Frequently asked questions
Explore answers to questions related to advising services, degree planning, transfer credits, and records and registration.
Academic advisors provide degree, program, and learning support for students in all programs. Academic advisors can help students with things like: degree/program requirements, declaring majors/specializations, choosing majors/specializations, course planning, improving study skills, and navigating UBC Okanagan policies and procedures.
Program advisors are faculty members who assist students with program-specific requirements. Program advisors can help students with things like: program requirements, honours programs, study abroad credits, making substitutions in prerequisite or program courses, and preparing for graduate school.
Academic advising offers a variety of services to meet student’s needs throughout the year. Academic advisors are available Mondays through Fridays all-year round, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We schedule appointment days on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and offer walk-in advising on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
To schedule an in-person, over-the-phone, or Skype meeting with an academic advisor, visit UNC 207 or call 250 807 9100.
During registration (roughly mid-June to mid-July) – Academic advisors are available by appointment only.
At the start of each term – Academic advisors are available for walk-in advising only for the first two weeks of each term (until the course add/drop deadline).
When you are considering switching programs it is important to come in and meet with an academic advisor to see how your existing courses fit into a different degree program. They can help you understand the requirements of the new degree to make sure you are choosing appropriate courses.
If you decide you want to switch your program you program must complete the Change of Degree Program/Campus form on the Student Service Centre (SSC) (under the Registration tab) and pay a non-refundable application fee. You should be in good academic standing and must meet the University minimum average of 60% (or 2.0 grade point average) based on your most recent 30 credits. Meeting this minimum entrance requirement does not guarantee admission, as entry into many programs is competitive. This includes any failed or repeated courses, unless otherwise prescribed by the program to which you are applying. In cases where counting back 30 credits lands in the middle of an academic term, the academic average of that term will be used for the remaining required credits to reach the total of 30.
Students may transfer a maximum of 60 credits applicable to the new program.
From mid-September to mid-June you can see an academic advisor or program advisor for the specific discipline in which you wish to declare your specialization.
In the Bachelor of Arts, students can declare at the end of your second year or after you have successfully completed a minimum 48 credits.
Note: Some majors in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program can be declared at the end of your first year or after you have successfully completed a minimum of 24 credits.
In the Bachelor of Science, students are able to declare at the end of first year or after successfully completing a minimum of 24 credits.
During the registration period, from mid-June to mid-September, you are able to declare a major/specialization in most programs on the Student Service Centre (SSC).
Some BA majors have to be declared by either the program advisor or an academic advisor. Learn more about declaring majors.
Note: If you are a student in the Applied Science (Engineering), Human Kinetics, or Management program, connect with an academic advisor for information on specialization and concentration options.
Degree Navigator is an online program designed to help students make informed decisions regarding their specific academic program. Students can access this through the Student Service Centre (SSC) under ‘Registration’. You can then select Degree Navigator – Okanagan.
Degree Navigator will help you:
- earn about program requirements
- get a picture of degree and program information as outlined in the Academic Calendar
- determine in the coursework you have completed and are currently registered in, is on track with your degree requirements
Be sure to use the Degree Navigator Tip Sheet (PDF) to guide you through how to use this program.
Students may apply a maximum of 60 credits (with restrictions) completed at other post-secondary institutions towards their UBC degree. If you are a newly admitted transfer student, see the Admission to UBC section in the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar. If you have further questions or concerns, schedule an in-person, phone, or Skype meeting with an academic advisor for assistance.
Students wishing to take courses at another institution after being admitted to UBC Okanagan must fill out, and have approved, a Letter of Permission (LOP) request. For more information on LOP’s visit the summer and off-campus study options page.
Upon admission to UBC Okanagan, undergraduate admissions will award the most appropriate transfer credit to your file, based on the official transcripts they have received. There are two types of transfer credit awarded to students:
“Assigned”- This type of transfer credit is given when the course completed at a school other than UBC is identical a UBC course. For example, Okanagan College’s ENGL 100 transfers to UBC Okanagan as ENGL 112.
“Unassigned”- This type of transfer credit is awarded when a course completed at another post-secondary institution is not an exact match to what is offered at UBC Okanagan. For example, Okanagan College’s BIOL 150 transfers to UBC Okanagan as BIOL 1st (3 credits).
The transfer credit you have been awarded will be available for you to view on your Student Service Centre (SSC). Once you have logged onto your SSC, under the Grades & Records tab, select Transfer Credit. Select UBC Okanagan from the Campus Location drop down menu and your awarded transfer credit will appear.
If you achieved a grade of four or better on approved AP exams, UBC’s Okanagan campus will award you transfer credit. For more information visit the undergraduate admissions page on AP requirements.
For courses completed through IB, transfer credit depends on what you completed and your final, minimum score. For more information visit you.ubc.ca.
Records and registration
Personalized registration dates are available to view on the Student Service Centre (SSC), typically around a month prior to your registration opening.
Sign into the SSC, hover over the Registration tab, then select ‘Registration’ to determine your registration date.
For a rough idea of when you will be registering for courses you can check registration dates.
Log onto the Student Service Centre (SSC), hover over ‘Grades and Records’ then select ‘Your Grades Summary’. This is your unofficial transcript, which you can print and utilize as needed.
A ‘W’ on your transcript indicates that you have attempted a university course and have chosen to withdraw within university guidelines. A ‘W’ does not get calculated into your overall GPA or sessional evaluation.
A withdrawal does not detract from your academic record.
If you are concerned about your academic history and applications to other schools or graduate programs, you should contact the respective organization for information on how they might regard a ‘W’ on a transcript.
If you drop your course before the add/drop deadline, a ‘W’ will not appear on your transcript. Add/drop deadlines are listed on the SSC Course Schedule, when viewing a specific course, in a specific term. These deadlines are also listed in the online Academic Calendar.
The faculty has chosen to block the course from registration once it filled and will now manage the wait-list accordingly. If the course is blocked with a wait-list, sign up for the wait-list.
If the course is blocked with no wait-list available, read the Section Comments to find out more specific information. If no information is available under the Section Comments, you are welcome to contact the specific unit offering the course to find out more registration details.
Some faculties choose to restrict who can register in their course(s). A course can be restricted by year level (year >= 3), degree program (BMGT-O), specialization/major (MAJ PSYO), or a combination of these options (year >=2, MAJ PSYO). How the course is restricted will be listed below the seat summary in the course schedule. If you meet the restrictions you will be able to register in the course.
Registering in courses with an overlapping schedule is not recommended as courses may also have overlap in how exams and assignments are scheduled. That being said, it is possible. Students must receive written permission from both professors. In these situations students will have to work with both professors to come to an agreement on how each course will be attended. Depending on how much overlap there is the professor(s) may refuse. If you are considering registering in courses with overlapping schedules, be sure to meet with an academic advisor to discuss if this is the best option for you.
All courses will finish 10 minutes before the time listed in the course schedule. The size of the campus also allows students to register in back-to-back courses.
Be aware of drop/withdrawal deadlines. The first drop deadline allows you to drop without financial penalty or any notation on your transcript. After that, you’ll have to pay for part of the course, and you’ll see a ‘W’ on your transcript. A ‘W’ on your transcript indicates that you have attempted a university course and have chosen to withdraw within university guidelines. A ‘W’ does not get calculated into your overall GPA or sessional evaluation.
You can use the registration section of the Student Service Centre (SSC) account to add or withdraw from courses. Be sure you are dropping the course from your registered courses and not from your worklist. Dropping courses from your worklist is not considered withdrawal from your course.
Note: If you are required to maintain a minimum course load due to housing, funding, or other circumstances, make sure you are aware of how many credits you must be registered in before you think about withdrawing from a course.
It is very difficult to drop a course after the final deadline has passed. However, if you feel you have exceptional circumstances, you should speak to an academic advisor about completing a ‘Late Withdrawal Request’ form.
Be forewarned that these requests are not granted lightly and you will need to provide compelling reasons for having missed the deadlines.
A Standard Timetable (STT) is a set timetable which incorporates the courses required for a program. If an STT is required for your program, you must register for the STT before adding individual courses. Not all programs offer STTs.
Programs that offer STTs include Applied Science (year one only), Fine Arts (year one only) Management (year three only). If students in any of these programs would like to make changes to their schedule they will have to contact their program advisor.
Section comments will include important information about the course that the faculty would like you to be aware of. Faculties may use Section Comments to provide information on registration requirements such as, who to contact about registration issues, as well as information on the course content. Be sure to read the Section Comment if one is provided. Section Comments are listed within the course schedule on the right-hand side of the screen.
Here is an example of a Section Comment from a Math course:
“Please register in the lecture even if no lab is currently available. Additional labs will be added if needed before the beginning of the term. Please check back to see if an open lab fits your schedule.
This course requires pre-requisites. If you are unable to register, contact Hilda Patzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your name, student ID, and course number. If your pre-requisite waiver is approved, you will be force-added to the course.
More labs/tutorials will be added, as needed, closer to the beginning of the semester. Please check periodically if they are all full.”
For first year students, use our first-year planning guides to plan your schedule.
For second, third, and fourth year students, use this section of your online Academic Calendar to review degree requirements.
Reasons for this can vary. Book an appointment with an Academic Advisor to have your file reviewed as soon as possible.
Advisors are unable to register students into full classes.
Regularly monitor the class on the Student Service Centre (SSC) to see if a seat becomes available. Sometimes another student will drop the course (and open a seat for you), or sometimes the faculty will open more seats. If the course is not “blocked,” then any available seats will be first come, first served.
If there’s a waitlist, register for it, but keep watching the SSC to see if a seat opens up. As noted above, if a course is not “blocked”, available seats are first come, first served—even if there is a waitlist.
Read the ‘Section Comments’ for instructions.
Check out summer and off-campus study options.
It’s never easy to fail a course. You’re welcome to discuss it with an Academic Advisor.
If you failed a course once, you can retake it by registering the course again. If you’re unable to register the course, contact the relevant department for assistance.
If you failed a course twice, you will need your Dean’s permission to take the course a third time. Learn more.
I'm not happy with my grade (and I didn't fail). Should I retake a course? What does it mean for my transcript?
Sometimes, it’s necessary to retake a course if the course is required and a specific grade is required in that course. Sometimes, there is no reason to repeat a course that you passed. If you’re unsure of your situation, speak with an Academic Advisor.
All attempts at a course are listed on your official transcript (unless you withdrew before the drop deadline).
How repeated courses are calculated depends on the intention of the calculation and which institution is completing the calculation. This can vary greatly. If you’re unsure of your situation, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Ideally, you acquire the prerequisite for the course.
Prerequisites have been put in place by your faculty to ensure you have what you need to be successful in the course. If you feel strongly that you can be successful without the prerequisite, there is a ‘prerequisite waiver’ (available on your faculty website). Be sure to clearly articulate why you will be successful despite not having the prerequisites.
A yellow warning is like a yield sign. Are you sure you meet the prerequisites for the course? If you are, then proceed with registration. If the department offering the course later determines that you do not meet the prerequisites, you may be de-registered from the course (prior to the add/drop deadline).
A red warning is like a stop sign. The system will not allow you to register. It is very likely you do not meet the prerequisites and you may want to consider registering those first.
Use the online Academic Calendar to see how your faculty wishes you to proceed (courses per term and year). However, we understand that many students have reasons for taking fewer credits (job, family obligations, disability, etc.).
Sometimes, students are required to maintain a full-time course load (minimum nine credits per term in a Winter Session). For example, students residing in UBC Student Housing, students using student loans, and international students are required to maintain full-time status.
We generally do not advise students take more than the recommended credits your faculty advises. Keep in mind there are many aspects to university life and you may want to have time to explore the many opportunities that university affords you.
Use the online Academic Calendar to guide you.
If you have a seat in the lecture and labs are full or blocked, keep an eye on the Student Service Centre (SSC) for a seat to become available in a lab. Sometimes students drop the course which opens a seat for you and sometimes the faculty opens another lab section. If you’re concerned about being unable to register the lab, contact the relevant department for assistance.