You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

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

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_V 100 or ASTU_V 101 (Coordinated Arts Program), ENGL_V 100, WRDS_V 150 or WRDS_V 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.

Courses taken to satisfy the Writing Component cannot also apply towards the Ways of Knowing Breadth Requirements.   

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 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/ MajorResearch-Intensive Approved Course(s)
Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern StudiesAMNE_V 420, 440, 441, 463, 464, 470, 471, 472, 480, 499
AnthropologyANTH_V 317, 407, 408, 417, 418, 428, 431, 449, 452, 478; ARCL_V 306, 405, 406, 419
Art HistoryARTH_V 410, 432, 436, 437, 439, 440, 442, 443, 445, 448, 450, 455, 458, 459, 464, 471, 476, 479, 480
Asian Area StudiesASIA_V 402, 407, 408, 427, 440, 442, 445, 451, 453, 468, 477, 491, 495, 498, 499, CHIN_V 482, JAPN_V 408, 453, 462, KORN_V 410
Asian Language and CultureASIA_V 402, 407, 408, 427, 440, 442, 445, 451, 453, 468, 477, 491, 495, 498, 499, CHIN_V 482, JAPN_V 408, 453, 462, KORN_V 410
Canadian StudiesCDST_V 450
Cinema StudiesCINE_V 445, 449
Cognitive SystemsCOGS_V 402
Computer ScienceCPSC_V 319, 410, 444, 491; also CPSC_V 448, 449 (with the approval of the Department of Computer Science)
Critical Studies in SexualityCSIS_V 450, GRSJ_V 422, 480
EconomicsECON_V 390, 490, 495, 499
English, Emphasis LiteratureENGL_V 490, 491, 492, 496, 499
English, Emphasis LanguageENGL_V 489
First Nations and Endangered LanguagesFNEL_V 389, 448, 481, 482
First Nations and Indigenous StudiesFNIS_V 400
First Nations Languages and LinguisticsLING_V 431, 432, 447
FrenchFREN_V 495
Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice StudiesGRSJ_V 422, 480
Geography, Environment and SustainabilityGEOG_V 312, 315, 345, 371, 379, 395, 410, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 447, 448, 450, 453, 495, 498 GEOB_V 309, 405, 406, 407, 472, 479, URST_V 400
Geography, HumanGEOG_V 312, 315, 345, 371, 379, 395, 410, 412, 419, 424, 429, 446, 447, 448, 450, 453, 495, 498 GEOB_V 309, 405, 406, 407, 472, 479, URST_V 400
GermanGERM_V 403, 404, 406, 408, 420, 439, 449
HistoryHIST_V 403, 449, 466, 467, 468, 479, 490
History and Philosophy of SciencePHIL_V 491, HIST_V 490
History with International RelationsHIST_V 403, 449, 466, 467, 468
Interdisciplinary StudiesAny research-intensive approved course for which the student qualifies to register, normally in the student’s primary-category discipline
International RelationsHIST_V 403, ECON_V 457, POLI_V 464, or other Faculty Approved Research-Intensive courses approved for IR
Italian/Italian StudiesITAL_V 495, ITST_V 495
Latin American StudiesLAST _V303
LinguisticsLING_V 431, 432, 447, 449
MathematicsMATH_V 437, 441, 444, 445, 448, 462
Medieval StudiesMDVL_V 440, 449, 490
Modern European StudiesCENS_V 404, GERM_V 403, RUSS_V 410
MusicMUSC_V 207, 320, 402, 403, 409, 412, 413, 449, 469
PhilosophyPHIL_V 418, 426, 431, 432, 440, 450, 452, 455, 469, 490, 491
Political ScienceAll POLI_V courses at the 400-level
PsychologyPSYC_V 217
Religion, Study of Romance StudiesRGST_V 400, RMST_V 495
RussianRUSS_V 410
SociologySOCI_V 380, 381, 382, 383, 449
SpanishSPAN_V 411, 495
Speech SciencesLING_V 431, 432, 447, 449
TheatreTHTR_V 417, 439, 445, 449
United States StudiesHIST_V 467 or other Research-Intensive courses, including POLI_V courses at the 400-level, with the approval of the USST Chair
Visual ArtsVISA_V 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 Requirement

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.

A student’s major or Honours program will contain adequate credits to complete at least one of the Ways of Knowing breadth area requirements. To fulfill the remaining requirements, students must complete: 

  • 9 credits (in one course code) from one of the other Ways of Knowing breadth areas 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 and Breadth Areas.

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.

Breadth Areas

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

  • Humanities and Creative Arts
  • Language as Meaning
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Social and Behavioural Systems

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.

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.

Humanities and Creative Arts Course Codes 

  • Asian Canadian Asian Migration Studies (ACAM_V) 
  • African Studies (AFST_V) 
  • Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (AMNE_V) 
  • Art History (ARTH_V) 
  • Asian Studies (ASIA_V) 
  • Asian Studies Crossings (ASIX_V) 
  • Canadian Studies (CDST_V) 
  • Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENS_V) 
  • Cinema Studies (CINE_V) 
  • Creative Writing (CRWR_V) 
  • Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS_V) 
  • English (ENGL_V*) 
  • Film Production (FIPR_V) 
  • First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS_V) 
  • German Studies (GMST_V) 
  • Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ_V) 
  • History (HIST_V) 
  • Italian Studies (ITST_V) 
  • Journalism (JRNL_V) 
  • Latin American Studies (LAST_V) 
  • Media Studies (MDIA_V) 
  • Medieval Studies (MDVL_V) 
  • Middle East Studies (MES_V) 
  • Music (MUSC_V) 
  • Nordic Studies (NORD_V) 
  • Philosophy (PHIL_V) 
  • Study of Religion (RGST_V) 
  • Romance Studies (RMST_V) 
  • Scandinavian (SCAN_V) 
  • Slavic Studies (SLAV_V) 
  • Theatre and Film (THFL_V) 
  • Theatre (THTR_V) 
  • Visual Arts (VISA_V) 
  • Writing Studies (WRDS_V*) 

 *Credits from these course codes can be applied towards this Breadth area with the exception of courses that satisfy the Writing Component (see above).
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.

Language as Meaning Course Codes 

  • Classical Arabic (ARBC_V) 
  • Modern Standard Arabic (ARBM_V) 
  • American Sign Language (ASL_V) 
  • Asian Languages (ASLA_V) 
  • Chinese (CHIN_V) 
  • Cantonese (CNTO_V) 
  • Catalan (CTLN_V) 
  • Danish (DANI_V) 
  • First Nations and Endangered Languages Program (FNEL_V) 
  • French (FREN_V) 
  • German (GERN_V) 
  • Greek (GREK_V) 
  • Hebrew (HEBR_V) 
  • Hindi-Urdu (HINU_V) 
  • Indonesian (INDO_V) 
  • Italian (ITAL_V) 
  • Japanese (JAPN_V) 
  • Korean (KORN_V) 
  • Latin (LATN_V) 
  • Nepali (NEPL_V) 
  • Persian (PERS_V) 
  • Polish (POLS_V) 
  • Portuguese (PORT_V) 
  • Punjabi (PUNJ_V) 
  • Russian (RUSS_V) 
  • Sanskrit (SANS_V) 
  • Southeast Asian Languages (SEAL_V) 
  • South Asian Languages (SOAL_V) 
  • Spanish (SPAN_V) 
  • Swahili (SWAH_V) 
  • Swedish (SWED_V) 
  • Tibetan Languages (TIBT_V) 
  • Ukrainian (UKRN_V) 
  • Yiddish (YDSH_V) 

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.

Natural and Physical Sciences Course Codes 

  • Astronomy (ASTR_V) 
  • Atmospheric Science (ATSC_V) 
  • Biochemistry (BIOC_V) 
  • Biology (BIOL_V) 
  • Biotechnology (BIOT_V) 
  • Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences (CAPS_V) 
  • Chemistry (CHEM_V) 
  • Cognitive Systems (COGS_V) 
  • Computer Science (CPSC_V) 
  • Data Science (DSCI_V) 
  • Engineering Physics (ENPH_V) 
  • Environmental Science (ENVR_V) 
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOSC_V) 
  • Biochemistry and Forensic Science (FSCT_V) 
  • Geographical Sciences (GEOS_V) 
  • Integrated Sciences (ISCI_V) 
  • Marine Science (MRNE_V) 
  • Mathematics (MATH_V) 
  • Microbiology (MICB_V) 
  • Neuroscience (NSCI_V) 
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics (PCTH_V) 
  • Physics (PHYS_V) 
  • Statistics (STAT_V)  

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.

Social and Behavioural Systems Course Codes 

  • Anthropology (ANTH_V) 
  • Anthropological Archaeology (ARCL_V) 
  • Economics (ECON_V) 
  • Environment and Sustainability (ENST_V) 
  • Family Studies (FMST_V) 
  • Geography (GEOG_V) 
  • Information Studies (INFO_V) 
  • Law and Society (LASO_V) 
  • Linguistics (LING_V) 
  • Political Science (POLI_V) 
  • Public Policy and Global Affairs (PPGA_V) 
  • Psychology (PSYC_V) 
  • Sociology (SOCI_V) 
  • Social Work (SOWK_V) 
  • Urban Studies (URST_V)  

3. Outside Requirement

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

 Major2Honours or Combined Major3Double Major, Double Honours or Adding a Minor
Outside credits required:604824
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 IDSTHonoursDouble MajorMajor/HonoursDouble Honours
Upper-level credits required:4854606684

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.


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