to the MGSC. Once complete, email the form to the BGSC Program Office at for further instruction.

2. Now that I’ve been admitted to the MGSC Program, which courses should I register in?

The following are suggested course schedules for students completing the MGSC full-time or part-time. For a personalized course schedule or course planning support, please contact the BGSC Program Office at

Year 1: Total 15 CreditsSeptember: SURG 510, SURG 512
January: SURG 514, SURG 516, SURG 518
Year 2: Total 15 CreditsSeptember: SURG 560, SURG 542, Elective (3-credit), SURG 517
January: SURG 560 (continued)
Year 1: Total 12 CreditsSeptember: SURG 510, SURG 512
January: SURG 514, Elective (3-credit)
Year 2: Total 9 CreditsSeptember: SURG 517, SURG 542
January: SURG 516
Year 3: Total 9 CreditsSeptember: SURG 560
January: SURG 560 (continued), SURG 518

Note: the 3-credit elective course can be taken  any term during your studies, including the summer term.

3. How long will it take me to complete the program?

Full-time students: 2-3 courses per term; 2-year completion

Part-time students: 1-2 course per term; 2-5 year completion.

Students must complete their requirements within 5 years of starting the program.

4. If I do not take any courses in a given term, are there fees associated with this?

Yes. Students will be assessed either a tuition installment or a continuing fee. Only if a Leave of Absence is approved are students assessed an On-Leave fee.

5. What is the 3-credit elective?

The mandatory MGSC Elective is a 3-credit course taken outside of the 8 core SURG courses. Students may choose from the wide array of courses offered by UBC – Vancouver campus or online provided that they have the pre-requisites/meet the restrictions criteria.
Note: the 3-credit elective course can be taken during the summer terms (May-June and July-Aug).

If you are planning to take an elective, it is important to register early to increase your chances of finding a seat in the course. Once you have had a chance to select a few elective options, please complete the Elective Approval Request Form and return it to

SURG 560

1. What is SURG 560?

SURG 560: Global Surgical Care Field Practicum is a 6-credit course with a field Practicum in a low resource setting. It is delivered over two terms in the winter session (Sept-Apr) and consists of 3 components:

  • Part I is the development of a Research Project Plan
  • Part II is the implementation and oversight of the Project through a field experience
  • Part III consists of a write up and presentation of results for critical review, a reflection on what you have learned and your identification of areas for further learning.

Students will receive guidance and feedback from the Course Instructor(s), Academic Advisors and on-site Supervisors throughout the course.

2. What is the Field Practicum component?

The Field Practicum takes place in a low resource setting and is an ‘on-the-ground’ development and integration of the knowledge and skills gained from the coursework completed during the MGSC program. It provides learners with the opportunity for additional practical skill development in their specialties and regions of interest and is designed to help facilitate their transition into independent Global Surgical Care practitioners. It is strongly recommended that your project will involve a trip to a low resource setting and time spent in a communitySelection of your practicum site is to be discussed during your project proposal design with your academic advisor and the course instructors but you are encouraged to start thinking about your topic and placement location and select your academic advisor before you begin the course.

SURG 560 prospective students are encouraged to contact the BGSC Program Office at to book an academic advising session prior to enrolling in the course and/or arranging their practicum.