You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

Course and Specialization Approval

Students registered in the B.Sc. program may not at the same time be registered in courses at another secondary or post-secondary institution without prior approval. See Concurrent Studies at UBC and Another Post-secondary Institution.

A student who has passed a course will not be permitted to repeat that course for higher standing. Courses in the Science Credit Exclusion Lists are considered to be the same course for the purposes of this rule. A student who, because of a change of specialization, is required to attempt a course that shares credit exclusion with a course already passed should consult academic advisors in the appropriate department and also in Science Advising.

A student may repeat a failed course only once without special permission. A student can take a course a third time, but will need permission from the Assistant Dean Students in Science Advising [Link to:] to do so. Courses required to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication requirement or MATH 100 (or equivalent) may be repeated twice without special permission. A student can take these courses a fourth time, but will need permission from the Assistant Dean Students in Science Advising. to do so. Courses in the Science Credit Exclusion Lists are considered to be the same course for the purposes of this rule. Appeals for further attempts must be directed to the Assistant Dean Students in Science Advising [Link to:]. A student repeating a course more than once will be required to limit the credits attempted in that term.

First-Year Students

First-year students do not choose a specialization and are not required to obtain Faculty approval before registering. The Science One Program and the First-Year Focus (FYF) Program described in First-Year Options are first-year course packages, not specializations.

Students entering first year and wishing to enrol in Science One must submit a formal application for admission to this course of study by April 30. Admitted first-year students wishing to enrol in the First-Year Focus Program register directly through the Student Service Centre. See First-year Options.

Students should plan their first year knowing both the general Lower-level Requirements (must be completed before a student is promoted to fourth-year) and the specific courses required for the specialization they plan to enter in second year. Guidance is provided through New Students. Students should consult the information on Credit as well as with New Students if their first-year program is non-standard because of advanced placement or transfer credit.

Students who are considering transferring out of the Faculty of Science after first year should contact the other faculty directly and consult with a program advisor to plan elective choices that will facilitate this transition.

Advanced credit from enriched high school programs does not count as part of the credit load in the first year at UBC but may count toward degree requirements as long as equivalent UBC courses are not taken.

Students Entering Second Year

Students entering second year by way of promotion or transfer must be admitted to a major, combined major, honours, combined honours, or General Science specialization before being able to register in courses. For such students admission to all specializations is coordinated through a central online application process. Students will receive an email regarding this process in late May or early June, but are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the application process and specialization prerequisites well in advance during first year (see SecondYear Application).

Many honours and combined honours options are not available to students moving into second year; interested students should apply for the corresponding major and then consult the specialization advisor while in second year. Honours and combined honours options require students to complete a Winter Session load of at least 30 credits. Students who complete slightly fewer credits in first year may be considered for admission upon completion of second year if they have made up the credit deficit during their second Winter Session and have met other requirements. An appeal can be directed to the Assistant Dean Students in Science Advising with support from the honours advisor in the area of specialization.

Continuing Second, Third, and Fourth-Year Students

Normally students continuing in second year are not permitted to change their specialization until the end of the Winter Session.

Students entering into or continuing in third or fourth year who wish to change their specialization must seek approval from a specialization advisor for the new specialization they wish to declare. (Students are not permitted to change their specialization directly on the Student Service Centre.) Some specializations have limited enrolment and are unable to accept all students who meet minimum qualifications. In such cases, students must apply for admission through specialization-specific admission processes. Consult specialization web pages for more information and application deadlines (see Degree Planning). See also the information on honours and combined honours above. Changing specializations may result in lengthening of the time to complete the B.Sc. Students transferring into third year from another faculty or institution must seek admission to a specialization through the same processes prior to registering for courses.

Students not meeting the academic standing required for compulsory courses in a given specialization may be required to withdraw and gain entry into another. Specifically, students are required to satisfy a minimum academic achievement average on three-fifths (3/5) of the credits listed in the second year of a student's declared specialization (see Promotion Requirements), not including electives or courses taken to satisfy the Communication Requirement. For a student in General Science or the Combined Major in Science, the courses on which the average is calculated are chosen from the ones required for promotion to third year (see Promotion Requirements). At the discretion of the specialization advisor, students who do not meet the minimum average may be removed from that specialization and required to gain admission to another.

Students intending to do a double major in Science or in Science and Arts, or a Dual Degree in Science and Arts must gain admission to a science major upon entry into their second year and then obtain approval for the other major before the start of their third year. A form is available from Majors, Honours, and Minors. The form requires approval of advisors in both major areas and of the Assistant Dean Students in Science Advising. Interested students are encouraged to plan first- and second-year courses so as to meet the prerequisite requirements for the desired major areas concurrently (see program listings in Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science).

Additional requirements apply to the Dual Degree in Science and Music and the Dual Degree in Science and Education (see Degree Requirements in this chapter).

Students who are pursuing a single major, a combined major, an honours, or a combined honours option may be approved to also pursue a Minor in Science, Arts, Kinesiology or Land and Food Systems; they must obtain approval before the start of their third year. A form is available from Majors, Honours, and Minors. Students intending to do a minor in Commerce must apply in second term of their second year (see Minor in Commerce).

Students may pursue at most two specializations, e.g., two majors, a major and one minor, or a dual degree, in order to ensure that course space can be available to more students and to ensure that each admitted student has the possibility of completing degree requirements in a reasonable time.

Unless students are registered in a specific specialization their academic records cannot be adjudicated for graduation.


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