[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.

New science breadth requirements

For students starting a science degree program UBC in 2019 there will be new science breadth requirements for graduation. The Faculty of Science offers courses in seven broad categories1:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physics
  4. Life Science
  5. Statistics
  6. Computer Science
  7. Earth & Planetary Science

All students in single-subject honours and majors programs will need at least three credits in 6 out of 7 of these categories to graduate. Those in combined programs (including Biophysics) will need at least three credits in 5 out of 7 of these categories to graduate.

As currently structured our core programs (minus electives) fulfil the following number of categories:

  • Honours and Major Physics: 4 out of 6
  • Honours Biophysics: 4 out of 5
  • Major Astronomy: 4 out of 6
  • Combined Honours Physics and Astronomy: 4 out of 5
  • Combined Honours Physics and Computer Science: 5 out of 5
  • Combined Major Physics and Computer Science: 4 out of 5

In addition, all our students are encouraged to take first-year computer science (CPSC103 or 110), in which case all the programs listed above will fulfil 5 categories.


1. The UBC calendar is the definitive source for courses that count toward the breadth requirement. As of August 2018, the following course lists were up to date:

  • Mathematics: All MATH courses, except MATH 302 Chemistry: All CHEM courses, except CHEM 100, CHEM 300 Physics: All PHYS courses, except PHYS 100
  • Life Science: All BIOL, BIOC, PSYC (courses numbered from 60 to 89 in the last two digits), and MICB courses, and GEOB 207, except BIOL 140, BIOL 300
  • Statistics: BIOL 300, DSCI 100, MATH 302, all STAT
  • Computer Science: All CPSC courses
  • World Science: All ASTR, ATSC, ENVR, EOSC, GEOB courses except EOSC 111 and GEOB 207