Registration FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

Students in Arts can take a maximum of 30 credits per term (32 for first-year students), although many students take fewer than this. You should always be aware of deadlines for dropping or withdrawing from courses. You can decide for yourself how many credits you want to take, as long as you ensure that your course load is manageable. But please keep the following in mind:

  • To be eligible to live in residence at UBC, you must remain registered in a minimum of 18 credits during the Winter Session—9 credits in each of Term 1 and Term 2. For more information, visit the UBC Student Residence website.
  • Consideration for awards and scholarships normally requires completion of a minimum 27 credits in the Winter Session. Make sure that you understand course load implications for awards.
  • To maintain eligibility for government student loan funding, refer to the Course Load Guide or consult your Enrolment Services Professional.
  • In order to attain second-year standing, you need to have 27 credits completed (including transfer credits).
  • In order to be considered a full-time student at UBC, you must register in at least 18 credits in the Winter Session—9 credits in each of Term 1 and Term 2.
  • Students must successfully complete 3 credits during the Winter Session in order to maintain their eligibility in the Faculty of Arts.

For more information about the number of credits you can take, visit Credit Limits in Arts.

Please make sure you review the following information to find out how advanced credit is awarded for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.

You can view any advanced credit you receive on the Student Service Centre (SSC). Log in with your CWL and click “Transfer Credit” under the heading “Grades & Records.” The number of credits you received from AP/IB courses will be at the top of the page. To see a specific breakdown of the credits for a given course, select UBC Vancouver from the drop-down menu as your campus location. Your specific AP/IB credits will automatically load.

If you have not submitted your results for your AP/IB courses, you will need to contact your assigned Enrolment Services Professional. If any credit is added, you will be able to see it through your SSC account.

The advanced credit you receive can be used to meet Faculty requirementsspecialization requirements, or electives as appropriate.

No. In your first year, you have an opportunity to explore and discover your interests. Most specializations in the Faculty of Arts are declared at the end of second year while some can be declared as early as the end of first year. To find out more information about specific specializations, please visit our webpage on Arts Specializations, which includes a detailed list of all specializations offered in Arts.

To find out the specific placement procedures for the language course you wish to take, please refer to the information provided directly on the Course Schedule or department websites.

For more information about which course you should begin with, please also refer to the department websites for the language you are interested in (e.g. FrenchSpanishChinese). If you are unsure of which language course is appropriate, contact the appropriate department advisor as a language placement test may be required.

If you would like to fulfill the Faculty of Arts Language Requirement through examination, refer to the Degree Requirements page on the Arts Undergraduate Website.

There are a number of ways to approach full classes, depending on the specific course.

  • Online waitlists: Some courses have waitlists. This means you can register in the waitlist on the Student Service Centre (SSC) and the department will move waitlisted registrants into classes as seats become available. These waitlists look like sections on the course schedule, but they would be described as“Waiting List” under the activity column. You may not be notified that you have been moved from the waitlist into the course, so regularly check your timetable on the SSC.
  • Informal waitlists: Some instructors and departments have informal waitlists that can be accessed online. If there is an informal waitlist for a class, you will find a link to the waitlist in the course description on the SSC. Certain professors may sign Change of Registration Forms for students registered on their waitlists.
  • Check the course schedule on the SSC regularly: You’ll be surprised by how many students make changes to their schedules before classes start. If someone drops a course while you are on the SSC, you can register for the course at that time.
  • Try to find another class: Try using the Course Search function on the Course Schedule to find another suitable course. It is a good idea to have a list of back-up courses prepared.
  • Speak with your instructor: Try attending the first day of class and speaking with the professor afterwards. If any seats open up during the first week of class, the instructor may be able to add you to the course. You can download a Change of Registration Form or pick one up in person at the Arts Academic Advising office. Bring the form to the class and speak to the professor and/or teaching assistants (TAs).  Obtain their signatures, and submit the form to the specific department of the course.
  • Sometimes, it is not possible to get into a full course: For some courses such as Economics, French, Spanish, and Italian, instructors are not able to add students to their full classes due to departmental restrictions on class size.

If a tutorial, lab, or discussion group is full, keep your seat in the lecture portion of the class and continue checking to see if a seat opens in one of the associated tutorial sections. If they all remain full, speak to the professor on the first day of class and request a seat in a tutorial.

Courses may be blocked or restricted from registration by the department for various reasons. Blocks and restrictions may be in place to manage enrolment or reserve seats for students in certain specializations. Take a look at the course description closely for more information about why a course is blocked or restricted. If you have any questions about blocked or restricted courses, contact the appropriate department for more information. Arts Academic Advising cannot unblock a course for you.

It is possible to apply to transfer to another faculty at UBC after you've begun studies in the Faculty of Arts. To do this, you must apply to Change Degree Programs. You will need to apply to your desired faculty, meet certain prerequisites, possess the required or competitive average, and in many cases, complete a personal profile. Before registering for your first year, it's a good idea to do some research about the faculty you wish to transfer to. There may be courses that you can take to prepare (e.g. Sauder School of BusinessFaculty of Science). If you have specific questions about degree programs, please contact the appropriate faculty.

In most cases, you should have enough time to get from one class to another even when they are scheduled back to back. A one hour class is actually 50 minutes long, and a one-and-a-half-hour class runs for 80 minutes. This will leave you time to move from one class to another.

When you are creating your timetable, you might find it helpful to look at a UBC campus map to find out how far apart the buildings are.

Yes. The Co-ordinated Arts Program (CAP) and Arts One program consist of 18 credits each. If you choose one of these First-Year Programs, it leaves you with up to 12 credits you can register for, in addition to your standard timetable.

Registration for Co-ordinated Arts is the same as for any other course. Log in to the Student Service Centre (SSC) with your CWL login and click “Course Schedule.” Once the Course Schedule pulls up, select “Standard Timetables” from the “Browse” drop-down menu. Click on “BA – Bachelor of Arts” and choose “Standard Timetables – Year 1.

From here, you can register in the appropriate CAP stream that best suits your interests. Registration for CAP is on a first-come-first-served basis and some CAP streams may fill up more quickly than others--make sure you enroll as soon as your registration opens. Remember to register in all required discussion groups. Visit the CAP website for more information.

The registration process for Arts One is the same as for any other course. Registration for Arts One is on a first-come-first-served basis, so make sure you enroll as soon as your registration opens. You can choose either ARTS 001A or ARTS 001B, depending on which stream interests you more. Register for the appropriate lecture, seminar, and associated tutorial just as you would for any other course. Before you register, ensure that you meet eligibility criteria. If you have an English 12 grade of 80% or higher, a 4 or higher in AP English, or a 5 or higher in IB Higher Level English Literature, you are eligible for Arts One. Visit the Arts One website for more information.

No. But please note that new students must pay an acceptance deposit and continuing students must pay a registration deposit. Visit this website for more information.

Students are eligible to take courses as long as they satisfy all prerequisite requirements and meet all registration requirements. The restrictions will be stated within the course descriptions on the Course Schedule. Please note that in some cases, students may appear to register successfully in a course, but later be deregistered by the department if they do not meet prerequisites or restrictions.

Be aware that 200-level courses typically have a more demanding work load. Instructors may also have a different level of expectation for students enrolled in 200-level courses. Generally, first-year students should plan to register for 100-level courses.

Many courses have accompanying tutorials/labs/discussion groups (as indicated on the Course Schedule), so you’ll need to register for those activities in addition to the lecture. These activities often expand on the course material presented during the lecture section of a course. A tutorial or discussion group is typically a break-out from the larger lecture section of a course. The three terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but labs may contain more specialized content (e.g. labs for Science or Language courses).

A course code distinguishes one course from another. It also denotes what subject area a course belongs to, the year-level of that course, and the section number. For example, “ENGL 110 001” is an English course at the 100-level, with a course number of 110, and section number of 001.

Each course has one or more sections. Each section has a unique time, location, term, and instructor(s). When you register for a course, you can choose the time and term that works best with your schedule. Each section has a limited number of seats, so some sections might be full, while others might be available. Many classes have required labs or tutorials in addition to the lecture, so you'll need to register in those associated activities as well. Labs and tutorials are often given section numbers that start with L and T respectively.

No. You must register your worklist after your registration opens. Once your registration opens, go to your worklist and either select "Register All" or check off individual courses you would like and select "Register Selected". The worklist is a tool used to create a draft timetable. You can use the worklist tool by keeping a working list of courses and creating conflict-free timetables. However, please be aware that worklists do not accurately reflect the courses you are actually registered in. Similarly, dropping a course from your worklist does not deregister you from a course—it simply removes it from your worklist.

Take a look at the Registration Video Tutorials for more information.

From the Student Service Centre (SSC), go to your Course Schedule; in the upper right corner, select your desired academic session (e.g. 2017 Winter). On the menu near the top of the page, click on “Registration” and then “Registered Courses.” On this page, you will see the courses you have successfully registered in.

The Faculty of Arts offers over 70 programs that you can specialize in. Though students do not normally declare or apply for specializations in first year, you can start preparing for specializations by taking introductory courses. For more information on specific requirements, please visit the appropriate department website. For example, if you wanted to pursue a Major in Psychology, you would find lower-level requirements directly on the Psychology Department website. Alternatively, you can find a list of all specializations and the requirements for each option on the UBC Academic Calendar.