Combined Major in Science

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

This structured program requires significant discipline breadth, but also gives you increased flexibility to take a greater number of courses. You'll acquire conceptual skills, research skills, communication skills, and collaborative skills as you develop strong foundational knowledge in the sciences.

Why this program?

  • Integrate three science disciplines for a customized, broad-based science education.
  • Emphasis on lab and field work to promote experiential learning.
  • Ideal for students interested in scientific journalism, education, law, or medicine.
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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 No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

The Combined Major in Science (CMS) program provides you with a broad-based science education, with a focus on data handling, communications skills, and experiential learning. It will equip you with the background to understand and evaluate scientific issues and statements from a number of disciplines. It is not designed for students interested in research careers, but is suited to students preparing for professional schools such as education, law, or medicine, or those interested in scientific journalism.

The CMS offers foundations in three areas of concentration selected from five discipline areas: Chemistry; Life Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Mathematical and Computational Sciences; and Physics and Astronomy.

Experiential learning and research

The Combined Major in Science emphasizes the development of conceptual, research, communication, and collaborative skills through laboratories, a computing and modelling course, and field work.

Campus features

Students have access to the Pacific Museum of the Earth and Beaty Biodiversity Museum, as well as CMS facilities in the Biological Sciences Building.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

The Combined Major in Science in housed in the Biological Sciences Building, but the integrated nature of the specialization ensures that you will attend classes and participate in labs in the facilities of other science departments, such as the Mathematics Building and Earth Sciences Building.

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Your future

The CMS provides a strong foundational education in at least three science disciplines, making it an ideal undergraduate degree for students interested in applying to professional schools, including medical, education, or law.

The program emphasizes data handling, lab experience, critical thinking, communication skills, and the ability to work effectively in teams.

Program graduates

  • Doctor of Pharmacy candidate, University of British Columbia
  • Software engineer, MDA
  • Research assistant, BC Children's Hospital Research Institute

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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