First Year Programs

Departments offer their own array of first year courses. In addition, the Faculty of Arts offers a number of unique study options to students entering first year.

Arts One Program

The UBC Arts One program, led by a dynamic team of instructors from a variety of academic disciplines, is organized around themes and readings. Arts One provides students with an opportunity to study works from a variety of perspectives while being part of a small learning community—approximately 100 first-year students—during their first year. In Arts One, students enjoy an integrated approach to the humanities and social sciences that focuses on critical thinking, writing skills, and class participation. Arts One is comprised of 18 credits of first-year English, History, and Philosophy, which satisfies the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Requirement and fulfills 3 credits toward the Literature Requirement,  leaving students with the ability to complete their first year with 12 credits of electives. Students proceed into 2nd year and to their choice of degree program.

Coordinated Arts Program

The Coordinated Arts Program (CAP) is an 18-credit program that introduces students to a variety of core disciplines from the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative and Performing Arts within a supportive cohort setting. Students learn together in one of five multidisciplinary streams of study that encompasses linked but separate courses connected by a broad research focus. Stream options are announced annually, and have included Global Citizens, Law and Society, and Media Studies. See current streams here. Working with concepts and issues in conversation across their courses, students learn to think with breadth and flexibility about complex questions and ideas. CAP’s learning community model—small groups of students who take the same courses—helps students transition from high school to university, and offers peer as well as academic engagement, support and community. The Arts Studies (ASTU) 100 seminar component of the CAP streams satisfies the Writing Component of the Writing and Research Degree Requirement; the six-credit version of ASTU 100 also fulfills 3 credits toward the Literature Degree Requirement. In addition to their CAP courses, students may take up to 12 more credits. Students proceed into 2nd year and to their choice of degree program.

Arts Studies in Research and Writing

Arts Studies in Research and Writing supports undergraduate students’ participation in the research culture of UBC. At a research-intensive university like UBC, students have the opportunity to learn how new knowledge is being produced across many disciplines. We introduce first-year students to some of these disciplinary practices through WRDS 150, a course that fulfills the writing component of the Faculty of Arts Writing and Research Requirement. Students in WRDS 150 will read scholarly journal articles representing at least three disciplines. Through analyzing these articles, students will see how researchers frame questions about a topic, select methods, and analyze and interpret their findings in ways that are specific to disciplines. Students will also design and carry out a research project of their own, thus taking a turn in the scholarly conversation by writing their own research paper.

Please visit the Arts Studies in Research and Writing page for further information and to find out more about WRDS 150: Research and Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

International Program at UBC Vantage College

If you are an international student interested in applying for the Bachelor of Arts but do not yet meet UBC’s English Language Admission Standard, you should consider the International Program at UBC Vantage College. This 12-month program is equivalent to the first year of an Arts degree, and upon successful completion, you will be able to transition directly into the second year of the UBC Arts degree. For program information and admission requirements, visit the International Program website.

If you have been admitted to the International Program at UBC Vantage College, advisors in the college will support you throughout the program. Please visit the UBC Vantage College website for more information for new students.