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Degree Requirements

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

  1. Writing and Research Requirement
  2. Outside Requirement
  3. Upper-level Requirement
  4. 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. 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.

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)
Creative Writingall CRWR courses at the 400-level except 430
Film ProductionFIPR 333, 335, 337, 338, 339, 399, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 469
Theatre ActingTHTR 391, 417, 439, 491
Theatre Design and ProductionTHTR 399, 405, 406, 407, 408, 417, 439, 448, 454, 456, 499
Visual ArtsVISA 401, 410, 411, 430, 431, 440, 441, 450, 451, 470, 471, 479, 480, 481

1In order to consider all research-intensive course options available to them, students completing a second major in a subject falling within the B.A. program are advised to consult both the B.F.A. Research Component table, above, and the B.A. Research Component table.

2. Outside Requirement

B.F.A. students completing a single Major or Honours program must complete a minimum of 30 credits outside their B.F.A. specialization.1 These 30 credits may include credits necessary for the completion of a Minor, should the student choose to add one.


B.F.A. students completing two Majors, two Honours, or a Major/Honours combination of programs within their degree are not required to complete elective credits outside their specializations. Instead, the breadth achieved through the combination of programs is deemed to satisfy the Outside Requirement.

Students in the B.F.A. degree program are expected to use their Outside credits to self-specialize in well-considered areas outside their major; consultation with an Advisor in the selection of courses in these areas is encouraged. Sub-specialization in some programs may require the completion of credits taken outside the Faculty of Arts.

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).

3. 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.

 MajorHonoursDouble MajorMajor/HonoursDouble Honours
Upper-level credits required:4854606684

4. 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 Fine 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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