Programs spotlight: Media and fine arts

Programs spotlight: Media and fine arts

Whether you’re a budding storyteller, an aspiring actor, or a concert pianist in the making – or someone who’s at ease in front of an easel, at a keyboard, or behind the scenes – there’s a UBC program for you. You can develop your skills in film, theatre, music, visual art, creative writing, media, and more.

Explore your program options

Media Studies

Explore new media and examine the impact of technological innovation on our interactions and society in the Media Studies program at UBC Vancouver. You’ll develop a portfolio of skills and experiences that will allow you to pursue a career in a wide range of sectors, such as art history, creative writing, journalism, film production, and computer science.


A professor’s perspective

UBC Music Bob Pritchard Laptop Orchestra

Meet Professor Pritchard, a music professor who’s using technologies that capture physical movement to transform the human body into a musical instrument.



Music: Advanced Performance

Imagine having a world-class concert hall like The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in your backyard! In the Music: Advanced Performance program at UBC Vancouver, you’ll study music theory, technology, and musicianship while completing four years of private instruction in voice, opera, piano, organ, guitar, harpsichord, or an orchestral instrument of your choice.


Art History and Visual Culture

Develop critical thinking and writing skills as you analyze diverse forms of art and visual culture, including “high art,” performance art, pop culture, architecture, and everyday objects in their cultural and historical contexts. The cross-disciplinary Art History and Visual Culture program at UBC Okanagan delves into the heart of human experience and identity.


The student scoop

UBC alumnus Nadine Bradshaw

Meet Nadine, a Visual Arts alumna who has fond memories of painting on mountain tops and staying up all night to install her fourth-year exhibition.


Theatre: Design and Production

Learn more about set, costume, lighting, and sound design, including set and costume construction, stage and production management, and other production technologies. As a graduate of the Theatre: Design and Production program at UBC Vancouver, you’ll be ready to work in professional theatre or film, or pursue advanced training in grad school.


See a full list of media and fine arts programs at UBC


Programs spotlight: Languages and linguistics

Programs spotlight: Languages and linguistics

Are you interested in learning a new language, helping to revitalize an endangered language, or understanding the roots of a language you already know? Have you ever wondered how language shapes culture and society, and how pop culture and social media influence language? One of UBC’s languages and linguistics programs could be for you.

Explore your program options


Study literature written in English from around the world, from the earliest medieval riddles to contemporary slam poetry. In the English programs at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, you’ll also learn more about the English language itself, including its roots, its patterns, and its uses in politics and social media.


The student scoop

Meet Stephanie, a UBC alumna who majored in English and volunteered as a literacy mentor with UBC’s Trek program.

French and Spanish

Explore French and Spanish cultures both in and outside the classroom. You’ll learn how these two languages have impacted Canada and other countries across the globe, while refining your speaking and written skills, in the French and Spanish program at UBC Okanagan.


First Nations and Endangered Languages

Discover the processes and protocols for the documentation, conservation, revitalization, and reclamation of endangered languages, cultures, and Indigenous knowledge systems. The First Nations and Endangered Languages program at UBC Vancouver will let you explore these languages and cultures at all levels, from introductory to advanced.


A professor’s perspective

Christine Schreyer

Meet Professor Schreyer, a linguist and anthropologist who helped develop Superman’s mother tongue.

Speech Sciences

Study the linguistic structures and how children develop and learn languages in Speech Sciences at UBC Vancouver. You’ll discover research methods in experimental psychology, and learn how anatomy and physiology contribute to speech and language learning. This interdisciplinary program includes courses from the Department of Linguistics, the Department of Psychology, and the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences.


See a full list of languages and linguistics programs at UBC


10 things you never knew about UBC

10 things you never knew about UBC

Did you know UBC has been named the most sustainable university in Canada, or that there’s an outdoor echo chamber in the middle of UBC’s Vancouver campus? UBC’s hallowed halls have produced some of the world’s best thinkers and leaders, as well as some exceptional curiosities, in its 100+ year history. Read on to learn more fun trivia about the university.


1. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum houses Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can get close to the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth


2. UBC has a quidditch team. Members compete at major events in North America, representing UBC and the city of Vancouver. Past players have also participated on the quidditch world stage as part of Team Canada in the World Cup.


3. UBC’s Vancouver campuses is home to a number of apple trees that are direct descendants of those that inspired Newton to compose his theory of gravity in 1661. The trees are planted near UBC’s TRIUMF lab, which houses the largest particle accelerator cyclotron in the world.


4. UBC alumni include eight Nobel Prize winners, plus three Canadian prime ministers, 71 Rhodes Scholars, and 226 Royal Society of Canada fellows. Our varsity athletes have won a combined total of 58 Olympic medals.


5. All the street signs on both UBC campuses are bilingual. At UBC Okanagan, the signs feature both English and Nsyilxcen, the traditional language spoken by the Okanagan’s original people. At UBC Vancouver, which is built on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people, you’ll navigate by signs in English as well as the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.


6. The buildings on UBC’s Okanagan campus are heated and cooled using energy from the groundwater under the campus. At UBC Vancouver, the pools in the Aquatic Centre are replenished from rainwater that lands on the roof.


7. The Kryptonian language in the Superman movie Man of Steel was developed by Christine Schreyer, an associate professor of anthropology on UBC’s Okanagan campus.


8. UBC’s Vancouver campus is the ninth most popular filming location on earth. It’s served as the setting for many films and TV shows, including The Butterfly Effect, Smallville, three X-Men movies, The X-Files, Legion, Supernatural, 50 Shades of Grey, and more.


9. UBC’s Okanagan campus hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate!) in fall 2016 during the pair’s royal tour of Canada. The couple dedicated a new Aboriginal art installation commemorating UBC’s centennial and the 10th anniversary of the Okanagan campus, and joined 1,500 UBC students in watching an inter-squad volleyball game.


10. The Seed Lending Library on UBC’s Vancouver campus has a mission to conserve precious seed varieties by allowing members of the public to sign out seeds in order to grow, harvest, and pass them on to other gardeners.


Four healthy habits for first year

Four healthy habits for first year

University is more demanding than high school, and the transition can be challenging. As you prepare and adjust to life at UBC, it’s important to take care of yourself academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. The good habits you establish in first year will serve you well throughout your degree.


Be smart about your studies

Set clear academic goals for yourself, learn how to manage your time effectively, and strengthen your study skills. If you need a hand getting started, Learning Supports for UBC Okanagan students and the Learning Commons for UBC Vancouver students are great resources.

To make sure you’re set up for virtual classes in your first term, take the time to read up on UBC’s tips for online learning.


Take care of your body

Choose your food wisely and make time for exercise, especially when you’re taking online classes. Check out the virtual recreational facilities, fitness classes, and events available at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver, and discover what you can look forward to when the health authorities say it’s safe to return to campus.

If you have health concerns at any time, be sure to seek medical attention. Remember, the Health and Wellness Centre at UBC Okanagan and Student Health Service at UBC Vancouver offer digital resources and on-campus medical clinics that are free for all students.


Connect with others

The best way to meet people at UBC is to find something you’re interested in – a club, a sport, an activity, or an event – and get involved. There’s no shortage of opportunities on the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, with many of them operating virtually while classes are online. Not only will you get to do something you love, but you’ll make new friends in the process.


Keep your stress in check

If you find yourself feeling worried, anxious, or stressed, talk to someone. As a UBC student, you have access to one-on-one counselling services and a variety of mental health resources at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver.



Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

On the first day of classes (September 8), join thousands of new-to-UBC students and hundreds of volunteers online for Imagine UBC, a virtual orientation event that celebrates the start of the academic year wherever you are in the world.


What to expect

Imagine UBC is an incredible opportunity to:

  • Make new friends
  • Meet student leaders, professors, and the dean of your Faculty
  • Show off your school spirit
  • Find out about services and resources
  • Learn all the ways to get involved during your time at UBC

Over the course of the day you’ll connect with a small group of other new students from your Faculty, join the entire UBC community for a virtual pep rally, check out hundreds of virtual booths hosted by current students for UBC’s clubs and organizations, and start to find your place at UBC.


No matter who you are and what you are interested in, there is something for you at Imagine UBC.

– Indra Hayre, Arts student


Who can attend

All UBC students – including new, returning, and transfer students – are welcome to attend. Look for an email in late August with your personalized Imagine UBC schedule.


Heading to UBC’s Okanagan campus? Check out Monday’s post for details about Create orientation on the Okanagan campus.




Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

You won’t need to hit the books on your first day of classes at UBC Okanagan. Instead, you’ll join other new-to-UBC students online for Create on September 8, a day-long virtual orientation event designed to welcome new students like you to the close-knit UBC community.


What to expect

You’ll get to know your online learning community, a small group of other UBC students from your degree or Faculty. Together, you’ll:

  • Attend Kick-Off, a ceremony designed to officially welcoming the incoming class of 2020
  • Meet your Faculty’s dean and important staff members
  • Get to know fellow first-year students and returning students
  • Explore your new campus virtually
  • Learn more about the resources available to you
  • Find out about opportunities to get involved


Who can attend

All new UBC Okanagan students – especially first-year, mature, and transfer students – are encouraged to attend.


How to register

Register for Create online today – the first day of class will be here before you know it!


Are you a student at UBC Vancouver? Check back later this week for details on the Imagine UBC orientation.



What you need to do before your first day at UBC

What you need to do before your first day at UBC

Your first day at UBC is right around the corner, and we’ve prepared lots of online resources and events to make sure you’re ready. Whether you’re an international student or are based in Canada, find out about the final pieces of administration you’ll want to complete in order to hit the ground running next month.


UBC Okanagan

September 8 is coming up fast, and you’ll have to tick a few things off your list to prepare. Discover all the resources you need to stack your student toolkit on UBC Okanagan’s New to UBC page.

Here, you’ll discover everything about:

  • Attending UBC Okanagan’s virtual orientations, including Create and UBC 101
  • Learning about your first week’s welcome activities
  • Choosing to have a peer mentor
  • Understanding the dates and deadlines for classes and fees
  • Joining clubs with the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO)
  • Making sure your health and dental coverage is in place


UBC Vancouver

There are also a few things you’ll need to do to be ready for your studies at UBC Vancouver. The campus’s New to UBC page is your go-to resource to make sure you know how to navigate your first term online.

On the page, you’ll find out more information about:

  • Attending UBC Vancouver’s virtual orientations
  • Ensuring you’ve applied for the essentials like your digital UBCcard
  • Navigating your academic studies online and where to find your classes
  • Budgeting and managing your money
  • Building your social life with clubs and societies
  • Setting up your health and dental coverage


We can’t wait to meet you in September!


Register now for Virtual UBC Collegia and Indigenous Students’ Collegium

Register now for Virtual UBC Collegia and Indigenous Students’ Collegium

Even though your classes might be online for your first term, it’s important to make friends and connect with your new UBC community. UBC Vancouver’s two online Collegia – Virtual UBC Collegia and the Indigenous Students’ Collegium – are designed for you to meet other students, ask questions to your peers and upper-year students, access resources, and enjoy social events together.


What to expect

Virtual UBC Collegia

  • Join regular, small group gatherings with other first-year students from your Faculty to help build your friendships. As part of Virtual UBC Collegia, you’ll take part in social activities organized by upper-year leaders throughout your first term.
  • Connect with faculty members who can offer guidance. You’ll be able to ask about topics like how to approach a project, where to find writing resources for a paper, how best to engage in an online class, or how to study for an upcoming midterm.
  • Discover resources and opportunities. Through conversations, programming, events, and resources, you can find out how to explore your interests and learn more about what UBC has to offer.


Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegium

  • Meet other Indigenous students, and make your first friends. All Indigenous students are invited to participate in the community, so you’ll be able to ask questions and share experiences with people at different points in their UBC programs.
  • Enjoy organized social activities. Upper-year Indigenous student leaders will set up online events you can take part in for your first few months at UBC.
  • Receive guidance from staff and faculty members trained to support Indigenous students. Your peer leaders are connected to support staff across campus to make sure you have access to services to help you succeed at UBC. Find out how to follow a passion, sharpen your academic skills, or find the resources you need.

More information about the Indigenous Students’ Collegia will be shared directly with Indigenous students by email in mid-August.


Who can join

If you’ve accepted your offer of admission to UBC Vancouver, and you’re a first-year student entering your first term this fall, you’re able to register for Virtual UBC Collegia.

First-year Indigenous students can join the Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegia community as well as their Virtual UBC Collegia group.


How to register

To register for either Collegia, visit the website to find the right online form. Registration closes on August 30, 2020.

Please note that Jump Start participants are automatically granted membership to Virtual UBC Collegia, and do not need to complete the form.

After you’ve registered, you can expect to receive a membership offer by email in early September. If you haven’t received a message, make sure you’ve added to your inbox safe list.