Communication Requirement

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First-year students may take SCIE 113 (First-year Seminar in Science) to fulfil part of the Communication Requirement. However, at least one* course in ENGL may also be required (only students who get into the Combined Major in Science can count on using SCIE 300 as the second communication course). In order to take any ENGL course at UBC you must have a good grasp of the English language. The Language Proficiency Index (LPI) exam is used to determine a student's eligibility to register in first-year English courses. You may be exempt from the LPI exam: check at,197,282,71#17890.

*Currently the Faculty of Medicine at UBC requires applicants to pass two ENGL courses.
Once admitted to UBC, students will not normally be permitted to satisfy the Communication requirement at another institution.

Students from Secondary School

Students admitted directly from secondary school should take at least one communication course in their first year if eligible to do so. Those who have not met the requirement to take an ENGL course (see above) risk having their credit release limited after first year if they do not make progress (see,215,410,1463).

If you do need to pass the LPI exam, then you should limit your credits in first year so as to have the time required to build your writing skills through formal study and practice. The UBC Writing Centre offers a non-credit writing course ( that may help you improve your skills. UBC also offers the Academic English Support Program ( for free guidance in identifying weaknesses and improving your skills.

Second Degree, Transfer, and Re-admitted Students

Students who are accepted on transfer from other post-secondary institutions, who are readmitted to the Faculty after being required to discontinue, or who are admitted with a prior degree must meet the Communication requirement while classified in second or third year.

Promotion to fourth-year standing requires that the Communication requirement be met. There are limits on the number of credits that can be attempted while in second or third years (see,215,410,1469 for second-degree students and,215,410,1467 for others). Students who reach those limits without meeting the Communication requirement will be required to discontinue studies in Science.

Students admitted to the BSc program from either the Faculty of Applied Science or the Faculty of Arts at UBC Vancouver and who have credit for APSC 176; ASTU 100, 150; or WRDS 150 may apply the credits toward the Communication requirement.

How Long Do You Have?

Students who are not exempt from the LPI exam and who do not pass either SCIE 113 or an ENGL course in the first winter session will be limited in the credits they may attempt the following summer and winter sessions until they achieve a level 5 LPI score. If that score is not achieved by the end of their second winter session, they will not be permitted to register in any additional credit courses until they do.

Students admitted to a first-degree program who have not met the Communication Requirement by the time they have met the other requirements for promotion to fourth-year standing will not be promoted or permitted to enrol in courses other than Communication courses until the requirement is met. See Promotion Requirements (,215,410,1467).