First-Year Focus: Computation


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First-Year Focus helps students build a strong foundation in the computational sciences in a supportive, cohort-based program. You'll form friendships, be part of an inclusive community of diverse students, and build the skills you need to explore a wide range of disciplines as you advance to second year at UBC Science.

What is First-Year Focus?

First-Year Focus is intentionally designed to help you connect with fellow students formally and informally–both in class and during social and extracurricular activities.

First-Year Focus (FYF) students take a common set of five online computational courses (computer science, math, data science and communications) with the same class of about 90 UBC Science first-year students—your community. You will also take an in-person FYF Seminar course once a week to develop your skills and further connect with your community. You select the remaining courses (usually four to five, in-person or online) based on your interests and to meet the requirements for promotion to second year in UBC Science. You’ll immerse yourself in the computational sciences while gaining the flexibility to pursue almost everything UBC Science has to offer as you progress in your degree—from the earth sciences to the life sciences to the physical sciences.

What will my classes look like?

FYF students will enrol in five online courses together as a group. The cohort design allows students to build a core group of friends and peers while still giving freedom to explore their own personal interests. The cohort design gives students more freedom to pursue extra-curricular experiences and maintain a healthy, balanced approach to their studies.

Term One Courses Term Two Courses
Computer Science 110 (4 credits) Data Science 100 (3 credits)
Mathematics 100 (3 credits)  Mathematics 101 (3 credits) 
Communications course (WRDS 150 - 3 credits)  
FYF Seminar Course (1 credit)   
+ up to 2 self-selected courses + up to 3 self-selected courses

Learn more and check out some sample student schedules!


Who should apply?

First-Year Focus is open and accessible to any first-year BSc student who has completed Calculus 12 (or equivalent). It's designed for learners who are passionate about applying computational knowhow to a range of problems across the sciences. Space is limited, and the application is designed to help identify students who will benefit most from—and contribute the most to—a supportive, cohort-based first-year experience at UBC Science.

UBC is committed to inclusion and Indigenization, and encourages applications from individuals who identify with diverse groups including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, LGBTQ+, and first-generation learners.


Start by applying to UBC in the Faculty of Science! You will need to have applied to UBC to apply to join FYF. 

Applications for FYF for Winter 2022 are open!

Learn More


If you have any questions about the program, email Beth Dennis, FYF Coordinator at