Undergraduate FAQ

Degree Requirements

Q:  What are the current B.A.Sc. program requirements?

The UBC Academic Calendar lists the degree requirements for our Civil Engineering undergraduate program. Current students can also use Degree Navigator (a tool found on the Student Service Center) to view program requirements. Please see the Degree Navigator Guide for more information.

Q:  What are “Complementary Studies” courses?

All engineering students must complete a set of “complementary studies” courses to be accredited as an engineer in Canada. There are five areas of complementary studies: professional development, communication, engineering economics, impact of technology on society and humanities/social sciences electives. Civil Engineering students typically complete these requirements as follows:

  1. Professional Development: Civil Engineering students take CIVL 402: Law and Contracts in Civil Engineering in fourth year, which covers this requirement.
  2. Communication:  Please see the section below on the ‘English Communications Requirement’ for more information.
  3. Engineering Economics: Civil Engineering students take CIVL 403: Engineering Economic Analysis in fourth year, which satisfies this requirement.
  4. Impact of Technology on Society: Civil Engineering students take CIVL 201: Civil Engineering I in second year and CIVL 302: Civil Engineering Impacts in third year to satisfy this requirement. Camosun Bridge students must take one of the other approved “Impact of Technology on Society” courses listed on the Engineering Academic Services website.
  5. Humanities/Social Sciences Electives: Students are required to take six credits of humanities/social sciences electives to graduate. Students normally take one three-credit elective in first year and a second three-credit elective in fourth year.

Q:  How can I check to make sure I have completed all of the courses I need to graduate?

All students have access to Degree Navigator via the Student Service Center. Degree Navigator shows which courses are required for your degree and the courses you have completed, those in-progress, and those left to complete. Please visit the Degree Navigator Guide for information on how to use and interpret Degree Navigator. 

Degree Navigator

Q: What is Degree Navigator?

Degree Navigator as another tool available to you for course planning. This tool allows you to track your progress towards completion of all degree requirements. You can access Degree Navigator through the SSC; follow this guide to get started.

Undergraduate Support is happy to answer specific questions about your Degree Navigator report, however, we do not perform full reviews of whether or not you have met all requirements until graduation.

Q:  I have questions about my Degree Navigator report.  Who do I contact?

Students are welcome to send questions regarding their Degree Navigator reports to Undergraduate Support (undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca). Please ensure your questions are specific; we do not perform thorough reviews of whether or not you have met all requirements until graduation adjudication at the end of your fourth year. In cases where transfer credits are not showing properly on Degree Navigator, or for questions regarding first-year requirements, you may be directed to Engineering Academic Services.

English Communications Requirement

Q:  What is the English Communications Requirement?

All engineering students at UBC are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information visit Engineering Academic Services – FAQ.

Q:  What if I do not complete a stage of the English Communications Requirement on time?

Students are required to complete each stage of the English Communications Requirement by a certain point in their degree programs:

  1. If a student is required to write the LPI test, the student must pass the test by the end of their first year at UBC.
  2. Students must complete WRDS 150, APSC 176 or another approved first year English course by the end of their second year at UBC.
  3. If a student fails to complete one of the requirements by the point specified, they will be limited to taking 12 credits of courses and will not be promoted to the next year of their program until they complete the requirement.

Camosun Bridge Program

Q:  What is the Camosun Bridge Program?

Individuals who hold Diplomas in Civil Engineering Technology from an accredited Canadian technical college can gain admission into the third year of the B.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering program after completing a six-month “bridge” program at Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  More information on the program can be found on the Camosun College website

Q:  What Courses are Camosun Bridge students required to complete when they arrive at UBC?

Camosun Bridge students must complete all of the core and elective requirements for third and fourth year in the B.A.Sc. curriculum to graduate.  Camosun Bridge students are also required to take the following:

  1. All Camosun students are required to take an eligible “Impact of Technology on Society” course before they graduate.  A list of eligible courses can be found on the Engineering Academic Services website.  Many Camosun students choose to take CIVL 250: Engineering and Sustainable Development to complete this requirement, which is offered each year in Term 1 and the Summer term.
  2. Most Camosun students are given credit for STAT 251: Elementary Statistics.  Students will be informed prior to their arrival at UBC if they have been given credit for STAT 251.
  3. Camosun Bridge students who have not completed an English course previously will be required to take one of: WRDS 150: Writing and Research in the Disciplines, APSC 176: Engineering Communication or any other eligible first year English course.  This must be done before the student is given fourth year standing. 
  4. Camosun students are required to complete six credits of Humanities/Social Sciences electives to graduate.  Students who have taken eligible humanities and social science courses at their previous institution may be given transfer credit that is eligible to complete this requirement.  Students will be informed prior to their arrival at UBC about how many humanities/social science credits they will be required to complete at UBC.

Q: What courses are Camosun Bridge students required to complete after they arrive at UBC?

Camosun Bridge students must complete all of the core and elective requirements for third and fourth year in the B.A.Sc. curriculum to graduate. Camosun Bridge students are also required to take the following:

  1. If a student receives a grade of “D” or lower in any course at Camosun College, they will be required to pass the equivalent first- or second-year course at UBC. Students will not be permitted to register in any third- and fourth-year courses that list the missing course as a pre-requisite until they have passed the course. Students in this situation are encouraged to take a reduced course load until they have passed these courses.
  2. All Camosun students are required to take an eligible “Impact of Technology on Society” course before they graduate. A list of eligible courses can be found on the Engineering Academic Services website. Many Camosun students choose to take CIVL 250: Engineering and Sustainable Development to complete this requirement, which is offered in Term 1 and the Summer term each year.
  3. Most Camosun students have been given credit for STAT 251: Elementary Statistics (which is normally taken in the third year of the UBC Civil Engineering program). Students will be informed prior to their arrival at UBC if they have been given credit for STAT 251.
  4. Camosun Bridge students who have not completed an English course previously will be required to take one of: WRDS 150: Writing and Research in the Disciplines, APSC 176: Engineering Communication, or any other eligible first year English course. This must be done before the student is given fourth year standing.  
  5. Camosun students are required to complete six credits of Humanities/Social Sciences electives to graduate. Students who have taken eligible humanities and social science courses at their previous institution may be given transfer credit that is eligible to complete this requirement. Students will be informed prior to their arrival at UBC about how many humanities/social science credits they will be required to complete at UBC. 

Deferred & Supplemental Exams

Q:  What is the difference between a deferred exam and a supplemental exam?

deferred examination is when a student misses an exam and applies to write an examination at a later date (an academic concession). A supplemental examination is an examination written in addition to the usual examination(s) given for a course.

If you missed an exam and think you are eligible to write a deferred exam, instructions on how to apply for academic concession can be on the Engineering Student Service FAQ.

Labs

Q:  Am I required to pass a safety course before using the Civil Engineering labs?

Yes, all safety procedures and rules will be reviewed for the respective lab that you are working in before you start the lab. Additionally, all students are required to complete a “Health, Safety and Environment” orientation regarding general safety procedures for all labs at the start of the academic year when they first arrive in the Department (this will be given during one of your regularly-scheduled courses).  Students are expected to observe all safety procedures and follow all instructions given by faculty members, TAs and technicians while working in the labs.