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Academic Advising Centre

Bachelor of Arts

This guide has been prepared with the information you need to successfully register for your first year at UFV. Please review the information provided on this page thoroughly before contacting your academic advisor with questions.


Program structure and requirements

Watch the recorded planning session or read the guide below.

The BA degree requires the completion of a minimum of 120 credits (approximately 40 classes) and is broken down into six learning areas:

  1. Core competencies
  2. Second language competency
  3. Personal and Social Responsibility competencies
  4. Career and portfolio development courses (ie e-portfolios)
  5. Program requirements (subject-specific requirements called majors & minors)
  6. General elective courses

Note: 1-3 are often referred to as 'general education' requirements.

You will design your degree by selecting and completing courses from each of these learning areas to meet specific requirements.

The BA does not require the completion of these credits/courses within a specific timeframe. Your pace is based on your personal schedule and goals—it needs to work for you.

Example: If you want to complete this program in four years, this means you will need to complete 30 credits or 10 courses each year.

Many students complete this degree in 5+ years, adjusting their course workload in relation to work schedules, non-academic commitments, etc.

This program planning guide focuses on the Foundational Skills & Program requirements as they are the most pertinent pieces in your planning at this time.

Core Competencies

  • Writing Foundation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Written, Oral, or Visual Communication
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Science Requirement

To meet the requirement for each core competency, you will need to choose and complete one course from a list of options.

Program requirements and declaration

These terms refer to choosing major and/or minor areas of study within your BA degree. The subjects (disciplines) you choose to declare as your major or minor(s) will be based on a number of factors including:

  • personal interests
  • educational goals
  • career goals

To earn your BA, you must choose to complete at least one of the following declaration options:


BA with major

120 credits total

  • Major requirements = 50 credits
  • General education requirements + e-portfolios = 27-30 credits
  • Electives = 40-43 credits

In this option, about half of the degree credits will come from one major subject area. The electives section will be comprised of personal interest courses and other course options that relate to your career and educational goals.

BA with two minors

120 credits total

  • Minor 1 = 24 credits
  • Minor 2 = 24 credits
  • General education requirements + e-portfolios = 27-30 credits
  • Electives = 42-45 credits

In this option, about half of the degree credits will come from two minor subject areas. The electives and core competencies etc remain the same as in the major option.


Important note about declaring your major/minors

You do not need to make a choice now. What is most important is that you begin considering your interests and start trying out those skill/content areas in your course selection. How you choose to build your degree will develop over time, throughout the course of your education.

Declaration of major/minor(s) is not even permitted until 30 credits have been completed and not required until 60 credits have been completed — you have time to figure this out.


Where can I find a list of courses for each learning area?

You can access a list of all approved and required courses for your program in two ways:


First time using MyGRADplan?

Visit MyGRADplan website to get login instructions and review tutorials. Specifically, you will want to learn about the 'What if' and 'Look ahead' features as they will be most helpful in your course planning.



Given that 3 classes correspond to approximately 20+ hours/week of school work both in and out of the classroom, it is very important that you consider your workload capacity carefully.

It is much better to start with less and add more coursework in future semesters than to start out feeling overloaded in your first semester.

Ultimately, the number of courses you take each semester is up to you, but here is what we recommend for first-year students:


3-4 courses per semester


9-12 hours per week in class


And at least
9-12 hours per week
for homework


Suggested course plan (first semester)

In choosing courses, try to select a mix of what you like and what is required:

  • Writing Foundation requirement: ENGL 105 (English) or CMNS 125 (Communications)
  • Note: Students completing ENGL 12 with an A meet this requirement


  • Critical Thinking requirement: PHIL 100
  • Possible major/minor (100-level course)
  • What might you want to focus your studies in?
  • Personal interest elective (100-level course)
  • Yes, really – something that sounds interesting to you.
  • Academic Skills course: UNIV 101
  • A course on "how to" UFV — there is a lot to learn!


Here is an example of how you may want to organize your fall and winter semesters: 

Fall (Sept-Dec) Winter (Jan-Apr)
ENGL 105 PHIL 100 (Philosophy)
UNIV 101 (University Studies) CMNS 180
100-level SOC (Sociology), or PSYC (Psychology), or HIST (History) 100-level GEOG (Geography), or GDS (Global Development Studies), or FNST (First Nations Studies)
or ANTH (Anthropology), or THEA (Theatre), or VA (Visual Arts), etc. or ECON (Economics), or BUS (Business Administration), or CYC (Child and Youth Care), etc.


Next steps

Prepare for registration

Watch tutorials, review information on fee payment, important dates, and more.

Explore courses of interest

Find official course descriptions and outlines in the Academic Calendar.

Track your degree progress

Access your program audit & identify the requirements that are needed for graduation.


Still have questions?

Book an appointment with an academic advisor or email your questions to

If you are starting in the fall, book your next appointment prior to the winter registration (October).

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