Mathematics Dept.
  Undergraduate Advising

If you are having trouble registering for a Math Course, or the information here need to be updated, please contact or call 604-822-2666. Do Not Contact an Academic Advisor for help with Registration Issues. They are to be contacted for Academic Advising only.

The Frequently Asked Questions below covers a wide range of common questions on a diverse set of topics. If your question is not in this FAQ and does not relate to registration issues, contact the appropriate individual on the Advisor Contact Information list below based on the nature of your inquiry.

The department holds an annual Mathematics Information Session in March and maintains a page of material and links that are discussed at the session.

Frequently Asked Questions organized by topic

Disclaimer: In all cases of inconsistencies between this FAQ and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar supersedes the material here.

All questions

  1. The Mathematics Department generally enforces course prerequisites and faculty-specific academic rules (e.g. BSC and BA students may not repeat a failed course more than once with the exception of first-year calculus which may be repeated twice, nor may they repeat a passed course for higher standing). Students who do not satisfy prerequisites are allowed to register at the Student Service Centre (SSC) with warnings but may be removed from the course later.
    (ID 47)
  2. BSc and BA students may not repeat MATH courses for higher standing. Students in other faculties may, provided there is space in the course.
    (ID 57)
  3. If you are a BSc student, declaration of a Math Major specialization is handled by the Faculty of Science's common application process. Contact Science Advising for details. If you are a BA student, you may declare this specialization online using the SSC (Student Service Centre).
    (ID 23)
  4. Applied Science students take similar mathematics courses to Science/Arts Mathematics students. Many of these are treated by the Mathematics Department as equivalent for the purposes of prerequisites (PQ) and/or program requirements (PR).
    APSC course(s) takenMathematics course(s) requiredEquivalent wrt
    APSC 160 + CPSC 260CPSC 111+CPSC 211PR
    APSC 160CPSC 111PR
    MATH 152MATH 221PR, PQ
    MATH 217MATH 200PR, PQ
    MATH 255MATH 215PR, PQ
    MATH 256MATH 215PR
    Math 257Math 316PR, PQ
    Other coursesMATH course(s) requiredEquivalent wrt
    STAT 302MATH 302PR, PQ
    These equivalences apply only to courses that are required for Mathematics specializations (PR) or are prerequisites for MATH courses. If you are an Ap. Sc. students wanting to make similar kinds of replacements (e.g. MATH 221 instead of MATH 152), you must contact the Applied Science Advising Center to get official permission to make any such changes. Similarly, this list does not apply to prerequisites for non-MATH courses (e.g. APSC 160 may not be a valid prerequisite replacement for CPSC 111 for a second year CPSC course - permission must be granted by a CS advisor).
    (ID 34)
  5. BSC students must declare their specialization when registering for their second year. BA students make the declaration when registering for third year. Students may, when online declaration is permitted, declare their specialization for a given session as early as their registration date for that session and change it until the end of the add/drop period for the first term of the session. BSc students cannot declare specializations online. For information on how to declare specific specializations, see Declaring a specialization.
    (ID 28)
  6. This is really up to you. If you take credit for MATH 100, you can open up room for an additional course you are interested in or that would help you get ahead in your degree program (MATH 223 or 221 is a good option in first year if you follow this route). Some students prefer to take MATH 100 instead, to firm up their knowledge.
    (ID 58)
  7. Math 100/101, 102/103 and 104/105 all cover the same mathematics material but have different applications. Math 180 and 184 are equivalent to Math 100/102/104 but designed for students without high school calculus. Math 110 is a two-term course equivalent to Math 180/184 but designed for students with lower grades in grade 12 math. Math 120/121 is the honours version of first year calculus.

    Math 100/180/110/101 have physical applications. Math 102/103 have life science applications; they also have a computer lab (one hour every two weeks) that the others don't have. Math 104/184/105 have business and social science applications.

    Additional information is available on the department's website, in the Undergraduates tab, under First Year Calculus Choices.
    (ID 56)
  8. Students wishing to declare Combined Honours Computer Science and Mathematics should contact an advisor in the Computer Science Department. Student with interest in all other Honours Mathematics degrees should contact the Undergraduate Chair. In the case of Combined Honours specializations, approval by both departments is required.
    (ID 27)
  9. Continue trying to register on-line. If you are not successful, come to the registration assistance sessions. The schedule for these sessions will be posted at the Registration Webpage before the start of term.
    (ID 60)
  10. Any courses at the 300+ level can be used toward the 18 credits required for the BSc minor except for a few whose descriptions in the Calendar rule them out (e.g. MATH 335). Math 200, 215 and 221 are the most common prerequisites for 300+ courses so it is almost certain that you will have to take some or all of these as well. These courses will also help you get a better sense of your interests. In general, talking to your peers, particularly those a year or two ahead of you, is the best way of finding out about courses that may interest you.
    (ID 35)
  11. Yes, these two courses are entirely equivalent.
    (ID 72)
  12. Broaden your search to include the equivalent courses (e.g. Math 100, 102, 104, 180, 184 are equivalent, as are Math 101, 103, 105). If after broadening your search, you still have no seat, then register yourself on a wait list. While you are on the wait list, keep checking on-line regularly for an available seat in an open section. If you find one that works for your schedule, register yourself in it immediately and remove yourself from the wait list section. We can't predict when or if room will open up for any course. Soon before the start of term, the Math Department will place wait listed students in a section. If this happens to you, you will not be notified; it is your responsibility to check regularly for this. If you have not been placed into an active section by the department and have not found a seat on your own by the start of classes, please attend a registration assistance session. The schedule for these sessions will be posted at the Registration Webpage before the start of term.
    (ID 59)
  13. Contact one of the Transfer of Credits & AP Exemptions Advisors. Contact details can be found by clicking on the "Advisor Contact Information" link above.
    (ID 54)
  14. Note that some courses are typically offered only every two years. See the department's record of recent course offerings.
    (ID 38)
  15. Students who do not meet the requirements of a given program may be removed from that program and be required to switch to another one. The Combined Major in Sciences (CMS, formerly General Sciences Program) can often be used by BSc students.
    (ID 29)
  16. The Calendar has general rules for BSC Minors. For this declaration the Faculty of Science has paper forms that require the signature of an authorized Departmental advisor. For non-BSc Math Minor declarations, you should first contact the faculty to determine whether the minor is permitted and the requirements, and then contact the Mathematics Department for any necessary approval.
    (ID 26)
  17. Students require special permission to declare a Double Major. Rules for BSC Double Majors (Faculty of Science) are described in the Calendar under Degree Requirements in the sections on Graduation Requirements and Program Requirements. For this declaration, the Faculty of Science has paper forms that require the signature of an authorized advisor.
    (ID 18)
  18. The Faculty of Science credit-exclusion list gives sets of courses for which credit may be claimed for only one. Credit exclusion does not indicate that the courses are interchangeable with regard to program requirements or satisfying prerequisites.
    (ID 36)
  19. A Cr or D standing in a Credit/D/Fail course is equivalent to a passing grade in that course and so will be treated as such for prerequisite purposes. However, if a follow-up courses requires a high grade in the prerequisite course, e.g. MATH 320 requires 80% in MATH 220, a Cr or D will not suffice.
    (ID 74)
  20. For Majors or Honours students, the new CPSC courses [CPSC 110 and CPSC 210] or [CPSC 110 and MATH 210] or the old CPSC courses [CPSC 111 and CPSC 211] or [CPSC 111 and MATH 210]. The old CPSC courses CPSC 111 and CPSC 211 are not offered after 2010W. For minors, there is no computing requirement. Also, some combined programs do not have a computing requirement.
    (ID 71)
  21. No. Exceptions might be made for students switching programs but, in general, no.
    (ID 64)
  22. Students with a Grade 11 Math background (and no higher), can take Math 230 or Math 335.
    (ID 55)
  23. Yes, it can be found on the department's website, in the Undergraduates tab, under Programs of Study.
    (ID 51)
  24. The UBC SSC has a list of currently offered MATH courses
    (ID 52)
  25. Promotion is considered in May of each year. If students satisfy all requirements for promotion, they are notified of their new status sometime before the end of summer (usually August). Students can be promoted directly from 2nd to 4th year provided all requirements are met. Details for BSc students are available in the Calendar under Promotion Requirements. Program specific requirements for BSc mathematics:
    • The MATH 220/226 requirement must be satisfied before promotion to 3rd year is granted.
    Other common inquiries:
    • CPSC 111/211 (along with all 1st,2nd year requirements) must be completed before promotion to 4th year.

    (ID 15)
  26. Yes. Some advisors maintain their own pages with general advice and suggestions on specific topics. Some of that material may appear in this FAQ as well.
  27. If a student is prevented from registering in a course because of an insufficient credit allowance, he or she can contact his or her Faculty with a request for an increase. Departments cannot override credit allowances.
    (ID 33)
  28. Many Math programs used to require CPSC 111 and one of CPSC 211 or MATH 210. The CPSC courses changed numbers to CPSC 110 and 210 in 2009/2010, but this change was not immediately reflected in most of the Math program descriptions in the UBC Calendar. The new requirement, which should be reflected in newer versions of the UBC Calendar, is "one of CPSC 110, 111 and one of CPSC 210, 211, MATH 210".
    (ID 75)
  29. Eligible MATH courses can be found at the Writing and research requirement web page. They may not appear yet but should soon. Note that the requirement only applies to student who started in 2009/2010 or later. Additional information.
    (ID 73)
  30. Some departments give individual instructors the ability to sign a student into a full section or register in a section despite a prerequisite failure or conflict. In the Mathematics Department, instructors do not have this authority. Contact the Mathematics Department office to find out whether/how you can get permission.
    (ID 32)
  31. Students register for courses in a session starting on a date determined by their year and average. The order is year 1, 4, 3, and 2 for winter sessions, with students with higher averages registering first within each year. The details of registration timing are posted in the Calendar. No one, not even an administrator, can register a student for a course before the student’s registration date. Most students register immediately upon the arrival of their registration date.
    (ID 31)
  32. All BSC degrees in Mathematics require at least 3 credits of first-year Physics. Students who have not taken Physics 12 in high school must take 6 credits. A BA degree in Mathematics does not have this requirement. See the individual program listings for details (Science, Arts).
    (ID 45)
  33. Whenever a program's requirements change, students are allowed to satisfy the original requirements or the new ones; see these UBC regulations. Students may not pick and choose from different versions of program requirements; they must satisfy one complete set of requirements.
    (ID 44)
  34. You can withdraw from a one-term winter-session course within six weeks; and from a two-term course, within 12 weeks. (A withdrawn course will appear as a "W" on your record, but will not affect your average.) See the Student Services page on Course change & withdrawal dates for details.
    (ID 16)
  35. A one-term winter-session course can be dropped within the first two weeks; and a two-term course, within the first three weeks. (Dropped courses will not appear on a student's record.) See the Student Services page on Course change & withdrawal dates for details.
    (ID 17)
  36. Please see the the department's Putnam Exam information page and the Putnam Exam FAQ.
    (ID 68)
  37. Information about this specialization is available on the Math/Education Dual Degree page. Watch for information sessions on this topic.
    (ID 39)
  38. Yes. Watch for announcement in class or by email.
    (ID 53)
Return to topic list

Advisor Contact Information

Advising roleNameOfficePhoneEmail*
1st year AdvisorMargaret NessMATH 121822-6430ness
2nd year Non-MathDr. Young-Heon KimMATH 216822-6324yhkim
3rd year Non-MathDr. Young-Heon KimMATH 216822-6324yhkim
4th-5th year Non-MathDr. Young-Heon KimMATH 216822-6324yhkim
2nd year Honours (or combined honours)Dr. Josh ZahlMATH 117822-0683jzahl
3rd year Honours (or combined honours)Dr. Dragos GhiocaMATX 1223822-5908dghioca
4th year Honours (or combined honours)Dr. Dragos GhiocaMATX 1223822-5908dghioca
2nd year Majors/MinorsDr. Tai-Peng TsaiMATH 109822-2591ttsai
3rd year Majors/MinorsDr. Albert ChauMATH 239822-2450chau
4th year Majors/MinorsDr. Albert ChauMATH 239822-2450chau
Transfer of Credits & AP Exemptions AdvisorsDr. Kalle KaruMATH 213822-4787karumore info
Dual Degree Math/Ed (Education Advisor)Dr. Julia GordonMATH 217 822-0569 gor
Adjudication of graduating studentsDr. Kai BehrendMATX 1213822-1719behrend
Adjudication of graduating studentsDr. Jim BryanMATH 226827-4515jbryan
Actuarial AdvisorDr. Colin MacdonaldLSK 303C822-6871cbm
Co-op LiaisonDr. Neil BalmforthMATH 229C827-3034njb
Putnam AdvisorDr. Dragos GhiocaMATX 1223822-5908dghioca
Chief AdvisorDr. Albert ChauMATH 239822-2450chau
Undergraduate ChairProf. Mark Mac LeanMATX 1209827-3038ugradchair

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