Faculty Requirements

Students » Faculty Requirements

Visit the Renewed Science Advising Space at Chem/Phys A

Find Science Advising at A150 Chem/Physics Building (6221 University Boulevard).

Science Requirement

At least 72 credits must be completed in the Faculty of Science.

Communication Requirement

Six credits of communication coursework must be completed before promotion to Year 4. Eligible courses are listed at http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,215,410,1463. First, find out if you're exempt from the LPI – see http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,197,282,71#17890. Those not exempt from the LPI should write the test before the end of first year, register in SCIE 113 in first year, and plan to take a second first-year English course once an LPI score of five is achieved. Those who are exempt from the LPI may still take SCIE 113 in first year, but can also choose from several first-year English courses. SCIE 113 is available only to BSc students with Year 1 standing.

Arts Requirement

Separate from any English courses taken for the Communication requirement, 12 credits of Arts courses are required. You can take courses in the humanities, social sciences, and languages.

Breadth Requirement for Majors

A major B.Sc. is not as highly specialized as an honours B.Sc., so every major student must complete at least nine (9) credits beyond those required by the program in topics outside the area of specialization. These might be in another science discipline (outside the field of the major) or in Arts (beyond the 12-credit minimum). Courses in other faculties do not count toward the breadth requirement. The breadth requirement applies to major students only—not to honours or General Science students.

Lower-Level Requirements to Be Completed in First 60 Credits

Do you have? If you answer No If you answer Yes
Biology 11 or Biology 12 (at least one year of biology during your senior secondary program). Take BIOL 111. Choose one of ASTR 101, ASTR 102, BIOL 112, BIOL 121, EOSC 110, EOSC 112, EOSC 114, GEOB 101, GEOB 102, or GEOB 103.
Calculus 12 (calculus as a separate course). Take MATH 180 or 184. Take MATH 100, 102, 104 or 120*
Chemistry 12. Take CHEM 111 and another six credits of CHEM/PHYS (CHEM 111, CHEM 113, and PHYS 101 or CHEM 111, PHYS 101, and PHYS 102). take two of CHEM 121, 123, (or CHEM 113 if CHEM 111 taken), PHYS 101, 102 or PHYS 107*, 108*, 109*.
Physics 12. Take PHYS 100 and another six credits of CHEM/PHYS. take two of CHEM 121, 123 (or CHEM 113 if CHEM 111 taken), PHYS 101, 102 or PHYS 107*, 108*, 109*.
Note: courses marked with an asterisk (*) above are Honours courses.

Computational Sciences

Students take one of: MATH 100, 102, 104, 180, 184, or 120 and six more computational credits. These courses are normally in CPSC, MATH, or STAT. Some programs may allow the completion of other computational courses to satisfy 3 credits of the requirement (e.g., BIOL 300 for biology students). These alternative courses are specified in the program descriptions.

Physical Sciences

All students take six credits of CHEM and/or PHYS lecture courses at the 100-level beyond CHEM 111 and PHYS 100.

Biology Requirement

Students who do not have credit for high school Biology 11 or 12 take three credits of 100-level BIOL (normally BIOL 111). Students with credit for Biology 11 or 12 complete three credits of: ATSC, ASTR, BIOL, EOSC, or GEOB.

Laboratory Science

Students take two one-term laboratory courses chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, EOSC, GEOB, PHYS, and PSYC. These may be stand-alone labs or parts of lecture-lab courses included in other requirements listed above (e.g., CHEM 121, CHEM 123, PHYS 101, and PHYS 102 all have laboratory components).


  • No more than three credits of lower-level requirements may be deferred beyond the first 60 credits. Exceptions: 100-level ENGL and MATH 100 (or 1 of: MATH 102, 104, 180, 184, or 120) may not be deferred.
  • These lower-level requirements are the minimum requirements for Science. Certain programs will require more courses or very specific courses. Program requirements are found in the UBC Calendar.
  • Students with credit for Science One and BIOL 140 meet all first-year biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics requirements for all programs in the Faculty, and satisfy lower-level requirements for physical sciences, other sciences, laboratory science, and six of the required nine credits in computational science.

Third and Fourth Year: Upper-Level Requirements

At least 48 credits must be in upper level courses (300 and/or 400 level). At least 30 of those must be Science courses, but your program may require more than 30. The remaining credits can be electives in any field or faculty.

Free Electives

A Major B.Sc. may include up to 18 credits from another faculty other than Science or Arts (e.g. Land & Food Systems, Commerce, Forestry). Since these are free electives they may also be chosen from Science or Arts. These credits may also count toward the minimum 48 upper-level credits for the degree. The Honours degree and other options have slightly different requirements. Check with your Program Advisor.