Philosophy

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Philosophy covers everything from fundamental questions about knowledge, the meaning of life, and how to live it, to questions about how to design intelligent robots, the ethics of scientific and technological innovation, and how to evaluate government policies.

This program is also offered at UBC's Okanagan Campus
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Why this program?

  • Establish a knowledge base that is transferable to other academic disciplines and a breadth of careers.
  • Strengthen your communication skills, critical reasoning skills, and general problem-solving skills.
  • Earn a degree with high rates of salary growth.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

The study of philosophy gives you tools to think carefully and critically about almost any subject that you may be interested in. You will learn how to analyze arguments, construct your own arguments, and understand the historical context of many of today’s most pressing problems. Philosophy can help you improve your ability to read, write persuasively, and present your ideas effectively; to analyze and evaluate complicated information usefully; and to solve complex problems.

UBC’s Vancouver campus has strengths in a variety of areas of philosophy, including the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, the analytic tradition, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and feminist philosophy.

Experiential learning and research

By taking advanced courses, you can write research papers on topics of your own design. Topical courses include environmental ethics, biomedical ethics, philosophy of sex and gender, minds and machines, science and technology, and law. Participate in an international experience, and study topics in philosophy – such as power, oppression, and economic development – in a different part of the world.

Campus features

Hemlock is an online philosophy journal for undergraduate students published at the University of British Columbia.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

At UBC, you'll learn about both the history and cutting edge of philosophical thinking. As a result, you will learn to think, speak, and write with precision, persuasiveness, and creativity about issues of both long-standing and current interest.

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Your future

As a Philosophy graduate, you will be well prepared to start careers in any field that values clear thinking, expression, and persuasion. Graduates can go into business, public service, education, or research. It is also an excellent springboard to professions such as law and public administration.

Program graduates

  • Policy analyst, BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
  • Video journalist and associate producer, CBC News
  • Assistant professor of Philosophy, Rice University
  • Medical officer, Canadian Armed Forces

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

  • Completion of the IB Diploma with competitive scores, including at least three Higher Level courses and additional points for Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.
  • Completion of Standard Level or Higher Level English A at a minimum score of 3, where English is the primary language of instruction. (If you are an international student with a score of less than 3 in IB English A [SL or HL], or you are taking English B [SL or HL], you may be eligible for UBC Vantage One programs.)

Degree-specific requirements: Arts

  • No specific courses required beyond those needed for general admission

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Second Languages
  • Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
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