Applications are closed for 2022.  If you have submitted an application, your patience is appreciated as we process applications in the order received. If you aim to graduate within this current session or next, please email to verify your eligibility for an off-cycle application.

  • Applications will NOT be reviewed if course selection is short of the credit required of each category.
  • IDST constitutes a complete and unique program for B.A. students and cannot be combined with an Honours, Major, or Minor specialization in any other field or Faculty.

Please use your UBC email address if available as there have been issues receiving emails and submissions from some of the free email services (,,, etc.). This bug happens randomly so 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*; and
  • have satisfied the Writing Component of the Faculty of Arts Writing and Research Requirement (transfer students without a writing component are recommended to take WRDS 350 001 which is reserved for prospective and current IDST students).

* Students can apply if they will have completed a minimum of 54 credits towards a 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 higher and show 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.

Please 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 IDST Program Chair.


Applications are submitted through an online form on the Faculty of Arts’ secure AIR platform and will be evaluated as received by the Program Chair. You may be asked to revise your application based on the feedback we provide before we could accept your application.

The application is open from March through at least July, although an off-cycle version may be extended 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 will 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 the instructions on this page, refer to the Program Structure page for information on how to plan your courses, and visit 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.

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.

  • Review your Transfer Credits carefully. If you have a “PR” (Preclusion) for a specific course at UBC, note that you are not permitted to include this precluded course into your IDST Program.
  • If you wish to use unassigned Transfer Credit (e.g. ECON3RD) towards your IDST Program, note that a review of the course syllabus is required before approval. Please send a copy of the syllabus to for review with reference to your specific program or program application.