Post-secondary Transfer Applicants

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This guide will help you navigate the timelines, promotion requirements, specializations and application processes involved in transferring to UBC Science.

Who is a Transfer Applicant?

Anyone seeking admission after studying in a different post-secondary program at UBC or elsewhere. That includes:

  • Students currently (or previously) enrolled at a different post-secondary institution.
  • Current UBC students enrolled on a different campus of UBC or in a different program on the Vancouver campus.
  • Students who left the UBC Vancouver BSc program, went elsewhere to study, and now seek re-admission.
Take note: UBC Vancouver BSc students on academic leave have a different mechanism for regaining eligibility. Check your Student Service Centre account for instructions.

To be evaluated on your post-secondary grades alone you must have completed at least 24 credits (counted by UBC) by the end of winter session. If those credits make you eligible for at least second year in the BSc program then your high school grades won't matter.

If you have fewer than 24 credits, you’ll be assessed on both post-secondary and high school grades. Even if your high school grades aren’t considered, the courses you took in high school may be important. For example, if you did not complete first-year chemistry and physics, then you must have completed at least Grade 11 chemistry and physics to be eligible for admission into the BSc.

If you have more than 48 credits, you MUST be eligible for Year 2 standing. To gain second-year standing you need at least 24 credits (including Chemistry and Physics to at least the grade 11 level) which includes a minimum of 15 first-year (100 level) science credits. 
*Students are reminded to consider the Lower-Level Requirements and the courses required for admission to their desired specialization when selecting courses.

What's the Process? Step by Step


First, apply to the BSc degree. That process is managed by Undergraduate Admissions. If you’re enrolled on the Okanagan campus or in a different degree program on Vancouver campus apply via the Student Service Centre.

Determine how many transfer credits you have

Take note: UBC no longer offers CHEM 113 and PHYS 102, but will consider transfer credit for these courses. Please contact a Science advisor for more information.

Studying in BC?

It's pretty simple. If you're studying at another post-secondary institution in British Columbia use the BC Transfer Guide to determine how many credits you'll receive. (

Transferring from another UBC program?

  • Most, but not all, UBC courses, may be applied to your BSc degree. Some courses may not get credit in Science (e.g., STAT 203, EOSC 310). The online Course Schedule has a description of each course and any restrictions that apply.
  • Transferring from Applied Science: The first-year MATH and PHYS courses you took will apply to most specializations in the BSc. If you want to specialize in physics, consult an advisor in the Physics department. First-year engineering CHEM will satisfy half of the Physical Sciences Lower-level Requirement for the BSc. However, to enter any specialization that requires CHEM 123 or 113, you will have to start with CHEM 121 or 111. Similarly, APSC 160 isn't sufficient to advance to second-year CPSC courses in a BSc specialization.
  • Transferring from UBC Okanagan: Many of your first-year science courses (those for science majors) replace similar courses offered on Vancouver campus even if the course numbers differ. Common examples are:
    • UBCO BIOL 116 and 125 gives exemption from UBCV BIOL 111, 121, 140
    • CHEM 111 and 113, 121 and 123 are the same on both campuses
    • MATH 100 and 101 transfer as the same course numbers
    • UBCO PHYS 111 and 121 transfer as PHYS 117 and 118 and 119; UBCO PHYS 112 and 122 transfer as PHYS 100 (3) and 3 credits of unassigned first year PHYS, exempt PHYS 101.
    • COSC 111 and 121, or COSC 121 and 123, are equivalent to CPSC 110 (4) and 2 credits of unassigned first year CPSC credit.
      • Other COSC courses typically get generic CPSC credit and do not substitute for specific CPSC courses – consult a Computer Science advisor.
    • Applicants with coursework in EESC or GEOG should consult an advisor in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Transfer credit and exemptions are possible, depending on coursework and combinations.

Studying outside of British Columbia

If you’re studying outside of British Columbia your courses may or may not transfer easily into UBC Science program. To transfer smoothly, your science courses must match ours. For example, the first year of CHEM at UBC consists of two courses, the second of which addresses organic chemistry in more depth than at most universities. You may be given credit for the first term (CHEM 121) but generic credit (CHEM1st) for a second course. That combination usually will allow you to move into second-year CHEM courses at UBC but you may need to do additional preparation for your second-year courses. Speak to the department advisor (see Chemistry regarding CHEM courses). Do this well in advance of July registration date so you can plan your course selection effectively.

Applicants with enriched high school courses (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, British-patterned) you may be eligible for additional first-year credit. The agency handling the courses must send official records to UBC's Undergraduate Admissions Office. If you are studying elsewhere and that institution gave you credit, UBC won't accept that evaluation.

Communication requirements

Be aware of the Communication Requirement for the BSc degree. This must be completed before a student can be promoted to fourth-year standing. It is best if you have eligible transfer credits (6) for first-year ENGL. Otherwise, progress on other aspects of your degree may be slowed.

Be aware of the limits on attempted credits. BSc students are expected to make timely progress toward completion so there are limits on the number of credits that can be attempted before qualifying for the next year-level. See Promotion Requirements. Additionally, at least half of the credits for a BSc degree must be completed while you are a student in Science at UBC. This means you may apply no more than 60 of your transfer credits (66 in Honours specialization) toward a BSc at UBC. If you are already in third year in another degree, you should complete that program before considering applying to UBC Science as a second-degree student. All courses must be completed by the end of winter session to be part of the admission evaluation. Summer courses don’t enter into consideration. If you do continue to study elsewhere after being admitted to UBC, you will need to provide an updated official transcript, submit it to Enrolment Services at UBC, and seek added credit.

Are You Eligible for Third Year?

Most successful transfer applicants are admitted into Year 2 of the BSc. You will need to apply for a specialization, and, once you accept your offer of admission, will be included in the Year 2 application process. You will have several options, depending on which first-year courses you have completed. First-year courses that are absolutely required for entry into specific specializations.

If you have 48 or more credits and there is a possibility that you qualify for third-year standing, you will be notified by the Undergraduate Admissions Office through a note (Student Service Centre, Applicant Status). You’ll complete and submit to UBC Science the Admission to Year 3 – Supplementary Information form on which you will indicate your choice of specialization and compare your courses with the requirements found in the Calendar. Students must meet the minimum requirements for promotion to third year in a BSc specialization within a maximum of 78 credits of coursework attempted. The sooner you act the sooner your status can be determined, which will determine your choices for course registration in July. Don’t delay this step.

In the Calendar each specialization is described year by year, course by course. In most cases, only some of the courses listed in the first two years of a specialization must be completed in order to gain third-year standing. To determine which courses are required, use the table at » BSc Specialization-Specific Courses Required for Promotion to Year 3 or Year 4. But make sure you also meet the 60% rule – see » Promotion Requirements. Your year level will be finalized when you're admitted and will be visible in the SSC. Details like your registration date and any applicable transfer credits will also be provided via the SSC—not from the Science Information Centre or the Dean's Office.

Choose a Specialization: Be Realistic, Give Yourself Options

How to Apply to a Specialization

UBC Science runs a coordinated admissions process for second-year specializations in June. All Majors, all Combined Majors, and second-year declarable Honours or Combined Honours specializations must be applied to via the application. Any transfer student admitted to second year of the BSc program for the upcoming winter session will apply for a specialization through this same process.

Visit the application