Important Updates for LFS Undergraduates

Important Updates for LFS Undergraduates

Hello LFS!

The 2020 Winter Session will look and feel a bit different, and we know you’ll have questions about what’s staying the same and how changes may impact your academic, personal and professional experience in LFS.

To stay on top of things, we encourage you to monitor UBC’s official channels of communication which include any emails directly from UBC, the UBC COVID-19 response page, the LFS Website and here! We will be using this space to communicate timely and important information that matters to you!

Thank you for your patience as we continue to modify our services and implement these changes to best support you this year. We hope that you and the people you love stay safe and healthy.


Answers to Your FAQs


You’ve got questions, we’ve got some answers! We’ve compiled a list of your most frequently asked questions and will continue to add to and update this list as new questions come forward.

Last updated: September 3, 2020


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Course Delivery | Registration | Course Specific Information

Graduation & Year Level Promotion | Student Engagement & Careers | Resources


Course Delivery

All undergraduate classes taught in the Faculty of Land & Food Systems will be hosted online for both Term 1 and Term 2 of the 2020 Winter Session. The Faculty and the University have made these decisions with the safety and wellbeing of all (you, faculty, staff and your peers) in mind, while taking direction from the Provincial Health Officer and other public health agencies. See the September 3 UBC statement here.

We want to assure you that you will be able to progress in your degree program, and encourage you to look to the Q&As related to "course-specific information" and "graduation & year level promotions" on this page for additional details of the impact this may have on some of you.

With this online delivery, you do not have to be in Vancouver to continue your studies.

The Term 2 online course schedule may still have locations listed in your timetables - Term 2 locations will be updated in October, 2020. The University will not be concurrently updating the term two schedules at the same time all of you are making active changes in the system and peak volumes of inquiries are coming in to Advising Offices at the start of term. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.

Synchronous means ‘at the same time’, and refers to course activities that require you to be logged on at the set time for your class listed in the course schedule. This could be live lectures, midterms or quizzes, group project work, or other activities that are scheduled and must be completed at that time. Asynchronous is the opposite of this- coursework that can happen at any time, allowing you to work on your own schedule (while still keeping deadlines in mind, of course!). This could be recorded lectures, readings, Canvas quizzes, or homework assignments.

Your classes this term may be using synchronous or asynchronous methods, or a combination of both. Each instructor will decide on the best methods to engage the course and allow students to meet the learning objectives that have been set out. Your course outline, available during the first week of classes, will outline what methods are being used.

As you will see from the SSC, most web-oriented courses have scheduled class times, where Distance Education courses do not. Students in web-oriented courses should anticipate that the instructor may host synchronous activities such as live lectures or virtual meeting times during the class time listed on the SSC. Some activities may have options as well, such as lectures that can be watched live during class time, but will also be recorded if you’d like to watch at a different time.

Distance Education courses are asynchronous - where you can do the learning expected on your own schedule, being mindful of set deadlines.

If you have questions about how a specific course is being designed, please check your course syllabus in your Canvas list, or reach out to the instructor of that course directly.

Most undergraduate classes across Faculties will also be taught online for both terms of the 2020 Winter Session. For information on specific courses, please check out the Q&As in the "course-specific information" section of this page or visit individual Faculty or Department websites for details.

The main activity for your course, normally the "lecture" will show as "web-oriented" to indicate that it is being taught online. If your course has additional activities, such as Tutorials, Labs or Discussions, they will not be listed as "web-oriented" in order to distinguish each component of the class from one another. However, if your main activity is "web-oriented," all corresponding activities are also online. You will note that there are no room locations for any activities listed.



No. The Academic Concession options offered to students impacted by COVID-19 in Term 2 of the 2019 Winter Session were an exception to the rules normally in place for Academic Concession and the use of Cr/D/Fail. Effective May 1, 2020 the policies, as outlined in the UBC Academic Calendar, were reinstated and Cr/D/Fail will only be available as an option for you to select prior to the course change deadline.

Keep in mind that in LFS, you are permitted to opt for Credit/D/Fail for only those courses designated as unrestricted electives. It is your responsibility to be mindful of your degree requirements and possible future implications before selecting this option for a course. Selecting Credit/D/Fail may impact your eligibility for awards, scholarships or financial support. In addition, professional programs or graduate schools may not allow pre-requisites to be completed through Credit/D/Fail. If you wish to complete a course through Credit/D/Fail, you are strongly encouraged to contact your Program Advisor or LFS Student Services prior to registration, and be mindful of deadlines provided by Enrolment Services.

If you are interested in registering in courses that have a conflict, you need permission from both instructors to take the classes. You need to have them e-sign the official 'UBC Conflict Registration Form' and then submit the signed document to LFS Student Services at with the words "Conflict Registration Form" in the subject heading of your email. Download the form here.

Sometimes UBC course codes can be a bit confusing. For example, MATH 100, 102, 104, 110, 120, 180, 184 are all acceptable to meet your MATH requirement. This is because there is sufficient overlap in the course material and credit may be obtained for only one selection. To keep track of which courses have exclusions, please review the Science Credit Exclusion List regularly. You are responsible for your registration, and should be familiar with our policies found in the UBC Academic Calendar.


Course-Specific Information

Due to COVID-19, the Chemistry and Physics Departments updated their course codes and delivery methods for teaching this year, so you will see some changes to course codes at the first-year level. We strongly encourage you to review the information each Department has posted online.

The new course codes will be accepted in place of their equivalents from before COVID-19. However, if you have any questions, you're welcome to contact LFS Student Services.

The truthful answer is, that depends. Only if your practicum or directed studies plan can be adapted to an online format can it move forward. Best for you to connect with your Program Advisor to make sure your plan can be approved.

Most departments are adjusting their course prerequisites to accept the equivalent lecture-only course in place of Chemistry courses that are not being offered this year. Within Chemistry, the lecture course on its own will fulfill prerequisites for the next lecture course, while the lab-only courses will be prerequisites for the next lab. If you aren’t sure if the alternative course is acceptable, please consult the websites for the Faculty or department offering the course to confirm. If it's an LFS course (LFS, FNH, APBI, etc.), you should be connecting with your Program Advisor for guidance.

Program Advisor contacts:


Graduation & Year Level Promotions

If a required course for your program is not being offered, and there are no alternate options available, this will not prevent you from being promoted to the next year level at the end of the 2020 Winter Session.

For example, if CHEM 235 is not offered during the 2020 Winter Session, and you have met all other requirements for promotion to year 4 standing (at least 89 credits completed, and all other 1st and 2nd year requirements other than CHEM 235 complete), an exception to the policy will be made to allow you to be promoted at the end of the 2020 Winter Session. You will still be required to complete CHEM 235 at a later date to meet your degree requirements.

If you are planning to graduate in May 2021 and are missing a course that is not being offered due to COVID-19, please contact your Program Advisor for advice and options to allow you to continue progressing towards graduation.

Program Advisor contacts:


Student Engagement & Careers

Of course! We have lots of opportunities within the Faculty and UBC open to students. Email Thilini, the LFS Student Engagement Officer, to chat about the various opportunities available to you.

We recommend following the LFS|US on Instagram (@lfsusubc) to get all the latest updates on LFS Welcome Week and other events such as Wednesday Night Dinner, case competitions etc.

Visit CareersOnline to book 1-on-1 career advising with our Career Strategist, Rob Kim, or attend career webinars on topics from resume to job search. You will also find work and volunteer opportunities on the job board. Visit for career-related resources.


Additional Resources

We know that this is a particularly challenging time, and want to encourage you to reach out for support when needed. UBC has a variety of resources available to students, some of them we've featured below:

If you can't find what you're looking for here, try using the Campus Lightbox search tool - it's an expanded student's guide to all UBC resources.

UBC International Student Advising has gathered many of the questions international students like you are wondering about in relation to immigration and health insurance on their website, so please take a look. There may be changes to your ability to work in Canada, travel to Vancouver, or apply for required immigration documents depending on your circumstances and the emerging information about COVID-19. Information is being updated regularly as new details are announced, so please bookmark this page if the content is relevant for you.

International Student Advising has prepared a detailed guide providing information on travel to Canada during COVID-19. As noted in the guide, LFS Student Services is only able to provide letters of support if your program has a mandatory in-person component for Winter Term 1, such as in-person lectures or on-campus research. For other supporting documents you may require, please review the guide.


Contact LFS Student Services

If, after reading through this information, you still have questions, you are welcome to contact an Academic Advisor in LFS Student Services. We thank you in advance for your patience as our volumes are higher than normal under these extraordinary circumstances.


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