[April 20, 2021] UBC is currently planning for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, in September 2021. Please visit the Faculty of Science website and the UBC Broadcast announcement for more information.

Undergrad First Year Physics Guide

Quick Start for Most Science Students

  • New for 2021W
    • PHYS 101 has been replaced by PHYS 131 (which has the same lecture content but now has no lab component).
    • PHYS 107 has been replaced by PHYS 106 (which has the same lecture content but now has no lab component).
    • The labs in PHYS 101 and 107 have been replaced with PHYS 119. If you want to or require a physics lab, you are encouraged to take PHYS 119 (which is now offered in Term 1 and Term 2).
    • PHYS 109 Enriched lab has been replaced with PHYS 129 lab. This is a second laboratory course offered in Term 2 that follows the PHYS 119 lab; it provides a synthesis and development of further sophistication around the data collection, data analysis techniques and scientific reasoning developed in PHYS 119 lab (http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/courses.cfm?page=name&code=phys). Students with questions about this secondary lab, alternative lab credits in Science, or course planning assistance may contact Dr. Janis McKenna at ug-phys2@phas.ubc.ca.
  • If you do not have credit for BC high school Physics 12 or equivalent, you must take PHYS 100. This is required by Faculty of Science, even though PHYS 100 is not listed in any degree specializations. 
  • Life science students should consider taking PHYS 131. Because many medical schools require two university physics courses, many life science students take additional physics courses. PHYS 117 and 118 should be considered. (PHYS 131 and 118 are also offered in the summer).
  • Most physical science students take PHYS 117 and/or PHYS 118, and may also take the PHYS 119 lab. Students not pursuing a Physical Science degree may also take PHYS 117, PHYS 118 and the PHYS 119 lab. Students who are taking PHYS 131 who wish to register in PHYS 118 should email 1st Year Advisor, Dr. Michael Hasinoff at ug-phys1@phas.ubc.ca.
  • Students with at least 85% in high school physics and math are encouraged to take the enriched sequence PHYS 106, PHYS 108, the PHYS 119 lab in Term 1 and the PHYS 129 lab in Term 2.
  • Life Science degrees accept PHYS 106 or 117 as well as PHYS 131.
  • PHYS 157/158/159/170 are generally for Applied Science students and registration is mostly by Standard Time Tables (STT).
  • Consider taking ASTR 101 or ASTR 102 to help satisfy the Faculty of Science requirement of a course with lab components. (You must still take an actual BIOL course if you don't have credit for high school Biology 11 or 12). It also counts as an Earth & Planetary Science course for the Science Breadth Requirements.
  • The above mentioned courses can be found on UBC Course Schedule website.
  • *Note for students starting a science degree program at UBC in 2019 or later there will be new breadth requirements for graduation. See details here.


Undergrad First Year Physics Guide:

First Year Courses Map

The arrows indicate only the most common paths through the courses. Consult the First Year Physics Advisor about other possibilities.


Planning to enter a Physics & Astronomy specialization? 

For various Physics and Astronomy specializations and how to apply info, please consult the Degree Program page.

Further Information

PHYS & ASTR Courses for General Science Electives or Breadth Requirements

Physics Requirements for Faculty of Science and Other Faculties

Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

First year Physics & Astronomy Courses

Other First Year Science Options

Registration for Physics & Astronomy Courses

Registration FAQ and Registration Inquiry & Advising Contact


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