Navigating majors + courses

UBC offers a wide variety of courses — from wine science (FNH 330) to songwriting (CRWR 311) — to satisfy your interests and to help you explore new things!

But with all these options, choosing your courses can also become overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you through the process.


Keep your degree requirements in mind while choosing classes. These are classes you must take in order to graduate from UBC. These classes often fall under categories like “language” or “science” to ensure students get a well-rounded education. A list of all the courses that satisfy these requirements is available on the UBC Academic Calendar at, so you can easily find the most suitable courses for you. Degree requirements vary based on your program, make sure you’re looking at the correct webpage!


Specializations on the Student Service Centre (SSC) include all honours, major and minor programs. These programs have their own sets of requirements for admission and completion. Honours programs often require an application, so consult the department you’re looking into. Some majors and minors may also require an application, so be sure to keep an eye on department websites for when they open and close.

At UBC, you can have up to two specializations — this means you can double honours, double major, major-minor or just have a major. When adding a major to your degree (typically in your second or third year), you’ll have the option to pick another specialization if you want, or you’ll be left with space for electives outside of your main area of study.

There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to making a schedule, so don’t forget to take advantage and pick electives at times that work best for you, in subjects that genuinely interest you and with professors that inspire you!


Degree Navigator is the tool most students use to check in on their degree progress. It can help you see which requirements you’ve satisfied and which ones you still need to complete. This resource can be found on the SSC, and UBC holds sessions to teach students how to use it as well.

While Degree Navigator is a great tool, it should be treated as a supplement to academic planning — not an end-all, be-all guide. Courses and majors change all the time, and this may not always be reflected on the site.

If you’d rather talk to someone, UBC provides faculty advising — both virtually and in-person. You can talk to someone about your concerns or questions, and they can help you plan the years you spend here. Beware of long wait times during peak periods (during registration, the start of the year and nearing graduation).

Being in charge of your own schedule can sound very daunting, but if you plan ahead and ask for help, it can also be really fun!