Moving to Second Year

You've probably heard already.... you need to apply for a specialization (e.g. major) in the Spring after you enter class standing 2. Otherwise, you can't register for your second-year courses.

While the process is multi-faceted, it doesn't need to be overly complicated. Below are the major steps to selecting and applying for a specialization. These important milestones happen between February and June - add them to your calendar!

1. Find Out What You Need to Know at "Beyond First Year" in late February/early March

Find out exactly what you'll need to know and do, and learn where you can find the necessary information about specializing. These sessions include key information about what makes you eligible to apply, what you need to know to submit a successful application and includes an opportunity for your questions. Register for Beyond First Year.

2. Explore Your UBC Science Specialization Options

Progressing from first to second year in UBC Science involves a bit of soul-searching, and more than a bit of planning. Find information about the skills and experience you'll gain, how you can make the most of your specialization, and preview career possibilities.

You'll notice that we've grouped specializations into categories - check out the other disciplines that have similarities to the ones you've already been thinking about.

3. Ensure You're Eligible to Apply and Learn More About Degree Requirements

Consider course requirements. Will you have completed the required courses for the specialization(s) you're interested in by the end of term 2?

There are different degree types: majors, combined majors, minors, honours. Are you going to focus on one area or study across disciplines? You can enter a combined program (like Computer Science and a second area) but most students have one specialization (a Major). Applying for a second Major or a Minor is normally done in second year. To qualify for Honours specializations, you must have taken at least 27 credits in each winter session, including those prior to admission at UBC. The timing of when you apply for Honours differs by specialization.

Investigate your top three (or more) specializations and learn more about their individual degree requirements.

4. Connect with the Experts at "Meet Your Major" in March

This is the one time each year that everyone is in one place at one time - Science Advising, Departmental advisors and senior students in each specialization are on hand to answer your questions and share their knowledge and experience. Science Co-op and other UBC faculties will be there, too. Find the details for this year's event.

5. Determine Your Top 3 Choices By The End of Term

In June, you'll indicate and rank three specializations on your application - you will need to meet the specific course requirements for each of these and you might be accepted into any one of them.

6. Apply Online In Late May

The BSc Specialization Application opens in late May. Keep an eye on your Distillation emails for specific dates and deadlines and additional information to support your application.

Visit our blog

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    Where can I see Geographical Sciences in the real world?In the monitoring and control of landscape hazards such as debris flows and other slope failures along the North Shore of Metro Vancouver.Investigation of changes in glacier and ice sheet surface melt rates and runoff informs policy on… read more

  4. Why should I choose Atmospheric Science?

    What is Atmospheric Science?Atmospheric Science is about the physical processes behind Earth's atmosphere and how those processes interact with land and ocean systems. You will apply concepts from a variety of disciplines, including math, physics and chemistry, for an interdisciplinary approach… read more

Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

Faculty of Science

Office of the Dean, Earth Sciences Building
2178–2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada
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