Important COVID-19 Updates for Undergrads

Hello LFS!

We recognize that you may have questions, so 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 and here!

We want to thank you for your patience as we continue to modify our services to best support you during these changes.


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: January 13, 2021


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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 2021 Summer 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. It is possible that some courses outside of LFS will offer in-person sections, but we will not know for sure how many options there may be until the course schedule publishes in mid-March.

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 2021 Summer Session course schedule is expected to publish in mid-March. You will have time to review and course plan before registration opens later that month.

We expect that most undergraduate classes across Faculties will also be taught online for both terms of the 2021 Summer Session, but it is possible they may offer some in-person sections. For information on specific courses, please check the 2021 Summer Session course schedule when it publishes in mid-March, as well as the Q&As in the "course-specific information" section of this page as we'll add information there, as needed. You can also visit individual Faculty or Department websites for details.

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.

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 unless explicitly noted otherwise. There are a small number of labs that are running in-person during Term 2, so please check your schedule carefully and confirm directly with the Faculty or department offering the course.



No, you will not. You are permitted to opt for Credit/D/Fail only for 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 many students, it will not be possible to register in Chemistry labs in the 2020 Winter Session, either because of limited seat availability, concerns or restrictions on attending an in-person laboratory course, or inability to re-arrange scheduling to add labs that were not previously scheduled. For CHEM 115, CHEM 135, and CHEM 235 specifically, we will allow you to be promoted if you otherwise meet promotion requirements but are missing these credits.

For example, if you are unable to take CHEM 235 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:

Applications for graduating at the May 2021 ceremony are now open, and close on February 26, 2021. You apply via your SSC: Graduation > Apply to Graduate. Details of the application process and additional graduation timelines are available here.

If you’ve tried to apply for May 2021 graduation and the application does not appear, please check the year standing you’re in for this session. Only if you’re in year 4 can you access the application via your SSC. If you are showing as year 4 and still having issues, or believe your year standing should be updated to year 4 (ie: you’ve recently met all requirements listed in the UBC Academic Calendar here), please email us at and we will look in to this for you. If you are not eligible for year 4 standing yet (ie: a requirement is still outstanding), but you still expect to graduate in May, you will not be able to apply online. You will need to email us in early March to request a ‘paper’ copy of the application to complete and return.


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.

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.


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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