Students

Undergraduates: COVID impact on CHEM courses

update: February 26, 2021 (new content is in blue)

This is a message for undergraduate students who are taking or are planning to take Chemistry courses at UBC Vancouver.

This is an unprecedented and dramatic global situation. Our first priority is to make sure that students remain healthy and safe. We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

All of Chemistry's undergraduate lecture courses in Term 2 of the 2020 Winter Session (2020W) will be offered in an online mode. No in-person meetings (office hours, examinations etc.) are allowed.

1. Chemistry - Summer Courses 2021.

Lecture Courses: No decisions have been made by UBC regarding the delivery of lecture courses, but the Department expects to offer the lecture courses CHEM 120, CHEM 130 and CHEM 233 in Summer 2021.

Laboratory Courses:

CHEM 115: The laboratory course CHEM 115 will be offered as a virtual (online), synchronous course in Summer Term 1 2021. It will not be offered in Summer Term 2.

In Person Laboratory Courses:

CHEM 135 will be scheduled in Summer Term 1 and Summer Term 2. CHEM 115 is a prerequisite for this course. This term-long course will have virtual/online projects and deadlines throughout the term. In addition, students will be expected to attend and complete experiments in UBC laboratories in person M,T,W,Th,F from 9:30 AM-12:30 or 1:30 PM-4:30 PM within a specific week of the term to satisfy course requirements.

CHEM 215 will be scheduled in Summer Term 1. Students interested in CHEM 215 should contact the Department using the web form below. This term-long course will have virtual/online projects and deadlines throughout the term. In addition, students will be expected to attend and complete experiments in UBC laboratories in person M (8AM-6 PM)/W (8AM-6PM)/F (8-noon) or T (8AM-6 PM)/Th (8 AM-6 PM)/F (1PM-5PM) within a specific week of the term to satisfy course requirements.

The Department will offer CHEM 215 in Summer Term 2 if it is established that student needs require it. Please contact the Department using the web form below.

CHEM 225 will not be offered in Summer Term 1. The Department will offer CHEM 225 in Summer Term 2 if it is established that student needs require it. Please contact the Department using the web form below. CHEM 225 will be offered in 2021 Winter Term 1.

CHEM 235 will be scheduled in Summer Term 1 and Summer Term 2. This term-long course will have virtual/online projects and deadlines throughout the term. In addition, students will be expected to attend and complete experiments in UBC laboratories in person M (8AM-6 PM)/W (8AM-6PM)/F (8-noon) or T (8AM-6 PM)/Th (8 AM-6 PM)/F (2PM-6PM) within a specific week of the term to satisfy course requirements.

CHEM 245 will be scheduled in Summer Term 1. CHEM 225 is a prerequisite for this course. This term-long course will have virtual/online projects and deadlines throughout the term. This course will be delivered using the historical UBC Summer scheduling model: students will attend and complete experiments in-person in UBC laboratories classes twice a week for the length of the term.

The Department will offer CHEM 245 in Summer Term 2 if it is established that student needs require it. Please contact the Department using the web form below.

For Year 2 CHEM or BIOC students who were unable to take in-person CHEM lab courses to date, the Department has plans to enable students to take CHEM 215, CHEM 225 and CHEM 245 in-person in Summer Term 2 so that these students can directly enroll into Year 3 CHEM lab courses beginning in September 2021. These students should contact the Department (see below).

For Year 1 students who are planning on registering into a CHEM- or BIOC-specialization, the Department has plans to enable these students to take CHEM 215 and/or CHEM 225 in Summer Term 2. These students can satisfy these lab requirements before the 2021 Winter Session begins (see below).

• Registration for CHEM laboratory courses will be prioritized for students within the same academic year of progress. For example, a student recently completing CHEM 135 in Summer 2021 will not be permitted to register into CHEM 235 in Summer 2021 if registration spaces are required for Year 2 students to complete their academic coursework. 

2) Contacting the Department of Chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry would appreciate students interested in Summer 2021 Laboratory Courses to contact the Department using this web form: https://xenon.chem.ubc.ca/chemcourses/.

You should contact the Department if you:

            • wish to register in CHEM 215 in Summer Term 1

• wish to register in any of CHEM 215, CHEM 225 or CHEM 245 in Summer Term 2

More information will be provided on this page as well as through direct email correspondence with students on registration waitlists.

Because of the constraints defined by the Department of Chemistry’s Covid-19 Workspace Safety Plan, these courses are offered at ~30-35% of the maximum capacities compared to the pre-Covid lab arrangements to ensure proper social distancing.

There may be situations for specific students who are unable to access in-person laboratory courses and will require adjustments by their Faculty or Program advisors in order to maintain or fulfill specialization, academic advancement or graduation requirements.

These courses may be cancelled at any time if there is a substantial public health risk as determined by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer or UBC.

A cancellation could mean that a student would have to withdraw from the laboratory course or perhaps receive an “Incomplete (T)” standing that would require further laboratory work at a later date to receive full credit.

These in-person courses are offered under the safety requirements defined by the Province, WorkSafe BC and UBC. The Department of Chemistry’s Covid-19 Workspace Safety Plan can be found on www.chem.ubc.ca.

2. New Courses – Lectures and Laboratory Courses Have Been Split During the Coronavirus Epidemic. 

Most first and second year CHEM courses are described in the UBC Calendar as having a lecture and laboratory component. This is often described in the curriculum vector in the Calendar.

CHEM 121 (4) Structure and Bonding in Chemistry

Fundamentals of bonding theories and structural chemistry, with applications relevant to modern society. [3-3-0]
Prerequisite: One of Chemistry 12, CHEM 100.

The first number in blue is the lecture hours per week, the second is the laboratory hours per week, and the last number deals with tutorial sections.

With physical distancing and stay-at-home rules in place, the laboratory sections in which students learn and demonstrate fundamental practical laboratory skills in person cannot run in the usual way. For example, a student taking CHEM 121 without any laboratory work would not be able to pass the course and would not receive academic credit and could not move forward in their academic plan.

In response to this challenge, our Department has introduced new courses that enable students to take the lecture content and the laboratory content of these courses independently, so students may continue to progress by completing lecture courses. The new courses are summarized in this table:

Course (Credit)

Lecture Course (Credit)

Lab Course (Credit)

CHEM 111 (4)

CHEM 110 (3)

CHEM 115 (1)

CHEM 121 (4)

CHEM 120 (3)

CHEM 115 (1)

CHEM 123 (4)

CHEM 130 (3)

CHEM 135 (1)

CHEM 203 (4)

CHEM 223 (3)

CHEM 225 (1)

CHEM 211 (4)

CHEM 210 (3)

CHEM 215 (1)

For example, students who registered in CHEM 121 for Summer 2020 had their course registration transferred to CHEM 120, to reflect the fact that they did not take any lab component in this course. Similarly, registration for CHEM 123 will be transferred to CHEM 130.  

It is expected that students will make up these laboratory requirements when face-to-face instruction is allowed.

These new courses are responses to the Covid-19 emergency. The Department plans to resume its non-emergency curriculum--CHEM 111, 121, 123, 203, 211--when the Provincial government and UBC determines that it is safe to do so. It will commit to run the 1 credit lab courses for students to catch up with their programs.

3. General Information.

Late afternoon sections of multisection courses have been scheduled so that students outside the B.C. Lower Mainland can enroll in UBC courses during their daytime hours.

In smaller, upper-level courses, Chemistry instructors will work with the class to find informal solutions to these instructional issues.

For students outside the Lower Mainland entering or in year 2 or year 3: Students will be able to enroll in lecture courses as they will be offered online. Unfortunately, students will not be able to complete the important technique-based laboratory classes in year 2 or year 3. These students will have to complete laboratory classes when they return to campus.

4. For students entering year 4 or a graduating year:

• students who need a CHEM 445 (3) credit to complete their final year graduation requirement will complete a ‘distanced learning’-based, library research project and presentation within CHEM 445 (3).

• the Department has offered CHEM 449 and CHEM 445 RLE projects that can be carried out in on-campus research and teaching laboratories. In addition, research projects can be completed using a ‘distanced learning’ model are available.

Unknown factors prevent the Department from guaranteeing an ‘in-person’ HONS or RLE research experience in in 2021/22 Fall-Winter Session for students in certain disciplines.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.