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The experiences you have, the people you meet, and what you learn about yourself along the way all contribute to building your career. Choosing a major or preparing to graduate are exciting and overwhelming times. The best strategy is to actively explore what interests you, and reflect on the skills you’re building.
Anthropology is the integrated study of what it means to be human in the broadest possible sense. Anthropologists are interested in the findings of all fields pertaining to humans from anywhere on the globe, both past and present. Anthropology connects the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.
Economics is a social science concerned with choice and trade-offs among competing alternatives given scarce resources. It is the study of how people, institutions, and nations manage their scarce resources (such as time, money, and materials), make choices by comparing costs and benefits, and act on these choices and interact with each other; and how the behaviour of people, institutions, and nations reflect the incentives they face and changes in response to different incentives.
The general studies Bachelor of Arts is for students who wish to pursue a general liberal studies program. Students enrolled in the general studies Bachelor of Arts must fulfill requirements from the three groupings drawn from four categories:
There are many different ways to combine courses of interest to build this degree. A general studies Bachelor of Arts gives students the opportunity to create a unique program based on particular interests and abilities; it also provides a broad foundation with an interdisciplinary framework applicable to a broad range of occupations. This degree is appropriate for students planning to continue study in professional areas, such as law and teaching.
Simply put, geography is about the world we live in. It can be defined as the study of earth’s landscapes, places, environments, and peoples. It is unique as an academic discipline because of its ability to bridge the social sciences with the natural sciences and integrate ideas and methods from many different disciplines. Geographers understand the cultural and physical processes within places and regions, thus often contributing to the applied management of environments and resources. Geography courses provide students with valuable and relevant social, natural, and environmental sciences training, whatever their degree program.
History draws on the social sciences and humanities for most of its data and conceptual techniques, but remains essentially a study in the dimension of time, with methods of inquiry appropriate to such a study. The study of history provides education about the society in which we live and its past development. Since it involves the examination of people in an almost unlimited variety of situations, the study of history deepens the understanding of people’s capacities and failings. Properly pursued, it trains the mind to generalize on the basis of evidence and to distinguish propaganda from fact. History is an excellent first degree for those intending to go on to more advanced education in a number of fields.
This interdisciplinary program offers courses that provide perspectives of Indigenous peoples from the Okanagan, Canada, and the world communities. The involvement of the Okanagan Nation and the En’owkin Centre in its development and in ongoing partnership provide a strong foundation in the Okanagan community and ensure continuing input from Indigenous perspectives.
Courses are offered at the second-year level in Okanagan and Amerindian Indigenous history and cultures. In the third and fourth years, courses in Indigenous governance, the justice system, land claims, traditional ecological knowledge, the protection of heritage, Indigenous theory, methodology, and research applications are offered. Students may complete their major or minor program by taking approved courses on Indigenous topics in other disciplines and faculties.
In an increasingly global society, the relevance of international boundaries is becoming more important yet paradoxically less apparent in our day-to-day lives. The interdisciplinary degree involves the study of nations and how they interact, from the historical origins to the notion of nationalism.
The International Relations major is a program offered through UBC Okanagan’s interdisciplinary degree option, and allows students to develop a solid background in related areas of political science, history, sociology-anthropology, economics, and modern languages. The International Relations program stresses critical thinking and essential communication skills. International Relations majors at UBC Okangaan are encouraged to study and travel in other countries as part of their Bachelor of Arts major requirements.
Mathematics is a powerful tool for solving practical problems, combining logic and precision with intuition and imagination. The basic goal of mathematics is to reveal and explain patterns – whether it appears as electrical impulses in an animal’s nervous system, as fluctuations in stock market prices, or as fine details of an abstract geometric figure.
The major in philosophy provides students with an understanding of the general intellectual landscape by studying the ideas of the eminent thinkers of the past and present. Studying philosophy will, among other things, allow students to examine and express ideas and arguments clearly, precisely, and logically. Philosophy is good preparation for careers in law, journalism, business, the civil services, and all forms of scholarly activity.
The political science major provides a solid understanding of the institutions of government, their relationship to politically active non-governmental organizations, the articulation and implementation of public policy, and the role of the informed global citizen in a liberal-democratic system.
An interdisciplinary degree program at UBC Okanagan. The philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) major encompasses philosophy, which teaches logic, ethics, and how to question critically; politics, which forms the structure and institutions that form policies and determine the rules by which we are governed; and economics, which encompasses how we make decisions as individuals and groups in our increasingly global world market.
Psychology is the study of human and animal behaviour. It also has practical applications such as the determination of the best conditions for learning and memory, the design of work environments for greatest productivity, and the development of therapies for the treatment of behavioural disorders.
The major in psychology provides a strong foundation for advanced training that can lead to a career as a psychologist or other professional. Most careers in psychology, whether research, clinical, applied, or academic psychology, require a graduate degree.
*Honours options are available in this subject area.
Sociology analyses human behaviour as it is shaped by society; this, in turn, affects the social context within which we live. Examples of such contexts are informal groups, families, classrooms, work organizations, cultures, and societies as a whole. Sociologists use a variety of research methods, including historical analyses, participant observation, surveys, fieldwork, and laboratory experiments.
A sociology degree is valuable preparation for a wide variety of careers and occupations. Many exemplary lives have sociology in their backgrounds: Martin Luther King Jr. and Jessie Jackson; Anne Cools, the first Canadian Black senator; Margaret Anne Mitchell, social activist and Member of Parliament; Daniel G. Hill, the first head of the Ontario Human Rights Commission; and Cassie Campbell, the first female hockey player to be included into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
In a rapidly changing world, it is becoming ever more crucial to think about how justice and equality are related to gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation. Drawing on diverse sources from across the academic spectrum and around the world, gender, women, and sexuality studies challenges stereotypes, provokes us to think deeply about our connections with others, and encourages an atmosphere of informed, respectful, and critical discussion.
The art history program focuses on developing critical thinking and writing abilities for the exploration and analysis of diverse forms of art and visual culture. Art history examines “high” art, popular culture, architecture, everyday objects, performance, and aesthetics in their cultural and historical contexts using interdisciplinary approaches drawing from art history, literary and cultural studies, history, and anthropology.
Art history offers students a unique opportunity to learn about the world’s diverse traditions from faculty with expertise in Canada, Europe, Africa, the Islamic World, South Asia, Indigenous America, and the contemporary global art scene.
Students can obtain either a major or a minor in art history and are also able to combine the program with the study of literatures of different cultures and languages. The program is a practical option for students who are continuing on to professional programs or graduate studies.
Following the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies’ focus on the production and reception of art, the creative writing program will provide students with the opportunity to study literature and literary criticism, helping them to bring lessons learned from that study to their own writing. Creative writing is offered as a program concentration.
In cultural studies, we think about identity and social roles and challenge the dominant or “normal” assumptions about who and how we are in relation to others. As well, cultural studies explores power and identity; analyzes many different forms of cultural expression, such as television, film, advertising, literature, art, and video games; and studies social and cultural practices, like shopping, cell phone use, and social justice movements. Cultural studies is interdisciplinary: the program draws on courses from a variety of fields. Courses are organized in three streams:
As an English student, you are engaged in the close study and analysis of complex texts. You gain a solid background in literature (including novels, short fiction, creative non-fiction, drama, and poetry) from various time periods and geographical locations. You also discover the ways in which the study of literary texts leads to a better understanding of our world. Language, you will learn, is one of the most powerful, political, and philosophical tools that we have in the information age. Mastery of the English language does not simply allow you to use a properly placed semicolon: it empowers you to think critically about the world around you and your place in it.
Additional education or certification may be required for some fields and occupations.
Whether you are coming from a French immersion program or are new to the language, the study of French can be an excellent focus of your degree or a perfect complement to any program. Study in French can be applied to nearly any field and can facilitate work in nearly every region of the globe.
Study in Spanish offers students a comprehensive learning experience that includes one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. In addition to language skills, students will gain knowledge of the literary traditions and a basic historical understanding of the shaping of the cultures of Spain and Spanish America.
The visual arts program offers a balance of academic study and studio work, immersing students in a critical and contemporary art education. Students will acquire the foundation skills, techniques, and theories to work in two and three dimensions in a variety of media, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, computer applications, and video. Students work closely with professors and are given ample studio space and time.
The mission of the faculty of education at UBC’s Okanagan campus is to educate teachers who will exemplify those attitudes, abilities, and qualities of mind that are requisite for successful teaching. The Faculty’s established goal in achieving this mission is to offer a teacher education program of the highest quality. The Faculty of Education offers undergraduate programs in elementary and secondary teacher education, graduate programs (Masters programs in Teaching & Learning and Educational Leadership & Administration), and post-baccalaureate programs (Early Learning, Inclusive Education, and Language & Literacy).
Human kinetics is a discipline focused on the study and practice of human movement and exercise and their impact on health and physical performance. The program will help students develop knowledge and practical skills related to community health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and rehabilitation. Students will learn valuable tools, such as lifestyle management, nutritional guidance, and physical activity programming. Human Kinetics graduates will be able to understand and help solve the challenges of building healthy societies from a global perspective that integrates both scientific and social factors.
Health promotional emphasis:
In either area:
The major in biochemistry provides a strong background in biochemistry, biology, and chemistry, giving students the opportunity to move on to graduate school, or work in allied fields such as microbiology, environmental sciences, plant sciences, food science, pharmacology, pharmaceutical sciences, industrial applications of molecular techniques, and biotechnology. This program is also suitable for students who would like a career in health or medical sciences, molecular diagnostics, and government agencies dealing with medical biochemistry. There are three options leading to a major in biochemistry, wine or plant, or medical.
The biology major is designed to provide students with an excellent grounding in all fields of biology and the basic practical skills of the working biologist. This program prepares students for graduate school and professional programs. Students graduating from UBC Okanagan with a Bachelor of Science in biology will have a wide variety of practical experience and skills in laboratory and fieldwork, computers, and communications (both oral and written). If students choose to specialize in a subdiscipline of biology, they may complete a concentration in physiology.
This program provides students with a comprehensive education in four important areas of chemistry – analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry – and some specialization in environmental studies. Employment opportunities include positions with environmental consulting firms, environmental departments in industrial operations, analytical laboratories, and environmental regulatory agencies.
This program provides students with a comprehensive overview of computer science (data structures, databases, operating systems, software engineering, and numerical methods) while allowing students to explore a variety of courses in computer science, such as artificial intelligence and computer graphics. Students learn how to design and develop software applications, systems, and websites. Employment opportunities are many and varied.
This multidisciplinary program provides courses that ensure a fundamental understanding of past and present relationships among air, water, rocks and minerals, and biota. The emphasis is on the interactions between humans and the environment.
It is intended to prepare students to meet the knowledge requirements for professional designation according to the guidelines of the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG).
Courses in ecology and evolutionary biology will provide students with grounding in theory, practical experience, and skills in laboratory and field work, computers, and communications (both verbal and written). This program prepares students for graduate school and professional programs.
The Bachelor of Science in economics emphasizes the mathematical and quantitative nature of modern economic inquiry that is increasingly required to progress on the graduate studies in economics or to careers in quantitative economic and financial analysis in the public and private sectors. The Bachelor of Science in economics program combines courses in economics, mathematics, and statistics along with other arts and sciences requirements and electives.
This program prepares students for careers related to inland aquatic ecosystems. The freshwater science program integrates and synthesizes aquatic aspects of biology, chemistry, geography, and earth and environmental sciences. Students will study water quality and quantity, aquatic organisms, and the health of aquatic ecosystems. In the fourth year of the program, all students undertake an individual project in their area of interest, and participate in a group research project under the direction of the project coordinator.
This program provides a comprehensive undergraduate science education with the opportunity for concentration in two or three of the following subject areas: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, mathematical sciences, and physics.
The general science degree is appropriate for students planning to continue study in professional areas, such as post-secondary education, business administration, dentistry, law, medicine, or veterinary medicine. In particular, this program provides excellent preparation for prospective secondary school teachers. It is not generally intended for students planning to continue to graduate studies in science; however, with careful planning and high academic achievement, it is possible to enter a science graduate program, although additional qualifying studies may be required for some universities.
This program provides students with a solid grounding in the mathematical sciences, including mathematics, statistics, and computer science. While maintaining a strong core in mathematics, the program allows students to emphasize mathematics, statistics, computer science, or any combination of the three.
The major in microbiology provides students with a breadth of knowledge in microbiology as it applied to health sciences, the environment, and industry. Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology will have developed a wide range of lab, communication, and critical thinking skills.
This program will prepare students for careers in microbiology (e.g. food and beverage industries, health sciences, and environmental sciences), graduate school, and professional programs (e.g. medicine and dentistry).
This program aims to provide a comprehensive physics education with considerable emphasis on both theoretical foundations and laboratory practice.
The senior laboratory components consist of long-range projects rather than prescribed exercises, to encourage initiative on the part of the students and to prepare him or her for the inventive atmosphere of modern high-tech industry.
Students gain a broad perspective in psychology with courses in such diverse areas as bio-psychology, cognitive, developmental, social, and abnormal psychology. In addition, students gain an understanding and appreciation of the empirical method as it is applied across the disciplines.
Most careers in psychology, whether research, clinical, applied, or academic psychology, required a graduate degree. Students may choose from biology, cognitive, and research design and statistics concentrations.
The zoology major is designed to provide students with an excellent grounding in all fields of zoology and the basic practical skills of the working zoologist. This program prepares students for graduate school and professional programs. Students graduating from UBC’s Okanagan campus with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology will have a wide variety of practical experience and skills in laboratory and fieldwork, computers, and communications (both oral and written).
We respectfully acknowledge the Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples, in whose traditional, ancestral, unceded territory UBC Okanagan is situated.