Year-by-Year Overview of Your Degree

Students » Year-by-Year Overview of Your Degree
Options at UBC Science

You can pursue a Combined Major in Science or a major, honours, combined major, combined honours or double major across a wide range of specializations. In addition, you can apply for a minor. And as if that wasn't enough, there are co-op and student exchange program options that help to round out your university experience.

When choosing your courses...

...don't overextend yourself. Make sure that you have enough time and energy to devote to them. Take a reduced course load, if necessary. Completing four successful courses in a term is better than taking more and failing. If you pass a course in UBC Science, you won't be able to repeat the course for higher standing. UBC offers many exciting courses—choose some purely out of interest! You’ll find it easier to get through the tough courses if you're also taking classes you’re passionate about. Remember, there's more than one path to medicine, law, or grad school.

Important Credit Minimums per Session

  • 27 credits to enter into an Honours program in later years (or continue in one)
  • 24 percentage-graded credits to be eligible for scholarships the next year
  • 18 credits to be eligible for UBC student residence (9 per term)
  • 15 or more credits of first-year Science coursework (see promotion requirements)
  • 18 credits to be eligible for BC student loans (9 per term)

Credit Exclusions

These are courses where there's enough overlap that credit can be obtained for only one selection. Two courses overlapping doesn't mean they're interchangeable! Program specializations may require a specific course selection. See the list.

Your First Year


Your Second Year


Students entering the second year of UBC Science are expected to be preparing to decide which program specialization they're going to follow. This is also a good time to complete your Science Breadth Requirement. It's important to check the requirements for your desired program specialization — they may also include a minimum average for admission or continuation.

In particular, pay close attention to the courses needed as prerequisites. Some of these must be taken at a specific time in your degree. Also, not all courses are offered every term, so be sure to plan core courses ahead of time. Consult with Science Advising, departmental advisors, and above all, familiarize yourself with the UBC Academic Calendar and your program specialization website.

Your Third Year


By this point, the majority of students in UBC Science will be settled in their program specialization. The start of third year is a good time to review Faculty and program specialization requirements (refer to your program specialization in the UBC Academic Calendar). Both sets of requirements must be fulfilled before you graduate with a BSc.


Tip: Use Degree Navigator to track your degree progress.



  • Term 1: Apply for a minor (Arts, Land and Food Systems) if interested
  • Many departments formally 'accept' students into their program specializations based on second-year grades
    • If you haven't been able to gain admittance to the program specialization of your choice, consult the program specialization advisors for other specializations you may be interested in
  • Pharmacology and biochemistry students: Apply for Science Co-op if interested
  • Make a checklist of all the requirements for your program specialization
    • Plan out your third and fourth years and be sure that you've got your list covered
    • Science Breadth Requirement is met by taking courses in the 7 categories
  • See a program specialization advisor to go over your specialization
  • Figure out how to tell your story to employers, from your degree experience to your skill sets
  • Browse on-campus student jobs to gain work experience
  • Students considering graduate studies should get to know professors and gain research experience in labs. You'll need solid academic references by first term of fourth year
  • Read advice on planning your third year and beyond
Your Fourth Year


Grad Checks

Science Advising will automatically conduct preliminary graduation checks for all fourth-year students to review their Faculty requirements using the Degree Navigator (DN) tool towards the end of Term 1. Science Advising only reviews students' faculty requirements. All students are reminded to consult their department program advisor to ensure they satisfy requirements for their science specialization. Students must satisfy BOTH faculty requirements and department requirements in order to graduate.


  • Apply for grad school or other schools if interested
    • Although some deadlines extend into Spring, you normally must apply by December (Term 1) to be eligible for financial awards or support
  • Review Faculty requirements early in term one (or even earlier) so that you'll have enough time to make any necessary changes to your course list
  • Prepare for graduation. Get your grad photos taken and apply for graduation
  • Attend Alumni Networking Night to explore your next steps after grad
  • Kick start your arrival in the world of work by showcasing your Science degree
  • Participate in Beyond the BSc
  • Read advice on planning your fourth year and beyond
Note: The Degree Navigator tool is not available to students in Integrated Sciences, General Science and those pursuing a second degree program. For these students, a manual faculty graduation check will be completed.