Applying to the COGS Program

Visit the Advising page to ensure that your question can be answered by the COGS Program Coordinator before submitting an inquiry.

Before You Apply

Click here for more information about how to apply to the COGS program - it depends on what Faculty/Year you are in. Thank you for your interest!

  • If you are an undeclared B.Sc. student, please apply through the Faculty of Science's Second-Year Application process.
  • If you are a B.Sc. student who already has a different specialization, you will need to apply via Computer Science Admissions (admissions for the B.Sc. Computational Intelligence and Design of COGS is handled by the Computer Science Department). Please reach out to Computer Science Advising directly.
  • If you are a B.A. student (or a student not in the Bachelor of Science program), you will need to apply and be admitted into the Faculty of Science first (and then you will need to apply via the Second-Year Application process). Please reach out to Science Advising to discuss your plans if you are looking to transfer faculties.

If you are admitted into the COGS program (B.A.), you will be admitted into your first choice stream. When you fill out the application, please select your first choice stream only.

There are 60 seats available across all 3 Arts streams (i.e. not per stream). It is not the case that there are a certain number of seats per stream and if it fills up students need to pick another stream. Your B.A. stream choice does not make a difference in the probability of getting admitted into COGS. Therefore, it is recommended that you submit one application, with your most desired stream (since each stream has unique degree requirements, please review them carefully before making a decision).

Have a look at the degree requirements page and find your stream, as program (and faculty) requirements are different for each stream.

Click here for more information about the skills COGS equips you with and examples of what COGS alumni are pursuing.


Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

This will depend on your current Faculty and major (if you have a major declared already).

Steps to take if you are unsure as to which admission requirements to follow:

  1. Visit the Applying to Cognitive Systems page
  2. Take the self-assessment at the bottom of the page
  3. If it is still unclear, contact the Program Coordinator

Yes, students can take CPSC 110 and 121 in year 2 or 3. It is recommended that you take CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107) and 121 as early as possible. It is very strongly recommended that you take at least one CPSC course early on because it will serve as a prerequisite for COGS 300 (the prerequisites are COGS 200 and 3 credits of CPSC). Keep in mind that year 2 course registration takes place after year 1 course registration.

Math 12 / Precalc 12 is a prerequisite for CPSC 121, a required course for all COGS streams. The prerequisite cannot be waived by COGS (it is not under the COGS program's jurisdiction).

Cognitive Systems courses are listed here. There are currently 5 COGS courses - COGS 200, COGS 300, COGS 303, COGS 401 and COGS 402 (COGS 402 is a project that requires preparation before the start of the term. You have been warned!)


Preparing Your Application

Supplemental documents are not accepted as part of the application.

If you are unsure, please check with your home Faculty’s Advising Office – especially if you are a transfer student from a different institution (it will depend on how many transfer credits you have).


Application Evaluation

Every May-June, 120 students are admitted into the program (half from the Faculty of Arts, half from the Faculty of Science). Over the course of the year, there are a handful of students who transfer out of the COGS Program for various reasons. These vacant seats are filled in the January entry. The available seats in January varies each year, but are a very small number compared to 120.

The Program is unable to provide an answer to this question. The minimum average depends on the average of everyone who applies (the average of the student who gets the last available seat is the minimum average). This fluctuates and meeting past minimums does not guarantee admission. This blog post by the Faculty of Science addresses the average question and although they are talking about the Second-Year Application for Science students, COGS B.A. admissions and internal transfer admissions echo their sentiment.

No. The point of the 3-course-nomination section is to ensure that the applicant knows, through the experience of taking multiple courses in COGS-y areas, what it means to pursue an multidisciplinary / interdisciplinary degree in COGS. This is a separate concept from the average calculation.

Having more of the lower level COGS requirements completed does not increase your chances of being accepted to the COGS program. It does, however, give you better insight as to whether or not you will like and will be successful in the key disciplines that make up the COGS program. It will also give you a better foundation for being successful in your upper level courses.

No. All applications will be reviewed once the application deadline closes.


Internal Transfers (Switching Majors)

There is no straightforward answer to this question. For some students, applying for the November 30th deadline makes more sense, and for other students, applying for the May 15th deadline makes more sense. This will depend on when a student satisfies all the admission requirements.

Some non-COGS students follow the degree requirements for COGS and abandon their degree requirements in their current specialization. This is risky because if the student does not get admitted into COGS, their year promotion could be at risk (i.e. repeating year 2 or year 3) and in the worst case scenario, they could be asked to leave the Faculty due to lack of progress. Other students take a hybrid approach where they take courses that overlap between their current specialization and goal specialization so that they are making progress in their degree, regardless of whether it is a COGS degree or not.

Students not admitted into the COGS program for the September entry can declare a different major and reapply to the COGS program as an internal transfer student for the January entry, but only their summer grades will count towards the new average calculation - the winter term 1 grades will not.

To apply to / transfer into a B.Sc. COGS stream, you must be in the Faculty of Science first (you need to apply to and get admitted into the Faculty of Science before you can declare a major). It is worth reaching out to Science Advising to see if this is worth your time, effort, and risk. After you are admitted into the Faculty of Science, you will apply for B.Sc. COGS streams through the coordinated Second Year Application process.


Transfer Students (New to UBC)

As long as you have 27 credits on record (acquired at UBC or at another institution, or a combination of both) you may apply.  Please see the question below regarding the credit transferal process.  If your transfer credits appear in your record, but you do not have 27 percentage-grade credits recorded, your UBC admission average will be applied as the percentage for any remaining credits required for the admission calculation.

Transfer credits are out of the COGS Program's purview. Please reach out to the UBC Admissions Office. Another resource that could potentially give you an idea is the UBC Transfer Credit Search tool (NOTE: The results shown are for reference only and are subject to change).


Unclassified, Second-Degree and Mature Students

No, you need to be in the Faculty of Arts or Science first. Please contact Enrolment Services regarding (re-)applying to UBC, into the Faculty of Arts or Science. Please note: the online application for UBC opens in early September and closes January 15th.

Please send an inquiry to the Program Coordinator with the following information: which Faculty you are admitted into (BA or BSc), what major you have declared (if you already have), and what year standing you are admitted to (this should be either 2 or 3). We will take it from there.


Rejected Applications

Yes.* Some points of note:

  • If you were not admitted into the COGS program for the September entry and decide to declare a different major and apply to the COGS program as an internal transfer student for the January entry, your summer grades will count towards the average calculation but your winter term 1 grades will not. Only final grades released before the application deadline (November 30) will count towards the calculation.
  • The minimum average for the January entry will be the same as the minimum average for the previous September entry, so if you were not admitted into the program for the September entry and your average did not increase over summer terms 1 and 2, you will not be admitted into the program for the following January entry.

*Regarding the B.Sc. Computational Intelligence and Design stream of COGS, please consult the Computer Science Department.