Admission closed

Applications for admission usually open in March and close in August (application is still open if application form is still posted on this page) each year for winter session of the same year; for urgent concerns regarding graduation, please contact Arts Academic Advising.

  • Off-cycle application will NOT be considered unless recommendation comes directly from Arts Academic Advising. Please email to verify your eligibility for off-cycle application.
  • Applications will NOT be reviewed if course selection is short of the credit required of each category.

Please use your UBC email address if available as we’ve had issues receiving emails and submissions from some of the free email services (,, etc). This bug happens randomly and your email and/or application may not reach us.

Admission Eligibility

To be considered for admission to the Arts Interdisciplinary Studies Program, prospective students must:

  • be in good standing in the Bachelor of Arts program;
  • have attained third-year standing* (having completed at least 54 credits); and
  • have satisfied the Writing Component of the Faculty of Arts Writing and Research Requirement.

* Students can apply if they will have completed a minimum of 54 credits of work towards the B.A. degree before the start of winter term 1.

Applicants must demonstrate evidence of their readiness for independent study, normally having earned an average of 60% or better and showing particular strength in those subjects chosen for their interdisciplinary coursework. A student who had an average below 60% in a prior session but who has achieved a steadily improving average in subsequent sessions (especially in their chosen subjects) will also be considered.

Note that meeting minimum academic requirements does not guarantee admission: your course selection and responses to application questions are important considerations before approval is granted. Admission to the program is ultimately at the discretion of the Chair.


Applications are submitted through an online form on the Faculty of Arts’ secure AIR platform and will be evaluated as received by the IDST Program Chair. The application is open from March through at least July, although an off-cycle version may be distributed to students with extenuating circumstances after a referral from Arts Advising.

In your application, you will:

  • Articulate the central thematic focus of your IDST program
  • Specify your intended categories and focus area, as well as what courses you take in each area
  • Relate the courses you select for your program to the coherent focus, and consider the interdisciplinarity of your selection

Before applying, please carefully review instructions on this page, and refer to the Program Structure page for information on how to plan your courses and the FAQ page for any questions you may have about IDST program. Keep the BA Degree Requirements in mind when planning your program: most IDST students complete their Research Component through the primary focus area.

An Interdisciplinary Studies program may not be combined with any major, honours, minor, or other specialization: you will indicate on your application whether you wish to be immediately enrolled in IDST or consulted before current specializations are removed should your application be successful.

IDST and Transfer Credits

Students may apply upper-level transfer credit to their IDST program, whether earned while attending another institution or on exchange (both subject to Faculty and Degree Regulations).

IDST students with transfer credit should keep in mind the Science Credit Exclusion List, which stipulates that students may earn no more than 3 credits from any introductory statistics course, including but not limited to: COMM291, STAT200, PSYC218, and ECON325.

Applicants with COMM/COMR transfer credit should pay special attention to the COMM/COMR transfer equivalencies. Lower-level COMM transfer credit often precludes upper-level COMR courses; lower-level COMM transfer credits cannot be used in an IDST program, regardless of their upper-level equivalencies.