Communication Requirement

Excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills are expected of graduates of the B.Sc. program. Skills will develop from critical reading of the literature in a variety of disciplines; from summarizing and synthesizing the information; and from comparing, contrasting, and defending ideas orally and in writing.

The ability to express ideas clearly, succinctly, and with authority, especially in writing, forms the basis of most assessments of learning. To ensure that all B.Sc. students develop strong academic writing skills during their degree studies, students must earn six credits from the following eligible Communication courses: WRDS 150; SCIE 113; any of ENGL 100, 110, 111, 112, 120, or 121; WRCM 1st transfer credit; SCIE 300 or CHEM 300; APSC 176; LFS 150; FRST 150; Arts One (counts for six Science communication credits); ASTU 100, 101; or their equivalents. These credits may not be earned through Credit/D/Fail standings. Credit will be granted for only one of WRDS 150 or ENGL 112. SCIE 113 is available only to first-year B.Sc. students. SCIE 300 is normally available only to students accepted into the Combined Major in Science. CHEM 300 is available only to students accepted into a Chemistry specialization. APSC 176 is available only to students in the Faculty of Applied Science. LFS 150 is available only to students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. FRST 150 is available only to students in the Faculty of Forestry. ENGL 100 and ASTU courses are primarily for students in the Faculty of Arts.

All students admitted to the B.Sc. program must take immediate steps to satisfy the Communication Requirement (if they have not done so with advance credit). The pattern of registration priority by year-level makes it more difficult for a student to register in first-year courses after being promoted out of first year.

Students admitted to a first-degree program who have not met the Communication Requirement by the time they have met the other requirements for promotion to fourth-year standing will not be promoted or permitted to enrol in courses other than approved Communication courses until the requirement is met. (see Promotion Requirements).

The following notes apply:

  1. Students admitted directly from secondary school are encouraged to take at least one Communication course in their first year. To be eligible to register in WRDS, ENGL or other eligible courses, students may need to fulfill course-specific entry requirements. For details, refer to the relevant unit or course requirements.
  2. Students admitted directly from secondary school who recognize a need to improve their writing skills are encouraged to make use of the resources of the Centre for Writing and Scholarly Communication in the Chapman Learning Commons. In order to allow time for this work, students are encouraged not to register in more than 13 credits of coursework per term in their first winter session unless they are registered in an eligible Communication course.
  3. Students admitted directly from secondary school who have not earned credit for at least one Communication course by the time they qualify for promotion to third-year 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) 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 third-year 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 into year one 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 who are accepted into year two or three on transfer from another program in UBC or from other post-secondary institutions, or who are readmitted to the Faculty after being required to withdraw, will be assigned a year-level determined by the general Promotion Requirements and will thereafter be subject to those requirements. Students admitted after completing a prior degree are subject to special Promotion Requirements. After the first winter session, each student’s progress will be reviewed and appropriate credit restrictions or requirements for remedial work will be implemented if the Communication Requirement has not been met.

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 look for courses other than WRDS, or ENGL (in the course offerings in Science and other faculties) that provide students with opportunities to improve their reading, writing, and sometimes oral 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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