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Degree Requirements

All students in the Bachelor of Arts degree program must complete the following seven requirements1:

  1. Writing and Research Requirement
  2. Language Requirement
  3. Science Requirement
  4. Literature Requirement
  5. Outside Requirement
  6. Upper-level Requirement
  7. Arts Credit Minimum Requirement

1See also Credit Requirements and Regulations.

1. Writing and Research Requirement

The Writing and Research requirement has two components:

Writing Component

In order to begin to engage with the scholarly community at UBC and beyond, students must successfully complete 3 credits of instruction on research and writing in the disciplines through one of the following courses: Arts One, ASTU 100 (Coordinated Arts Program), ENGL 100, or WRDS 150. This component must be satisfied prior to the student attaining Year 3 standing.

Students admitted to the Faculty of Arts directly from secondary school should attempt the Writing Component in their first 30 credits, registration permitting, and must ensure it is complete prior to reaching 54 credits. Transfer students who have not already completed the Writing Component must attempt it in their first Winter Session and ensure it is complete by the end of that Session or prior to reaching 54 credits. Should they not meet the above deadlines, students may be restricted from registering in courses other than Writing Component courses until this component of the requirement is satisfied.

The Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement may be attempted twice. Students who fail this component will be required to discontinue from the Faculty. See Continuation Requirements.

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.

Research Component

In order to contribute to the development of knowledge in their chosen field(s) of study, students must also complete a research-intensive experience. Typically, they 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 have prerequisites and are frequently 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 research-intensive courses.

Department/Major Research-Intensive Approved Course(s)
Anthropology ANTH 306, 317, 405, 406, 407, 408, 417, 418, 431, 478
Art History ARTH 432, 436, 437, 439, 440, 442, 443, 445, 448, 455, 458, 459, 464, 476, 480
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, Near Eastern and Religious Studies CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, 449, CNRS 410, NEST 402, RELG 403, 414, 415, 448, 475, 485, 499
Cognitive Systems 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
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 and Indigenous Studies FNIS 400
French FREN 495
Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Studies GRSJ 422, 480
Geography, Environment and Sustainability GEOG 371, 379, 395, 400, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 450, 453, 495, GEOB 472, 479, URST 400
Geography, Human GEOG 371, 379, 395, 400, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 450, 453, 495, 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
Philosophy PHIL 490, 491
Political Science All POLI courses at the 400-level
Psychology PSYC 217
Religion, Literature and the Arts RGLA 471
Romance Studies RMST 495
Russian RUSS 410
Sociology SOCI 380, 381, 382, 383, 449
Spanish SPAN 411, 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

2. Language Requirement

There are three ways to satisfy the Language Requirement:

  1. Prior to admission, and while still in secondary school, complete a language course (excluding English) at a level equivalent to BC Grade 12.
  2. Pass a proficiency test. This option is particularly recommended for students who have knowledge of a language but no secondary school or university transcript to prove competency. No course credit is awarded for passing a proficiency test. Students must consult Arts Academic Advising.
    • If the language is taught at UBC, students may be able to prove competency through examination. Arrangements for such examination must first be sought from the academic department providing instruction in the language. If departmental examination or an acceptable alternative is not available, students should consult Arts Advising.
    • If the language is not taught at UBC, students may be permitted to prove competency through a proficiency examination. Only languages for which the Faculty of Arts can access an appropriate language expert to mark the examination, and in which a newspaper of acceptable circulation and quality is available online, may be considered for proficiency examination. Students must consult Arts Academic Advising.
  3. Reach or exceed the level specified in any of the languages taught at UBC, as listed below. Note that most of these courses have prerequisites. Students with some language background wishing to register in language courses must check with the department teaching the language for placement prior to the beginning of classes. Note that there is no credit assignment to the Language Requirement, only a level of proficiency to be obtained.
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 and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 202 Salish
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 212 Algonquian
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 222 Dene (Athabaskan)
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 232 Tsimshanic
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 242 Wakashan
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 252 Haida
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 262 Ktunaxa (Kootenay)
First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) 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

3. Science Requirement

In order to ensure the development of an understanding and appreciation of scientific methods, applications and reasoning, students must complete 6 credits chosen from any combination of:

  1. All courses taught by the Faculty of Science except: SCIE 113, 300; CHEM 300
  2. Specific courses taught by the Faculty of Arts:
    • ASIC 200
    • all GEOB courses
    • GRSJ 201 (cross-listed with CPSC 101)
    • LING 209
    • PSYC 263, 348, 360, 361, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 448, 460, 461, 462, 463, 465, 466, 467, 469
  3. Specific courses taught by the Faculty of Forestry: FRST 303, 304
  4. Specific courses taught by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems: APBI 244, 260, 311, 327, 328; FNH 200, 250
  5. Specific courses taught by the Faculty of Medicine: CAPS 390, 391

Important Note: Students may not earn credit for two courses with significant and pre-defined content overlap. Students are fully responsible for their registration, and are advised to check the Course Schedule for course equivalencies and to review the Science Credit Exclusion Lists to avoid unnecessary registration. Note that credit exclusion does not imply that courses are interchangeable, and meeting specialization requirements may necessitate the completion of a specific course. Students registering in courses dealing with probability and statistics should exercise particular caution.

4. Literature Requirement

Students must complete 6 credits of literary study, chosen from:

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) 1001
Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies (CENS) 202, 303, 307
Chinese (CHIN) 411, 413, 421, 431, 433, 434, 461, 463, 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, 321
Romance Studies (RMST) 221, 222, 420
Russian (RUSS) 206, 207, 305, 306, 407-412
Sanskrit (SANS) 3002
Scandinavian (SCAN) 333-336, 411-415
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; 3 credits of ARTS 001; or 3 credits of the six-credit version of ASTU 100 toward the Literature Requirement.
2 With the permission of the Department of Asian Studies.

5. Outside Requirement

Students must complete a minimum number of credits outside the field of study of their specialization(s).1

  Major or Combined Major2 Honours Double Major, Double Honours or Adding a Minor
Outside credits required: 60 48 24 (outside both fields of study)

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).
2Majors in Cognitive Systems and Interdisciplinary Studies programs satisfy the outside requirement within the disciplinary breadth of their program and are not required to complete further credits outside their program.

6. Upper-Level Requirement

Students must complete a minimum number of upper-level credits (courses numbered 300 and above). The number of upper-level credits varies according to the degree program option chosen, as summarized in the table below. Note that the addition of a Minor to any degree program does not increase the Upper-Level requirement.

  Major, Combined Major or IDST Honours Double Major or Double Honours    
Upper-level credits required: 48 54 60

7. Arts Credit Minimum Requirement

Arts Credit is defined by subject area. Credit completed in subject areas identified in the UBC Calendar course descriptions as being offered by the Faculty of Arts, as well as transfer credit in those subjects, is considered Arts Credit.

A minimum of 72 of the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Arts degree program must be Arts credit, except when the completion of the student’s specialization(s) requires more than 48 credits outside of Arts. See Credit Requirements and Regulations.

Page last updated: June 11, 2015

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