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4 Main Degree Pathways to Major in Computer Science at UBC

Published by The LingoNomad

on March 03, 2021

When I applied to UBC, up to the point when I was admitted, I wasn't too sure about how to major in Computer Science as there were a lot information to sift through. The main question I had was:

Can you major in Computer Science at the same time you begin your degree?

Short answer: No.

Unless you are admitted to the Bachelor of Computer Science - Second Degree Program (meaning you must already have a previous Bachelor's Degree to apply), or the Bachelor of Commerce program intending to double major in Business and Computer Science, you cannot major in Computer Science directly at the same time you begin your studies at UBC. I will explain more about these degree programs below.

After you begin your studies at UBC, you have to apply separately into the major—you have to meet certain requirements to get a seat in the major. 

Applying separately to a major was something I did not quite understand at first (I previously completed a program from another university that did not have such a thing going on), so I had to uncover a lot of things myself as I went along. I was deficient in information and that did not help, so I felt a little compelled to share some information about this process. 


I'm trying to help by sharing information based on my experience and current information, but please cross-reference as much as you can with other official and non-official sources so you can make the most well-informed decision for yourself.

Please note the date when this post was last updated as I made an effort to ensure information is correct as of that date.

When do I apply separately into the major?

Typically, students would apply after their first year, and in some cases, after their second year of studying at UBC.

The grades you have achieved across your courses in your first and/or second year are important in determining whether you would end up in the Computer Science major.

What are these requirements made up of?

Every year, there are only a certain number of seats available for the Computer Science Major offered by UBC. I do not know how many seats are available (it's likely confidential), but let's say only X-hundred spots every year are available.

Since Computer Science has become such a popular major in recent years, there are a lot more applicants than there are seats available. Again, I do not know how many students are applying every year, but let's say there are 3X-hundred applicants every year to the major.

Now, since the number of applicants exceed the number of seats, only X-hundred number of students can get into the major. 

The requirements will differ slightly depending on which degree you are already admitted into. Regardless, whichever degree you are in, as I mentioned earlier, your first- and/or second-year grades are important.

There are at least 4 degree pathways in which you can major in Computer Science in UBC. 


I am only going to briefly introduce the requirements across the 4 degree pathways in this post, as from this point onwards, a lot of information about requirements and application process for each degree programs are available in UBC's website and they are updated from time to time. 

I intend for this post to give you a familiarization of how to major in Computer Science in UBC, and hopefully the structure of this post will help you outline and organize your thoughts to fully conduct your own research. Again, make sure to cross-reference information, whether from official or non-official sources so you can make the most well-informed decision for yourself.

1. BSc in Computer Science

The classic Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computer Science. To get into this designation, first of all, you have to be admitted into the BSc degree, do well in your first and/or second year, apply and get admitted into the Computer Science major.

Typically for the BSc degree, you would have to rank 3 of your preferred majors after your first year. You will be placed into your 1st choice if there are still seats available. If there are no more seats available, you will be considered to your 2nd choice, and so on. How early you get considered will depend on your grades.

I am not super familiar with the BSc in Computer Science degree pathway as I did not personally go through it—feel free to leave comments below if you have anything you'd like to share!

2. BA in Computer Science

Yes, at UBC, you can major in Computer Science in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Essentially, you need two main things:

  1. minimum average of 70% across CPSC 110, CPSC 121, and CPSC 210. The higher your averages across these 3 courses, the better your chances will be.
  2. A decent average across all courses attempted at UBC to make the cut-off into the program. This cut-off changes every year depending on the number of seats and applicants.

3. BCom in Business and Computer Science (BUCS)

If you are admitted to UBC in the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree, you can double major in Business and Computer Science—this is known as the BUCS program.

It appears that you can apply to BUCS at any year level, but preference will given to those who have completed CPSC 110, CPSC 121, CPSC 210, MATH 105 or equivalent at the time of application.

4. Bachelor of Computer Science (Integrated Computer Science) - Second Degree Program

The Bachelor of Computer Science (Integrated Computer Science) - Second Degree Program is intended only for those who have previously completed a degree in another discipline, so if you are fresh out of high school, you cannot apply for this program. Note that this is not a Masters program, but a second undergraduate degree.

The BCS (ICS) program carries the least amount of risk in that once you are admitted, you are a student in the Computer Science Department, and you do not have to apply for a seat like in the other degree programs.

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