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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 113 and three additional credits of approved communications courses in the list below.

Approved Communications Courses:  

  • WRDS 150
  • any of ENGL 100, 110, or 111 
  • WRCM 1st transfer credit 
  • SCIE 300 or CHEM 300 
  • APSC 176 
  • LFS 150
  • FRST 150
  • Arts One (will contribute to three communication credits) 
  • ASTU 100, 101, or their equivalents.  

SCIE 300 is normally available only to students accepted into the Combined Major in Science specialization. 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. 

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 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. 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 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 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 admitted after completing a prior degree are exempt from the SCIE 113 requirement.
  7. Science One (SCIE 001) is credit excluded with SCIE 113. Thus, Science One students are exempt from the SCIE 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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