Students

Prospective Undergraduate Students

Programs

The Chemistry Department has a flexible offering of pure and combined programs, as detailed below. Students should also consult the Focus Areas page to learn how these programs can be further tailored. The "Programs" section of the Advising/Registration FAQ answers some common questions students ask about these programs.

All Chemistry programs have a number of common elements. First, they provide a solid knowledge foundation in chemistry, and for Combined Programs, another discipline. Second, they build skills beyond the traditional curriculum. For example, CHEM 300 (satisfying part of the Communication Requirement in the Faculty of Science) provides chemistry-specific techniques for oral and written communication. The ability to communicate ideas well is a key skill often sought by companies and organizations. CHEM 319/329 are 1 credit Honours courses designed to prepare students for their research experience in fourth year, and expose them to research ethics. A new course, CHEM 419, helps prepare students for their post-graduate careers. Third, the Programs also provide flexibility, especially in the upper years, by allowing students to choose courses they prefer. This lets students tailor their educational experiences, and build competency in more specialized areas, if desired.

In addition to the traditional four-year plan of study, all Chemistry programs are compatible with Co-operative Education (Co-op), and with opportunities for exchange and study abroad.

BSc Major and Honours Programs in Chemistry

Does the idea of making new molecules/materials or knowing more about how molecules behave put you in an excited state? If so, you may be interested in our core programs in chemistry

Both programs provide a solid foundation in all the sub-disciplines of chemistry, while at the same time have the flexibility to be tailored towards desired Focus Areas, including applied chemistry, biological chemistry, chemical analysis, chemical synthesis, and materials chemistry, to name a few. Both programs also allow students to pursue graduate study.

A number of features distinguish the Honours degree. First, it provides greater exposure to chemistry and is more focused towards graduate school. Second, in the final years, it allows students to pursue an independent research project with a research-active faculty member. Third, it allows access to Honours-specific courses (like CHEM 319/329) that broaden a student's experience beyond the traditional curriculum. Qualified students are encouraged to consider an Honours or Combined Honours program.

BSc Combined Major Programs

If you have an interest in Chemistry but would rather wade than dive into it, why not consider a Combined Major program involving Chemistry? A Combined Major degree lets you expand your horizons at the interface of chemistry and another discipline. It also provides a greater range of options after graduation, be it toward employment or post-graduate study. It can be attractive for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) and for students interested in interdisciplinary fields, such as environmental studies, chemical physics, energy, computational chemistry, and chemical biology. Below are brief descriptions of our Combined Major programs.

Chemical Biology

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Biology. It is designed for students with an interest in chemical biology or biological chemistry, that is using chemical knowledge and techniques to investigate and modify the chemical processes in living organisms. For example, chemical biologists might use chemically-altered enzymes to produce pharmaceutical compounds, or modified DNA to alter protein expression in a cell. This program is well suited for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) since it provides core content in cell biology, biochemistry, organic and physical chemistry, and genetics.

Biochemistry and Chemistry

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is designed for students with an interest in chemistry and biochemistry, that is studying the chemistry of biomolecules and the regulation of biochemical pathways in living organisms. For example, this might mean studying the mechanism used by an enzyme or synthesizing biologically active molecules. The focus of this program is similar to the Combined Major: Chemical Biology one except it is more concentrated in chemistry/biochemistry than biology. This program is well suited for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) since it provides core content in cell biology, biochemistry, organic and physical chemistry, and genetics.​

Oceanography and Chemistry

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Oceanography. It is designed for students with an interest in chemical oceanography or environmental chemistry, that is the study of chemical processes in the environment, especially the oceans, and their effect on ecosystems, climate, and sustainability. For example, this might include element speciation and cycling in the oceans. If you love the outdoors and chemistry, this program might be just what you are looking for.

Computer Science and Chemistry

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Computer Science. It is designed for students with an interest in computational chemistry, that is applying algorithms and software design to solve chemical problems. For example, this might involve creating a virtual world to find synthetic routes for new molecules, or developing efficient algorithms for molecular simulations. This program gives a solid grounding in computer science and a sampling of the breadth of chemistry, with enough flexibility for students to focus on the areas of particular interest to them.

 

BSc Combined Honours Programs

If you have an interest in Chemistry and another subject, why not consider a Combined Honours program involving Chemistry? A Combined Honours degree lets you expand your horizons at the interface of chemistry and another discipline. It also provides a greater range of options after graduation, be it toward employment or post-graduate study. It can be attractive for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) and for students interested in interdisciplinary fields, such as chemical physics, energy, theoretical chemistry, and chemical biology. In addition to all the benefits of the Combined Major, Combined Honours degrees provide greater exposure to interdisciplinary fields, including pursuing an independent research project in the final year. Below are brief descriptions of our Combined Honours programs.

Chemical Biology

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Biology. It is designed for students with an interest in chemical biology or biological chemistry, that is using chemical knowledge and techniques to investigate and modify the chemical processes in living organisms. For example, chemical biologists might use chemically-altered enzymes to produce pharmaceutical compounds, or modified DNA to alter protein expression in a cell. This program is well suited for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) since it provides core content in cell biology, biochemistry, organic and physical chemistry, and genetics.

Biochemistry and Chemistry

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Biochemistry. It is designed for students with an interest in chemistry and biochemistry, that is studying the chemistry of biomolecules and the regulation of biochemical pathways in living organisms. For example, this might mean studying the mechanism used by an enzyme or synthesizing biologically active molecules. The focus of this program is similar to the Combined Honours: Chemical Biology one except it is more concentrated in chemistry/biochemistry than biology. This program is well suited for students pursuing admission to professional schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy) since it provides core content in cell biology, biochemistry, organic and physical chemistry, and genetics.​

Chemistry and Mathematics

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Mathematics. It is designed for students with an interest in theoretical chemistry, that is using mathematical techniques to solve chemical problems. For example, this might involve expanding theoretical knowledge in statistical mechanics or quantum mechanics, or reformulating a chemical problem using a new mathematical perspective, or describing the complex network of protein interactions in living cells.

Chemical Physics

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This program focuses on the synergy between Chemistry and Physics. It is designed for students with an interest in theoretical chemistry, physical chemistry or chemical physics, that is using physical and mathematical techniques to solve chemical problems. For example, this might involve experiments using lasers and high-vacuum environments to examine chemical surfaces, materials or reactions, or developing molecular simulations of chemical systems. If you like using the fundamental laws of physics to describe materials and other chemical systems, you might consider this program.

Chemistry and Another Science Subject

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This program is a general template for students who wish to design their own Combined Honours program with a discipline not already included in the combined Chemistry programs listed above.  Students choosing this path must first consult with the Chemistry Undergraduate Advisor to determine the appropriate suite of courses for the program. The process is quite flexible and is particularly suited for motivated students who have a clear idea of the type of program they wish to create.

First-Year Gateway Programs

Science One

Science One is an innovative, integrated, team-taught first-year undergraduate Science program at UBC in which students study Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics with a strong focus on the connections between these traditional disciplines.  The program emphasizes and cultivates critical, independent thought as the basis of scientific inquiry.  As well, it focuses on facilitating the development of learning skills felt crucial for future academic success.

For more information, visit www.scienceone.ubc.ca

Coordinated Science Program

The Coordinate Science Program (CSP) is a first-year, cohort experience for students who have broad scientific interests and want to explore the sciences in a community of like-minded peers.​  Students are scheduled into the same sections of first year science courses, and attend a weekly workshop with hands-on activities that reinforce coursework and support development of general academic skills, such as collaborative problem solving and communication.​

For more information, visit csp.science.ubc.ca

Course Information

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