Mathematics (BSc)

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Mathematics is more than just numbers and rules for calculating with them – it's a powerful tool for solving practical problems and a highly creative field of study, combining logic and precision with intuition and imagination.

This program is also offered at UBC's Okanagan Campus
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Mathematics is a powerful tool for solving practical problems and a highly creative field of study, combining logic and precision with intuition and imagination. It is more than just numbers and rules for calculating with them. The basic goal of mathematics is to reveal and explain patterns – whether the pattern appears as electrical impulses in an animal’s nervous system, as fluctuations in stock market prices, or as fine detail of an abstract geometric figure. The ability to simplify complex situations through abstraction and systematic reasoning is a great asset. Mathematics is applied as an essential tool in many different fields including business, finance, industry, government, education, and social sciences.

The broad application of Mathematics is reflected in the variety of programs the department offers. It is possible to obtain a BSc, BA of BASc in Mathematics, with several possibilities for combined degrees with other subjects. The BSc in Mathematics allows students to concentrate in Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, or Statistics. Students interested in becoming actuaries can prepare for the Society of Actuaries’ exams through careful course selection. A Combined Major in Computer Sciences and Mathematics is also available, as is the option to study Mathematics with another science subject as a Combined Honours degree. The Honours degrees are geared towards students intended to enter graduate studies in Mathematics.

Campus features

The Living Mathematics Project hosted at UBC is working to apply recent advances in computer programming languages and the technology of the World Wide Web to construct a new medium for the communication of Mathematics. UBC also consistently ranks highly in the prestigious undergraduate Putnam Mathematics Competition, which all students are encouraged to participate in.

The Department of Mathematics is associated with many institutes, such as the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), the Institute of Applied Mathematics, and MITACS. The Mathematics Library, Math Club, Mathematics Undergraduate Computer Lab, and Mathematics Learning Centre are resources for available to undergraduate students in their mathematical studies.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

The historic Mathematics Building is located in the heart of UBC’s Vancouver campus. The Department of Mathematics has a prize-winning faculty who are at the top of their specialist fields.

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Your future

A BSc in Mathematics equips you with the ability to solve complicated problems through analytical reasoning. Critical thinking and computational modelling are emphasized in the discipline, as is logical and flexible thinking. These are skills that are highly valued by employers in many fields. Business and IT sectors are eager to employ mathematics graduates in the software industry, actuarial field, investment, and banking.

An undergraduate degree in Mathematics can also be a stepping stone into an education program.

The Department of Mathematics has actuarial advisors to help you structure your Mathematics degree in preparation for taking the Society of Actuaries exam.

Program graduates

  • Research engineer, Google
  • Math teacher, North Vancouver School District
  • Software engineer, Apple Inc.
  • Servicing analyst, BMO Corporate Finance Division
  • Associate in valuation services, Deloitte
  • Quantitative developer, RBC Global Asset Management
  • Biomedical engineering technologist, Lions Gate Hospital

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry, and
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics (may be waived with grades of 5 in IB Chemistry and in your IB Mathematics course)

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
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