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Communication Requirement

Excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills are expected of graduates of the B.Sc. program. Skills will develop from critical reading of the literature in a variety of disciplines; from summarizing and synthesizing the information; and from comparing, contrasting, and defending ideas orally and in writing.

The ability to express ideas clearly, succinctly, and with authority, especially in writing, forms the basis of most assessments of learning. To ensure that all B.Sc. students develop strong academic writing skills during their degree studies, students must earn six credits from ENGL 100, 110, 111, 112 (recommended), 120, 121; SCIE 113; SCIE 300 or CHEM 300; APSC 176; ASTU 100, 150; LFS 150 or WRDS 150; their equivalents. These credits may not be earned through Credit/D/Fail standings. SCIE 113 is available only to first-year B.Sc. students. SCIE 300 is available only to students accepted into the Combined Major in Science. CHEM 300 is only available to students accepted into a Chemistry specialization. APSC 176 is only available to students in the Faculty of Applied Science, LFS is only available to students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and ENGL 100, ASTU 100, 150 and WRDS 150 are available only to students in the Faculty of Arts, but students transferring to Science may use these credits towards the requirement as detailed above. Students will not be promoted to fourth-year standing until the Communication Requirement is complete. See Promotion Requirements.

All students admitted to the B.Sc. program must take immediate steps to satisfy the Communication Requirement (if they have not done so with advance credit). The pattern of registration priority by year-level makes it more difficult for a student to register in first-year courses after being promoted out of first year. The following notes apply.

  1. Students admitted directly from secondary school are encouraged to take at least one of the ENGL courses or SCIE 113 in their first year if eligible to do so. To be eligible to register in ENGL courses, students must have written the Language Proficiency Index (LPI) examination and obtained a score of level 5, or be exempt. For details on this examination, and exemptions from it, see the Language Proficiency Index.
  2. Students admitted directly from secondary school who have not obtained a score of level 5 on the LPI and are not exempt should not register in more than 12 credits of coursework per term until a satisfactory LPI score is achieved unless they are registered in SCIE 113. Students unable to enroll in a first-year ENGL course because of an unsatisfactory LPI score are advised to take a non-credit writing course through the UBC Writing Centre.
  3. Students admitted directly from secondary school who are not exempt from the LPI test and who have not passed SCIE 113, must achieve a level 5 LPI score by the end of the first winter session or they will be restricted to six credits over the following summer session and 12 credits a term in the next winter session. Students will not be permitted to register in any further credit courses after their second winter session until they have met the LPI requirement.
  4. Students who are accepted into year one on transfer from another faculty in UBC or from other post-secondary institutions will be subject to the conditions in notes 1 - 3 above.
  5. Students who are accepted into year two or three on transfer from another faculty in UBC or from other post-secondary institutions, or after completing a prior degree, or who are readmitted to the Faculty after being required to withdraw, will be assigned a year-level determined by the general Promotion Requirements and will thereafter be subject to those requirements (Students admitted after completing a prior degree are subject to special promotion requirements.)After the first winter session, each student’s progress will be reviewed and appropriate credit restrictions or requirements for remedial work will be implemented if the Communication Requirement has not been met.
  6. Students admitted to a first-degree program who have not met the Communication Requirement by the time they have met the other requirements for promotion to fourth-year standing will not be promoted or permitted to enrol in courses other than communication courses until the requirement is met. See Promotion Requirements.

Students should reflect on the skills they develop as they progress through their degrees. It is important to recognize both the similarities and the differences between academic disciplines in the conventions of effective communication and to look for courses other than ENGL (in the course offerings in Science and other faculties) that provide students with opportunities to improve their reading, writing, and sometimes oral skills. Opportunities to further develop strong communication skills also occur outside the classroom, whether in study groups, clubs and other social activities, community service, or paid work.

Page last updated: May 4, 2016

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