Graduate Certificate

Global Mine Waste Management

A focused program preparing professionals for the 21st century.

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Gain knowledge and skills to optimally design, evaluate, and manage mine waste projects.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Mine Waste Management is a unique program for mining industry professionals who want to stay up to date with the latest developments in tailings and mine waste management.

Recent high-profile failures of tailings ponds in British Columbia and Brazil underline the vital importance of understanding and implementing best practices in this field.

From day one, this part-time certificate enables you to learn from industry leaders and apply the knowledge you’re gaining in your courses to your workplace and mine sites.

About Us

A flexible two-year program that integrates with your work


The graduate certificate program consists of four core courses taken over two consecutive years. Each four-month course consists of a two-week in-person session held at the UBC Vancouver campus and that includes two or three days at a local mining operation.

The on-campus sessions bring together industry professionals from across the globe – enabling you to network with your peers and learn best practices from all mining sectors.

The course sessions are offered in an online learning environment and are designed so you can continue working full-time while studying. This flexibility allows you to balance your studies and your career – and to immediately begin applying what you’re learning in class to your work as a mining professional.

The combination of condensed on-campus sessions and online learning also enables professionals working in remote mining operations to pursue graduate coursework in mining engineering.

In Conversation with Dirk Van Zyl

Ladder into an MASc or MEng

Want to continue your post-graduate studies after completing the certificate? You can apply the credits you’ve acquired through this certificate program to a Master of Engineering or Master of Applied Science degree in mining engineering at UBC.



Program Structure

The 12-credit certificate program provides in-depth knowledge of best practices in mine waste management. Courses in the first year of study focus on advanced mine waste management and site management, while those in the second year explore risk assessment and mine waste management case studies.

Each course is offered in a blended three-part format:

  • Part 1: Online learning (two months)
  • Part 2: Intensive campus session at UBC (two weeks)
  • Part 3: Final project, completed through online learning (six weeks)

In the online component of each course, assessments include weekly discussions and online assignments. During the two-week on-campus component, you’ll be assessed through assignments and quizzes. The online portion for each course will include a final project.


The following courses are available as part of the certificate:

MINE 586 (Advanced Mine Waste Management)
  • Develop material characterization programs for mine waste materials;
  • Design an appropriate mine waste management program for a mine; and
  • Outline the basics of a water management system for mine waste management facilities.
MINE 587 (Advanced Mine Site Management)
  • Develop a corporate governance and stewardship program for mine waste management;
  • Develop and implement work scopes and responsibilities for the Engineer of Record for a tailings management facility;
  • Compile characterization and mitigation measures of acid drainage and metal leaching based on the appreciation of the geochemistry of mine waste facilities; and
  • Develop and implement mine closure plans for mine waste management facilities.
MINE 588 (Risk Management for Mine Waste Management)
  • Identify risks associated with mine waste facilities;
  • Develop risk assessments for mine waste facilities; and
  • Develop risk management plans for mine waste facilities.
MINE 589 (Mine Waste Management Case Studies)
  • Develop an understanding of the complexities of the mine waste management field;
  • Develop skills in integrated management; and
  • Develop a better understanding of successes and failures in the industry.

Ready to begin your journey?

Take your time reading the following information below, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any further information.




Admission Requirements

This certificate program is designed for mining industry professionals who want to deepen their knowledge of best practices in the field without interrupting their career.

We’re looking for people who meet the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mining, Civil or Geological Engineering or a related field or Geosciences from a recognized university.
  • GPA: Equivalent of a B+ average (at UBC, this is 76%).
  • Three or more years of industry work experience in tailings or mine waste management.
  • An English Language Proficiency Test may be required if you completed your degree at a university where the primary language of instruction was not English.
North America

Applicants who have a four-year baccalaureate degree (or its academic equivalent) that does not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering, with approval of the Master of Engineering Program Office.


International applicants are eligible who hold a credential deemed comparable to a Canadian four-year baccalaureate degree and who demonstrate superior academic standing equivalent to an overall degree standing of B+ (at UBC 76% or higher).

UBC has established specific minimum admission requirements for graduates of different countries.


Ready to deepen your expertise in mining waste management and learn from leaders in the field? The next cohort will be starting in September 2021. This program will run courses as follows:

  • Year 1: January 2022 to April 2022, including a 2-week synchronous session in the period.
  • Year 2: January 2023 to April 2023, including a 2-week in-person session with a field trip in the period.
Application Deadlines
  • Round 1: September 15
  • Round 2: October 15
  • Round 3: November 15
  1. Complete and submit the Certificate Program Application Form.
  2. Request that each of your three referees supply a reference letter or form.
    • References should be requested from individuals who can provide a report on your professional experience and your academic ability and qualifications.
    • They can use one of the reference forms available under the Supporting Documents section (below) or write a letter.
    • They should send the completed form or reference letter to the department (see address below) in a sealed endorsed envelope from their place of employment. All forms and letters should be in sealed, endorsed envelopes from the referee’s place of employment or organization.
  3. Mail official transcripts.
    • We require official transcripts from all post-secondary studies you have completed (even if a degree was not conferred).
    • To be deemed official, transcripts must be in sealed, stamped, endorsed envelopes from the issuing university.
    • Please visit the graduate studies website for specific information on what is required for a transcript to be official and how to obtain an official translation if required.
    • All transcripts should be sent directly to the Department of Mining Engineering department. Please see address below.
  4. Submit English proficiency information if you did not complete a previous degree in an English-speaking country.
    • If you are an international applicant and your undergraduate degree is from a university the official language of instruction was not English, you must take and pass one of the following English language proficiency exams:
      • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 90 for the Internet-based exam (with minimum component scores of 22 [reading, listening] and 21 [writing, speaking]).
      • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no other component score less than 6.0 of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.
    • Use the University of British Columbia’s institution code (0965) and the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering department code (69). Give the reason for taking TOEFL “to enter a college or university as a graduate student.”
    • Your English language proficiency exam must have been completed within two years of your application submission date.
    • For more information, visit the graduate studies website.
    • All English proficiency test scores should be sent directly to the Department of Mining Engineering. See address below.
Physical and Electronic Submission Addresses

Physical documents can be mailed to:

UBC Mining Engineering
Graduate Certificate Program
517- 6350 Stores Road
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z4

The following documents can be sent by email:

  • Application form
  • Proof of payment of application fee (screenshot)
  • Statement of intent including descriptions of any special projects, research work, employment experience, publications, memberships and awards that are relevant to your area of interest and could assist in evaluating your application.
  • Current CV
  • Signed declaration page
  • If you have unsealed/un-official transcripts for any of your post-secondary course work you can send scans of them.

Electronic documents can be submitted to:

Supporting Documents

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and professional qualifications. Of the three references, at least one should be an academic reference.

There are two possible formats for references:

Letter of Reference

Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on the referee’s official letterhead. The envelope should be sealed and endorsed by the referee.

Due to current COVID-19 protocols, many BC staff are working from home. Our office does not currently have regular mail delivery. Please verify the address that reference letters should be sent to the program staff before sending.

Reference Form

UBC provides an academic reference form and a professional reference form.

The academic reference form is used in situations where the referee is someone with who you have interacted within an academic setting (e.g. referee was the professor of a course in which you were enrolled).

The professional reference form is used in situations where the reference is someone with who you have interacted in a professional setting (e.g. referee was your supervisor at work).

Your referee will fill out the applicable reference form and mail it directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.


Tuition is charged at approximately $1800 per credit for both domestic and international students, with each course in the program equivalent to three credits. This rate is subject to annual tuition increases established by the university.

Year 1Year 2
Student fees$950$950
Field trip/activity$1000-$3000$1000-$3000
Field trip and activity fee

You will be advised of the cost of the annual field trip and activity fee when you are admitted to the program. The fee is subject to change depending on transportation and accommodation costs; however, the maximum fee would be C$3000.

We expect the fee to be approximately C$1500 for the next few years. The actual amount will be outlined within the offer of program admission.

The fee will cover the following activities:

  • Welcome lunch for all certificate students
  • SWAG bag/folder
  • Networking event
  • A two to three-day field trip to visit a mine waste facility (covering the transportation, accommodation and meal costs for the trip)
Student fees

Student fees cover the cost of university resources that benefit students, including U-Pass and AMS/GSS Extended Health Care. If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to opt-out of some of the student fees.

To see if you qualify for the U-Pass fee exemption, read the U-Pass FAQ information. If you think you qualify for an exemption, login to the Student Service Centre (SSC) and click on the Financial Summary tab to navigate to the U-Pass fee exemption page.

If you already have medical/dental coverage (other than BC MSP), you may be able to apply for an exemption if you meet certain requirements and follow the opt-out procedures. Visit the Student Service Centre (SSC) for more information. You must opt-out of these fees within the first two weeks of the program.

Due date

Your admission letter will advise you of the fees you must pay and the deadline for payment, which will depend on the date of the offer and is usually around two weeks from the date of the admission letter.

To accept the offer of admission, you must pay the required fees by the deadline.

Looking for more information?

You can reach out to us with any questions you may have regarding our programs. We’re always more than happy to help.

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