Schedules and Options - First-Year Focus


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First-Year Focus Students are registered in five online courses together as a group. See what your schedule might look like as a part of FYF.

First-Year Focus courses are scheduled to be online on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so you can stay close to home (cut down the commute) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Detailed course schedules will be available closer to your registration.

2022W - Term One

  Monday Tuesday: Online Wednesday Thursday: Online Friday
AM   MATH 100
CPSC 110
  MATH 100 Small classes*
CPSC 110
PM CPSC 110 lab (online)* WRDS 150* SCIE 100 (TBD)  WRDS 150*  
  • FYF students add one or two self-scheduled additional classes into the term one schedule.
  • *CPSC 110 labs (online) and MATH 100 small classes (in-person) are scheduled once a week. Depending on your section (group), it could be on a different day of the week.
  • Written exams will be in-person for the FYF courses 

2022W - Term Two

  Monday Tuesday: Online Wednesday Thursday: Online Friday
AM   MATH 101  

MATH 101 Small classes*

PM   DSCI 100   DSCI 100  
  • FYF students add two or three self-scheduled additional classes into the term two schedule.
  • MATH 101 small classes (in-person) are scheduled once a week. Depending on your section (group), it could be on a different day of the week.
  • Written exams will be in-person for the FYF courses 

Example FYF course schedules

First-Year Focus is an excellent foundation for any student studying in the sciences. Students can pursue most specializations* after completing FYF These examples give some insight into how this program can apply to your future studies and towards your career goals.

Student A: Getting ahead of water-borne disease

Self-selected courses Term 1

  • CHEM 120 + 115

Self-selected courses Term 2

  • BIOL 112
  • BIOL 140
  • CHEM 130 + 135

This student comes from a rural community where a number of preventable water-borne diseases impact the health of their friends and family. They're considering focusing their studies in ways that can contribute to preventing future outbreaks. They're also interested in bioinformatics, ecology, protein structure and metabolic modelling—all of which increasingly rely on a foundation in computational sciences. Based on the courses selected by Student A, they may be headed towards microbiology and immunology or biology. Coursework in computational sciences can facilitate future studies no matter which life science they specialize in.

Student B: Where earth science meets food security

Self-selected courses Term 1

  • PHYS 117

Self-selected courses Term 2

  • PHYS 118 + 119
  • + two electives, such as Earth Science

Student B is curious about earth sciences, including air pollution, natural disasters and weather. They've learned the field involves computer programming—including producing weather and climate forecasts, predicting sea level rise and its impact on infrastructure, and water supplies that support farming. They come from a drought-prone part of the world and want to help forecast and combat the impacts of climate change. Student B expects to apply to the major in atmospheric science, but wants to learn more about other earth sciences like geophysics (assessing the spread of pollutants) through their courses before ruling anything out.

Student C: Combatting the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Self-selected courses Term 1

  • CHEM 120 + CHEM 115

Self-selected courses Term 2

  • CHEM 130 + 135
  • + one or two electives

This student came across the work of Nobel prize-winning chemist Frances Arnold on the directed evolution of enzymes and was inspired to learn more about chemistry in our everyday world—from how the touch screens on our phones work, to why leaves change colour in the fall, to how soap is an effective precaution against COVID-19. One thing that caught their eye is the concept of bioplastics as a way to reduce ocean pollution. Student C knows the computational sciences are key to integrating chemical theory and modeling with experimental observations, such as predicting the atomic structure and properties of organic and inorganic materials. A foundation in computational sciences, paired with their expected major in chemistry, can set them up to identify cost-effective and sustainable products that won’t wind up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Student D: Reducing viral spread in a pandemic

Self-selected courses

  • 1 lab course, such as ASTR 101 or BIOL 140
  • + three or four electives

In the face of recent pandemics, Student D has become aware of how statistics play a vital role in modelling the impact of proposed mitigation strategies and shape public health approaches. They've noticed how influential these models can be on their friends and family and how likely they are to follow health and safety guidelines. News headlines that Canada needs to improve its data collection for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to better understand the impact of the pandemic on Indigenous peoples have also caught their attention—they’re passionate about reconciliation and, paired with their studies in statistics, they’re realizing they can help support Indigenous populations through modelling. Student D is keenly aware that solutions are rooted in the computational sciences and building a foundation in the area will be instrumental in their future studies and career aspirations.

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