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Communication Requirement

Excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills are expected of graduates of the B.Sc. program. These skills will develop from reading scientific and other scholarly literature, from summarizing and synthesizing information, from comparing and contrasting ideas, and from constructing original scholarly arguments. 

B.Sc. students are required to receive credit for SCIE_V 113 and three additional credits of approved communications courses in the list below.

Approved Communications Courses:  

  • WRDS_V 150
  • any of ENGL_V 100, 110, or 111 
  • WRCM 1st transfer credit 
  • SCIE_V 300 or CHEM_V 300 
  • APSC_V 176 
  • LFS_V 150
  • FRST_V 150
  • Arts One (will contribute to three communication credits) 
  • ASTU_V 100, 101, or their equivalents.  

SCIE_V 300 is normally available only to students accepted into the Combined Major in Science specialization. CHEM_V 300 is available only to students accepted into a Chemistry specialization. APSC_V 176 is available only to students in the Faculty of Applied Science. LFS_V 150 is available only to students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. FRST_V 150 is available only to students in the Faculty of Forestry. ENGL_V 100 and ASTU_V courses are primarily for students in the Faculty of Arts. 

Communications credits may not be earned through Credit/D/Fail standings. 

All students admitted to the B.Sc. program must take immediate steps to satisfy the Communication Requirement. The pattern of registration priority by class standing makes it more difficult for a student to register in first-year courses after being promoted beyond 1st year class standing. 

Students admitted to a first-degree program will not be promoted to 4th year class standing or permitted to enrol in courses other than approved Communication courses until the requirement is met (see Promotion Requirements and Degree Progression).

The following notes apply:

  1. The B.Sc. Communication Requirement does not necessarily align with professional school admissions requirements. Students should plan their breadth requirement and/or electives to meet the entrance requirement to potential professional and post-graduate programs. 
  2. Students admitted directly from secondary school are required to take SCIE_V 113 in their first year.
  3. Students admitted directly from secondary school who have not earned credit for at least one Communication course by the time they are promoted to 3rd year class standing will have their access to credit courses restricted so that they do not exceed the maximum of 78 attempted credits for a third-year student (see Promotion Requirements and Degree Progression) without completing the Communication Requirement.
  4. Students admitted directly from secondary school who have earned credit for one Communication course prior to being promoted to 3rd year class standing are expected to complete a second Communication course in the next Winter Session. The limits on attempted credits in 3 above apply. 
  5. Students who are accepted with 1st year class standing or transfer from another program in UBC or from other post-secondary institutions will be subject to the conditions in notes 1 - 4 above.
  6. Students admitted after completing a prior degree are exempt from the SCIE_V 113 requirement.
  7. Science One (SCIE_V 001) is credit excluded with SCIE_V 113. Thus, Science One students are exempt from the SCIE_V 113 requirement and are required to complete six credits of courses from the list of Approved Communication Courses above.

Students should reflect on the skills they develop as they progress through their degrees. It is important to recognize both the similarities and the differences between academic disciplines in the conventions of effective communication and to consider taking electives that provide them with opportunities to improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills. Opportunities to further develop strong communication skills also occur outside the classroom, whether in study groups, clubs and other social activities, community service, or paid work. 

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