Fall 2020 FAQ

We encourage students to bookmark and check this page frequently for new and updated information.

My Question is About…

UBC’s primarily communicates with students through email. It is very important that students keep their contact information up-to-date on the Student Service Centre (SSC).

UBC Card is your official student identification and this year, it comes in two forms – both are free to get: digital and physical. For more information on how to get it please review the UBC Card website.

Your tuition information is found in your SSC. Several online payment options are available.

Information on the U-pass and the Health and Dental Plan is found on the respective websites. If students still have more questions, contact your Enrolment Services Advisor or the Alma Mater Society (AMS).

Still feeling a little lost and overwhelmed? It’s okay, it is a lot of information right now so UBC has put together a wealth of resources that students can access through out the year.

Engineering Jump Start Canvas Course

In this self-paced online course you will learn how to recognize Faculty expectations, develop strategies for success and discover ways to seek support when you need it. The course is designed to walk students through the enormous number of resources available at UBC and explains how it's useful and relevant to students.

The following questions will be answered:

  • What to expect in first year Engineering?
  • What does the Engineering program expect from me?
  • How do I know if I need help?
  • Where can I get help if I need it?
  • How to make the most out of your degree?

New to UBC page to help all UBC students navigate the transition to UBC Life Online. Topics include:

  • Virtual orientations
  • Connecting with UBC life online
  • International students – important to prepare
  • Pre-university checklist
  • Navigating academics online
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Managing money
  • Student support and resources
  • Enriching your student life
  • Staying connected to campus - virtually

International students are encouraged to speak with an International Student Advisor on topics like get help with your visa, student permit, and work permit application and health insurance coverage.

It is recommended that students use the International Student Guide to the various resources available on their website including:

  • Before starting UBC checklist
  • Resources while studying at UBC
    • Immigration resources
    • Health Insurance
    • Working while studying
    • Information for your family
    • Taxes
    • Planning ahead
  • Immigration document support

Students are asked to review the code of conduct on their Canvas before starting the school year.

All 2020 Winter Term 1 undergraduate classes  will be delivered online and remotely. This includes labs, such as APSC 160 and CHEM 154, that have been adapted to an online format. Labs that require in-person activity (e.g. CHEM 115) are deferred until we return to campus.

Term 2 course delivery method will be released shortly.

A reminder that UBC is on Pacific Standard Time (PST). It is the student's responsibility to meet course expectations and deadlines according to PST. Please note that the province of British Columbia follows daylight savings time which begins this year on November 1 at 2:00am PST. Additionally, UBC will be closed on the following statutory holidays in the first term: September 7 (Labour Day), October 12 (Thanksgiving), and November 11 (Remembrance Day).

Students can find out how to update their Canvas Time Zone on this website.

Classes will be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both. Synchronous is live and you are expected to participate in these activities as scheduled. Asynchronous may involve other ways to deliver course material such as recorded lectures that students can access later. However, students are encouraged to participate in the asynchronous activities whenever possible.

We have summarized the synchronous and asynchronous activities for the common first-year courses to our best knowledge. For other courses, the information may be found in the section comments in the course schedule or the course department’s website. Your instructor will provide more information.

2020W Synchronous Asynchronous Summary

*Instructors will inform students of the details of their expected attendance and activities during the first week of classes. Please check your syllabus.

CourseSynchronous ComponentAsynchronous ComponentInformation Location
APSC 100Instructor will provide details in September. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous activities.Instructor will provide details in September. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
APSC 160Lecture will have some synchronous components + synchronous 'live' sessions.Lab work will be due on the day it is posted on the course calendar.
CHEM 115 (lab activity of CHEM 121)Lab postponed until on-campus activities resume. COVID impact on CHEM courses
CHEM 120 (lecture activity of CHEM 121)Lecture COVID impact on CHEM courses
CHEM 154 Lecture and lab. Students can switch to a different section themselves on the SSC that will accommodate their time zone, but cannot conflict with the published day and time of another course. COVID impact on CHEM courses
ENGL 110 Depends on course section. Predominently a combination of synchronous and asynchronous components. See website for details. Depends on course section. Predominently a combination of synchronous and asynchronous components. See website for details. COVID impact on ENGL courses
MATH 100 WorkshopLecture
MATH 120 Lecture (will be recorded and posted after)
MATH 180 Workshop and discussionLecture
PHYS 100 Lecture and tutorial
PHYS 157 Lecture and tutorial
PHYS 170 Lecture and tutorial
WRDS 150 Instructor will provide details in September. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous activities.Instructor will provide details in September. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

All exams will be conducted online for 2020 Winter Term 1. Students do not need to come to campus to write their exams. Specific information about exams will be provided by your course instructors.

Degree Navigator (DN) is a UBC tool to assist in identifying a student’s degree requirement. Official requirements are listed in the academic Calendar. The current and archived (Calendar History) Calendars are published.

For the BASc program, students must follow the prescribed requirements from four consecutive Calendars (five for Engineering Physics). Engineering students cannot use one single Calendar due to changes in the curriculum that are implemented in stages. For example, a student who entered Year 1 in 2017W will refer to the 2017/2018 Calendar for the first year requirements, followed by 2018/2019 for second year, 2019/2020 for third year, and 2020/2021 for fourth year (and 2021/2022 for fifth year in Engineering Physics).

ESS will conduct a preliminary check between mid-September and end of October on the first year and common requirements (humanities and the Impact of Engineering on Society, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship under Complementary Studies) on students who are registered in Year 4 and 5 of the program. Students who may have a deficiency in these requirements will be notified. For other deficiencies or questions related to program-specific requirements in Year 2 and above, students are advised to see their program advisor.

If you have a concern about the first year or common requirements, you may submit a request to Engineering Student Services (ESS) for a review through the contact form.

Not all humanities courses are programmed into DN. For this reason, you may find a humanities course that you have completed in the Unused Courses or Invalid Courses section at the bottom of the DN that has not been applied to the humanities section. Use the searchable approved list to check whether the course has been approved.

Most transfer credits should have already applied correctly on DN. If not, check the Unused Courses or Invalid Courses section again. If the course isn’t listed on your record, check if UBC has received the most updated transcript for an assessment by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. You may have completed a summer course prior to entering UBC, but have not sent the transcript.

If you have transferred from one of nine Engineering Transfer Program partners, your first year requirements are covered if you have completed the entire Engineering Transfer Program at your previous institution.

Camosun Bridge Program is a block transfer whereby transfer credits are not noted. Your DN will be updated manually by ESS during the review.

For other transfers, use the first-year equivalency chart under First-Year Requirements (e.g. PHYS 157, 158 and 159 are covered by PHYS 117, 118 and 119).

More information will be provided by your instructors or department offering the course during your first week of school. Wherever possible, digital material may be recommended.

Please review the following link on laptop requirements and take a look at the free software available to UBC students. Students in ECE can also review the ECE specific guidelines.

Camera is required whether it is integrated into a laptop or a web camera.

Although courses are offered online this year, this does not mean that a request to add a course or a section switch is possible. Various factors determine the number of ‘seats’ that can be offered. Priority is given to students who require a core course or course section switch involving core requirements and who are intending to graduate in May 2021. For this reason, students are advised not to delay course requirements that are prescribed in a specific year to a future session.

To switch a section on the SSC, use the switch function. Do not use the drop function. The section switch is only successful if the other course/section is available.

If you are unable to add or switch a section on the SSC, a request for APSC courses is directed to Engineering Student Services (ESS) through the online form. Requests for non-APSC courses are directed to the course department.

CHEM 154 – Students have the ability to change sections (lecture and lab) that fits with their time zone on the SSC.

CHEM 115 and 120 – Seats intended for BASC are restricted to students enrolled in the first-year pre-Biomedical Engineering program, Biomedical Engineering program, or the pre-med Alternative Pathway.

Students are able to add or drop courses before the add/drop deadline without a W standing.

Students should review all the guidelines on our High School Student: Year 1 page.

There are many opportunities to get involved at UBC beyond the classroom such as joining a design team, clubs, professional development (mentoring programs), entrepreneurship and more

Interested in applying to the Bachelor of Applied Science (engineering) program? Prospective students can learn about UBC Engineering and the various points of entry on the engineering website. For the application, deadlines and admissions requirements, refer to UBC Undergraduate Admissions.

Not sure who to contact?

ESS is always here to help re-direct students to the appropriate office. Below is a quick guide, please use the hyperlinks in the "Unit" column for the contact information:

**Please remember to include your student number when contacting UBC staff and faculty to help us answer your inquiry more effectively. We thank you for your patience in advance. Due to the high volume of requests during the start of school, response times may vary between units.

Who to Contact

Topic Unit ServiceNotes
Academic Advising ESS- Academic Advising Appointments: Monday-Friday
- Quick Questions (Zoom Drop In): Monday (9-11am), Tuesday (2-4pm) and Wednesday (9-11am)
-ESS provides 20 minute Academic Advising Appointments for students who need to an advisor. Topics can range from (but are not limited to) course planning, academic concessions or student success.
-ESS also provides Zoom Drop In three times a week. These mini advising sessions range from 5-10 minutes and may include topics like registration issues, course conflicts, or graduation questions.
Health and WellnessCentre for Accessibility-Register with Centre for Accessibility
-If you are already registered, phone 604 822 5844 dial 0 to book new appointments. Zoom Drop In is offered Monday-Friday.
The Centre for Accessibility facilitates disability-related accommodations and programming initiatives designed to remove barriers for students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions.
Health and Wellness UBC Counselling Services

Counselling Service 45 minute appointments available Monday-Friday bookable by phone 604 822 3811During their studies, students may develop feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation—these feelings are natural when facing situations beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings, which can be overwhelming for some.
Counselling Services has a variety of options which can meet a variety of needs.
Health and WellnessUBC’s Counsellors in Residence ServicesCounselling Services for UBC Students living in residence.
Email counsellor.residence@ubc.ca to make an appointment
Virtual appointments exclusive to students in residence. Also offers online events and workshops
Health and WellnessWellness Centre
Zoom Drop In Passcode: 123456
Monday: 11 – 1 pm PDT
Tuesday to Thursday: 11 am – 3 pm PDT
The Wellness Centre believes that a healthy mind, body, and spirit are foundations for students to achieve their personal and academic goals. You can connect with trained students to navigate campus services, talk to a peer about what is going on for you, and learn about managing stress, sleep, eating well and living well as a student.
Health and WellnessStudent Health ServicesBook appointment from Monday-Friday 8-4pm and Saturday 8:30-3pm
Student Health Service offers a wide range of health assessments and treatments provided by doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses. Student Health Services appointments are being offered to students within British Columbia (BC), primarily by phone and video during this time. In-person services are available when needed.