Choosing what to study

A common question we’re asked here at UBC is about the difference between a degree and a program. What’s a program? What’s a degree? And why is it important to tell them apart when you’re deciding what to study?

Degree versus program. What’s the difference?

At UBC, your degree refers to the level and type of study you will complete during university (e.g., Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). It’s the designation you’ll earn at graduation.

A program refers to the subject you choose to specialize in (e.g., your major in Anthropology or Biology). It’s your area of focus within your degree.

For example, if you study in the History program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. If you study in the Civil Engineering program, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

Applying to a UBC degree

When you apply to UBC, you’ll select a degree and a campus. The online application allows you to choose two degrees (a first and second choice), which can be on different campuses and in different faculties.

Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check out UBC’s programs to get a sense of which subjects interest you most. Once you have a list of programs, you can use it to help you select the degrees you’d like to apply to.

Selecting your UBC program

For most degrees, you don’t have to commit to a program until your second or third year of study. But if you compile a list of programs you’re interested in when you apply to UBC, you will be well equipped to select the one you’d like to major in when it’s time to choose.

Learn more about applying to UBC and about choosing a degree and program.

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