Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Study culture, history, linguistics, translation and much more to acquire practical skills in reading, writing and oral communication.

Why study Languages at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

International connections

For students looking for an international perspective, the study of other languages provides an avenue of study to several regions of the world. The Languages major offers students a comprehensive learning experience that includes such international opportunities as the Go Global study abroad program, English-language teaching assistant in France, and International Partnerships.

Diverse culture

Acquire strong fluency in French and in Spanish through courses in grammar, conversation and translation, while exploring all aspects of Hispanic and Francophone studies, including culture, literature, cinema, history and politics.

Intercultural understanding

Studying linguistics and culture enables students to communicate across various cultures and geographical areas, and widens their scope of understanding of world languages. Students take course in Spanish, French and choose from a variety of courses in a third language, such as German, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.

Broad Range of Knowledge

UBC Okanagan’s liberal arts degree prepares students for global citizenship by integrating foundational knowledge with interdisciplinary opportunities in social justice, sustainability and Indigenous content. Students who earn a BA degree graduate with a broad range of knowledge and the ability to think critically, be creative, problem solve and communicate effectively.

Co-op experience

Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network and earn money to pay for tuition.

what you need to know

The core of the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program with a Language Major consists of courses in French and in Spanish covering language, literature and culture as well as third language, such as German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin.

The language-learning aspect of the program covers practical skills and daily application of both languages, as well as skills that are transferable to a work environment and an academic setting.

The language courses are designed to improve skills in reading, composition and oral communication, and foster critical analysis of cultural material and intercultural understanding.

Students have the option of spending a semester abroad studying and experiencing life in a Spanish-speaking or French-speaking environment.

Students may supplement their major with a cross-disciplinary approach by taking related courses in Latin American and Iberian Studies, Political Science, International Relations, Cultural Studies, Human Geography, Anthropology, Economics or History. These additional courses contribute to the broadening of students’ understanding of language and communication.

UBC Okanagan’s Languages program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover linguistics, translation, literature, culture and more.

Sample courses:

  • GERM 102 – Oral Expression
  • JPST 215 – Intro to Contemporary Japan through Pop Culture
  • SPAN 442 – The Sounds of Spanish
  • FREN 353 – French Grammar

View course descriptions for the 2020-2021 academic year. Browse here for more language courses and descriptions and program requirements.

Detailed information on the Languages program can be found in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Languages:

Undergraduates can complete a BA with a major in Languages by completing 54 credits in French and in Spanish combined, with 30 credits at the 300 and 400 level, and 6 credits in a third language.

Find out more about the required courses and how to declare your major.

After obtaining your BA with a major in Languages, you can apply to the 16-month Bachelor of Education program to complete a teaching degree. You can specialize in teaching French as a second language (French Immersion, Core French) or French as a first language (in a Francophone school).

Communications and Rhetoric Certificate

Students can receive a Certificate in Communications and Rhetoric by completing 15 credits through courses from four thematic interdisciplinary and relational clusters, and a final capstone project. This is an add on to any major; some credits can be double counted.

For your application to be considered, you’ll need to do three things:

  • Meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
  • Demonstrate a certain level of English competency
  • Meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to.

Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved.  We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.

Find your specific requirements at

Students are encouraged to declare their major in Spanish at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for required courses.

Application Deadlines 
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at

Tuition Fees
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.

Apply to UBC’s Okanagan campus at—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.

Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”

Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1-877-807-8521.

Your Career Options

Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe, and secure a career as a bilingual educator, community worker, development agency worker, or translator; or continue your education to work in professions such as law, teaching, and international relations.

  • Bilingual educator
  • Citizenship and immigration office
  • Community worker
  • Non-profit agency worker
  • ESL instructor
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Foreign services officer
  • Hospitality manager
  • Import/export specialist
  • Intercultural educator
  • International banking officer
  • Language assessor
  • Hospitality manager
  • Import/export specialist
  • Intercultural educator
  • International banking officer
  • Language assessor
  • Linguist
  • Museum assistant
  • Overseas personnel manager
  • Peacekeeping officer
  • Public policy analyst
  • Public Relations officer
  • Radio/TV announcer
  • Tour operator/guide
  • Translator/interpreter
  • Tour agent/designer
  • Travel writer
  • Educational institutions
  • Government agencies and departments
  • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
  • Organizations that address cultural safety, diversity and oppression

Obtain a DELE Diploma, an official and international accreditation of a person’s degree of proficiency in Spanish. DELE Diplomas are internationally recognized and enjoy great prestige—not only among public and private educational institutions and authorities, but also in the business world and chambers of commerce. DELE Diplomas are granted by Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to: build your resumé with professional experience; learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs; expand your network of industry contacts; and earn money to pay for tuition. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.

The UBC Okanagan Arts Career Apprenticeship Program (UBCO ACAP) connects upcoming arts, humanities and social sciences graduates from the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies with Okanagan-based employers for one-year, paid, early career opportunities.

After obtaining your BA with a major in French and Spanish, you can apply to the 16-month Bachelor of Education program to complete a teaching degree. You can specialize in teaching French as a second language (French Immersion, Core French) or French as a first language (in a Francophone school).

Students can pursue a master’s or PhD through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program at UBC Okanagan. The IGS program allows students to develop multi- and interdisciplinary course and research programs to suit their interests.

Gain Valuable Experience

Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.

  • See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions.
  • Exchange programs such as the federal government’s Explore program and the Language Assistant Program offered in partnership with the French Government are available to students majoring in French. Contact the French Program Coordinator for more information on how to apply.
  • Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.
  • Follow your ideas and get a head start on your career. Our professors engage students in research projects, labs and centres that range from Indigenous studies and the study of animal ethics to digitized cultural history.
  • Take part in Eco Art Incubator, a research initiative that provides students and artists with a platform from which to work, as well as access to artist-friendly resources for conservation and ecological initiatives.
  • Investigate opportunities offered through the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCT), an interdisciplinary institute that engages in multiple forms of art, media, and information technologies as vehicles for the exploration and expression of community, culture, and identity.
  • FCCS faculty run the AMP Lab, which houses projects that engage the work of the humanities, adding value to cultural artifacts through interpretation and analysis in a digital context.

Get a financial boost to start your research experience and help pay for travel and other expenses. Merit-based cash awards also look impressive on your resumé.

  • Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
  • Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project— a life-changing experience.
  • Build up your portfolio by flexing those creative muscles — photograph, illustrate, write, edit, interview and perform other journalistic roles at UBC Okanagan’s newspaper, The Phoenix, the official students’ free press.
  • Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
  • More Employment Opportunities in FCCS.

Meet Your Peers and Profs

Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC’s Okanagan campus:


The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.


  • Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at
  • Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
  • Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
  • Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
    * Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox 

On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.

Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.

  • Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
  • Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
  • Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
  • The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
  • Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.

Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.

Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.

  • Follow our French program on Facebook to keep up to date on events and our French community on campus and beyond.
  • Join a community of fellow creative and critical thinkers at events such as the Visiting Artist Series, Draw by Night, AlterKnowledge Discussion Series, and more.
  • Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining a campus club or association.
  • If you don’t find a club that interests you, you can start a new one!

Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.

UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.

Find out more about living in residence at

UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at