Students

Undergraduates: COVID impact on CHEM courses

UBC Chemistry and the Global Novel Coronavirus Crisis.

update: Oct. 21, 2020 (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.

This is an unprecedented and dramatic global situation. Our first priority is to make sure that students remain healthy and safe. We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

All of Chemistry’s undergraduate lecture courses in Term 2 of the 2020 Winter Session (2020W) will be offered in an online mode. No in-person meetings (office hours, examinations etc.) are allowed.

1. Laboratory Courses. 

Subject to final approval of appropriate safety plans, the Department of Chemistry plans to offer the following in-person laboratory courses in Term 2 (Jan.-Apr. 2021) of 2020 W.  

CHEM 215 and 225 (limited capacities)

CHEM 235 (limited capacities)

CHEM 315, 325, 335, 345, 445 RLE, and 449.

Because of the constraints defined by the Department of Chemistry’s Covid-19 Workspace Safety Plan, these courses are offered at ~30-35% of the maximum capacities compared to the pre-Covid lab arrangements to ensure proper social distancing.

The laboratory courses CHEM 115135 and 235 will not be offered for general registration in Term 2 (Jan.-Apr.) of 2020/21. 

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. The Department of Chemistry’s Covid-19 Workspace Safety Plan can be found on www.chem.ubc.ca.

2. First Year Laboratories. 

CHEM 115 and 135 will not be offered generally in the 2020 Winter Term. Other faculties and departments on campus may need to make emergency alterations to their specialization, academic advancement, or graduation requirements.

As of August 2020, CHEM 115 is a prerequisite to CHEM 135 and these courses cannot be taken concurrently. The Department is exploring alternative scenarios and important Department decisions that may affect students’ plans will be communicated as soon as possible.  

Here are a few potential scheduling scenarios for students. Please note that student registrations into laboratory courses will be limited by the number of student spaces that are available, course scheduling requirements, and student prioritizations by UBC. 

A – in-person first year laboratory courses resume in Summer 2021

B – in-person first year laboratory courses resume in September 2021

Year 1 then Year 2. Non-CHEM or BIOC Specializations. 

 

Sum1 2021

Sum2 2021

 

Sept 2021

Jan 2022

Summer or Fall 2022

 

A

CHEM 115

CHEM 135

 

   CHEM 235   or    CHEM 235

 

 

A

 

 

 

CHEM 115

CHEM 135

CHEM 235

 

B

 

 

 

CHEM 115

CHEM 135

CHEM 235

 

B

 

 

 

 

 

CHEM 115/135

 

3. Second Year Laboratories. 

CHEM 215 and CHEM 225 will be offered with limited capacities in Term 2. These courses will be coordinated to limit a student’s need to access campus laboratories to only once a week rather than two times a week. Students are expected to conform with all safety protocols defined by the Department, UBC, and the Province. Students who do not follow safety protocols will be removed from these in-person courses. The Department plans to offer CHEM 245 in Summer 2021.

The Department of Chemistry will contact students on the 215/225 waitlists with more information.

CHEM 235 will be offered with limited capacities in Term 2. Registration access will be limited to students in Year 4 then Year 3 of their academic program who require these courses for graduation. Students are expected to conform with all safety protocols defined by the Department, UBC, and the Province. Students who do not follow safety protocols will be removed from these in-person courses.

The Department of Chemistry will contact students on the 235 waitlists with more information.

Here are a few potential scheduling scenarios for students. CHEM 225 is a prerequisite for CHEM 245 and these courses cannot be taken concurrently. Please note that student registrations into laboratory courses will be limited by the number of student spaces that are available, physical distancing requirements set in place, course scheduling requirements, and student prioritizations by UBC. 

A – in-person second year laboratory courses resume in January 2021

B – in-person second year laboratory courses resume in Summer 2021

C – in-person second year laboratory courses resume in September 2021

Year 1 then Year 2. Non-CHEM or BIOC Specializations. 

 

Jan 2021

Sum1 2021

Sum2 2021

 

Sept 2021

Jan 2022

Summer or Fall 2022

 

A

CHEM 215,225

CHEM 245

 

 

 

 

A

CHEM 215

CHEM 225

CHEM 245

 

 

 

A

CHEM 225

CHEM 215

CHEM 245

 

 

 

 

 

B

 

CHEM 215

CHEM 225

 

   CHEM 245          or    CHEM 245

 

 

B/C

 

 

 

 

CHEM 215,225

CHEM 245

 

 

C

 

 

 

 

CHEM 225

CHEM 215,245

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department is currently working on a variety of in-person delivery and scheduling options in order to provide the in-person course instruction and thus the required academic credit for UBC students.

The Faculty of Science acknowledges that students in certain specializations may have delayed academic progression because of the result of non-scheduled in-person laboratory courses.

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

Most first and second year CHEM courses are described in the UBC Calendar as having a lecture and laboratory component. This is often described in the curriculum vector in the Calendar.

CHEM 121 (4) Structure and Bonding in Chemistry

Fundamentals of bonding theories and structural chemistry, with applications relevant to modern society. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of Chemistry 12, CHEM 100.

The first number in blue is the lecture hours per week, the second is the laboratory hours per week, and the last number deals with tutorial sections.

With physical distancing and stay-at-home rules in place, the laboratory sections in which students learn and demonstrate fundamental practical laboratory skills in person cannot run in the usual way. For example, a student taking CHEM 121 without any laboratory work would not be able to pass the course and would not receive academic credit and could not move forward in their academic plan.

In response to this challenge, our Department has introduced new courses that enable students to take the lecture content and the laboratory content of these courses independently, so students may continue to progress by completing lecture courses. The new courses are summarized in this table:

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)

 

For example, students who registered in CHEM 121 for Summer 2020 had their course registration transferred to CHEM 120, to reflect the fact that they did not take any lab component in this course. Similarly, registration for CHEM 123 will be transferred to CHEM 130.  

It is expected that students will make up these laboratory requirements when face-to-face instruction is allowed.

These new courses are 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.

5. General Information.

Late afternoon sections of multisection courses have been scheduled so that students outside the B.C. Lower Mainland can enroll in UBC courses during their daytime hours.

In smaller, upper-level courses, Chemistry instructors will work with the class to find informal solutions to these instructional issues.

For students outside the Lower Mainland entering or in year 2 or year 3: Students will be able to enroll in lecture courses as they will be offered online. Unfortunately, students will not be able to complete the important technique-based laboratory classes in year 2 or year 3. These students will have to complete laboratory classes when they return to campus.

6. For students entering year 4 or a graduating year:

For students that live outside B.C’s Lower Mainland, or in the event that UBC Department of Chemistry is not able to open its laboratories, the Department is considering:

a) CHEM 449 or CHEM 445 RLE research projects that can be completed using a ‘distanced learning’ model. The Department is committed to ensuring that there are enough ‘distanced’ CHEM 449 projects to ensure that HONS students can fulfill their graduation requirements.

b) credit for students who can carry out research activities at an Institution that is local to themselves.

c) for students who need a CHEM 445 (3) credit to complete their final year graduation requirements: a ‘distanced learning’-based, library research project and presentation within CHEM 445 (3).

Unknown factors prevent the Department from guaranteeing an ‘in-person’ HONS or RLE research experience in in 2020/21 Fall-Winter Session for students in certain disciplines.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.