What Courses To Take: First Year Science UBC

An incredibly useful post on the whole transition aspect from high school-first year, probably the best thing I’ve ever seen: Transition: High school to first year

First year course registration can be rather chaotic for many, but breathe, and everything will be alriiighttt. Be less stressed and more EXCITED! It’s kind of hard to fit in elective type courses in first year with science because SO many first year courses are pre requisites for upper year courses, and if you don’t have them, then obviously you can’t move on, doing those certain upper year courses. 


First Year Courses I Took – English 110; Psych 101; Phys 101 Biology 112,121; Math 100,101; Chemistry 121, 123. Summer course: EOSC 114. I wish I had taken Biology 140(apparently everyone and their grandma and their grandma’s cat, just hates this course — so if you can gain credit for it beforehand TAKE THE CREDIT AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!)

FIRST YEAR SCIENCE COURSES (these are the ones that everyone pretty much takes)

First year Bio Courses:

  • Biology 111 (this is if you don’t have credit for Biology 12—you need this for Med school as well, but if you have Bio 12 then it’s fine)
  • Biology 112(Pharmacy pre req)
  • Biology 121 (Med school/Pharmacy pre req)
  • Biology 140 (Med school/Pharmacy pre req)

First year Chem Courses:

  • Chemistry 111(If you don’t have credit for Chemistry 12 — also fits for Med school/Pharmacy pre req)
  • Chemistry 113(If you don’t have credit for Chemistry 12 — also fits for Med school/Pharmacy pre req)
  • Chemistry 121(Med school/Pharmacy pre req)
  • Chemistry 123(Med school/Pharmacy pre req)

First year Physics Courses:

  • Physics 100 (If you don’t have credit for Physics 12 — you need this before going on with Physics 101)
  • Physics 101(Pharmacy pre req. This isn’t a Med school pre req — but material from this will be on the MCAT)
  • Physics 102(this isn’t a Med school pre req — but material from this will be on the MCAT)
  • Physics 107 (Enriched Physics I — for those incredibly smart people that got 85% and above in Physics 12 — this is also recognizable as a pre req for Med School)
  • Physics 108(Enriched Physics II — the ‘next part’ of Physics 107)
  • Physics 109 — this is the accompanying lab course for Physics 108. 
  • **And a notes about the Enriched Physics courses — it’s a lot of work(my friends have told me that, the ones that were brave enough to take them)….so unless you actually plan on majoring in something like Physics, or REEEAAALLLY enjoy it, I would probably recommend you take Phys 101 and/or 102)

First year Math Courses(all these courses are pre reqs for Pharmacy–they aren’t ‘pre reqs’ for Med School, but you still need them in order to do upper year Chem courses and first year Physics needs Differential Calculus:

  • Math 100,102,104,120*, 180*,184* (you just need ONE of these)
  • *Math 180/184(for those that don’t have credit for Calculus 12)
  • Math 101,103,105,121*(again, you just need ONE of these)
  • *Math 120 (Honours Math for those that scored 95% or higher in BC Math 12 )
  • *Math 121 (Honours Math for those that scored 95% or higher in BC Math 12)

First year English Courses(You need 6 credits of first year English — so that’s two courses):

  • English 112(recommended by both Med and Pharm — most Science students do this one, so this is VERY recommended) or English 100(Mainly Arts students take this course)
  • English 110(most students tend to do this one),111, 120, or 121.
  • SCIE 113 – What is it? “students study science in society, scientific process, and how to communicate scientific concepts” — For your B.Sc degree — you need 6 credits of communication requirements — Scie 113 is worth 3 credits, and you can take that course to fill half of that requirement — BUT keep in mind that it will not be a part of the six communication requirements needed for Med, but UBC Pharm does accept it.. In my opinion if you’re planning on applying for Med/Pharm — you’d be better off not doing SCIE 113 – just in the sense that you’re more ‘safe’ with credits for a course such as English 112, especially if you plan on going away from UBC. Also keep in mind that SCIE 113 DOES fulfill half the communication requirements for your BSc degree though…just not if you want to go into med and such. I’m sure you could always take SCIE 113 AND two other communication courses though if you really wanted to. 

34 thoughts on “What Courses To Take: First Year Science UBC

    • Hey there! Most students take both 112 and 121 (in two separate terms usually). Do you for sure only need one of those courses..? It all depends on what you eventually plan on majoring in (assuming you’re in Science, you would apply for your major at the end of your first year). Check out what your pre reqs are for potential majors http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/Vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,215,410,404 (scroll down and look on the left side for the names of different specializations). If this confuses you at all, please let me know! 🙂

    • I had 29 credits in my first year, I may have a picture of my timetable (but I have to dig through my computer to find that…I may post it up in a new post that I might be making about registration)..
      but I took:
      TERM ONE: Biol 112, Chem 121, Psyc 101, Math 100, Engl 110
      TERM TWO: Biol 121, Chem 123, Phys 101, Math 101

    • Thanks, also did you take your second english class during second year, and also did you take BIOL 140, and lastly may I know your major as well?

      • I took my second english (English 112) through distance ed with julie sutherland during my first term of second year(loved it, I avoided doing it in class because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of it :P) , and I also took Biology 140 in the first term of my second year. I really do hate to turn down questions/give answers that aren’t what someone wants, but unfortunately, for privacy’s sake, I don’t think I’m ready to reveal my major(due to the fact that it’s not ‘that’ popular of a major(i.e., not Biology or Combined Majors in Science) – sorry about that, hope you understand!

      • Thanks for the reply once again, and no worries about your major. Also I was wondering, if I could take ENGL 112 before taking ENGL 110, does it matter? I need to defer it to second year so I can take BIOL 140 in my second term.

  1. This blog was awesome, for the MCAT 2015 there is a much greater emphasis on psychology and that’s why I was wondering whether I should take Psych 101 or 102? Would you happen to know which would better prepare me for it?

  2. This helped me A LOT! I tweaked my course list to help perfectly with my degree. Since it’s so late I didn’t have much choice in what spots the courses go in… Have you or anyone you know ever had back to back classes? I would love to know how to deal with issue D:

    • Most people do have back to back classes, it really isn’t a problem since you have ten minutes between classes (1 hour classes are 50 minutes long and 1.5 hour classes are 80 minutes long). So you should be fine as long as your back to back classes aren’t on opposite sides of campus. The maximum back to back I’ve had is 3 classes, and I didn’t find it to be much of a problem, and I have a pretty short attention span haha

  3. This really helped me a lot D: because of you, I found out I didn’t sign up for enough classes! Have you ever had back to back classes? Or knew anyone who did? How did you deal with them?

  4. First of all, I wanna say that your blog is really helpful; it gives me a feel of what UBC will be like next year 🙂
    Secondly, I have a small question; is Science One a good choice? I understand that you did not join that course but can you give me the 101 on what you’ve heard about it from where you are (I watched the video on their website and kinda got the sense that it’s all fun and games. That seems nice but I also want something serious).

    • haha you’re welcome! 🙂
      not sure about this “fun and games” aspect of Science One…but I DO know that it IS a lot of hard work…they have a very rigorous workload, but since there aren’t many people in the program, you get to know everyone and the small program sizes allow for more one on one time with your professors (which is definitely beneficial and needed, especially with a program like Science One). If you can stay committed to staying on top of everything and accept the challenge(as general science in itself is quite challenging) then you could get through it. It definitely helps with second year science though, as a fair bit of second year bio and maybe even Chem is covered in Science One.

      • Hi, Anthony:Glad you like the list. Let me know which are your faves?Hey, MatlbA:sotutely. Even though your blog has a small business bent to it, the SEO stuff is still very applicable across the board.Thanxs guys for stopping by.

    • I’m James, one of the Physics instructors for Science One. It seems we can’t win. Our reputation is for being brutal, so the students decide to make a video to promote the course, and now we’re not serious enough.

      I want to assure you that the program is regarded as the most rigorous first year science at UBC. There is nothing harder or more serious. To help you though it, you’ll have the full time support of 8 faculty members, which is a faculty to student ration of 1 to 9. We have infinite office hours. We get to know you all by name, and often get to know you personally. You’ll have amazing reference letters for any scholarship or program you want to apply for. You’ll also get some real research experience, and the chance to meet many research faculty who have Summer positions in their labs (or perhaps their friends do).

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    • do you plan on majoring in physics/something related to physics??
      do you really enjoy physics and want to have more of a challenge?
      if no, then it may be better to take 102 just because it’s the “less enriched” one, and according to my friends that have taken it(ones that aren’t very physics oriented in general), 102 is a fair bit harder than 101.
      also, did you take 101 or 107 before?

      • Yes, I enjoy physics, I have thoughts of going into physics, but I don’t think I’m a genius at it. Though, I have no firm determination to major in physics. What kind of challenge do you mean? Yes, I took physics 101

    • In physics 101, did you do fairly well? you need 85% in physics 101 in order to take physics 108. if you really enjoy physics/have a passion for it, then you could do 108 – but it WILL be harder/more challenging than 102. but if you think that you like physics enough and are sure you can do well, then go for it and take108. personally in my opinion, if I had to pick between 102 and 108, I’d pick 102 just because physics isn’t one of my stronger subjects/I wouldn’t plan on furthering my education in the field of physics.

      • fairly yes, I received an email telling me to consider taking it. I got an email after high school about taking it too, but i ignored it. However, I’m just not sure what kind of challenges it’ll impose on me. Is it more practical learning, such as building bridges and experiments? More project based? Or just harder theoretical knowledge and demanding critical thinking?
        you mentioned above that physics 102 is quite a bit harder than physics 101? How so?

    • Well for experiments and stuff there is an accompanying lab course which is physics 109. I would assume it would have more practical applications in the field of physics since 101 and 102 aren’t directed TOWARDS physics students in particular, it’s the more “general science” physics course. physics 101 dealt with memorization of concepts in a way…whereas 102 is more applied and you need to have a better understanding of the concepts in order to do well. If you’re on Facebook, ask on one of the science groups (science 2015 or 2016 group) since there are older students on there, they may have a better opinion based on their own experiences. If you want, I can ask my friends that have taken 102 and ones that have taken 108 and email you what their opinions are? I should get their replies back within the next day. (I can see your email address, so you don’t need to provide it via comment or anything like that). Another suggestion would be to attend a 102 and 108 lecture on the first day and ask the prof for an opinion, plus on the first day, they’ll tell you what the course entails. 🙂

      • Thank you! Yes, that would be great if you can ask your friends and email me about it 🙂
        I really want to sit in the 108 class, but I have an english class during the same block. I’m not sure if I should skip it the first week to attend the 108 lecture tho :S

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    • OH WHOOPS! Totally THOUGHT about the honours courses — forgot to put them down! I was slightly hesitant to put SCIE 113 though — due to the fact that post undergrad schools don’t really apparently recognize it…and med and pharm definitely don’t for sure –although not EVERYONE wants to go into those.

      • I wish they did count it 😦 It’s waaaaay more relevant to science than the regular ENGL classes in my opinion, and it really makes you think deeper into the issues surrounding science today… honestly, how useful is being able to analyze a short story or novel LOL??! -.-

        UBC Pharmacy accepts SCIE 113. But I guess most people who want to get into pharm would also apply to other schools, so unless UBC Pharm was their only choice, SCIE 113 is pretty useless as a pre-req lol

    • Haha yeah, I was wanting to take SCIE 113 — but I’m SO glad I didn’t get a spot in that class — I didn’t really know about it until later on in the year — I wouldn’t want to do that AND end up having to do english 112 😛


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