Description of program

What is CSP – the Coordinated Science Program?

CSP is a popular program first-year Science program limited to 168 students.

  • A cohort program (students take all their core science courses together) with a small, supportive academic community, in which students can easily get to know one anoher
  • A suite of courses, organized into a standard, pre-arranged timetable, that together with one or two Science electives (see Recommened Courses, below) provide the prerequisites for entry into ANY second year Science program
  • Access to a CSP-dedicated study space in the beautiful I.K. Barber Learning Centre
  • Smaller size classes than standard first-year Science
  • CSP Workshop course that provides extra support for learning and building essential scientific skills

CSP as an Academic Community

CSP students are able to be part of a small learning community (168 students) within the larger community of approximately 1600 first year science students at UBC.  CSP includes academic benefits such as the dedicated study space in the I.K. Barber Learning Centre, where students study together, as well as the small group workshop sessions and the common enrollment in CSP sections of core science courses.

CSP as a Social Community

CSP Council, elected representatives from the cohort, plan activities for CSP students, such as movie nights, ski trips, volunteer activities and dinner parties. The social activities complement the academic activities, facilitating development of lasting friendships. Many former CSP students have said that the friendships developed within the CSP community were maintained throughout the following years at UBC.

CSP Standard Timetable Courses (automatic enrollment)

Enrollment in CSP’s standard timetable automatically enrolls you in 24 credits that include the core CSP courses - six lecture courses and the CSP Workshop - and an optional biology course. These core courses are as follows:

  • Chem 121/123 (plus one lab each Term)
  • Phys 101 (plus one lab)
  • Math 102/103
  • Biol 121
  • CSP Workshop (small group, hands-on activities that build scientific skills, support learning and provide opportunities to work with other CSP students)

As explained below (under Variations), CSP students are allowed to drop one and only one of these six core lecture courses.

  • In addition, each CSP timetable in Term 1 includes one of Biol 111 or Biol 112. While these are optional, most students will want one or the other (see FAQ #8 for details).

Variations Now Permitted to Standard Timetable Courses

CSP students now have the option to replace any ONE of the core lecture courses from the standard timetable.  These core lecture courses are Chem 121, Math 102 and Phys 101 in Term 1; and Biol 121, Chem 123 and Math 103 in Term 2.  Note that changes to the standard timetable cannot be done by the student on SSC, but can be done by the CSP office upon receipt of an email request.


  • Students with AP/IB advanced credit can use that credit in place of one CSP core lecture course.
  • Students planning to major in Physics can and should replace Phys 101 with Phys 107 or 117. 

Recommended Courses (individual enrollment)

MOST second year science programs require one or both of the following first-year science courses:

  • Biology 140 - required for most Life Science majors plus a few others
  • Physics 118/119 - required for Physical Science majors plus a few others 

For details about prerequisites for specific programs, look for information about science programs of interest in the UBC Calendar.

First-come, first-served

Registration in CSP is limited to 168 students on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for CSP takes place at the same time as registration for all UBC courses.