FAQ - First-Year Focus


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Can I use my AP/IB credit for courses included in First Year Focus?

Students in FYF must take all five core courses with the cohort and can't receive advanced credit (e.g. Advance Placement/International Baccalaureate) for these courses. Students who have taken AP/IB equivalents are eligible for the relevant UBC course(s) and, upon successful completion, will receive credit for the UBC course on their academic record. With AP/IB experience, you’ll be well prepared to strengthen your skills with the FYF core courses at UBC.

How is this program designed to be different from taking high school online during the pandemic?

First-Year Focus was specifically designed to leverage the advantages of online learning. From classes of 30 (WRDS 150) to classes of 200 (DSCI 100), you’ll always be with fellow FYF students. There will also be opportunities to connect with FYF students both virtually and in-person throughout the year.

How is First-Year Focus different from Science One?

Science One is a full-year cohort program that prepares 80 students to enter honours programs in any specialization. Students get exposure to biology, chemistry, math, and physics, some computer science, and scientific thinking and literacy. It's a very immersive first-year experience.

First-Year Focus is a cohort experience focused on computation, while providing the flexibility to choose other courses that would allow a student to pursue any major at UBC. This is in recognition that excellence in all fields of science require computational skills. FYF students have access to dedicated mentorship program, and events in areas including community building, career exploration and skill development.

How is First-Year Focus different from designing my own timetable?

Most UBC Science students design their own timetable and choose four to five courses per term. They coordinate their own schedule so courses don’t conflict and need to design their course choices to meet the requirements for their intended specialization in year two.

First-Year Focus students take five pre-selected and scheduled online courses which they register for through the FYF standard timetable. From there, they register for an additional three or four courses across the two terms—selecting ones that meet requirements for promotion and their intended specialization.

By taking five classes together with the FYF community you’ll see the same faces day to day. You’ll have more opportunities to make connections both through the structured activities in and outside of classes and by putting yourself out there to say 'Hi!' These days, it’s pretty typical to get to know people online on Discord, Instagram, Tiktok and more. These are all places that students taking in-person classes connect with each other better too!

Does First-Year Focus cost more than other first-year options?

No. FYF Computatoin is provided at no additional cost beyond UBC's typical credit fees for the courses. 

What happens after first year? 

Like all UBC Science students, you'll apply to a program specialization (e.g. major) and continue your degree studies. UBC Science offers a huge variety of program specializations in anything fro biological to environmental sciences, mathematics to geophysics, chemistry to computer science, and a wide range of other options. 

*Students in First-Year Focus can pursue most specializations in the Faculty of Science. Students would be unable to pursue a Combined Honours Biophysics or Combined Honours Chemical Physics with the FYF timetable.

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

Info Session 

Join us for an info session on May 19th at 6pm to learn more about the program and ask any questions you may have! 

RSVP Here 


If you have any questions about the program, email Beth Dennis, FYF Coordinator at FYF@science.ubc.ca.