Frequently Asked Questions

How is First-Year Focus different from designing my own timetable?

Most UBC Science students design their own timetable and choose four to five courses per term. They coordinate their own schedule so courses don’t conflict and need to design their course choices to meet the requirements for their intended specialization in year two.

First-Year Focus students register for a set of pre-selected courses through the FYF Standard Timetable. From there, they can register for some additional courses across the two terms—selecting ones that meet requirements for promotion and their intended specialization.

By taking several classes together with the FYF community you’ll see the same faces as a cohort. You’ll have more opportunities to make connections both through the structured activities in and outside of classes and by putting yourself out there to say "Hi!", either online or in-person, as you prefer.

Does First-Year Focus cost more than other first-year options?

No. FYF Program is provided at no additional cost beyond UBC's typical credit fees for the courses. 

What happens after first year? 

Like all UBC Science students, you'll apply to a program specialization (e.g. major) and continue your degree studies. UBC Science offers a huge variety of program specializations in anything from biological to environmental sciences, mathematics to geophysics, chemistry to computer science, and a wide range of other options. 

*Students in First-Year Focus program can pursue most specializations in the Faculty of Science. Students would not be able to pursue a Combined Honours Biophysics or Combined Honours Chemical Physics with the FYF timetable.

What if I want to drop a course from the Standard Timetable?

We expect all FYF students to fully commit to the pre-selected courses designed in the Standard Timetable you choose. However, on a case-by-case basis, we occasionally make exceptions on dropping a course from your Standard Timetable. You will need to contact us at to discuss further, and please be mindful that dropping a course from standard timetable is not guaranteed.  

How is First-Year Focus different from Science One?

Science One is a full-year cohort program that prepares 80 students to enter honours programs in any specialization. Students get exposure to biology, chemistry, math, and physics, some computer science, and scientific thinking and literacy. It's a very immersive first-year experience.

First-Year Focus is a cohort experience focused on either computation or life science, while providing the flexibility to choose other courses that would allow a student to pursue any major at UBC. FYF students have access to dedicated peer mentorship program, and events in areas including community building, career exploration and skill development.

Can I use my AP/IB credit for courses included in First-Year Focus?

It may be possible to use AP/IB credit for FYF courses in align with the UBC policies, but we may limit the number of credits that you are able to transfer.  Priorities of enrollment will be given to students who will take the full course load.  To determine if you are eligible for AP/IB credits, please contact us at for further discussions based on your specific situations.

Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

First Year Focus


Faculty of Science

Office of the Dean, Earth Sciences Building
2178–2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada
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