Second-Degree Studies

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science

Students with a recognized undergraduate degree may be eligible to pursue a B.Sc. as a second degree if they have a focus of study that is distinct from the discipline(s) of the first degree. The pursuit of honours, combined honours, double major, dual degree, or minor options during a second degree is not permitted unless the student begins studies at the first-year level. Students wishing to take courses prerequisite to another program should consider instead Unclassified studies.

For a second degree, students must satisfy all Faculty and specialization requirements with a combination of first and second-degree credits and must earn a minimum of 50% of the credits required while enrolled at UBC Vancouver in their second-degree program. For the B.Sc., this will mean earning at least 60 new credits; more will likely be required if the Lower-level Requirements of the B.Sc. were not fulfilled with first-degree studies. It is expected that the Science Upper-Level Requirements, which include at least 30 upper-level Science credits and at least 48 upper-level credits in total, will be completed with second degree courses.

Courses used to fulfill requirements for a prior degree or earned subsequently (e.g., through Unclassified study) may exempt the student from equivalent courses required for the second degree, but will not normally reduce the minimum credit requirements.

The Faculty reserves the right not to grant exemptions if the course(s) in question were completed more than five years prior to starting the second-degree B.Sc. program and only in exceptional cases will exemptions be granted if courses were completed more than ten years prior.

Transfer credit is not assigned to second-degree students. Only with approval of the Director of Science Student Services and the Advisor for the specialization being pursued will any credits earned before entering the second-degree B.Sc. be applied to its credit requirements. Those credits must have been earned in the previous five years and must not have been used to fulfill requirements of any credential. With approval, a maximum of 12 such credits that are relevant to the second-degree program may be applied and of those, at most six may be upper-level (i.e., 300- level and higher).

Students admitted to a second degree must consult Science Advising and appropriate departments regarding specific second degree requirements prior to commencing the program.

Students are expected to complete a second degree in a timely manner. A part-time study program must be approved in advance by Science Advising.

Communication Requirement

All B.Sc. students must complete the Communication Requirement. Students uncertain whether prior study satisfies this requirement should enquire at Science Advising. 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.

Promotion Requirements

Students admitted on the basis of prior study (i.e., completion of a first degree) will be assigned a year-level determined by the general B.Sc. Promotion Requirements with exemptions from first- and second-year B.Sc. requirements where appropriate. Students will be subject to the general Promotion Requirements based on the year level to which they were admitted (see below) with the exceptions noted below. Promotion decisions are made at the end of each Winter Session.

Exceptions to general B.Sc. Promotion Requirements:

  • Second-degree students must meet the requirements for promotion to the next year-level within a maximum of 36 credits of coursework attempted after admission to the second degree program. Those who do not will be required to withdraw from the Faculty. After the first promotion, students will be subject to the general B.Sc. Promotion Requirements.
  • For determining eligibility for promotion, both courses passed while in the B.Sc. program and lower-level courses passed in earlier study, which may exempt the student from courses required for the B.Sc., will be considered.
  • Second-degree students are permitted to be registered in fourth year for no more than two winter sessions without the prior approval of the Assistant Dean in Science Advising.


UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.