• Emily Yeung

UBC Arts First Year Guide

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Arts students typically hear a lot of jokes and ridiculing for being in Arts. It is pretty well known that UBC Arts is one of the easier faculties to get accepted into, but that doesn't mean that it still isn't a hard degree to attain. Whether you're planning on transferring into a different faculty, double majoring or just continuing in a singular arts degree. Here are some tips that I wish someone had told me in my first year as a UBC arts student. 


Buchanan art instalment lit purple representing arts faculty image


1. Take  your english or words class in the first semester. I found that high school did not prepare me to write academic papers to the level that was expected in university. I had no idea how to properly research, especially using the ubc library website or how to write citations which is expected in almost all arts classes. By taking this required class first semester, you learn really important writing skills to help with the next four years. I personally took wrds150 and I loved it. It taught me really helpful stuff for writing research papers and there was basically no reading required. By the end of first term I had a really good understanding for writing papers which translated into almost every class I took after.


2. Arts advising in my experience isn't really that helpful. If you go, just hope that the person you talk to has been working at UBC for years because typically the people i've talked to know absolutely nothing. Some of the advisors will likely tell you the exact same things you can find by using google. That being said, if you're planning on going, text the appointment making number the second the advisors office opens. Wait times can be hours long so if you're in a rush make sure to send in a text ASAP. They send you your appointment time and text you every couple of minutes with estimated time left until your appointment. During the Covid situation, online advising is done through Zoom and you can follow the instructions on the arts advising website. The good thing about zoom advising hours is that you can literally do anything you want while waiting for your appointment  .

3. Declare your major as soon as you can. By declaring your major, you can get into restricted classes. You can always change your mind later and drop the major whenever you want, but a lot of classes require that you have declared a major. Check out this link to see all available arts majors at UBC: https://www.arts.ubc.ca/programs/program-options/?degrees=&programs=major&title= .


4. Make sure to go over the arts degree requirements and plan for them in advance. Arts students need 6 credits of writing and research (your research course typically is based on your major), A language requirement (unless you've completed a language 12 in highschool), 6 credits of literature and 6 credits of science. Use the UBC degree navigator (https://degree-navigator.as.it.ubc.ca/dn4v/Login/dagdisclaimer.asp) to check that you are meeting the requirements for your degree.  .


5. Attend the AUS orientation events. The arts undergrad society typically has orientation events mid September that are a great way to meet people in your faculty. In previous years it's been held overnight in hotels, but last year I think they had something a bit different on campus. I'll be honest, the attendance of the AUS events aren't great but if you have time to attend, you have nothing to lose by checking it out and they have some really great prizes for their events.  .


6. Arts has a lounge for students. It's a bit of a lesser known fact but the AUS has a lounge in Buchanan D that arts student are free to use. When you enter Buchanan D from the main entrance just go straight past arts advising into the lounge.  From what I’ve noticed It is typically a quieter space that is used by people who come there alone and seem to want to be alone. It isn't somewhere that I personally enjoy spending time in, but to each their own. 


I hope this information can help out some fellow arts students. If you have any more tips and tricks to help those entering the arts faculty this year, make sure to comment them below.