Undergraduate Academic Planning

Declaring your Major

Students can complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major, Combined Major, Major and Minor, or General Studies BA with a concentration in the subject of their choice. BA students interested in Majors offered through the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies are encouraged to declare their major once they are promoted to year 2, generally around June of each year.

BA students can self-declare their major in Cultural Studies, English, French, Languages, Art History and Visual Culture once they are promoted to second year. BA students wishing to declare a major or minor in Creative Writing, can do so at any time, starting in year-one. If you are interested in the Major in English, please contact an Academic Advisor.

Planning for the BA

In order to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree at UBC Okanagan, students must complete a minimum of 120 credits.  Within the 120 credits, students will be required to complete first-year English or communications courses, science courses, coursework from Social Sciences as well as Humanities and courses required for their chosen specialization (major and minor).

Our Program Coordinators and Academic Advisors are here to assist you with course planning for each of the programs in FCCS, and can help with course selections to ensure that you have the information to take the appropriate credits for your major.

Almost all first year students at the Okanagan Campus of UBC take courses in English, and many take language courses. Since these subjects are taught by FCCS, you will become involved in FCCS as soon as you register—even if you think of yourself as a student in a different faculty, like Arts and Social Sciences! In fact, if you are entering the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, you will discover that first year is a time to try out different courses that interest you and a time to get to know just what you would like to study.

Things to remember:

  • There are lots of choices, so have fun exploring!
  • If you wish to complete a 120-credit degree in four years, then you would choose 30 credits per year. Alternatively, you may choose to register for fewer courses and extend the length of your degree or take courses during the Summer Session.
  • To view the BA degree requirements (foundational, distribution, etc.) in depth, click here.
  • We have provided information to help you choose the First-Year English courses that are right for you.
  • We have provided information to help you choose the language courses that are right for you.
  • View this step by step list to hep you plan your first year.
  • Keep track of your degree requirements and credits, and contact an academic advisor or program coordinator/advisor at anytime you have questions. We recommend that you meet with one of them at least once per academic year.
  • View the Program Plans, developed to help students navigate their UBCO experience at all stages

Total 120 Credits Required for the BA-O degree

The Bachelor of Arts Degree offers Foundational and Distribution Degree Requirements in the following areas: Communication, Critical Thinking, Indigenous Content, Scientific or Numeric Literacy, Creativity, Digital Literacy, Power, Diversity and Culture, and Sustainability and the Environment. These requirements complement the program requirements, and supports and promotes Indigenous worldviews, knowledge systems, languages, culture, systems of law and governance.

Foundational Requirements:
12 credits
Communications (12) Critical Thinking (3) Indigenous Content (3) Scientific Literacy or Numeracy (3) 
Distribution Requirements: 12 credits Creativity (3) Digital Literacy (3) Power, Diversity and Cultures (3) Sustainability (3)
Your Major of Choice Electives (approx. 39 credits, vary depending on major)

Note: When you begin course planning, you may notice that some courses can satisfy both your program (major) requirements and the foundational/distribution requirements. This is called double counting. When double counting occurs, you must take an extra elective (coursework in any discipline, any level) to ensure that you meet the 120-credit requirement for your degree.

FCCS offers all sorts of courses designed to interest first year students. If you are interested in languages or literature, take courses in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. If you are interested in popular culture’s impact on the way we think and act, check out Cultural Studies, Communications and Rhetoric or Creative and Critical Studies (CCS) courses. Got a passion for painting or music or film? Then consider our courses in Art History, Music History and Film Studies. Maybe you’re a natural writer, performer or visual artist. If so, our Creative Writing, Theatre and Visual Arts courses might be just the thing!

Here are some examples of the amazingly wide range of courses a typical first year BA student might take working towards a particular major:

View the Academic Calendar for further information.

BFA Degree Requirements

In order to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at UBC Okanagan, students must complete a minimum of 126 credits. The first year of the program is a ‘foundation’ year where all students end up with the same basic experience. Students take core courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, art history and digital media.

This program develops critical thinking and creative practice in a range of artistic disciplines. Courses in art history and art theory provide a global historical context and an understanding of theoretical issues. Elective courses help students bring a breadth of knowledge and a diversity of perspectives to their artwork. Intensive studio courses give students practical experience in artistic research and creation and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary activity.

Here are some examples of how your four years in the program will look like.

We recommend that you meet with and advisor or program coordinator regularly to ensure you are meeting the requirements for the program.

View the Academic Calendar for further information.

BMS Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Media Studies is a computational arts program that combines digital arts, visual arts, digital humanities, communications, and social sciences. In order to receive a Bachelor of Media Studies Degree at UBC Okanagan, students must complete a minimum of 120 credits. The core curriculum consists of 63 mandatory credits; students choose the remaining 57 credits from any Arts and Sciences elective courses.

BMS students should register in the proper courses each year to ensure they meet the full program requirements in preparation for graduation.

Here are some examples of how your four years in the program will look like.

We recommend that you meet with and advisor or program coordinator regularly to ensure you are meeting the requirements for the program.

View the Academic Calendar for further information.

Undergraduate Courses

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies offers courses in Art history and Visual Culture, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Digital Humanities, English, Film, French, German, Japanese, Media Studies, Spanish, Theatre, Visual Arts, and World Literatures.

View the undergraduate courses and descriptions to be taught in the current academic year.


Academic Concession Forms

Explore our database for a list of forms that you may need to use while you are completing your program for the next few years.  We understand life happens and things do not always go as planned.


We have provided helpful information to assist you if your find yourself under academic probation or have a failed standing.


Advising and Degree Planning

We are here to help. Our knowledgeable faculty members also work as program coordinators, advising and mentoring for prospective and current undergraduate students. Academic advisors and program coordinators can explain the academic requirements for our undergraduate programs, and give practical advice on your degree progression.

We suggest you meet with a Program Coordinator or Academic Advisor to choose the courses you should be taking each year for your major.

Degree Navigator

Keep track of your degree requirements and credits with your personalized Degree Navigator report, available through the Student Service Centre (SSC). There is also an interactive tool you can access through your Student Service Centre called Degree Navigator. Check out this online tutorial on how to access and use Degree Navigator.

Academic Advisor

In FCCS, we have a dedicated advisor for the programs and degrees that we offer. You can connect with them to talk about questions about course advising and declaring your major.

Jessica Beck
Academic and Career Advising, UNC 207
250.807.9214 or 1.866.596.0767

The Academic and Career Advising office also has a number of knowledgeable and helpful staff to assist you with all of your questions about your degree.

Program Coordinators and Subject Area Advisors

Program or Subject Area Contact   Email
Art History and Visual Culture Hussein Keshani hussein.keshani@ubc.ca
Communications & Rhetoric Anita Chaudhuri anita.chaudhuri@ubc.ca
Creative Writing Anne Fleming anne.fleming@ubc.ca
Cultural Studies David Jefferess david.jefferess@ubc.ca
Digital Arts & Humanities Daniel Keyes daniel.keyes@ubc.ca
English Robert Eggleston robert.eggleston@ubc.ca
French Stephanie Tolman stephanie.tolman@ubc.ca
German Martin Blum martin.blum@ubc.ca
Interdisciplinary Performance/Theatre Denise Kenney denise.kenney@ubc.ca
Japanese Nina Langton nina.langton@ubc.ca
Media Studies Annie Wan bms.ok@ubc.ca
Languages Ramine Adl ramine.adl@ubc.ca
Spanish Monica Good monica.good@ubc.ca
Visual Arts Myron Campbell myron.campbell@ubc.ca
World Literatures Francisco Peña francisco.pena@ubc.ca


student learning hub

Learning support at UBC Okanagan provide students with a range of skills and strategies that encourage learning excellence and promote holistic development. Students are invited to access a wide variety of learning support resources that include free tutoring in writing, research, math and sciences, as well as help with study skills and learning strategies.

Student Learning Hub

Disability Resource Centre

The purpose of an accommodation is to allow students to overcome disability-related challenges that impede their academic success. The DRC assists students by offering programs and services to foster an accessible and welcoming campus.

Disability Resource Centre


UBC Okanagan is committed to supporting and encouraging our students to reach their full potential during their studies. Both FCCS and UBC offer a number of merit-based scholarships and awards to support our students during their studies.

Funding & Awards