Degree Requirements for students entering the program in 2021/2022 or later

To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, students must complete a minimum of 120 credits of which at least 48 credits must be at the 300/400 level. Of those 48 credits, at least 30 credits must be completed at UBC. All baccalaureate courses delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies are deemed for this purpose to be Arts courses.

Students in the Bachelor of Arts degree program must complete the following requirements:

1. Foundational Requirement (21 credits): See below for the list of approved foundational requirement courses.

  • Communication (12 credits)
  • Critical Thinking (3 credits)
  • Indigenous Content (3 credits)
  • Scientific Literacy or Numeracy (3 credits)

Note that courses used to satisfy the foundational courses requirement may also be used to satisfy a program requirement, but a course may not be used to satisfy both the foundational requirement and the distribution requirement.

2. Distribution Requirement (12 credits): See below for the list of approved distribution requirement courses.

  • Creativity (3 credits)
  • Digital Literacy (3 credits)
  • Power, Diversity, and Cultures (3 credits)
  • Sustainability (3 credits)

Courses taken to satisfy this requirement must be in at least two different disciplines. Courses that satisfy program requirements can also satisfy distribution requirements.

3. Program Requirement (min. 48 credits): See major program pages for the list of required courses.

  • Courses required to complete a B.A major.
  • In addition, a student may choose to complete a minor, double major, combined major, or honours program. See Program Requirements for details.

4. Elective Requirement (credit count varies):

  • Remaining credits to complete the B.A. degree requirements are dependent on the Program Requirement.
  • Students can fulfill the Elective Requirement by successfully completing any credit course at UBC that has not been used to satisfy a foundational, distribution or program requirement.
  • A minimum of 12 credits of elective courses must be at the 300/400 level.

A minimum graduating grade average (GGA) of 60% is required to be eligible for graduation with the B.A. degree.

Foundational Requirement

The Foundational Requirement provides the essential skills and knowledge that every student requires to progress successfully across the curriculum. Together, the four areas within this requirement serve to build the competencies that graduates require to become lifelong learners and engaged citizens.


Writing proficiency and other communication skills are fundamental to an undergraduate education. This requirement provides students with an opportunity to acquire and develop these skills, which are not only valuable in an academic context but will also assist students in their career paths. The study of additional languages helps to develop competence in structured thought and logic, problem solving, and critical thinking as well as promote a sense of global citizenship by increasing intercultural understanding and competence.
Students must complete:

  • 3 credits from any of the following:
      DIHU 1552
      ENGL 109, 112, 114, 150, 151, 153, 154, 1552, 156
  • 3 credits from any of the following:
      CORH 203, 204, 205, 206, 216, 321, 331
      CULT 2302
      DIHU 220
      ENGL 203, 212, 213, 222, 2242, 226, 231, 233, 234, 270, 294B, 297
  • 6 credits of language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement from any of the following:
      ANTH 170, 270, 277, 370, 377
      CHIN 100, 101
      FREN 101, 102, 103, 104, 122, 123, 215, 222, 344, 345
      GERM 100, 110, 200, 210
      JPST 100, 101, 200, 201
      KORN 100, 101
      SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202
      WRLD 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 382
  • Some students may satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement by successfully completing both Nsyilxcen I and II (NSYL 110 and NSYL 111) (Okanagan Language), offered through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology at the En'owkin Centre or the UBC Okanagan campus or by completing the equivalent of 6 credits of any other Indigenous language through an accredited educational institution.
  • Students who are fluent in and can demonstrate competency through examination in another language may use additional English or communication courses to satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement upon approval from the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.
  • Students whose first language is not English may use additional English or communication courses to satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement upon presentation of an official transcript indicating completion of secondary school in their first language.
  • American Sign Language: all four levels of the American Sign Language Basic Certificate offered through an accredited institution will be deemed to have satisfied the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement. Note: these courses cannot be used as credit towards the B.A. degree.
  • Students cannot take language acquisition courses (CHIN, FREN, GERM, JPST, KORN, SPAN) out of sequence and should consult an advisor to ensure that they are enrolling in a level-appropriate language acquisition course.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking; it is at the root of a democratic society. This requirement provides students with the skills they need to separate facts from opinions, to examine issues from all sides, and to think independently. Critical thinking is essential to make connections across disciplines and understand content on a deeper level. It therefore enhances overall academic performance.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

CULT 100, 101, 215
PHIL 120, 121
PSYO 270

Indigenous Content

In its commitment to think beyond the inherited thought processes replicating colonial assumptions of past practices and honour the knowledge, political, and social systems of Indigenous communities, UBC Okanagan requires that students develop a competence in understanding Indigenous ways of knowing.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

INDG 100
ENGL 114

Scientific Literacy or Numeracy

Along with the Critical Thinking requirement, the Scientific Literacy or Numeracy requirement ensures graduates develop a habit of mind that enables them to think critically and independently while providing them with the mathematical or scientific concepts needed to navigate their workplace and life in general.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

All 1st-year BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or MATH1
DATA 101, 3012
COSC 3012
EESC 101, 104, 106, 111, 121
GEOG 108, 109
PSYO 271
SOCI 271
STAT 121, 124

Distribution Requirement

Distribution requirement courses fulfill the need to graduate students who are well-rounded, informed, and engaged citizens. This requirement exposes students to different ways of thinking and experiences in areas outside their specialization. Courses in this requirement are accessible to students who have not acquired the specialized knowledge typically possessed by students majoring in a discipline.

In addition to the specific learning outcomes identified in the distribution areas, any course satisfying the Distribution Requirement should substantially fulfill at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Demonstrates the ways in which the discipline understands, obtains, and categorizes its knowledge, along with defining the problems addressed by the discipline and the methods by which it solves or answers those problems;
  2. Surveys the historical development of the discipline and the shape of its current practices; or,
  3. Surveys the central ideas, theories, and debates central to the discipline.


Learning to think creatively requires many different skills, such as the ability to see objects and ideas in new ways. This requirement aims to develop the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and to experience thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way, characterized by a high-degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk-taking. Creativity is not only essential for the innovation process, but it is also an observable and valuable component of the social and economic enterprise that becomes a force of great value when it is applied to causes that benefit humankind and the world at large.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

COSC 123
CRWR 150, 160, 205, 210, 219, 310, 472
FILM 1032
PSYO 317
THTR 101, 102, 1032, 104, 201, 202, 212, 280, 3132, 412
VISA 102, 104, 106, 110, 137, 290A
WRLD 3132

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy includes the broader capacity to participate in, and reflect upon, the use of digital communication technology in various spheres (education, work, leisure, etc.). The fulfillment of this requirement will enable students to build meaningful knowledge through the interaction with digital resources and understand human, as well as, cultural and societal issues related to the use of technology.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

ARTH 3702, 3752
COSC 122
CULT 3162, 3172
DIHU 1552, 220, 3012, 3022, 3702, 3752
ENGL 1552, 3052, 3062
FILM 100, 1032, 3032, 3712
MDST 110, 120, 210, 220
SOCI 492
THTR 3032
VISA 106
WRLD 3702, 3752

Power, Diversity, and Cultures

The notions of equality, universal respect, and justice are the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To fulfill UBC’s commitment of advancing the inclusion of all those who have been excluded historically based on gender, race, religion, sexuality, age, physical ability, or economic circumstances, these notions are at the root of this requirement. The Power, Diversity, and Cultures requirement will ensure that students can reflect upon their experiences to rethink what is normal or acceptable about the lives they live, as well as providing an opportunity for them to question their unexamined assumptions about society.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

ANTH 100, 218
ARTH 3092, 3702, 3752
CULT 100, 1012, 215, 2302, 3402, 3462, 3802, 4802
DIHU 3702, 3752
ENGL 2242, 3792, 3842
GEOG 255
GWST 100, 110, 215
HIST 317
POLI 100
SOCI 121, 429
THTR 3042, 3092, 4112
WRLD 100, 3042, 310, 360, 3702, 3752, 382


This requirement will provide students with the knowledge needed to explore the complexities of sustainability and empower them to make informed decisions and take responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability, and a just society for present and future generations while respecting social and cultural diversity. Sustainability education is holistic and transformational.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

EESC 101
GEOG 129, 201
SOCI 228
SUST 100

1Excluding MATH 125, 126, and 160.

2Check cross-listings.

Progression Requirements

First Year 0–23 credits
Second Year 24–47 credits
Third Year 48–77 credits
Fourth Year 78 or more credits

Page last updated: June 10, 2021

The University of British Columbia

Enrolment Services
University Centre, Room 322
3333 University Way, Kelowna BC, Canada V1V 1V7