Programs spotlight: Math, chemistry, and physics

Programs spotlight: Math, chemistry, and physics

Do numbers excite you? Do you want to take your sharp analytical and problem-solving skills to the next level? UBC’s Math, Chemistry, and Physics programs offer you the opportunity to do just that, alongside opening your path to a variety of advanced career options.

Gain hands-on research experience through laboratory courses, and study at some of the top Math and Science departments in Canada, each with outstanding international reputations. Explore the different options that are available at both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan to find the program that is right for you.



The Astronomy program at UBC Vancouver applies the principles of Physics and Mathematics to solve problems in navigation, space flight, and satellite communications, as well as to develop the instrumentation and techniques used to observe and collect astronomical data. This program is available as a major or as a combined honour in Physics and Astronomy, which is strongly suggested for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in astronomy and a career in research.

The student scoop

michelle kunimoto, ubc astronomy, ubc physics

Meet Michelle, an Astronomy student who shares the details of discovering a new planet – and what that discovery means for her future and the search for life on other planets.


Engineering Physics

The Engineering Physics program at UBC Vancouver provides a strong foundation of academic courses, project courses, and co-op work experience to help you gain the skills and experience needed to develop new technology and interdisciplinary engineering projects. If you have career aspirations to be an inventor, a research engineer, or a technology entrepreneur, this is a program that you may want to consider for your undergraduate degree.


Environmental Chemistry

The Environmental Chemistry program at UBC Okanagan can help you gain the skills required to work in one of the fastest-growing fields in science. You’ll learn about how the environment works, how to analyze environmental contaminants, and how to monitor environmental impacts through a solid education of four key areas of Chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical.


The student scoop

Meet Jeffrey, a Chemistry student at UBC Okanagan. Read about why his time at UBC has been the best of his life.


Integrated Science 

The Integrated Science program at UBC Vancouver is designed for highly motivated students whose interests in science run across disciplinary boundaries. You’ll get to design your own courses that best reflect your interests and help prepare you for professional programs such as medicine, law, or education. As an Integrated Sciences student, you’ll be assigned an IntSci Faculty Mentor to help you design your individual course of study.


Mathematical Sciences

The Mathematical Sciences program at UBC Vancouver will provide you with a strong foundation of skills that can help you prepare for work in finance, software, actuarial science, and more. You can choose to focus your studies on mathematics, statistics, computer science or any combination of the three to tailor your degree according to your interests and future career.


If you are passionate about developing new technologies or analyzing environmental impacts, one of UBC’s Math, Chemistry, and Physics programs may be right for you.



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

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

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, you can choose between Science One, or First-Year Focus.


Science One

What is Science One?

Science One offers courses that integrate Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. It provides small class sizes, a dedicated study room attached to your professors’ offices, and excellent student-to-instructor ratios.


Why should you choose Science One?

Science One makes 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 a community of students and faculty. 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.

Because Science One takes 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 who will decide together what will be on the curriculum each week and how the disciplines will interact – meaning that you’ll make close personal connections with your profs. There will also be the opportunity to take part in peer-group workshops or field trips.


Is Science One right for you?

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 80 individuals, and will be supported by nine instructors, offering you an excellent student-to-professor ratio of 9:1. 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.

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 the Winter Formal and talent shows.


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 opened on December 1, 2022. You are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be assessed in the order they’re received. Applications received after April 30 may be considered, but not with the same priority as those before that date.


First-Year Focus

What is First-Year Focus?

First-Year Focus will help you build a strong foundation in computational science and life science. As a cohort-based first-year study option, you’ll be part of a small inclusive community, which will help you meet others, form friendships, and build the skills you need to explore a wide range of disciplines as you advance to second year at UBC Science.


What to expect

Starting in Fall 2023, First-Year Focus will offer 2 tracks: First-Year Focus Computation and First-Year Focus Life Science. As a First-Year Focus student, you will take a common set of courses (with a focus on either Computation or Life Science) with the same class of about 180 UBC Science first-year students. You will also take an in-person seminar course once a week to develop your skills and further connect with your community. You’ll select the remaining courses (usually four to five, either in-person or online) based on your interests and the requirements you’ll need to meet to enter your second year in UBC Science.


Why choose First-Year Focus?

Because First-Year Focus is limited to a particular group of students, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time with your cohort, which will help you make friends. You’ll immerse yourself in computational sciences while gaining the ability to pursue almost everything UBC Science has to offer as you progress in your degree—from earth sciences to life science or physical sciences. Best of all, First-Year Focus makes registering for your courses simpler, and includes online courses if you’d wish add more flexibility.

As part of the study option, you’ll begin to build your strong foundation in either computer science or life science, which are the most exciting areas of science. During your time with First-Year Focus, you’ll also enjoy the chance to take part in the mentorship program, various community-building events, and workshops that are specific to your cohort.


How to apply

First-Year Focus is open to any first-year BSc student and designed for learners who are passionate about applying computational skills or life science knowledge to a range of problems across the sciences.

If you want to take part in First-Year Focus, you’ll need to submit your application when it opens in spring. Applications received after the deadline of June 1 will be considered on a rolling basis, but only if there is still space in the program.

Tips for submitting your Visual Arts program portfolio

Tips for submitting your Visual Arts program portfolio

Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan is a hands-on, studio-based program that will help you in your goal of becoming an artist. You’ll study a variety of traditional media such as painting, drawing, sculpture and more, as well as digital media projects.

As part of the application, you’ll have to submit a portfolio of your work, as well as a letter of intent. Don’t worry! You don’t have to come to the program with an advanced skill level – that’s what your studies at UBC will help you develop.


What UBC is looking for

Rather than a polished body of work, UBC wants to use the portfolio to learn about how you engage with the world. All you need to demonstrate is a genuine curiosity and how it relates to making art. When you come to UBC Okanagan, your instructors will teach you how to develop your skills.


Portfolio checklist

Your portfolio should include:

  • An image description page
    • List the title, medium, size, and year of production for each piece in your portfolio.
    • Number each title to correspond with the images and/or videos of your work.
    • You can include a link to your personal website if you have one.
  • Between 15 and 20 images of your work.
    • Resize your images to a maximum of 160 dpi, and a maximum of 2000 px on the long side of the image.
    • You may wish to include up to 5 max sketchbook/process images that showcase their creative process
  • Up to three short video works, which are a maximum of three minutes each.
    • Let us know the URLs for these files in your image description list if they’re posted online (for example on YouTube or Vimeo). Remember to include any passwords.
    • You can send video documentation of your 3D work.
    • Please note that videos aren’t a required part of the portfolio if they are not part of your creative practice.
  • A letter of intent
    • In a maximum of 300 words, the letter should describe why you want to study Visual For example, what about art interests you? What are your future goals in the art world? Why do you want to study at UBCO specifically?
    • An artist statement is welcome but not required.
  • Place all your material into one document
    • This can be a .doc or .docx, or a .pdf file. Please don’t send PowerPoint or other presentations or formats, i.e. .pages, .txt, .key.
    • Please only have one image per page
    • Make sure this filename includes your name. Use the format Lastname_Firstname_Portfolio
    • Make sure that your total file is not larger than 5MB.


How to submit your portfolio

You should send your portfolio and letter of intent together, either online or by mail.

If you choose to mail your portfolio, you must send it to:

Portfolio Review Committee
Department of Creative Studies
The University of British Columbia
CCS building – 1148 Research Road
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7

If you want us to return your submission, you should use a reusable mailer and include the return postage cost. Alternatively, you can enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.


Submission deadline

You must submit your completed portfolio by January 31, 2023.


 We’re looking forward to seeing your work!



Programs spotlight: People, culture, and society

Programs spotlight: People, culture, and society

Are you fascinated by the forces that shape human history? Do you want to learn more about the evolution of individual communities and peoples? Do you want to explore topics at the intersection of politics, art, culture, literature, music, design, and geography? One of UBC’s people, culture, and society programs could be for you.


Explore your program options 

Indigenous Studies

The Indigenous Studies program at UBC Okanagan explores the perspectives, histories, and contemporary issues of Indigenous peoples from around the world. You’ll examine key topics such as Indigenous governance, the justice system, land claims, traditional ecological knowledge, and other critical components of Indigenous heritage. This program will prepare you for a career in government, environmental assessment and resource management, Indigenous leadership, or Indigenous-focused non-profit or community organizations.


The student scoop

Ella Maija Tailfeathers, First Nations Studies, UBC

Meet Elle-Máijá, a First Nations Studies undergrad and groundbreaking filmmaker who discovered her passion for Indigenous representation in media.



The Program in the study of Religion at UBC Vancouver is the only program designed to allow you to study a variety of religions from a number of disciplinary perspectives. You’ll look in detail at different regions and historical periods while also focusing on the religious traditions of your choice. This program is ideal if you’re interested in understanding the role of religions in world history, global cultures, society, and the arts, and in learning how religions have been studied. Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad in one of 42 countries.


Gender and Women’s Studies

Gain a deeper understanding of sexuality, femininity, embodiment, and social justice in the Gender and Women’s Studies program at UBC Okanagan. This dynamic and interdisciplinary program focuses on historical and contemporary roles of gender in global cultures. You’ll build theoretical and research skills through courses in the humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies.


The student scoop

Emmy Chahal, Cultural Studies, UBC Okanagan

Meet Emmy, a Cultural Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies undergraduate who learned to question more, and judge less.


Social Work

Social work is a profession that lets you promote social justice at individual, family, organizational, community, and societal levels. The Social Work program at UBC Vancouver is a two-year degree that will prepare you for the different areas of the profession, including direct practice, group work, and developing communities. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the values of human dignity, social equality, and social justice, and learn through a variety of real-world field placements.


See a full list of people, culture, and society programs at UBC



Why choose Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan?

Why choose Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan?

Do you want to study a broad range of artistic disciplines as part of a tight-knit community? Are you creative, curious, and engaged with the world around you? If so, Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan might be the right program for you.


What you will learn

Visual Arts will let you study in a variety of traditional media, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, analogue photography, and printmaking. You’ll also have the opportunity to work on digital media projects, including video, digital photography, sound art, animation, and the creation of virtual worlds. The degree is designed to prepare you for a career as an artist, so much of your time will be spent doing hands-on studio work.

As well as helping you build a strong foundation in all the fine arts, the program includes courses on art history and the theory of art, which will help you develop your own thoughts and curiosities behind the artistic process. You can also choose classes in Creative Writing, Art History, Visual Culture, Theatre, and Media Studies.

Remember – you don’t have to come to the program with a particular skill level. All you’ll need is a genuine curiosity for the world, and your instructors will teach you how to develop your art.


A destination degree

Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan is unique in its thriving fine arts community. You can learn from and collaborate with students across other programs, including Media Studies, Performance Arts, Creative Writing, Art History, and Visual Culture – something that’s not a possibility at larger campuses or as part of a larger program. The beautiful Okanagan, too, is not only home to a significant number of creatives and galleries, but is a lifestyle-focused region that offers plenty of inspiration. Working within this community, you’ll enjoy a self-directed program with the feel of an arts retreat.

On UBC’s Okanagan campus, students have access to sculpture, photography, and printmaking studios as well as a private studio space for senior-level students and the Asper Centre for Artists’ Video, which houses state-of-the-art video and digital editing equipment.




What makes the program unique?


  1. Gain confidence in your art. In your first two years, you’ll explore every discipline and build your skills as you narrow down your areas of specialty. Your third and fourth years will be driven by your own exploration, and as part of that final year, you’ll have your own studio space and dedicated supervisor to help.


  1. Build skills in the professional world. As part of your degree you’ll work on community engagement projects and learn skills such as how to manage an arts fundraiser. Your work will also be displayed in the community, helping you build an audience for your art.


  1. Study in an intimate setting. Class sizes for Visual Arts are deliberately small, meaning it’s not only easy to make friends but to share ideas with your classmates.


  1. Learn from real artists. The instructors for the Visual Arts program are all working artists themselves and have art practices, and can teach you about the industry as well as their disciplines.


  1. Join international and domestic students. UBC is the most international university in North America. You’ll make friends from all over the world during your time at UBC Okanagan, and be exposed to cultures beyond your own.


After you graduate

Graduates from the Visual Arts program have gone on to careers as practicing artists, designers, artist collective and studio managers, preparators at art galleries, and into further study in degrees such as Architecture.


The student scoop

Meet Barb, a Visual Arts graduate, whose career took her back to her Tlingit community to work alongside established artists in order to help others feel and express their culture through art.


What can you study in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems?

What can you study in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems?

Whether you dream of helping reduce the demands on our climate systems, or are driven to solve the world’s food sustainability crisis, you’ll find a program for you at UBC. As a member of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems – known for being one of UBC’s friendliest faculties – you’ll study alongside other students who are dedicated to using science to meet society’s urgent needs, and passionately exploring how humans interact with the natural world.


Explore your program options

All students in the Land and Food Systems faculty and also can apply to dual degrees with the Master of Management.


Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology

Applied Animal Biology

If you want to study or work with animals, UBC Vancouver’s Applied Animal Biology program will be a great fit for you. The program gives you a broad background in the fundamentals of animal behavior and physiology as they apply to farm, companion, and other animals. You’ll learn about the role of animals in human society, and examine the ethical, environmental, and other issues that arise from our connection with them. As part of your program, you’ll spend time doing hands-on field work and research in wildlife rehabilitation centres, laboratories, animal shelters, and on farms, preparing you for a career in the field. This program also allows you to complete the necessary prerequisites for veterinary medicine.


The student scoop

Meet Afnan, who, while studying Applied Animal Biology, was a field research assistant in Northern BC and worked with the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s cowan tetrapod collection. These hands-on learning experiences allowed her to see what she learned directly applied to the community.


Sustainable Agriculture and Environment

In the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment program, you’ll tackle a range of environmental challenges while tailoring your studies to your particular interests – from agricultural production to soil and water resources management to climate change. You’ll learn how to produce food in a way that protects our soils, water, and air; how to manage biodiversity and habitats for the organisms we rely on to help us grow our food; and which agricultural practices are best for urban environments. You’ll have access to a living laboratory for experiential learning at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, located at the UBC Farm on UBC’s Vancouver campus. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be primed for a professional career focused on shaping a more sustainable, food-secure future.



Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition, and Health


Dietetics is an in-demand profession that’s growing fast across Canada and the world. UBC Vancouver’s Dietetics program – the only Dietetics program in BC – will teach you how to improve and promote health through optimized food and nutrition, and to fill a variety of roles in nutrition care, management, or population and public health. You’ll graduate from this professional program as a registered dietitian with a strong understanding of human nutrition and how to manage sustainable food systems.

The student scoop

Lucy Hoang Land and Food Systems Dietetics UBC Story

As well as working on ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes through studying the Western diet, Lucy found that she was able to learn about social justice issues, psychology, anthropology, and more as part of her program.



Food, Nutrition, and Health

The Food, Nutrition, and Health program gives you the flexibility to pursue your interests while gaining a deeper knowledge of issues related to food production, food security, and the role of nutrition in disease prevention. You’ll get to choose from a large variety of electives, and you’ll study a curriculum of your own design that will prep you for a career in the food and health sectors. Food, Nutrition, and Health students can apply to dual degrees with Bachelor of Education or Master of Management, or one of six minors to complement their program. The Food, Nutrition, and Health program is also a great foundation for students interested in medical school, dentistry or nursing.


“Being in the Land and Food Systems Faculty has taught me and challenged me to employ systems-thinking when discussing topics that I care deeply for, such as food security, public health and sustainability.”

– Rachel Ma, Food, Nutrition, and Health


Food Science

Calling all foodies! Take your passion for food to the next level in UBC Vancouver’s Food Science program, where you’ll discover the chemistry and microbiology of food, its nutritional and sensory properties, and how it’s engineered and processed. You’ll explore scientific topics such as the concepts and controversies in nutrition and how to prevent food-borne illnesses, and you’ll also gain hands-on experience through food-specific lab courses and community-based learning in sustainability. When you graduate, you’ll be ready for a number of careers in the food industry – an exciting field that’s undergoing rapid change.


The student scoop

peter higgins, purdys, ubc

Meet Peter Higgins, a UBC Food Science grad who became one of the top chocolate scientists at Purdys.


Nutritional Sciences

In Nutritional Sciences, you’ll delve into the science of the human digestive system, and discover how our bodies actually metabolize and use nutrients. You’ll also learn more about the function of nutrients in health and disease, and study nutritional requirements and recommendations in depth. As part of the program, you’ll find out about the methods of how we produce and distribute food, and what impact that has on food availability – helping you to solve some real-world challenges.


The student scoop

Brenna Han UBC Story Land and Food Systems

Meet Brenna Han, who used her Nutritional Sciences degree to get into medical school.


Food and Nutritional Sciences

The Food and Nutritional Sciences program is a double major which combines the Food Science and the Nutritional Sciences programs. As part of the degree, you’ll discover the chemistry and microbiology of food, its nutritional and sensory properties, and how it’s created and processed. You’ll also work on understanding the function of nutrients in health and disease, and people’s nutritional requirements. At the end of the program, you’ll graduate ready for a career in the food and nutrition industries or grad studies in health sciences.


“The hands-on learning experiences available through the LFS program provided me with the opportunity to apply that knowledge, which in turn helped set me up for success in my career.” 

– Lauren Rappaport, Food and Nutritional Sciences alumni 


Programs spotlight: Health and life sciences

Programs spotlight: Health and life sciences

Whether you’re interested in understanding the intricacies of animal behaviour or uncovering the secrets of the brain, you can begin your journey at UBC. Immerse yourself in a passionate community of like-minded professors and students who are dedicated to the study of human health, the biodiversity of our planet, and the living organisms we share it with.


Explore your program options


Discover the world too small to see with the naked eye in the Microbiology program at UBC Okanagan. You’ll master techniques that let you observe structures and organisms at the microscopic level, and become an expert on topics such as gene regulation, immune responses, and why certain people are susceptible to particular diseases. A lot of your learning will be hands-on in the lab, and you’ll have the chance to direct your own original research.



Do you want to study life at every level, from atoms and molecules to cells, organisms, and environments? The Biophysics program at UBC Vancouver is a cross-disciplinary program that incorporates concepts from physical and mathematical sciences with the study of biological systems. You’ll learn how to look for and analyze patterns, as well as gaining an understanding of the basic concepts and quantitative skills of physics. When you graduate, you’ll be ready for graduate studies in biology or physics, or for a career in fields such as medicine or pharmaceuticals.


Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology

Dive into the animal kingdom and learn how organisms interact with the world around them. In the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology program at UBC Okanagan, you’ll explore animal behaviours and adaptations while gaining a deep understanding of biodiversity through lab work, job placements, and field work in British Columbia and overseas, and learn practical approaches and tools for conserving species and ecosystems. You’ll develop a foundation that prepares you for a range of careers in conservation, environmental assessment, aquaculture, and more.

The student scoop

Meet Brooke, a Biology alumna who tracked cheetahs in South Africa as a volunteer before deciding to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.


Cognitive Systems

Are you fascinated by the human mind? The Cognitive Systems program at UBC Vancouver sits at the intersection of computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. Study the tools that allow people to think – such as language – and explore what it means for machines to generate their own knowledge. You’ll learn how to interpret data, design your own cognitive systems, and navigate ethical complexities. Through hands-on research experiences, you’ll work at the outer limits of scientific understanding, and push the boundaries of understanding the mind.



Do you want a fulfilling career helping people and promoting health and healing? In the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at UBC Okanagan you will practice safe, quality, evidence-informed health care grounded in humanizing the experience of health and illness. As a professional nurse, and a graduate of this program, you will be qualified to provide professional nursing services, deliver health-education programs, and provide consultative nursing services to promote, maintain, and restore patient health.


Health and Exercise Sciences

Do you want to work with people to enhance their wellbeing and help them lead healthier and more active lives? In the Bachelor of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus you’ll examine the interdisciplinary nature of human health, including the psychological, physiological, neuromechanical, and socio-cultural aspects of movement.


See a full list of health and life sciences programs at UBC



Improve your English and earn a UBC degree with Vantage One

Improve your English and earn a UBC degree with Vantage One

Do you have an excellent academic record, but don’t quite meet UBC’s English language admission requirement? If you fulfil UBC’s general and degree-specific requirements, there are alternative pathways to help you achieve your UBC degree.


What is Vantage One?

UBC’s Vantage One programs are designed for international students who do not yet meet the English language requirement to enter directly into a UBC faculty. Vantage One courses last 11 months, and add English-language instruction to your first-year degree courses. You can choose from Engineering or Science, and you’ll be taught by award-winning UBC faculty members.

The Science Vantage One program takes place at UBC Vancouver and upon successful completion of the program you’ll progress into your second year of your Bachelor of Science degree at the Vancouver campus.

The Engineering program involves studying at both campuses, with the first 2 terms of the program taught at UBC Vancouver and Term 3 taught at the UBC Okanagan Campus. When you successfully complete your Vantage One Engineering program, you can continue your Bachelor of Applied Science degree at either UBC Vancouver or UBC Okanagan campuses.

Why choose Vantage One?

The program is designed specifically for international students. Vantage One is a first-year cohort program, which means you’ll follow a set timetable and take nearly all of your classes with the same people, helping you to make friends from day one. It also includes an orientation, which will assist you with essential needs like health insurance, setting up bank accounts, and learning how to thrive in the classroom at UBC.

There are over 50 highly-trained faculty and staff at Vantage One, who will help you build on your academic performance, English language development, study skills, and readiness for your second year. While you will be completing the same courses as other UBC students, your classes will be tailored to you. They offer smaller class sizes, innovative teaching methods, language instruction integrated into your degree coursework, and the ability to connect closely with faculty. Best of all, taking part in a Vantage One program does not add extra time to your degree.


What are the requirements?

Vantage One accepts students with a minimum score of 70 on the TOEFL and 5.5 on the IELTS. Certain sub-scores apply for each test, so be sure to review the full English language requirements on the Vantage College website.


How do you apply?

  1. Choose your UBC Vantage One program:  Engineering or Science.
  2. Meet the Vantage One admission requirements.
  3. Apply online and pay the fee.
  4. Submit your required documents.
  5. Stay in touch.

The application deadline for Vantage One is January 15, 2023 for studies beginning in September of 2023.