Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need

(The previous MathNet IT FAQ may have answers to your IT questions.)
Q: When can I declare a specialization?

BSc students declare their specialization when registering for their second year. BA students declare their specialization when registering for their 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. If you are a BA student, see this page.

Q: Will I be allowed to take MATH 110 even if I satisfy prerequisites for MATH 100, 102, 104, 180, and 184?

Normally no. MATH 110 is not meant for students with a strong high-school mathematics background. However, if you feel MATH 110 is the most appropriate course for you to take, you may request permission to take it from the Mathematics Department's Undergraduate Chair (send an email message to ug-advise@math.ubc.ca). 

Q: What are the differences between the first year calculus offerings?

The First Year Calculus Options tool directs you toward appropriate choices.

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 an enriched version of first year calculus. Note that while MATH 120 is more challenging than other first-year Calculus courses, final grades in MATH 120 are generally adjusted upward based on elements of the final exam common to all first-year Calculus courses.

MATH 100/180/110/101 have physical applications. MATH 102/103 have life science applications. MATH 104/184/105 have business and social science applications.

Q: What should I do if all of the sections of a first-year course are full?

Broaden your search to include the equivalent courses (MATH 100, 102, 104, 180 and 184 are equivalent, as are MATH 101, 103 and 105). Monitor sections for available seats. The Math Department does not operate wait lists.

Q: How do I submit an academic concession?

Academic concessions for final assignments and exams are handled through your Faculty Advising Office. For in-term concessions, fill in and submit the form here to your instructor.

Q: I switched between Applied Science and Science/Arts. Do I have to retake courses?

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) taken Mathematics course(s) required Equivalent wrt
APSC 160 + CPSC 260 CPSC 111+CPSC 211 PR
APSC 160 CPSC 111 PR
MATH 152 MATH 221 PR, PQ
MATH 217 MATH 200 PR, PQ
MATH 255 MATH 215 PR, PQ
MATH 256 MATH 215 PR
MATH 257 MATH 316 PR, PQ
Other courses MATH course(s) required Equivalent wrt
STAT 302 MATH 302 PR, PQ

These equivalences apply only to courses that are required for Mathematics specializations (PR) or are prerequisites for MATH courses. If you are an Applied Science student who wants 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).

Q: What is a Dual Degree in Math and Education?

Information about this specialization is available on the Programs of Study page. Watch for information sessions on this topic.

Q: How do I know if my high-school math course and grade are equivalent to BC Pre-Calculus 12?

If you are from outside of British Columbia and don't know what your equivalent grade is, look up your record on the online Student Service Centre. Please review the grade listed as PREC 12 or MATH 12. If there is an error, send an email message to admissions.inquiry@ubc.ca to have the error corrected. 

Q: My add/drop form says I need to get the instructor's permission. What should I do?

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, these issues are handled by the Undergraduate Chair; use the advising contact form.

Q: What courses satisfy the Computing Requirement for a degree in Mathematics?

For Majors or Honours students, CPSC 110 and CPSC 210, or CPSC 110 and MATH 210. For Minors, there is no Computing Requirement. Also, some combined programs do not have a Computing Requirement.

Q: How does the First-Year Physics Requirement work?

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).

Q: What is the Putnam exam?

Please see the department's Putnam Exam information page, as well as the information page and Putnam Exam FAQ from two of our Putnam faculty coaches.

Q: When can I drop a course?

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.

Q: Does the Math Department provide information sessions?

Yes. Watch for announcement in class or by email.

Q: How do I declare a Math Major specialization?

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 apply to declare this specialization using the online application.

Q: How do I declare a Double Major in Mathematics?

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.

Q: Will taking MATH 110 delay progression through my program?

All of MATH 110, 100, 102, 104, 180, and 184 are accepted as prerequisites for a follow-up course in first-year integral calculus, namely MATH 101, 103, and 105. Integral calculus courses are offered at UBC in the summer, so if your program requires such a course you may still take it before your second year. Contact an advisor in your home faculty if you have further questions about implications for your degree program. 

Q: Which terms are particular math courses typically offered in? Are they offered every year?

Some courses are offered only in particular terms, or only every two years. See the department's record of course offerings.

Q: What is the Credit Exclusion list? If two courses are consider "Credit Excluded", can I take either one?

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.

Q: What is MATH 335?

MATH 335 is a challenging course intended for students who want to learn some advanced mathematics, but who lack the prerequisites to take a calculus course.

Students with a Grade 11 Math background (and no higher) can take MATH 335. Science students should not take MATH 335, and will not receive credit for taking it. Non-Science students may take MATH 335 for credit, but only if they have not previously taken any UBC math course.

Q: What math courses can I take to meet the three-credit requirement for elementary education?

Students with a Grade 11 Math background (and no higher) can take MATH 335. Even though Education students may take MATH 335, it is not specifically intended for Education students, and no student will be manually registered into the course past its size cap.

Science students should not take MATH 335, and will not receive credit for taking it. Non-Science students may take MATH 335 for credit, but only if they have not previously taken any UBC math course. MATH 335 is a challenging course intended for students who want to learn some advanced mathematics, but who lack the prerequisites to take a calculus course.

Q: How strictly are prerequisite and registration rules enforced?

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.

Q: What courses are currently being offered by the Department?

The UBC SSC has a list of currently offered MATH courses

Q: Can a course taken on a Credit/D/F basis be used to satisfy a prerequisite for another course?

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 course requires a high grade in the prerequisite course (e.g. MATH 320 requires 80% in MATH 220), a Cr or D will not suffice.

Q: Are STAT 306 and ECON 326 equivalent?

No. You cannot use ECON 326 to count towards, for example, a 6 credit requirement in MATH, STAT or CPSC courses numbered 300 or higher.

Q: What are all available options for Undergraduate Mathematics degrees?

A list of options can be found on the department's website, in the Undergraduates tab, under Programs of Study.

Q: What are the requirements for promotion in the Faculty of Science ?

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
  • CPSC 111/211 (along with all 1st, 2nd year requirements) must be completed before promotion to 4th year.
Q: How do I declare a Math Honours or Combined Honours Specialization?

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.

Q: How strictly are prerequisite and registration rules enforced?

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.

Q: What will happen if my interim and final grades are different in BC Pre-calculus 12 (or equivalent)?

Suppose your interim grade is below 80% and you register in MATH 110. If your final grade is between 80% and 85%, you may remain in MATH 110 or move to another calculus course for which you are eligible. If your final grade is above 85%, you are required to move to another calculus course for which you are eligible.

Suppose your interim grade is at least 80% and you register in MATH 100, 102, 104, 180, or 184. If your final grade is between 70% and 80%, you may remain in your course. If your final grade is below 70%, you are required to move to MATH 110.

Q: What do I do if I get removed from of my chosen program?

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.

Q: What should I do if all of the sections of a second-or-higher-year course are full?

Monitor sections for available seats. The Math Department does not operate wait lists.

Q: What will happen if I don't satisfy prerequisites but register for a math course anyway?

Prerequisites for UBC Math courses are strictly enforced. You will be removed without notice from any course for which you are not qualified. If your interim grade in Pre-calculus 12 (or equivalent) is between 65% and 79%, you should initially register in MATH 110. 

Q: How do I declare a Minor in Mathematics?

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.

Q: When can I register for courses?

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.

Q: What courses satisfy the Research Requirement for a BA Math student?

Eligible math courses can be found at the Writing and Research Requirement web page.

Q: My registration has been blocked because of an insufficient credit allowance. What should I do?

You must contact your Faculty with a request for an increase. Departments cannot override credit allowances.

Q: I can get AP or Challenge Exam credit for MATH 100. Should I do this or take a first term math course?

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.

Q: What courses should I take to complete a Minor in Mathematics?

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 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 a good way of finding out about courses that may interest you.

Q: The rules in the Calendar have changed since I started my degree. Which rules apply to me?

Whenever a program's requirements change, students are allowed to satisfy the original requirements or the new ones; see the UBC regulations for further details. Students may not pick and choose from different versions of program requirements; they must satisfy one complete set of requirements.

Q: How do I transfer credits from another post-secondary institution or from the AP exam?

Contact the Transfer of Credits & AP Exemptions Advisor. Contact details can be found on the Advising and Resources page.

Q: The calendar states that MATH 302 and STAT 302 are equivalent. Are they?

Yes, these two courses are entirely equivalent. In particular, STAT 302 can be used as one of the 6 courses for a Math Minor.

Q: I haven't found the information I'm looking for here. Are there other resources?

Yes. Some advisors (Richard Anstee, Eric Cytrynbaum) maintain their own pages with general advice and suggestions on specific topics. Some of that material may appear in this FAQ as well. You may also email an advisor or the Undergraduate Chair from the advising page.

Q: When can I withdraw from a course?

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.