Apply to Science One

If you're ready for an interdisciplinary, community-based first-year science experience at the University of British Columbia, you're ready to apply to Science One.

Start by creating an account and application on the UBC undergraduate admissions site. You can then simultaneously work on that application and the separate Science One application with your CWL. Admission to the Faculty of Science at UBC (Vancouver Campus only) is a prerequisite for admission to the Science One Program.

Enrolment in Science One is limited. Admission is based on your demonstrated interest in science, our assessment of your essay, as well as your academic record. The Science One on-line application system will open December 1.  Enrolment in Science One is limited. Admission is based on your demonstrated interest in science, our assessment of your essay, as well as your academic record. Students are encouraged to submit the on-line Science One application early as applications are reviewed by the Science One Committee in the order that they are received.  Applications received after April 30 may be considered but will not be evaluated on the same basis or with the same priority as those received before April 30. Students accepted into the program will be contacted by Science One via email. Students receiving an offer of admission should confirm acceptance via their Science One application.  

Students applying from outside Canada

AP and IB programs are globally recognized. If you attended an AP or IB program please enter your grades with your aplication. If you attended school (Grades 11 and/or 12) outside of Canada and outside of an AP or IB systems, you are not required to record any grades on the Science One application. You may submit your Science One application with an approximate 600-word essay along with any other information. We will refer to the UBC system for your courses and grades once they have been evaluated by the UBC Admissions office with your Application for Admission to UBC. 

Essay

As part of completing the online application for Science One, all applicants must provide an (appoximate) 600 word essay addressing one of the following questions:

  1. Does knowing science make you a better person?
  2. Which scientist - past or present - would be most helpful if both of you were stranded on a deserted island?
  3. Can mathematics be more beautiful than art?
  4. Does the value of science depend on its practical applications?

Your essay will be judged on content, imagination and creativity, style, and clarity of exposition. Please do NOT send us additional materials, references or research papers.

Admission Requirements

At least 75% in English 12 or English Literature 12 (or equivalent) is required.  Students who have not achieved this minimum English requirement may still apply for the program. They may be asked, however, to provide writing samples that will be evaluated by Science One professors. This Science One requirement for English 12 is the higher of the school or provincial examination mark in BC and other provinces with similar government examinations. For queries regarding exemptions, contact the UBC Admissions Office (604-822-3014) or the English Department (604-822-4247).

Completion of Biology 11 or 12, Physics 12 and/or Chemistry 12 (both are highly recommended for success in Science One, but those in AP or IB programs may only have to take one), Pre-Calculus 12 or Principles of Mathematics 12, and Calculus 12, each with a minimum of 80%. If you are missing either Chemistry 12 or Physics 12, please contact us.

IB-HL or AP studies in the subject areas above also satisfy the requirements to Science One. IB-HL Mathematics or AP Calculus (AB or BC) provides the necessary calculus background. IB-SL Mathematics with a grade of 5 or better is also suitable. It is to your advantage to have taken one or more of the core subjects (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Calculus) at the AP or IB level. However, transfer credits (including those based on AP or IB studies) will not exempt you from participating in any part of Science One.

Attaining a grade of at least 80% on the Cambridge O-levels satisfies the English 12 requirement for Science One. 

Applications from students studying outside of Canada who will have completed the prerequisites are also welcomed. The preparation of these students for Science One will be judged on a case-by-case basis. International students entering Science One are expected to complete UBC Jump Start in August. JUMP START is a first-year transition program for new international and Aboriginal students. UBC is the only university in Canada to offer such a comprehensive academic transition program.

You will be admitted based on preliminary information provided by you and your school. A drop in high school marks after application may indicate a weakness in your background. If any of your marks dropped by more than 2-3%, or if you have not met all of our requirements after marks are finalized, we should be contacted immediately to discuss strategies for academic success.

Missing Requirements

Are you missing Calculus 12 (or BC Equivalent)?

Historically the majority of incoming Science One students have had an introductory course in calculus (Calculus 12 or a locally developed equivalent course). This subject is now a requirement for admission to Science One. The syllabus for Science One has been prepared assuming that the students will be completely at ease with the material usually covered and self-study will not be sufficient in this case. Therefore, if you are not currently taking this course, you must complete it through summer school or distance education before classes start in September.

Are you possibly going to miss the minimum 75% in English 12 or English Literature 12 (or BC Equivalent)?

Since writing skills are an important aspect of Science One, you must have at least 75% in English 12 or English Literature 12 (or equivalent) for admission to Science One. This Science One requirement is the higher of the school or provincial examination mark in BC and other provinces with similar government examinations. If there is any doubt that your mark will not be 75% or higher, please contact us and we will arrange you to submit writing samples to the admissions team.

Students in the Cambridge system who do not achieve at least 80% on their O-level English must complete the LPI with a score of 5 or higher for admission to Science One.  If there is any doubt that your mark will not be greater than 80%, please contact us and we will arrange you to submit writing samples to the admissions team.

The Faculty of Science has a Communication Requirement. Students admitted directly from secondary school are required to take at least one of the ENGL courses in their first year if eligible to do so. For more information on the Faculty’s requirement, click here.

Are you missing Biology 11 or 12 (or BC Equivalent)?

Biology 11 or Biology 12 (or BC Equivalent of either) is acceptable to meet the Biology Requirement for Science One. If you lack both, you must complete either Biology 11 or Biology 12 (or BC Equivalent) through summer school or distance education before classes start in September. The syllabus for Science One has been prepared assuming that the students will be completely at ease with the material usually covered and self-study will not be sufficient in this case. Acceptance to Science One is on the condition that a grade of at least 80% is achieved. Alternatively, successful completion of UBC BIOL 111 during the Summer Session will fulfill the Biology prerequisite requirement for the Science One Program. Registration in BIOL 111 will require activation of your UBC eligibility for the upcoming summer session. If you wish to register in BIOL 111 apply for UBC admission Summer Session and register for it as a summer course.

Are you missing Physics 12? Chemistry 12? (or BC Equivalent?)

To be properly prepared for Science One students are expected to have both Physics 12 and Chemistry 12. Science One has been designed assuming that the students will have exposure to the material usually covered in these subjects. However, with the prevalence of IB and AP course, and the increased number of course offerings in high school, we're aware that many students might not be able to take all of Biology 12, Calculus 12, Physics 12 and Chemistry 12. In some cases we will consider waiving either Chemistry 12 or Physics 12. One option is to complete these courses through summer school or distance education before classes start in September. Self-study (an online version of AP Mechanics C for physics is particularly good) can also get you up to speed. If you are missing one of the courses, please contact Science One and we will send you appropriate material to study and prepare yourself.