Which Science first-year study option is right for you?

Which Science first-year study option is right for you?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that due to the global situation surrounding COVID-19, the Coordinated Science Program will not be available in 2020.


Once you’ve decided to apply for the Bachelor of Science degree, it’s time to start thinking about how you’d like to structure your first-year courses.

There are two ways to shape your degree. The first lets you pick the classes you’re most interested in, and build your own timetable. The second lets you join a predesigned course schedule for your first year, where you’ll take nearly all of your classes with the same people.

For Science students, there are two of these study options to choose from: Science One, and the Coordinated Science Program (CSP).


What are Science One and CSP?

Science One and CSP offer courses that integrate Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. Both provide small class sizes, dedicated study spaces, and lower student-to-instructor ratios, but have very different curricula and difficulty levels.


Why should you choose Science One or CSP?

Science One and CSP make the transition from high school to university smoother with standard timetables, coordinated assignment schedules, a set space in the library to study, and support from your fellow students and faculty.

Because Science One and CSP take a small number of students, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time with your cohort, which will help you make friends. You’ll also be taught by a select number of professors, which aids in making personal connections with your teachers. There will be the opportunity to take part in peer-group workshops or field trips, depending on the study option you choose.


How to pick which option is best for you

Science One

Science One is challenging. It has a competitive application process, and teaches UBC’s highest level of first-year science to a tight-knit group of students. You’ll be one of just 75 individuals, and will be supported by eight instructors, offering you an excellent student-to-professor ratio of 9:1. All Science One teachers attend each other’s classes to dynamically shape your curriculum, and you’ll share your own work and study space with your instructors. You’ll also take part in weekly workshops, learn from guest lecturers, and have extra instruction in science literacy and computer programming. The curriculum includes mentorship on two major research projects – the results of which can be published in undergraduate journals – and you’ll attend student conferences and enjoy two field trips.

Science One is also a social experience. You’ll help elect a student representative to sit in on the Science One Team meetings and the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS), and take part in mentorship and social activities such as barbecues, the Winter Formal, and talent shows.



CSP aims to build more a supportive learning community than if you choose to create your own timetable. With a pupil-teacher ratio of 28:1, you’ll have smaller class sizes than a standard first-year science student, and will attend labs primarily made up of your CSP peers. The program provides you with a dedicated space for you and others to study and socialize, and you’ll take part in electing a CSP student council which plans activities such as movie nights, ski trips, and dinners. You’ll also get to take part in weekly two-hour workshops that provide extra learning support, and build essential scientific skills.


How to apply

If you want to take part in Science One, you’ll need to submit an application at the same time or shortly after you apply to UBC’s Bachelor of Science degree, as registration opens on December 1, 2019.

To join CSP, you can sign up when the standard online registration system opens in June.


Share this post