Undergraduates: COVID impact on CHEM courses

update: June 30, 2021 (new content is in blue)

This is a message for undergraduate students who are taking or are planning to take Chemistry courses at UBC Vancouver.

1. Chemistry 135 (CHEM 123 laboratory).

In Person Laboratory Courses:

CHEM 135 is scheduled in Summer Term 2. CHEM 115 is a prerequisite for this course. This term-long course will have virtual/online projects and deadlines throughout the term. In addition, students will be expected to attend and complete experiments in UBC laboratories in person M,T,W,Th,F from 9:30 AM-12:30 or 1:30 PM-4:30 PM within a specific week of the term to satisfy course requirements.

For Year 1 students moving into Year 2: 

Students that have academic credit for CHEM 115 (1) and CHEM 130 (3) may require CHEM 135 (1) to complete their Year 1 CHEM courses and enroll in Year 2 CHEM courses with lab components. 

A section of CHEM 135 (1) is scheduled in late August-early September. This is a three-week course with one week of lab preparation (done at home), an in-person 5-day session of laboratory work taking place on the UBC campus daily between Aug 30 and Sept 3, and one week of at-home work for students to perform lab analyses and write reports. This section will be registerable in the Fall-Winter term offerings. Students who need to travel to campus from outside the Lower Mainland will need to ensure that they can satisfy any quarantine requirements before the in-person session begins on Aug 30.

Incoming Year 1 students are not eligible for the above course and will be dropped from registration.

There may be situations for specific students who are unable to access in-person laboratory courses and will require adjustments by their Faculty or Program advisors in order to maintain or fulfill specialization, academic advancement or graduation requirements.

These courses may be cancelled at any time if there is a substantial public health risk as determined by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer or UBC.

A cancellation could mean that a student would have to withdraw from the laboratory course or perhaps receive an “Incomplete (T)” standing that would require further laboratory work at a later date to receive full credit.

These in-person courses are offered under the safety requirements defined by the Province, WorkSafe BC and UBC.

2. Incoming Year 2 CHEM and BIOC students - Registration

CHEM 135 (1) is a required prereq course prior to courses with Year 2 labs such as CHEM 203 and CHEM 211. 

Students who are in CHEM or BIOC specs will not be able to register directly into courses such as CHEM 203, CHEM 211, CHEM 213 and CHEM 245 without the CHEM 135 (1) course completed, even if they are enrolled in the Aug-Sept CHEM 135 (1) bootcamp course. There are no concerns of these Year 2 courses being full. CHEM students in this situation will be able to be registered into their STT’s by the Department. CHEM and BIOC students should place themselves on the respective course waitlist and they will be placed by the Department. There is no need to contact the CHEM Advising Ticketing system - our staff can see your registration and we can respond to that directly. 

Year 2 CHEM or BIOC students without CHEM 135 (1) due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic by September 2021 will be in a unique situation and will need to contact the Department. One possible solution for these students may be CHEM 135 in 2021 Term 2 (Jan), and then CHEM laboratory sections to be offered by the Department of Chemistry in Summer 2022 to bring them up to date in their academic studies.

3. Fall Semester 2021

The B.C. government has provided guidance regarding the reopening of B.C. University campuses to full in-person activities for September 2021. Following the direction of UBC, the Department will be offering courses in a non-emergency, pre-pandemic mode.

Some courses of interest are:

CHEM 121 (4). This course will be offered as the standard in-person course for incoming students having Grade 12 Chemistry credit. Lectures and laboratory sessions will be in-person.

CHEM 120 (3).
This online course will be available for students who are unable to attend UBC in-person, such as students who have challenges with international travel. An in-person, 5 day CHEM 115 (1) accelerated laboratory course will be scheduled from Jan 3 2022 to Jan 7 2022 for these students to catch up in order to enroll into CHEM 123 in Term 2. Students who need to register into CHEM 120 (3) will need to contact the Department. Please go to this online form <>

CHEM 111 (4). This course will be offered as the standard in-person course for incoming students having Grade 11 Chemistry credit. Lectures and laboratory sessions will be in-person. Students who are unable to attend UBC in-person should contact the Department using this online form <>.

CHEM 203 (4). Lectures and laboratory sessions will be in person. Students in a CHEM- or BIOC-related specialization who are unable to travel to the UBC campus by September should contact the Department via its Advising Inquiry Form.

CHEM 208 (3). Lectures will be in person. Students in a CHEM-related specialization who are unable to travel to the UBC campus by September should contact the Department via its Advising Inquiry Form.

In-person laboratory courses such as CHEM 115 (1), CHEM 215 (1), CHEM 225 (1) in Fall Term 1 and CHEM 135 (1) in Fall/Winter Term 2 will be available for registration. Registration into these courses will be restricted to students who have taken the corresponding lecture course in the previous academic year. Students will place themselves on an appropriate waitlist and will be transferred to a section by Department staff.

CHEM 233 (3). Lectures will be in person. Due to challenges with course content assessment, a distanced version of CHEM 233 will not be offered in Fall 2021 Term 1. 

4. New Courses – Lectures and Laboratory Courses Were Split During the Coronavirus Epidemic.

Course (Credit)

Lecture Course (Credit)

Lab Course (Credit)

CHEM 111 (4)

CHEM 110 (3)

CHEM 115 (1)

CHEM 121 (4)

CHEM 120 (3)

CHEM 115 (1)

CHEM 123 (4)

CHEM 130 (3)

CHEM 135 (1)

CHEM 203 (4)

CHEM 223 (3)

CHEM 225 (1)

CHEM 211 (4)

CHEM 210 (3)

CHEM 215 (1)

The new courses were responses to the Covid-19 emergency. The Department plans to resume its non-emergency curriculum--CHEM 111, 121, 123, 203, 211--when the Provincial government and UBC determines that it is safe to do so. It will commit to run the 1 credit lab courses for students to catch up with their programs.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.