Structuring Your First-Year at UBC Science

Students » Structuring Your First-Year at UBC Science
At UBC Science you can structure your first year in one of three ways: design your own timetable, or pursue the cohort-style Coordinated Science or Science One options.

Whichever path you choose, this site and the UBC Calendar will help you plan your first year. In second year, you select a program specialization, so you should take into account the requirements of the specializations you might want to enter.

Design Your Own Timetable

This is the typical choice for first-year UBC Science students, and offers the most flexibility. You can select both the courses and the particular sections of courses you attend according to the requirements of the degree specialization ('major') you want to enter in second year. Most courses are offered in more than one section on different schedules. You take only one section of a course—one that fits your needs and schedule. Most of your lectures will be in large rooms but labs and tutorials will be in smaller groups.

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Coordinated Science

Coordinated Science (CSP) is an alternative to designing your own timetable. It groups one section of each of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses into a “standard timetable”. CSP is suitable for students who are likely to focus in the life sciences after first year but have broad scientific interests and want to explore connections between the disciplines. Along with enjoying a dedicated CSP study space, all CSP students attend the same sections of specific core science courses, with an option in computer science. This makes CSP students feel part of a small social and learning community. CSP students also attend a weekly workshop where they participate in a variety of hands-on activities and group projects as well as lively discussions and debates, all designed to develop their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and communication. The approachable professors and lecturers inspire students to learn scientific concepts at a fundamental level. Registration in CSP is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no separate application – eligible students may register for a CSP standard timetable which automatically includes the core science courses. Check out the website to determine if your high school coursework makes you eligible.

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Science One

If you want a challenging first year at UBC, take Science One, an innovative course in which the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics are presented in a unified, integrated format. The course has its own dedicated study and social space, and cultivates critical, independent thought as the basis of scientific inquiry. Students take a single, academically rigorous interdisciplinary 25-credit course, which incorporates lectures, tutorials and laboratories, as well as a mandatory biology laboratory, for a total of 27 credits. This class is taken with the same students, helping to promote a community of learners. As Science One is smaller than most other science classes, students have a better opportunity to get to know their professors, who aim to challenge, yet provide strong support to students. A separate application is required for admission to Science One. Check the website to see if you are eligible.

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