Combined Physics and Oceanography Major

Please be aware that the official program requirements are to be found in the UBC Calendar. For more details consult the relevant section of the UBC Calendar.

Combined Major (3126): Oceanography and Physics11

First Year
Communication Requirement1 3
PHYS 117 (106)2 3
PHYS 118 (102, 108)2 3
PHYS 119, +129 is recommended2 1
CHEM 121 (or 111)3 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
EOSC 1124 3
MATH 100 or 102 or 1045 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1056 3
Electives7,8,9 3
Total Credits 30
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
MATH 200, 215, 221 9
PHYS 200, 216, 219, 229 10
EOSC 21110 3
Electives8,9 5
Total Credits 30
Third Year
PHYS 312 or MATH 316 3
MATH 317 3
PHYS 203 4
PHYS 309 or PHYS 319 3
EOSC 372, 373 6
Electives8,9 8
Third or Fourth Year
ATSC 40911 3
Fourth Year
PHYS 301, 304, 409 9
EOSC 352, 354 6
EOSC 471 3
EOSC 473 or EOSC 448 3
Electives8,9 9
Total Credits for Third and Fourth Year 60
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without credit for Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. PHYS 100 will count as an elective. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 106, 108, 119, 129: PHYS 129 is the Enriched follow-up lab to PHYS 119. Students must complete PHYS 119 lab before they can take PHYS 129 Enriched lab. *The PHYS 129 Enriched lab is recommended for all PHAS program specializations. Students who took PHYS 131 may enter the specialization but will need to take PHYS 106, 117, or 170 before the required PHYS 216.
3 Students who do not have B.C. High School Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
4 Students who enter the specialization after second year may substitute EOSC 340.
5 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
6 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
7 A recommended 1 credit elective is EOSC 111.
8 Students are permitted to move elective credits between years.
9 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
10 Students may delay EOSC 211 until their third year if course timetable conflicts do not allow it to be done in second year.
11 This course is offered every second Winter Session.

Specialization Objectives:

Mastery of the curriculum will:

  1. provide enough physics/mathematics to qualify students for graduate school in either physics, oceanography, or environmental science;
  2. prepare students for employment as technicians in environmental sciences.


Learning Goals:

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge about the ocean environment, mostly (but not solely) from a physics perspective;
  2. use analytical problem solving including mathematical techniques as far as partial differential equations and linear algebra, and statistical techniques for time series analysis;
  3. use numerical problem solving (using computer programming skills) both with models and with real data;
  4. use basic field/electronic/laboratory skills for observation and experimentation in physical oceanography;
  5. illustrate the distinctions between data, experiment, theory, and model;
  6. integrate theory, observations, and/or numerics to solve physical oceanography problems;
  7. conduct independent study on a topic of their choosing;
  8. write reports and communicate through oral presentations.