Choose what to study

Deciding what to study in university can be a pivotal moment for your future. When applying to UBC, you’ll be prompted to select a degree and campus. Knowing what program you’re interested in now can be helpful for planning, but it’s not necessary to complete your application. You can wait until after first year to choose how you’ll specialize.


Watch: Choosing what to study at UBC

Between UBC’s Okanagan and Vancouver campuses, there are 43 undergraduate degrees and dozens of programs to choose from. Find out how your choice of degree will affect your UBC application, and your program options in the future.

Degrees versus programs

At UBC, a program is considered your area of academic focus. The degree is the bachelor’s designation that you will earn upon graduation.

Each program is offered within a specific degree. For example, if you study in the program of Sociology, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. If you study in the program of Civil Engineering, you’ll earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.

When you submit your UBC online application, you’ll apply to the degree rather than the program – in this case, Arts or Applied Science – but you’ll enter those degree choices in the “Program Selection” tab. Enter your first-choice degree in the “First Program Choice” field and enter your second-choice degree in the “Second Program Choice” field.

Your degree of choice will determine the range of UBC programs that you can choose from. If you already know the program you’d like to study, select that program to see which degree you will need to apply to. If you’re still browsing programs, use the “Filter by degree” option to see which programs are available to you within different degrees.

Number of degrees you can apply to

When you apply to UBC, you can choose two degrees. Your two degree choices can be on different campuses and in different faculties. You could apply to the Bachelor of Science on the Okanagan campus as your first choice, and the Bachelor of Kinesiology on the Vancouver campus as your second choice. The degree you apply to now will determine the programs that you can choose from in your second or third year.

When you choose your program

For most degrees, you won’t have to commit to a specific program until your second or third year of study. For now, select a degree that offers a range of programs that interest you. Once you arrive at UBC, you will only be able to choose a program that is offered within your degree.

There are some exceptions, where you must apply to a specific program directly in your application to UBC:

Campus Degree Program
Okanagan Bachelor of Fine Arts
Vancouver  Bachelor of Fine Arts
Okanagan Bachelor of Science in Nursing