Registration & Program Info

Registration & Program Info

Registering for Courses

When do I register?

There are two different academic sessions at UBC: Winter Session (September to April) and Summer Session (May to August). You register for each session separately:

Winter Session (registration for both terms happens in June/July)

  • Term 1: September to December
  • Term 2: January to April

Summer Session (registration for both terms happens in March)

  • Term 1: May to June
  • Term 2: July to August

Enrolment Services will send you an email two weeks before your registration date for each session. This email will include your personalized registration date and time. This date and time will also be set on your Student Service Centre (SSC). To see the windows of dates for your year level, please check out the helpful information posted here.

It is very important that you register on your specific registration date/time. If you miss your registration date/time, you may not get the courses you need or the sections you prefer, as courses fill up quickly. Make sure you set aside time in your schedule!

Plan ahead

Registration can be a bit stressful and overwhelming, especially when you’re registering at UBC for the first time. There’s a lot of information to take in and decisions to make. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead: think about what courses you need to take, what courses you want to take, and when you want to take them. You’ll need to also make sure you meet the prerequisites and seat restrictions for any course you wish to register in.

We strongly encourage you to make use of the worklists (draft timetables) available in your SSC, and test your timetable before your registration date and time to make sure the schedule you want is available. If not, you’ll have given yourself extra time to adjust your timetable before you officially register.

What about transfer credits?

UBC Admissions awards transfer credits at the point of admission. You can find these transfer credits listed in your SSC once you’ve accepted your offer of admission, under the Grades & Records tab. (Make sure you choose UBC–Vancouver as your campus to view the credit.)

If you have received any transfer credit from another post-secondary institution, through AP, IB or A-Level credits etc., we strongly encourage you to review the credit you’ve been assigned, and ask an academic advisor in LFS Student Services before you register for classes if you have any questions about how that credit was assessed.

It is important to understand that:

  • not all credit you’ve taken will necessarily be applicable to your program here. For example, if you completed a whole bunch of Arts credits before coming to LFS, not all of them will help you meet your program’s degree requirements;
  • only a maximum of 60 transfer credits are permitted to be applied to your LFS degree;
  • only the credit appears on your UBC academic record, not the grade you achieved; and
  • you may be permitted to retake a course you’ve already received transfer credit for, but if you take it again, you will only receive credit for it once.

How do I register?

Enrolment Services has some helpful information on how to register for courses online. In addition, we will be sending you detailed LFS registration information a few weeks before your registration date – keep your eyes on your emails for something from These emails will contain step-by-step, program-specific information. If you follow our guidelines, you can’t go wrong.

When can I drop or withdraw from a course?

You should drop a course as soon as you know you don’t want to be taking it, as there are implications for yourself and your classmates if you remain in a course that you don’t plan on completing. You will have a small window at the beginning of each term to confirm whether you want to remain registered in the course. During this time, you can drop a course without penalty and it won’t show up on your academic record. If you withdraw from the course after the earliest deadline, the course remains on your academic record and the notation of “W” (withdrawal) is posted next to it. Ws are not used in the calculation of your overall GPA, and shouldn’t cause any issues for you down the road with respect to admission to professional programs, graduate school or jobs.

It is important that you mark your calendar with the published add/drop deadlines so you know when you can make decisions on your own, and when you may need to consult with an academic advisor in LFS Student Services.

When making the decision to drop a course, be mindful that:

Answers to your top three burning questions

  1. What if a course is full? Even if a course is full, space may become available as students change their minds or as departments make changes, so it’s important to monitor registration regularly if you are hoping to get into a course. Check out our FAQs to learn more about how and when to add yourself to a wait list.
  2. Do I register for Term 1 and Term 2 at the same time? Yes, you register for both terms at the same time!
  3. How do I know what courses to take for my major? Although you don’t declare your major until the start of second year, you will need to take the necessary first-year (and second-year) courses in preparation for your preferred major.
    • If you’re a new-to-UBC student (i.e. a first-year student or a transfer student), you should follow the degree requirements listed in the UBC Academic Calendar.
    • Returning students should follow the degree requirements as listed in their Degree Navigator. Not sure what Degree Navigator is? Check out the info below!
    • If you’re not sure how to choose your major, we can help with that too.

Degree Navigator: What it is, and how you can use it

To help students stay on track throughout their degree, UBC has created a degree auditing program called Degree Navigator. This tool helps you take responsibility for your post-secondary studies, with functions to help you figure out whether you’re meeting your program requirements, how many courses you have left to finish, whether a given course can count toward your required coursework in a certain area, and more.

You will declare your major (specialization) at the start of your second year (see “Choosing a Major” below). Once you’ve done that, you will have access to Degree Navigator through your Student Service Centre (SSC).

Degree Navigator will help you to:

  • map out your degree requirements, including your upper-level credit requirement;
  • determine your academic progress in your declared major;
  • show you how your transfer credits can be used toward your degree requirements;
  • see how your registered courses can be used toward your degree requirements; and
  • confirm if you’re on track for graduation.

How do I access Degree Navigator?

  1. Log into your Student Service Centre (SSC).
  2. Select Degree Navigator – Vancouver from the Registration pull-down menu.
  3. Click your major on the right-hand side of the screen.
  4. Choose Audit – UBC Report from the drop-down menu. Do not change the year version, as it is set to the year you declared your major.
  5. You should now be able to see your degree requirements. You’ll be able to see which courses you’ve already completed (they’ll have check marks next to them), and which courses you still have left to complete (there will be an X next to these requirements).

I’m confused about what my Degree Navigator says. What should I do?

While Degree Navigator is a very helpful tool, it can sometimes map things out incorrectly or miss certain courses. If you notice any issues or if you have questions about it, please contact LFS Student Services, as we’re happy to review and correct any errors. Remember, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that you’re meeting your degree requirements, so ask questions if you have them!

Choosing a Major

What is a major?

All students in Food, Nutrition and Health (FNH) and Applied Biology (APBI) will be required to declare a major. A major is a specialization in a single field of study within your degree program. You will build on your science foundation after first year, and continue to narrow your focus over time, completing the majority of the courses required of your major in third and fourth year. The courses required for each major are different and can lead to different career or graduate school paths, so it is important to review your options while you’re in first year so that you can make an informed decision about which major is the best fit for you.

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Food and Resource Economics (FRE) or Global Resource Systems (GRS) do not select a traditional “major” like those in the FNH or APBI programs. Similar to other LFS majors, you will build on your first-year science foundation with second-, third- and fourth-year courses that focus on your selected specializations.

As you make decisions about your learning path, we encourage you to focus on your deepest interests. If you learn about and study what you really love, you will likely do better in your courses — and you’ll be better prepared to shape a career that you’re excited and passionate about.

When and how do I declare a major?

You will be required to declare your major when you log in to the SSC to register for your second year. The SSC will prompt you to select from a list of available majors associated with your degree program.

Majors that appear on that list are not competitive, meaning you do not need to submit a separate application or meet any additional academic criteria to be in them; you simply select one from the list and continue with your registration. Some majors, however, are competitive and don’t appear on that list, so be sure to do your research and familiarize yourself with the requirements and deadlines.

When open, applications for competitive majors can be found here.

Can I change my mind?

It’s okay to change your mind — we want you to be in the program that reflects your passions! Making a change could impact your course selection and degree progression, though, so if you are considering a major switch, it is best to consult with an academic advisor in LFS Student Services. One other thing to keep in mind: it’s not possible to officially make changes to your major mid-year.

Where can I learn more?

To explore majors in your degree program, please consult the FNH, APBI, FRE and GRS program pages. Within each program page, you can: find out more about the program; investigate possible career paths and read alumni bios; confirm whether that program requires an application; check deadlines etc. If, after you’ve done some research, you still have questions, by all means get in touch with LFS Student Services.

Choosing a Minor

What is a minor?

In addition to your major, you may also wish to add a minor to your degree program. A minor is a secondary area of specialization that can complement your major, and adds up to 18 credits of coursework. Depending on your degree program, minors are available in subjects offered through the Faculties of Science, Arts, Kinesiology and Commerce, as well as a minor in Fermentations and Sustainable Food Systems. Due to significant course overlap or scheduling limitations, not all minors are available for students in all programs, so it is important to understand which options are available to you.

It’s also important for you to know that only 6 of the 18 credits in your minor can double count toward your major requirements. This means that if you are interested in pursuing a minor, you’ll need to plan to take an additional 12 credits of coursework on top of your degree requirements. This will likely extend the length of time it takes you to complete your degree.

When and how do I declare a minor?

Once you’re in second year, you are eligible to apply for a minor (you must apply to have a minor added to your degree program). Some minors have limited spaces (e.g. Commerce or Kinesiology) and require you to complete prerequisite courses. You’ll need to submit your minor application directly to LFS Student Services by March 31 of each year. We commit to confirming whether you have been admitted to a minor before registration opens for your next Winter Session.

When open, applications for adding a minor to your program can be found here.

Do I have to declare a minor?

You are not required to declare a minor; the majority of LFS students do not complete a minor. It really is up to you to determine what academic path would be most enjoyable, rewarding and beneficial for you.

Where can I learn more?

To explore minor options in your degree program, please consult the FNH, APBI, FRE and GRS program pages. Within each program page, you can confirm which minor options are available, link to the applications and confirm deadlines, etc. If, after you’ve done some research, you still have questions, you are welcome to connect with LFS Student Services.

Restricted, Unrestricted and Health Electives — What’s the difference?

When reviewing the degree requirements of your program, you will notice both restricted and unrestricted electives are required in all programs. If you are in the Food, Nutrition and Health (FNH) program, you may also be required to complete health electives. Here’s what they all mean:

  • Restricted electives (RE) are those courses you get to choose yourself, but only from a curated list of approved courses relevant to your major. Each major has its own list of approved REs, so go here to confirm which courses count for your program.
  • Health electives (HE) are those courses you get to choose yourself, but only from a curated list of approved restricted electives relevant to your major. Each major has its own list of approved HEs, so go here to confirm which courses count for your program.
  • Unrestricted electives (URE) are those courses you get to choose yourself and they can be from any discipline. This is where you can explore your interests outside of your degree program: take a music class, learn a new language or brush up on your computer science skills. As long as you meet the prerequisites or restrictions for the course, you can take it! The options are endless.


  • A RE can count as an URE, but an URE cannot count as a RE, and a HE can count as a RE or an URE, but a RE or an URE cannot count as a HE. (Clear as mud!? If you’re confused, connect with your program advisor, or head to LFS Student Services and talk with one of our academic advisors.) It is important to choose your courses carefully. You can confirm your degree requirements in the UBC Academic Calendar.
  • Be sure you’re monitoring how many lower-level (100- and 200-level) courses you’re taking. All LFS students need to complete at least 45 credits of upper-level (300- and 400-level) courses within their degree program to meet graduation requirements, so try to avoid front-loading your RE and URE credits in your first two years.
  • If you are taking a course that is not currently listed as an approved RE but you think it should count as a RE or HE, you need to consult with your program advisor. Only program advisors can give approval for a course not currently on the list to be applied to your degree program as a RE or HE. Approvals from program advisors are emailed directly to LFS Student Services, so an academic advisor can update your Degree Navigator to reflect the approval. Without the written request/approval from the program advisor, your Degree Navigator will not be updated. Not sure who your program advisor is? Consult the individual major pages for FNH, APBI and GRS programs.

Taking Courses Outside UBC

Once you are a student at UBC, we expect you will complete your coursework at UBC. Therefore, you are not normally permitted to take courses for academic credit at other post-secondary institutions concurrently with your program in the Faculty. Please see the UBC Academic Calendar here for details.

Permission is normally given only if you have previously failed a course twice at UBC. If this happens, you will be required to complete the equivalent at another institution to provide you with the best possible chance of successfully passing it. If you find yourself in this situation, we encourage you to connect with an academic advisor in LFS Student Services to discuss your options as soon as possible. The earlier you meet with an advisor, the more likely you are to avoid academic issues down the road.

In rare cases, the Faculty may grant students permission to complete courses at another institution. If you feel you present extenuating circumstances that warrant consideration, please consult with an academic advisor in LFS Student Services to discuss your situation. Please note that requests to attempt required courses of your program for the first time at another institution will not normally be granted.

Written consent from the director of Student Services in the form of a Letter of Permission (LOP) is required before attempts to register in another course are made. The Faculty is not obligated to approve transfer credit if an LOP is not obtained in advance, so make sure you’ve connected with LFS Student Services to find out what you need to do before you register elsewhere.

To make a request to take courses at another institution for any reason, please complete the online Letter of Permission (LOP) Request Form, or come in to LFS Student Services and meet with an academic advisor in person. To demonstrate good planning and preparation, you should be making this request as far in advance as possible. This will ensure our office has appropriate time to review and respond to your request; decisions cannot be expected on the spot.

Contact LFS Student Services

Check the LFS FAQs for answers to additional registration-related questions (do this especially before and during registration), or contact an academic advisor in LFS Student Services for assistance.

Contact Us