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Degree Program Options

After completing between 27 and 54 credits at UBC (or the equivalent elsewhere), students must enter one of the programs listed below by selecting or applying for one or more specializations. The number of credits required for admission and the admission process is determined by each Department. Students should note that they may self-declare some specializations via the Student Service Centre (SSC) while others permit admission only through a competitive application process.

Students may change their program without penalty throughout their degree, but must complete at least one Major or Honours program (single or combined) or complete an Interdisciplinary Studies program in order to be eligible for graduation. A maximum of two specializations is permitted. Students are responsible for ensuring they meet all degree and program requirements.

  • Major program: This program involves specialization in a single field of study while retaining ample elective space for broader exploration.
  • Combined Major program: This program combines courses from two distinct fields of study into a single major. Students are introduced to the core methodologies of these two complementary disciplines and encouraged to work across boundaries to develop substantive knowledge in each field.
  • Double Major program: This program involves specialization in two fields of study. It is an ambitious program allowing a dual focus, but with few electives outside the subjects of the Majors. More than 120 credits may be required to complete this program.
  • Honours program: This program involves intense specialization in a single field of study and is open only to students who have shown special aptitude. Entry requires high academic standing. Departments may also specify stringent continuation and graduation requirements.
  • Double Honours program: This program involves intense specialization in two fields of study and is open only to students who have shown special aptitude. Entry requires high academic standing. Departments may also specify stringent continuation and graduation requirements. More than 120 credits will be required to complete this program.
  • Combined Mathematics Honours program: This program combines intense specialization in two fields of study, at least one of which must be Mathematics, into a single Honours. Not all disciplines may be combined. Entry requires high academic standing.
  • Minor program: This program can be added to a Major, Combined Major or Honours program, allowing a dual focus with a smaller concentration complementing the primary program.

Students are also invited to consider the following programs:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies program: This program permits independent, capable students a multidisciplinary alternative to the traditional, department-based Major. Within the requirements of the program, and with the approval of the Chair, admitted students select courses that provide a broad liberal education, encompassing several disciplines with a limited concentration in one discipline. The program may not be combined with a specialization. See Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Double Major in Arts and Fine Arts: This program allows students to complete both an Arts Major or Honours and a Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Major or Honours within their B.A. degree. Students are advised to meet with an Arts Academic Advisor as early as possible to discuss program planning. They are further advised that all Fine Arts Major and Honours specializations require a separate application process, including an audition or portfolio, as necessary. Students should read the application information available on the website of the B.F.A. program of their choice and/or meet with the Departmental Advisor as early as possible. Students who successfully complete both specializations may choose to graduate with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, provided they also satisfy the degree requirements for the degree of their choice. See B.A. Degree Requirements and B.F.A. Degree Requirements.
  • Double Major in Arts and Science: This program allows students to complete both an Arts Major or Honours and a Science Major within their B.A. degree. Students are advised to meet with an Arts Academic Advisor as early as possible to discuss program planning. They are further advised that many Science Majors require a separate application process, usually in second year; students should consult the website and/or meet with the Departmental Advisor in the Science program of their choice as early as possible. See the Arts Undergraduates website.
  • Dual Degree Program Options: These ambitious program options offer qualified students the opportunity to earn, in one extended program of study, a Bachelor of Arts degree and one of a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science, or a Master of Management from UBC, or a Bachelor of Arts from Sciences Po (France). A formal application is required for admission; note that admission to the Dual Degree Program Option with Sciences Po is only available to those applying for direct admission from secondary school. Students should consult Arts Academic Advising as well as the Dual Degree Program Option in Arts and Science, the Dual Degree Program Option in Arts and Applied Science, the Dual Degree Program Option: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Management, or the Dual Degree Program Option: Bachelor of Arts, UBC and Sciences Po.

Major Program

Completion of a Major requires at least 42 credits in one field of study. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 30 credits for the Major must be in courses numbered 300 and higher; and
  • a minimum of 48 credits for the degree must be in courses numbered 300 and higher (these can include credits for the Major); and
  • a minimum of 60 credits for the degree must be outside of the Major.1

Combined Major Program

Completion of a Combined Major requires at least 60 credits from the two fields of study involved in the program. Students may not also complete a second specialization in either of these two fields of study. Students may apply to pursue one of the following combinations:

The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 30 credits for the Combined Major must come from each of the two fields of study involved; and
  • a minimum of 36 credits for the Combined Major, including at least 18 from each of the two fields of study, must be in courses numbered 300 or above; and
  • a minimum of 48 credits for the degree must be in courses numbered 300 and higher (these can include credits for the Combined Major); and
  • a minimum of 48 credits for the degree must be outside the Combined Major.1

Double Major Program

Completion of a Double Major requires at least 42 credits in each of the two fields of study. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 30 credits for each Major must be in courses numbered 300 or higher;2 and
  • a minimum of 60 credits for the degree must be in courses numbered 300 and higher (normally completed by satisfying the 30 upper-level credit requirement in each Major2); and
  • a minimum of 24 credits for the degree must be outside both Majors.1

Honours Program

Completion of Honours requires at least 60 credits in one field of study. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 48 credits for Honours must be in courses numbered 300 or higher; and
  • a minimum of 54 credits for the degree must be in courses numbered 300 or higher; and
  • a minimum of 48 credits must be outside Honours.1,3

Double Honours Program

Completion of a Double Honours requires at least 60 credits in each of the two fields of study, so will normally require more than 120 total credits for the degree. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 48 credits for each Honours must be in courses numbered 300 or higher;4
  • a minimum of 24 credits for the degree must be outside both Honours.1

Combined Mathematics Honours Program

Students admitted to an Honours program in Mathematics may be permitted to combine two fields of study into a single Honours, following the regulations of the Faculty of Science for such programs. See Mathematics. Written approval must be obtained in advance from both departments and provided to Arts Academic Advising. Combined Mathematics Honours programs are not available in all disciplines, and invariably require the completion of more than 120 credits. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 54 credits for the degree must be in courses numbered 300 or higher; and
  • a minimum of 24 credits for the degree must be outside both Honours.1

Addition of a Minor Program

Students completing a single specialization (Major, Combined Major, or Honours) may also choose to complete a Minor. Completion of a Minor requires between 18 and 36 credits in addition to the requirements for the primary specialization. The following requirements must also be met:

  • a minimum of 18 credits for the Minor must be in courses numbered 300 or higher5; and
  • a minimum of 24 credits must be outside both specializations.1

1All courses normally accepted or designated as applicable towards a specialization in a field of study, including cross-listed courses, are deemed to be within that field of study. This remains true even when the course credit is not actually applied to that specialization (i.e. is taken as elective credit).
2A maximum of 9 credits from courses numbered 300 and higher may be double-counted between the two Majors. Regardless of double-counting, students must complete 60 upper-level credits for the degree. See Credit Requirements and Regulations.
3For Honours specializations that exceed 60 credits, the Outside requirement will be reduced to accommodate the degree within 120 total credits.
4A maximum of 12 credits from courses numbered 300 and higher may be double-counted between the two Honours. Regardless of double-counting, students must complete at least 60 upper-level credits for the degree. See Credit Requirements and Regulations.
5A maximum of 6 credits from courses numbered 300 and higher may be double-counted between a Major and a Minor or between a Combined Major and a Minor. A maximum of 9 credits from courses numbered 300 and higher may be double-counted between Honours and a Minor. Regardless of double-counting, students must complete the total number of upper-level credits required for the degree. See Credit Requirements and Regulations.

Page last updated: April 13, 2017

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