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Degree Requirements

Bachelors of: Arts, Fine Arts, International Economics, Music

All programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of International Economics (B.I.E.) and Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) require a minimum of 120 credits.

No more than 60 credits completed at other post-secondary institutions can be applied to a degree in the Faculty of Arts at UBC. Note that credit completed through a UBC student exchange program is not included in this 60 credit maximum. For information on UBC's many other international learning opportunities, please contact Go Global.

No more than 60 credits of Distance Learning courses can be applied to a degree in the Faculty of Arts; no more than 42 such credits may be taken in the final 60 credits toward the degree program.

Students who want to complete the final 30 credits of their degree elsewhere must meet with and obtain permission from an Academic Advisor at Arts Academic Advising. At least 30 of the final 60 credits toward the degree must be completed at UBC.

All students in the B.A., B.I.E., and B.F.A. programs must complete the following Faculty of Arts requirements:

Breadth Requirement

  1. Writing and Research Requirement,
  2. Language Requirement,
  3. Science Requirement, and
  4. Literature Requirement.

Credit Requirement

  1. Upper-level Requirement, and
  2. Outside Requirement.

Each requirement is specified in more detail below. Students are encouraged to complete requirements 2, 3, and 4 - and must complete the Writing component of requirement 1 - in their first 60 credits. Students who fail to meet the first-year Writing component of the Writing and Research requirement before completing 60 credits in their degree will not be permitted to register in courses other than those which satisfy the Writing component of the Writing and Research requirement until this component of the requirement is satisfied.

All students in the Bachelor of Music program must complete the Writing and Research requirement, as well as a 3-credit Literature requirement.

Writing and Research Requirement

The Writing and Research requirement has two components:

  1. In their first 60 credits students must successfully complete 3 credits of instruction on writing in the disciplines from the following: WRDS 150, ASTU 100 (Coordinated Arts Program), Arts One, English 100, or an approved equivalent.1, 2
  2. Between 30 credits and graduation students must successfully complete a research-intensive experience. Typically, students will register in a research-intensive course specified for their major. Students are advised that research-intensive courses, normally offered at the 400-level, often will have prerequisites and some will be restricted to majors in the discipline. Students should consult the department in question in planning their program of studies.

    See below for a list of approved courses.

Degree Department/Major Research-Intensive Approved Course(s)
B.A. Anthropology ANTH 306, 317, 405, 406, 407, 408, 417, 418, 431, 478
Archaeology and History of Greece, Rome and the Near East CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, 449, NEST 402
Art History ARTH 432, 436, 439, 440, 442, 443, 448, 455, 458, 459, 464, 476
Asian Area Studies ASIA 408, 440, 451, 453, 468, 476, 477, 478, 498, 499, JAPN 408, 452, KORN 410
Asian Language and Culture ASIA 408, 440, 451, 453, 468, 476, 477, 478, 498, 499 JAPN 408, 452, KORN 410
Canadian Studies CDST 450
Classical Studies CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, 449
Classics CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, 449
Cognitive Systems, Cognition and the Brain COGS 402
Cognitive Systems, Language COGS 402
Cognitive Systems, Mind, Language, and Computation COGS 402
Computer Science CPSC 319, 444; also CPSC 448, 449 (with the approval of the Department of Computer Science)
Critical Studies in Sexuality CSIS 450, GRSJ 422, 480
Drama THTR 445
Economics ECON 390, 490, 495, 499
English, Emphasis Literature ENGL 490, 491, 492, 496, 499
English, Emphasis Language ENGL 489
Film Studies FIST 445, 449
First Nations Languages and Linguistics LING 431, 432, 447
First Nations Studies FNSP 400
French FREN 495
Geography, Environment and Sustainability GEOG 371, 395, 400, 412, 419, 424, 429, 439, 446, 450, 453, 459, 469, 489, 495, 499, GEOB 472, 479, URST 400
Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Studies GRSJ 422, 480
Geography, Human GEOG 371, 395, 400, 412, 419, 424, 429, 439, 446, 450, 453, 459, 469, 489, 495, 499, GEOB 472, 479, URST 400
German GERM 403, 406, 408, 420, 439, 449
History HIST 403, 449, 466, 467, 468, 479, 490
History and Philosophy of Science PHIL 491, HIST 490
History with International Relations HIST 403, 449, 466, 467, 468
Interdisciplinary Studies A research-intensive course in the student’s primary-category discipline with the approval of the IDST Chair
International Relations HIST 403, ECON 457, all POLI courses at the 400-level
Italian/Italian Studies ITAL 495, ITST 495
Latin American Studies LAST 303
Linguistics LING 431, 432, 447, 449
Mathematics MATH 441, 444, 445, 448, 462
Medieval Studies MDVL 440, 449, 490
Modern European Studies CENS 404, GERM 403, RUSS 410
Music MUSC 207, 320, 402, 403, 409, 412, 413, 449, 469
Myth and Literature in Greece, Rome and the Near East CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, 449
Near Eastern Studies CLST 449, NEST 402, RELG 403, 414, 448, 475, 485
Philosophy PHIL 490, 491
Political Science All POLI courses at the 400-level
Psychology PSYC 217
Religion, Literature and the Arts RGLA 471
Religious Studies RELG 403, 414, 415, 448, 475, 485, 499
Romance Studies RMST 495
Russian RUSS 410
Sociology SOCI 380, 381, 382, 383, 449
Spanish SPAN 495
Speech Sciences LING 431, 432, 447, 449
Theatre THTR 417, 439, 445, 449
United States Studies HIST 467 or other Research-Intensive courses, including POLI courses at the 400-level, with the approval of the USST Chair
Visual Arts VISA 401, 410, 411, 430, 431, 440, 441, 450, 451, 470, 471, 480, 481
B.F.A. Creative Writing all CRWR courses at the 400-level
Film Production FIPR 333, 335, 337, 338, 339, 399, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 469
Visual Arts VISA 401, 410, 411, 430, 431, 440, 441, 450, 451, 470, 471, 480, 481
Theatre Acting THTR 391, 417, 439, 491
Theatre Design and Production THTR 399, 405, 406, 407, 408, 417, 439, 448, 454, 456, 499
B.I.E. International Economics ECON 494

The following notes apply:

  1. Students admitted to the Faculty of Arts directly from secondary school must attempt the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement in their first 30 credits. Transfer students admitted to the Faculty of Arts who have not already completed the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement must attempt it during their first Winter Session at UBC. Transfer students admitted to third year standing must complete the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement in their first Winter Session.
  2. Students who have completed a college or university-level writing course similar in rigour, content, and learning objectives to an approved Writing Component course may appeal to apply their transfer credits towards the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement. For further information students should consult Arts Advising.
  3. The Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement may be attempted twice. Students who fail this component will be required to withdraw from the Faculty. See Arts Continuation Requirements.
  4. B.A., B.F.A., and B.Mus. students admitted to their programs prior to the 2009 Winter Session may complete the First Year English requirement in lieu of the Writing and Research requirement. Please see the archived 2008/09 Degree Requirements.

Language Requirement

In order to fulfil the language requirement, students must:

  1. have successfully completed a Grade 12 course in an approved language other than English while in secondary school, or
  2. write an examination, if they have knowledge of an approved language, but no secondary school or university transcript to prove it, or
  3. reach the language level taught in any of the following courses:1,2

Subject Course
Arabic (ARBC) 400 or 202
Asian Languages (ASLA) 400
Chinese (CHIN) 117 or 118 (heritage students); 107 or 108 (non-heritage students)
Danish (DANI) 210
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 202 Salish
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 212 Algonquian
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 222 Dene (Athabaskan)
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 232 Tsimshanic
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 242 Wakashan
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 252 Haida
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 262 Ktunaxa (Kootenay)
First Nations Languages (FNLG) 292 Other indigenous languages
French (FREN) 112
German (GERM) 210
Greek (GREK) 200 or 202
Hebrew (HEBR) 405 or 202
Hindi-Urdu (HINU) 200 or 202
Indonesian (INDO) 200 or 202
Italian (ITAL) 202 or 203
Japanese (JAPN) 103 or 151
Korean (KORN) 200 or 202
Latin (LATN) 200 or 202
Polish (POLS) 300
Portuguese (PORT) 202
Punjabi (PUNJ) 200 or 202
Russian (RUSS) 200
Sanskrit (SANS) 200 or 202
Spanish (SPAN) 112 or 202 (previously 105 and 110)
Swedish (SWED) 210
Ukrainian (UKRN) 225

1 Important note: Most of these courses have prerequisites. See Course Schedule.

2 There is no credit assignment to the Faculty of Arts Language Requirement. Students must successfully complete the course-level listed in the chart above in order to have satisfied the requirement.

Students with secondary-school or native language background wishing to register in any of the above languages must check with the departments to see whether they are required to write a placement test before the beginning of classes.

Students may satisfy the language requirement in any of the above languages by proving the appropriate competency through examination. Arrangements for such examination must be made through the academic department providing instruction in the language. No course credit will be awarded for satisfaction of the language requirement in this manner.

Students who wish to present a language other than those identified above to satisfy the language requirement may be permitted to do so through a challenge examination, where appropriate expertise to test the student's competency in the language is available. Arrangements for such examination must be made through Arts Academic Advising. No course credit will be awarded for satisfaction of the language requirement in this manner.

Science Requirement

It is important that students understand and appreciate scientific methods, applications and reasoning.

The requirement can be met by successful completion of 6 credits chosen from:

  1. Courses within the Faculty of Science
  2. These courses in the Faculty of Arts:
    1. ASIC 200
    2. GEOB 102, 103, or any other GEOB courses
    3. LING 209
    4. PSYC science courses (263, 348, 360, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 448, 460, 461, 462, 463, 465, 466, 467, 469)
    5. GRSJ 201 (cross-listed with CPSC 101)
  3. These courses in the Faculty of Forestry: FRST 303, 304
  4. These courses in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems: APBI 244, 260, 311, 327, 328; FNH 200, 250.
  5. These courses in the Faculty of Medicine: ANAT 390, 391; CAPS 390, 391.

Students may take any combination of the courses listed above adding up to 6 credits to satisfy the Science Requirement.

Important Note: The Faculty of Science offers several courses with overlapping content. Students may not earn credits for two courses with significant overlap. Students are advised to review the Science Credit Exclusion Lists to avoid registering in overlapping courses.

Literature Requirement

Students must successfully complete 6 credits of literary study, with the exception of BMus students who must complete 3 credits.

Courses in composition and writing such as ASTU 150, ENGL 100, 301, 303, 304 and CRWR 202, 301, as well as courses intended to develop fluency in reading newspapers etc., in languages other than English (e.g., CHIN 401, 402, GERM 430, JAPN 315, 416, 417) do not satisfy this requirement. With these restrictions, eligible courses are:

Subject Course
African Studies (AFST) 351
Arabic (ARBC) 400, 420
ARTS 0011
Asian Studies (ASIA) 212, 213, 308, 324 - 326, 334, 341, 342, 347-352, 357-360, 361, 363, 364, 368, 392, 398, 441, 444, 447, 452, 451, 453, 454, 455, 457, 460, 464
Arts Studies (ASTU) 100A1
Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies (CENS) 202, 303
Chinese (CHIN) 411, 413, 421, 431, 433, 434, 471, 473, 481, 483, 484
Classical Studies (CLST) 310, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 402
English (ENGL) Only ONE of 1101, 1111, 1201, 1211 can be used toward fulfilling the 6-credit Literature Requirement.

All 200-, 300- and 400-level courses, except 229, 301-340, 352, 399, 409, 412
French (FREN) 220, 221, 280, 320, 321, 328, 329, 330, 348, 349, and all 400-level courses except 427, 457-475, 499
French, Hispanic & Italian Studies (FHIS) 333
Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice Studies (GRSJ) 224
German (GERM) 301, 302, 303 - 305, 360, 370, 380, 390, 401, 402, 405-407
Greek (GREK) 301, 351, 352, 401, 402
Hebrew (HEBR) 479
Hindi-Urdu (HINU) 400
Italian (ITAL) 303, 304, 403-409, 420
Italian Studies (ITST) 231, 232, 333, 345, 385, 413-419, 421
Japanese (JAPN) 311, 312, 342, 401, 402, 406, 408
Korean (KORN) 410
Latin (LATN) 301, 350, 351, 401, 402
Medieval Studies (MDVL) 301, 302
Philosophy (PHIL) 375
Polish (POLS) 345, 424
Portuguese (PORT) 392
Punjabi (PUNJ) 300, 301, 302, 401, 402
Religious studies (RELG) 201, 203, 311, 320
Romance Studies (RMST) 221, 222, 420
Russian (RUSS) 206, 207, 305, 306, 407-412
Sanskrit (SANS) 3002
Scandinavian (SCAN) 333-336, 411-413
Slavic Studies (SLAV) 307
South Asian Languages (SOAL) 4402
Spanish (SPAN) 221, 222, 312, 357, 358, 364, 365, 406, 410, 420, 430, 470, 490
Theatre (THTR) 210, 211, 245, 310, 311, 410
1 Students may count one of ENGL 110, 111, 120 or 121 or 3 credits of ASTU 100A or 3 credits of ARTS 001 toward their fulfillment of the 6-credit Literature Requirement. Credits for ASTU 100A or ARTS 001 may be split between the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement and the Literature Requirement. ENGL credits applied toward the First-Year English Requirement may not also be applied toward the Literature Requirement.
2 With the permission of the Department of Asian Studies.

Upper-Level Requirement

In order to fulfil the upper-level requirement, students must successfully complete a minimum of 481 upper-level credits. Courses coded 300 and above are deemed upper-level credits.

1NOTE: Depending on the student's chosen program, the specific number of upper-level credits will vary. The following table summarizes the minimum number of upper-level credits required for various programs:

Summary of Upper-level Credits for Program Requirements for the B.A.
  Major Major + Minor Double Major Honours Combined Major
of which courses 300+ 48 48 60 54 48

Outside Requirement

Students completing a single major program must successfully complete 60 credits from outside of their major program. Students completing a single honours program must successfully complete 48 credits from outside of their honours program. Students completing a double program, such as a double major or a major/minor, must successfully complete 24 credits from outside of either program. Majors in Cognitive Systems satisfy the outside requirement within the disciplinary breadth of their program and are not required to complete further credits outside their program.

Page last updated: May 29, 2014

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