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Degree Requirements for students entering the program in 2021/2022 or later


To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, students must complete a minimum of 120 credits of which at least 48 credits must be at the 300/400 level. Of those 48 credits, at least 30 credits must be completed at UBC. All baccalaureate courses delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies are deemed for this purpose to be Arts courses.

Students in the Bachelor of Arts degree program must complete the following requirements:

1. Foundational Requirement (21 credits): See below for the list of approved foundational requirement courses.

  • Communication (12 credits)
  • Critical Thinking (3 credits)
  • Indigenous Content (3 credits)
  • Scientific Literacy or Numeracy (3 credits)

Courses used to satisfy the foundational requirement may also be used to satisfy a program requirement; however, a single course may not be used to satisfy more than one foundational requirement category. Note that a course may not be used to satisfy both the foundational and distribution requirement.

2. Distribution requirement (12 credits): See below for the list of approved distribution requirement courses.

  • Creativity (3 credits)
  • Digital Literacy (3 credits)
  • Power, Diversity, and Cultures (3 credits)
  • Sustainability (3 credits)

Courses used to satisfy the distribution requirement must be in at least two different disciplines. Courses used to satisfy program requirements can also satisfy distribution requirements; however, a single course may not be used to satisfy more than one distribution requirement.

3. Program Requirement (min. 48 credits): See major program pages for the list of required courses.

  • Courses required to complete a B.A major.
  • In addition, a student may choose to complete a minor, double major, combined major, or honours program. See Program Requirements for details.

4. Elective Requirement (credit count varies):

  • Remaining credits to complete the B.A. degree requirements are dependent on the Program Requirement.
  • Students can fulfill the Elective Requirement by successfully completing any credit course at UBC that has not been used to satisfy a foundational, distribution or program requirement.

A minimum graduating grade average (GGA) of 60% is required to be eligible for graduation with the B.A. degree.

Foundational Requirement

The Foundational Requirement provides the essential skills and knowledge that every student requires to progress successfully across the curriculum. Together, the four areas within this requirement serve to build the competencies that graduates require to become lifelong learners and engaged citizens.


Writing proficiency and other communication skills are fundamental to an undergraduate education. This requirement provides students with an opportunity to acquire and develop these skills, which are not only valuable in an academic context but will also assist students in their career paths. The study of additional languages helps to develop competence in structured thought and logic, problem solving, and critical thinking as well as promote a sense of global citizenship by increasing intercultural understanding and competence.
Students must complete:

6 credits of writing proficiency/ composition including: 

3 credits chosen from:

DIHU 1551
ENGL 1092, 112, 114, 150, 151, 153, 154, 1551, 156

3 credits chosen from:

CORH 203, 204, 205, 206, 210, 216, 304, 321, 331
CULT 2301, CULT 2501
DIHU 220
ENGL 203, 212, 213, 222, 2241, 226, 231, 233, 234, 239, 270, 294B, 297
GWST 240 

6 credits of language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement from:

ANTH 170, 270, 277, 370, 377
CHIN 100, 101
ENGL 340
FREN 101, 102, 103, 104, 122, 123, 215, 222, 223, 344, 345
GERM 100, 110, 200, 210
JPST 100, 101, 200, 201
KORN 100, 101
LATN 300
SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302
WRLD 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 382

1Check cross-listings.
2Although a six-credit course, ENGL 109 satisfies only 3 credits of the Communication requirement. All six credits, however, count towards the completion of the B.A. degree’s 120 credits.

  • Some students may satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement by successfully completing both Nsyilxcen I and II (NSYL 110 and NSYL 111, or INLG 160 and INLG 260) (Okanagan Language), offered through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology at the En'owkin Centre or the UBC Okanagan campus or by completing the equivalent of 6 credits of any other Indigenous language through an accredited educational institution.
  • Students who are fluent in and can demonstrate competency through examination in another language may use additional English or communication courses to satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement upon approval from the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.
  • Students whose first language is not English may use additional English or communication courses to satisfy the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement upon presentation of an official transcript indicating completion of secondary school in their first language.
  • American Sign Language: all four levels of the American Sign Language Basic Certificate offered through an accredited institution will be deemed to have satisfied the language acquisition or language/linguistic appreciation requirement. UBC Vancouver ASL 100 and 101, or their equivalent as per the BC Transfer Guide, count as credit courses towards the B.A. degree.
  • Students cannot take language acquisition courses (CHIN, FREN, GERM, JPST, KORN, SPAN) out of sequence and should consult an advisor to ensure that they are enrolling in a level-appropriate language acquisition course.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking; it is at the root of a democratic society. This requirement provides students with the skills they need to separate facts from opinions, to examine issues from all sides, and to think independently. Critical thinking is essential to make connections across disciplines and understand content on a deeper level. It therefore enhances overall academic performance.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

CULT 100, 101, 215 
HIST 145 
PHIL 120, 121, 240 
POLI 223 
PSYO 270 
SOCI 209 

Indigenous Content

In its commitment to think beyond the inherited thought processes replicating colonial assumptions of past practices and honour the knowledge, political, and social systems of Indigenous communities, UBC Okanagan requires that students develop a competence in understanding Indigenous ways of knowing.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

INDG 100 
ENGL 114 
CORH 206 

Scientific Literacy or Numeracy

Along with the Critical Thinking requirement, the Scientific Literacy or Numeracy requirement ensures graduates develop a habit of mind that enables them to think critically and independently while providing them with the mathematical or scientific concepts needed to navigate their workplace and life in general.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

All 1st-year ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or MATH1 
DATA 101, 3012 
COSC 3012 
EESC 101, 104, 106, 111, 121 
ECON 101, 102 
GEOG 108, 109 
PSYO 271 
SOCI 271, 291 
STAT 121, 124, 230 

1Excluding MATH 125, 126, and 160.
2Check cross-listings.

Distribution Requirement

Distribution requirement courses fulfill the need to graduate students who are well-rounded, informed, and engaged citizens. This requirement exposes students to different ways of thinking and experiences in areas outside their specialization. Courses in this requirement are accessible to students who have not acquired the specialized knowledge typically possessed by students majoring in a discipline.

In addition to the specific learning outcomes identified in the distribution areas, any course satisfying the Distribution Requirement should substantially fulfill at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Demonstrates the ways in which the discipline understands, obtains, and categorizes its knowledge, along with defining the problems addressed by the discipline and the methods by which it solves or answers those problems;
  2. Surveys the historical development of the discipline and the shape of its current practices; or,
  3. Surveys the central ideas, theories, and debates central to the discipline.


Learning to think creatively requires many different skills, such as the ability to see objects and ideas in new ways. This requirement aims to develop the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and to experience thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way, characterized by a high-degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk-taking. Creativity is not only essential for the innovation process, but it is also an observable and valuable component of the social and economic enterprise that becomes a force of great value when it is applied to causes that benefit humankind and the world at large.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

COSC 123 
CRWR 150, 160, 205, 210, 219, 310, 472 
FILM 1031 
PSYO 317 
THTR 101, 102, 1031, 104, 201, 202, 212, 280, 3131, 412 
VISA 102, 104, 106, 110, 137, 290A 
WRLD 3131 

1Check cross-listings.

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy includes the broader capacity to participate in, and reflect upon, the use of digital communication technology in various spheres (education, work, leisure, etc.). The fulfillment of this requirement will enable students to build meaningful knowledge through the interaction with digital resources and understand human, as well as, cultural and societal issues related to the use of technology.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

ARTH 3701, 3751, 4111 
COSC 122 
CULT 2201, 3121, 3151, 3161, 3171 
DIHU 1551, 2201, 3011, 3021, 3121, 3701, 3751, 4071, 4111 
ENGL 1551, 3051, 3061, 4071 
FILM 100, 1031, 3031, 3711 
GEOG 257 
HIST 497 
MDST 110, 120, 210, 220 
SOCI 492 
THTR 3031 
VISA 106 
WRLD 3701, 3751 

1Check cross-listings.

Power, Diversity, and Cultures

The notions of equality, universal respect, and justice are the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To fulfill UBC’s commitment of advancing the inclusion of all those who have been excluded historically based on gender, race, religion, sexuality, age, physical ability, or economic circumstances, these notions are at the root of this requirement. The Power, Diversity, and Cultures requirement will ensure that students can reflect upon their experiences to rethink what is normal or acceptable about the lives they live, as well as providing an opportunity for them to question their unexamined assumptions about society.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

ANTH 100, 218, 227 
ARTH 3091, 3701, 3751 
CULT 100, 101, 215, 2301, 3401, 3461, 3801, 4801 
DIHU 3701, 3751 
ENGL 2241, 3791, 3841 
GEOG 255 
GWST 100, 110, 215 
HIST 317 
POLI 100, 220, 314 
SOCI 121, 429 
THTR 3041, 3091, 4111 
WRLD 100, 3041, 310, 330, 331, 332, 340 360, 3701, 3751, 382, 388, 480, 482 

1Check cross-listings.


This requirement will provide students with the knowledge needed to explore the complexities of sustainability and empower them to make informed decisions and take responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability, and a just society for present and future generations while respecting social and cultural diversity. Sustainability education is holistic and transformational.

Students must complete 3 credits chosen from:

ANTH 245, 345, 445 
EESC 101 
ENGL 476 
GEOG 129, 201, 233, 4451, 460, 461 
PHIL 435 
SOCI 228 
SUST 100, 2041 
THTR 2041 

1Check cross-listings.

Progression Requirements

First Year                                                    0–23 credits
Second Year24–47 credits
Third Year48–77 credits
Fourth Year78 or more credits


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