Sample Programs

Is the program for you?

The best way to gauge the usefulness of the BA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies is to look at what it has done for other people. The following are accounts from former and current IDST students who have found the Program to be useful or ideal for their own academic and career goals; these are, of course, often vastly different for every student.

Michael Ross

Why did I choose to pursue an Interdisciplinary B.A.?

1. Flexibility and diversity: I chose this program because it allowed me the opportunity to follow my interests and diversify my areas of study. I was keen on investigating many disciplines, starting my career at UBC with the Arts One Program and then continuing on to study Oceanography, Developmental Psychology, Chinese, and Economics. As an Arts Co-op student, I combined my academic foundations and put them to work as a Business Communication Instructor in Beijing, China.

2. “Jack of all trades master of none”: I used to believe that this expression suitably described my academic career. However, I realized that I have developed many vital skills that employers demand. Through my interdisciplinary approach I have mastered adaptability and change management. And, I have improved greatly my creative and critical thinking skills.

3. Timely completion: Yeah right! I have taken my time to explore the Point Grey peninsula of knowledge as well as the University of Western Australia in sunny Perth. However, my six-year degree with Co-op might have been eight without the BA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies. But hey, as our motto goes “Tuum Est” – It’s Yours! Why not explore?

Katharine Kan

Little did I know about what my academic career would entail when I, like so many other high school graduates, took the seemingly logical route into university. However, through the course of my five years at UBC, I’ve discovered just how much I value learning. The Interdisciplinary B.A. Program has given me room to design a program tailored to my intended future career as an elementary school teacher. With a primary focus in Asian Studies through History and a secondary focus on children-related courses, I have combined two very disjointed fields into an exceedingly personalized program of study. The chance to include a year of exchange in Hong Kong and four Arts Co-op terms has certainly enhanced my breadth of knowledge and has helped me improve upon my goal to be a well-rounded person.

Sample Programs

Below are some downloadable sample programs in PDF format. Each sample consists of pages 2 and 3 of the application form, which includes a written statement of intent and a program outlining a student’s final 60 credits at UBC. It is important to note, however, these are in no way meant to be “models”; rather, they are provided to give you some idea of variety in program planning and direction for completing your form in a manner helpful to the Board of Studies. Your own program should be carefully constructed, reflecting personal goals and interests. In all likelihood, your program may be markedly different from the samples provided here.

Note: These sample programs are available as PDF (Portable Document Format) files. To view these files, you will need a copy of Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. This small program can be downloaded free of charge from Adobe.


This student has provided a strong undergraduate foundation to a future career in architecture by tailoring the program to the requirements of professional architecture schools. (Note: Students going into architecture should be sure to consult printed materials for requirements at particular schools; for example, UBC Architecture and University of California, Berkeley differ in their requirements.) View Sample Program


By taking a non-traditional approach to her degree, this student has created a program that, in her view, is not only specific to career goals in the field of Banking but also provides a competitive edge over other graduates with more traditional degrees in Economics and Commerce.View Sample Program

Creative Arts

This program was designed by a student who has managed to establish a program of study that focuses on a passion for the study of human society, through both artistic representation and more traditional studies in the Social Sciences. View Sample Program


Planning on applying for the Middle Years Education Program after graduation, this student has designed a program that fulfills all of the Faculty of Education’s entrance requirements and, at the same time, offers a diverse array of specialties that an Education-bound undergraduate student would not usually present in an application. View Sample Program

Graduate Studies Preparation

This student’s program has been carefully researched so that it will provide the necessary preparatory courses for graduate studies in patient/physician communication and health policy. (Note: While the IDST Program is, in most cases, too broad to be the avenue to Graduate Studies, this students has a very particular post-degree plan). View Sample Program

Health Sciences

Through utilizing the broad, interdisciplinary approach that the IDST BA Program offers, this student has laid the foundations for further professional education in the health sciences. View Sample Program


This student, planning to apply to the Faculty of Medicine, has designed a program that allows for the pursuit of her love of language through the study of English and French, but still leaves room for the mandated prerequisites for future studies in Medicine. View Sample Program

Primary Education

With the goal of becoming a primary school teacher in Northern B.C. in mind, this student has developed a program that not only meets the entry requirements for the Faculty of Education, but also addresses many of the historical and social issues affecting the people of this part of the province. View Sample Program


This student has managed to develop a program that will prepare him for a future career in theatre, but he has chosen courses entirely outside of the theatre discipline itself. By combining diverse creative and performing arts courses with others in the social sciences, this student has individualized his program in such a way that it directly addresses all of his academic and personal interests, yet still provides him with a strong foundation for his aspirations in the world of theatre. View Sample Program