Information on this page generally applies to students who are interested in taking first year physics & astronomy courses.
Faculty of Science Requirements
- All students admitted to the Faculty of Science are required to have Mathematics 12, and at least Physics 11, from B.C. Secondary School, or equivalent.
- The Faculty of Science requires PHYS 100 for students who have not taken BC high-school Physics 12 or equivalent. This requirement is implicit and not listed in degree specializations. Physics 12 or PHYS 100 are also prerequisites for the other first year physics courses.
- The Faculty of Science requires 6 credits of CHEM or PHYS beyond PHYS 100., Nearly all Science degree specializations explicitly require at least 3 credits of PHYS explicitly beyond PHYS 100.
- You may satisfy the Faculty of Science requirement of two lab courses using the lab components of PHYS 101, 107, ASTR 101, or ASTR 102, or, the separate lab courses PHYS 109 or 119, as well as by lab courses in other departments.
- You may satisfy the Faculty of Science requirement of a biology or natural science course with ASTR 101 or ASTR 102, as well as by courses in other departments, if you have credits for high-school biology.
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Physics Requirements for Programs in Other Faculties
Applied Animal Biology (pre-veterinary) students in Faculty of Land and Food Systems are required to take PHYS 101 or equivalent., Nutritional Science, Food Science, and Food & Nutrition double-major students in Faculty of Land and Food Systems are required to take PHYS 101 or equivalent., Wood Products Processing students in Faculty of Forestry are required to take PHYS 101 or equivalent., Forest Resources Management Integrated Resource Management, Community & Aboriginal Forestry, and International Forestry students in Faculty of Forestry are required to take PHYS or CHEM. Some Forest Operations students in Faculty of Forestry are required to take PHYS 170. First year course recommendations for all Faculties at UBC-Vancouver may be found here.,
Some GEOB (geographical biogeoscience) courses in Faculty of Arts have PHYS prerequisites., Some CAPS (cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences) courses in Faculty of Medicine have PHYS prerequisites., Some WOOD and FOPR (forest operations) courses in Faculty of Forestry have PHYS prerequisites., Some FNH courses in Faculty of Land and Food Systems have PHYS prerequisites.
The Faculty of Arts does not have any Physics or Astronomy requirement per se, but you may satisfy the general Science requirement by any Physics or Astronomy courses for which you qualify. All Physics and Astronomy courses require MATH 12 or equivalent except PHYS 340, 341, and 343 and ASTR 310 and 311.
Click here to see a list of PHYS and ASTR courses with minimal pre-requisites, for students that are looking for science electives or breadth requirement courses.
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Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
- If you received sufficiently high grades in Advanced Placement Physics 2, or International Baccalaureate Certificate Physics HL, or British-patterned A-level Physics, you may receive exemption from or credit for PHYS 101. If you are uncertain about advanced placement credit, you can register for PHYS 101 to ensure a seat, and drop it later. If you plan to get a UBC physics or astronomy degree, we recommend that you take PHYS 107 or 117.
- If you received sufficiently high grades in AP Physics C, you may receive credit for PHYS 117 or 118., However if you plan to get a UBC physics or astronomy degree, we recommend that you contact the First Year Physics Advisor about taking PHYS 107, 108, and 109 explicitly.
- Transfer students should check their transfer credits at Student Service Centre (SSC). Algebra-based Physics courses do not usually qualify. Lecture-only courses do not qualify for PHYS 101, 102, or 107 credit unless separate lab courses were also taken (because those UBC courses have lab components)., However if you took a calculus-based lecture-only course that transfers as "PHYS 1st," you may be able to upgrade the credit to the new lecture-only PHYS 117 or 118 courses or receive exemptions from them (see Registration FAQ for instructions)
- If you are taking high school Physics 12 or a college physics equivalent during the summer before starting at UBC, you may still wish to register for PHYS 100 to reserve a seat, then drop it after you receive the credit., You can also contact Dr. Evert Koster at email@example.com about conditional manual registration in PHYS 101, or the Undergraduate Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org about conditional manual registration in other courses. Include your name, student number, which course you are taking, where you are taking it, your assigned UBC registration day and time, and the UBC physics course (with specific LEC/LAB/TUT sections) you wish to register for., Documentation of successful completion must be provided before UBC classes begin in September or January, or you will be de-registered.
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First Year Physics and Astronomy Courses
- PHYS 100 is a lecture+lab course for students without credit for BC high school Physics 12. It is offered in September, and as a Distance Education course in Summer Session.
- PHYS 101 is a lecture+lab course for general science students. It is usually offered in September, January, and Summer term 1.
- PHYS 102 is no longer offered. It has been replaced by PHYS 118 and 119.
- PHYS 107 is an enriched lecture+lab course emphasizing classical mechanics. High marks in high school math and physics are prerequisites. It is offered in September.
- PHYS 108 is an enriched lecture-only course emphasizing electricity and magnetism. PHYS 107, or high marks in PHYS 101 or PHYS 117 are prerequisites. It is offered in January.
- PHYS 109 is an enriched stand-alone laboratory course to complement PHYS 108. It is offered in January.
- PHYS 117 is a lecture-only course for students in the physical sciences emphasizing classical mechanics. It is offered in September.
- PHYS 118 is a lecture-only course emphasizing electricity and magnetism. PHYS 101 or 117 are prerequisites. It is offered in January and Summer term 2.
- PHYS 119 is a stand-alone laboratory course to complement PHYS 117 and/or 118. It is offered in January and sometimes in Summer. It will NOT be offered in 2018S session.
- ASTR 101 is a lecture+lab course about the Solar System. It requires only high school physics and math. It is offered in September.
- ASTR 102 is a lecture+lab course about stars and galaxies. It requires only high school physics and math. It is offered in January.
For credit exclusion information, please consult the Faculty of Science Credit Exclusion List.
Students with questions/concerns about the enriched PHYS 107, 108, 109 courses may contact Prof. Janis McKenna at email@example.com.
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Physics Courses for Programs in the Faculty of Applied Science
- PHYS 157, (thermodynamics, oscillations, and waves) is offered in September., Students who fail the September section may register for a special repeating section in January, may still take PHYS 159, and may substitute PHYS 118 in the summer for PHYS 158 in January.
- PHYS 158, (electricity & magnetism) is offered in January. Passing PHYS 157 is a prerequisite.
- PHYS 159, (lab) is offered in January.
- PHYS 170 (engineering statics and dynamics) it is offered in September and January.
These are mostly scheduled using Standard Time Tables by the Faculty of Applied Science, and only have STT seats released for APSC students. There may be a few seats in September PHYS 170 section for other students. Other students wishing to take the course(s) may register on the wait list(s); however spaces are not guaranteed.
Students who transfer to Applied Science after having taken PHYS 101 & 102 (now 102 --> 118 & 119), or PHYS 107 & 108 & 109, are normally exempted from PHYS 157 & 158 & 159, but are still required to take PHYS 170.
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Other First Year Science Options
- Science One is a program for a select group of 75 students to study first year biology, chemistry, math, and physics together in special classes, instead of the regular first year courses. Physics is covered at the level of PHYS 107, 108, and 109. SCIENCE 1 is particularly well suited for Students planning to enter the Honours Biophysics program.
- Coordinated Science uses a Standard Time Table with dedicated sections of first year courses in biology (111/112 & 121), chemistry (121 & 122), math (102 & 103), and physics (101). Physical sciences students should register for PHYS 118 & 119 in addition to the Standard Time Table. Students interested in physics or astronomy degrees are encouraged to also pick up PHYS 117.
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Lecture, Laboratory and Tutorial Registration and Section Changes
For PHYS 100 or PHYS 101, you must register for a lab section as well as a lecture section. Lab sections in popular time slots fill very rapidly, so you may want to prepare several worklists with different alternatives before your registration time opens. If you are unable to register for a laboratory section, register for the waitlist section (L1W in September, L2W in January). An advisor will place you in a suitable lab section when space becomes available. Check Student Service Centre (SSC) periodically to see if you have been placed. Contact Dr. Evert Koster at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not been placed before classes begin.
The PHYS 100 and 101 labs meet on alternate weeks; in the other weeks there is a tutorial in the same time slot, There is no separate registration for these tutorials. Check your lab manual or the Connect site to see whether you start with a lab or a tutorial. If you miss the first lab/tutorial session, you may be de-registered.
For PHYS 107, you must register for a tutorial section as well as lecture and lab sections.
For PHYS 108, PHYS 117 & PHYS 118, you must register for a tutorial section as well as a lecture section, but there are no lab sections.
For PHYS 109 or PHYS 119, you register for a laboratory section only.
For ASTR 101
or ASTR 102
, you must register for a lab section as well as a lecture section.
Section Changes: You can switch your lecture, tutorial, or lab section to another section yourself if there are still seats left. Note that if you change lecture section for PHYS 100 and 101, you may also need to change lab sections to match. If there are no seats left, fill out the Change Request Form with the details and reasons for the change. The priority for these section changes is to resolve course conflicts; not all requests can be accommodated. Check Student Service Centre (SSC) periodically to see if your request has been granted.
The Standard Time Table (STT) system makes it difficult for Applied Science students to do individual lecture, tutorial, or lab section changes. If you need to change sections, fill out the Change Request Form with the details and reasons for the change. Not all requests can be accommodated. Check Student Service Centre (SSC) periodically to see if your request has been granted.
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