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Degree Requirements for students who enter the program in 2024/25 or later

You are reading the 2022/23 Academic Calendar. The 2021/22 version remains in effect until 31 August 2022 and is available here

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

  1. Writing and Research Requirement
  2. Ways of Knowing Breadth Requirement
  3. Outside Requirement
  4. Upper-level Requirement
  5. 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 or ASTU 101 (Coordinated Arts Program), ENGL 100, WRDS 150 or WRDS 350. 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.

Students who do not satisfy the above requirement due to a lack of attempts may have their registration restricted until the Writing Component is complete. Students who fail the Writing Component twice will have their maximum registration credit load reduced until the requirement is successfully completed. 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 major1. 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 317, 407, 408, 417, 418, 428, 431, 449, 452, 478; ARCL 306, 405, 406, 419
Art History ARTH 410, 432, 436, 437, 439, 440, 442, 443, 445, 448, 450, 455, 458, 459, 464, 471, 476, 479, 480
Asian Area Studies ASIA 402, 407, 408, 427, 440, 442, 445, 451, 453, 468, 477, 491, 495, 498, 499, CHIN 482, JAPN 408, 453, 462, KORN 410
Asian Language and Culture ASIA 402, 407, 408, 427, 440, 442, 445, 451, 453, 468, 477, 491, 495, 498, 499, CHIN 482, JAPN 408, 453, 462, KORN 410
Canadian Studies CDST 450
Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies CLST 401, 402, 403, 404, CNRS 410, 449, NEST 400, 401, 402, RELG 414, 415, 448, 475, 485
Cognitive Systems COGS 402
Computer Science CPSC 319, 410, 444, 491; 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, Emplhasis Language ENGL 489
Film Studies FIST 445, 449
First Nations and Endangered Languages FNEL 389, 448, 481, 482
First Nations and Indigenous Studies FNIS 400
First Nations Languages and Linguistics LING 431, 432, 447
French FREN 495
Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Studies GRSJ 422, 480
Geography, Environment and Sustainability GEOG 312, 315, 345, 371, 379, 395, 410, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 447, 448, 450, 453, 495, 498 GEOB 309, 405, 406, 407, 472, 479, URST 400
Geography, Human GEOG 312, 315, 345, 371, 379, 395, 410, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 447, 448, 450, 453, 495, 498 GEOB 309, 405, 406, 407, 472, 479, URST 400
German GERM 403, 404, 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 Any research-intensive approved course for which the student qualifies to register, normally in the student’s primary-category discipline
International Relations HIST 403, ECON 457, POLI 464, or other Faculty Approved Research-Intensive courses approved for IR
Italian/Italian Studies Latin ITAL 495, ITST 495
Latin American Studies LAST 303
Linguistics LING 431, 432, 447, 449
Mathematics MATH 437, 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 418, 426, 431, 432, 440, 450, 452, 455, 469,490, 491
Political Science All POLI courses at the 400-level
Psychology PSYC 217
Religion, Literature and the Arts RGLA 471
Religion, Study of Romance Studies RGST 400, 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, 479, 480, 481
1 In order to consider all research-intensive course options available to them, students completing a second major in a subject falling within the B.F.A. program are advised to consult both the B.A. Research Component table, above, and the B.F.A. Research Component table.

2. Ways of Knowing Breadth Requirements

The Faculty of Arts is a diverse, dynamic, and impactful Faculty, deeply committed to both disciplinary knowledge creation and the complex and interdisciplinary opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. In alignment with our stated values, the Ways of Knowing Breadth Requirements provide students with a flexible and integrated learning experience designed to help them engage with and interrogate how diverse and complex positionalities inform and influence our connections to British Columbia’s unceded Indigenous lands and to one another. They also permit students an opportunity to design their program of study beyond the major, creating an integrated learning experience that aligns with their career and life goals.

Students will complete:

  • 9 credits (in one discipline/course code) from one of the Ways of Knowing breadth area they find most relevant to their goals;
  • 6 credits (in one course code) from another Ways of Knowing breadth area;
  • 3 credits in the remaining Ways of Knowing breadth area;
    and
  • 3 credits of Place and Power (which may also fall in one of the above or the student’s major)

Ways of Knowing comprises 21 credits distributed across two components:

Place and Power

In alignment with UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan and the Faculty of Arts’ values of equity and inclusion, the Place and Power requirement asks students to interrogate settler-colonial structures of marginalization and oppression as they manifest locally and transnationally in the place now known as British Columbia.

Students must complete 3 credits from the approved course list. These credits do not need to be exclusive of the student’s other degree or program requirements and may be met in any of the disciplinary areas, including that of the student’s major. The requirement may be completed at any point in the degree.

Areas of Breadth

Students are required to complete coursework across four areas of study:

Humanities and Creative Arts introduces students to interpretive inquiry and methods of analysis (e.g., textual, auditory/sonic, and visual) that enable them to assess how knowledge, world views, identities, and values are shaped and created within specific contexts and by institutions, ideologies, and media.

Language as Meaning asks students to engage deeply with language study to build a foundation for long-term proficiency and/or mediate between languages in order to strengthen intercultural awareness in personal and professional contexts.

Natural and Physical Sciences introduces students to disciplines that examine or utilize principles underlying the physical or natural world; in addition to understanding the central classifications and processes that animate a particular scientific field, students will gain understanding of the scientific method applied in an exclusively positivist manner.

Social and Behavioural Systems, which draws from social science disciplines, introduces students to methods of analysis (e.g., scientific, interpretive, applied mathematics) that enable them to assess how individuals interact with each other through a host of social, economic, and political systems, as well as how the structure of these interactions impact societies.

The student’s major or Honours program will encompass deep engagement in one of these areas, so no additional credits are required from that area. The Breadth requirements will, therefore, consist of coursework in the three remaining disciplinary areas of study.

Students may choose how many credit hours - nine, six, or three - they spend in each of the three remaining Breadth areas, for a total of 18 credits. Areas are defined by course code. All credits completed within each of the Breadth areas must be taken from the same course code.

Students will take 9 credits in one discipline (i.e., a single course code assigned to one of the three remaining Areas of Breadth); 6 credits in a single course code from another Area of Breadth, and 3 credits in the remaining one. They are encouraged to select disciplines and courses that align with their personal interests, post-graduate goals, and/or recommendations from their major’s program.

3. Outside Requirement

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

  Major2 Honours or Combined Major3 Double Major, Double Honours or Adding a Minor
Outside credits required: 60 48 24
1 All 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).
2 Majors 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.
3 Outside credits must be outside both fields of study.

4. 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 Major/Honours Double Honours
Upper-level credits required: 48 54 60 66 84

5. 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 2, 2022

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