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


Every student is responsible for designing a program of study that meets degree and departmental requirements, and is encouraged to consult appropriate Academic Advising staff for assistance with course and program planning. The student retains all responsibility for meeting requirements.

General Regulations

Students are encouraged to register on their assigned date of registration, noting that admission to a degree program or specialization does not guarantee space will be available in any specific course or section, and that not all courses are offered each year. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they meet course pre-requisites, co-requisites and other registration restrictions or requirements. Students are encouraged to consult departmental advising offices for information about posted registration restrictions.

Students are responsible for their registration, and are expected to verify the courses and sections in which they are registered. Students may not attend courses, or sections of courses, other than those in which they are registered. Registration in conflicting course activities is not permitted. Those who register on waiting lists must check their registration to determine whether they have been placed in the course by the department, noting that such changes in registration may occur after classes start.

Program Planning

Students planning their 100- and 200-level courses should be aware that most specializations have lower-level requirements, and many upper-level courses have lower-level prerequisites. Students are advised to select their first 60 credits with their entire program in mind.

Students in their first 30 credits of university-level study are encouraged to register primarily in 100-level Arts courses. Students granted advanced credit may register in courses for which this credit serves as a prerequisite, but are advised to register primarily in lower-level courses while completing their first year of university-level study.

Students in their second 30 credits of university-level study are encouraged to register primarily at the 100- and 200-level, and to begin focusing on their intended specialization(s). While students may register in any course for which they meet the pre-requisites, they should be mindful that upper-level courses are generally designed for students already well-prepared for advanced study in the subject area.

Students in their upper years of study may register in any course for which they meet course pre-requisites, co-requisites or other registration restrictions or requirements. Some courses do not permit 4th year students to register. Students are encouraged to ensure that they register in courses necessary for their specialization(s) and degree requirements.

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.

Students seeking entry into language courses beyond the introductory level and in need of advising on which course to choose should consult the department teaching the language.

Credit Load

By completing a full course load of 30 credits each Winter Session, a Bachelor of Arts degree may be earned in four years of study, although students may choose to complete their degree requirements over either a shorter or longer time period. Students who wish to register for more than 30 credits (32 credits for first-year students) in any Winter Session or more than 12 credits in any Summer Session must first obtain permission from Arts Academic Advising. Such authorization is normally given only to students with demonstrated high academic standing in a sufficient number of UBC credits completed in the most recent Term or Session. See the Arts Undergraduate website.

Note that credit load impacts eligibility for student loans, sponsorship, housing, varsity sport, and recognition on the Dean’s List, as well as eligibility to both receive and retain awards and scholarships. Students are strongly advised to consult the Arts Undergraduate website and to seek advising from the appropriate department or unit when selecting or modifying their course load.

Registration and the Writing Component

In their first 54 credits, Bachelor of Arts students must successfully complete the Writing Component of the Writing and Research requirement, which comprises 3 credits of instruction on research and writing in the disciplines. Transfer students with 54 or more transfer credits who have not already completed the Writing Component must attempt it during their first Winter Session in the Faculty of Arts.

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. Those who attempt and fail the Writing Component twice will have their registration restricted to no more than three courses (normally 9 credits) per Winter Session Term, and no more than 9 credits distributed across both Terms of Summer Session (with no more than 6 credits per Term), until they successfully complete the requirement.

Students who completed and transferred credit from a college or university-level 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.

Registration in Graduate Courses

Outstanding undergraduate students may apply to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for permission to register in a maximum of three courses, or 9 credits, at the 500-level. Students must receive the permission of the course instructor, Arts Academic Advising, and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Normally such permission will be given only to students who have completed 75% of their 300- and 400-level requirements (no fewer than 36 credits at the upper-level) with a minimum overall average of 76%.

Change of Registration

In the Winter Session, students can add one-term courses within two weeks of the course commencing; two-term courses can be added within three weeks of the course commencing. Students who add courses past the first day of class are not entitled to academic concession for missed content or assessments or for increased academic load, and should anticipate that they will be responsible for covering missed content. Normal drop and withdrawal deadlines apply, regardless of when the course was added.

In the Winter Session, students can drop one-term courses within two weeks of the course commencing; two-term courses can be dropped within three weeks of the course commencing. Dropping courses prior to the drop deadline will result in all record of registration in the course(s) being removed from the student's transcript.

Thereafter, students may withdraw from a one-term course up to the end of the eighth week of classes, and up to the end of the twelfth week of classes for a two-term course. A ‘W’, indicating withdrawn standing, will display alongside the course on the student’s transcript, but is not included in the calculation of averages. See Refund of Tuition Fees for the fee refund schedule.

Course change dates vary in the Summer Session depending on start and end date and the length of the course. Consult the Summer Session course schedule in Workday for individual course information, and Refund of Tuition Fees for the fee refund schedule.

Up until the final withdrawal deadline, students can withdraw from courses online using Workday. After these dates, students are not normally permitted to withdraw from courses but can apply for Academic Concession.

Students are responsible for their registration, and are strongly advised to verify it each term prior to the deadlines for change of registration. Failing to successfully complete an intended change of registration by the posted deadline does not constitute grounds for academic concession.

Students who cease to attend or otherwise fail to complete exams, assignments, or other course requirements, and who have not received approval for a late withdrawal, will receive a grade reflecting requirements completed in the course. See also Change of Registration and Withdrawal.

Repeating a Course for Higher Standing

Students who have passed a course are permitted to repeat it once for a higher standing.1 They should be aware that credit will not be awarded for passing the course a second time and that the previous grade will not be replaced.

1EXCEPTION: As outlined by the Academic Regulations of the Faculty of Science, a student who has passed a Science course will be permitted neither to repeat that course for higher standing nor to complete an equivalent course, as noted on the Science Credit Exclusion Lists.

Repeating Failed Courses

Students may repeat a failed course only once. This restriction does not apply to courses required to satisfy the Bachelor of Arts Language Requirement, to PSYC_V 217 and 218, to MATH_V 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 110, 180 and 184, any of which may be repeated twice, or to the Writing Component courses ENGL_V 100 and WRDS_V 150, either of which may be repeated until passed.

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