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.

No, you will not rank specializations. If you are admitted into the COGS program (B.A.), you will be admitted into the specialization of your choice. When you fill out the application, please select your first choice specialization only. Do not submit multiple applications. Your B.A. specialization choice does not make a difference in the probability of your admittance into COGS. Because each specialization has unique degree requirements, please review them carefully before making a decision.

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

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 / Pre-calc 12 is a prerequisite for CPSC 121, a required course for all COGS streams. CPSC 121 will not be waived from your degree requirements. The prerequisite for CPSC 121 cannot be waived by COGS (it is not under the COGS program's jurisdiction). You may wish to reach out to the CPSC 121 instructor directly, or to the Computer Science Department, to discuss your options.

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 at this time.

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 spring, 120 students are admitted into the program (60 from the Faculty of Arts, and 60 from the Faculty of Science).

Over the course of the year, a handful of students may transfer out of the COGS Program for various reasons. Vacant seats in the B.Sc. Cognition and Brain specialization, as well as vacant spots across all B.A. specializations, will be filled over the regular intake period (applications February - May 15, for September entry into the program).

Transfers into the B.Sc. Computational Intelligence and Design specialization are handled by the Computer Science Department; related inquiries can be directed to Computer Science Advising.

If you are hoping to transfer into COGS from a different major, particularly into the B.Sc. Cognition and Brain specialization, please keep in mind that number of seats that become available for internal transfers varies each year and is normally very small compared to 120. We recommend maintaining a back-up plan for your degree, in the event that you are not able to transfer into COGS prior to graduation.

Yes. All applications are evaluated based on GPA.  To allow some freedom-to-fail, up to 12 of your lowest percentage-grade credits will be removed from the equation, conditionally:

  • Credits from courses in any of the primary departments of COGS will remain in the average equation, even if they are your lowest percentage-grade credits.
  • 27 credits minimum are required to evaluate your application. If you have exactly 27 credits on record with UBC (including transfer credits), none of your credits will be removed from the equation.

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 purpose of the 3-course-nomination section is for the applicant to demonstrate that they are pursuing interdisciplinary studies in the primary departments of COGS. This is a separate concept from the average calculation.

Your application will be evaluated based on your average GPA.  Up to 12 of your lowest percentage-grade credits will be removed from the equation, conditionally:

  • Credits from courses in any of the primary departments of COGS will remain in the average equation, even if they are your lowest percentage-grade credits.
  • 27 credits minimum are required to evaluate your application. If you have exactly 27 credits on record with UBC (including transfer credits), none of your credits will be removed from the equation.

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 are reviewed once the application deadline closes. There is no benefit/cost associated with submitting your application earlier/later, as long as it has been submitted prior to the deadline.

 

Internal Transfers (Switching Majors)

As long as you satisfy all admission requirements, you can apply during our regular yearly application period. Each year, applications for September intake into the program open in February of that same year, with a hard deadline of May 15th.

If you are hoping to transfer into COGS from a different major, please keep in mind that number of seats that become available for internal transfers varies each year and is normally very small (particularly so for the B.Sc. Cognition and Brain specialization). We recommend maintaining a back-up plan for your degree, in the event that you are not able to transfer into COGS prior to graduation.

Admission into the COGS program is competitive, and not guaranteed. It is therefore risky for a non-COGS student to follow the degree requirements for COGS and abandon the requirements of their current specialization. If the student is not admitted into COGS, their year promotion could be at risk (i.e. repeating year 2 or year 3). In the worst case scenario, they could be asked to leave their Faculty due to lack of progress.

Some students take a hybrid approach, registering in courses that overlap between their current specialization and goal specialization, so that they are making progress in their degree regardless.

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)

Yes, but please ensure that your transfer credits will fall under one of the aforementioned course codes. If you took a course 20 years ago please send an inquiry to the Program Coordinator to see if that course is still valid.

Recent transfer students: please note that if your credits have not been articulated in UBC systems by the time the programme reviews applications, we will not be able to consider your application.

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.

If your credits are not yet on record, we will be unable to evaluate your application. You may wish to reach out to Enrollment Services to confirm the status of your transfer credit articulation.

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.*

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