Why Choose Arts One?


Exclusive study environments

Located in a shared space with other “Gateway” programs, Arts One gives students exclusive access to one of the most desirable and self-contained study environments on campus, while remaining situated in, and closely connected to, the heart of the university.

Close knitted community

Arts One is one of the smallest programs at UBC, and students invariably establish close relationships that enhance learning, and last long past the first-year experience. Students enjoy continuous, unfiltered access to their professors (there are no Teaching Assistants here).

Award-winning instructors

Arts One instructors are among the best at UBC, and many past and present teachers have been awarded its highest teaching award, the Killam Prize. Furthermore, unlike most first-year students, Arts One students are able to enjoy the huge added benefit of on-site Arts Academic Advising right in their study space.

Stress-reducing registration with integrated curriculum

Arts One also takes much of the stress out of first-year registration, offering an integrated curriculum that satisfies 18 credits, including the Faculty of Arts writing requirement and three credits of the literature requirement (six credits of literature courses are required by the Faculty of Arts).

  • 6 credits of first-year English
  • 6 credits of first-year History
  • 6 credits of first-year Philosophy

This leaves room for up to 12 credits of electives from any of the hundreds of courses UBC has to offer.

Positive and encouraging transition

Arts One offers students a positive and encouraging transition into university, after which students go into their second year with all other second-year students, armed with the confidence and skillset to help them succeed. Arts One students are not restricted and can choose to major in any area available to all mainstream students, or transfer to other faculties, schools, or institutions. See What’s After Arts One for a list of majors Arts One students have gone on to pursue in recent years.

Arts One students come from many parts of the world! Here is a map of countries in which Arts One students have attended secondary schools, from 2006-2015.

a map of the world, with shading indicating numbers of students graduating from secondary schools in those countries, who went on to take Arts One

“Not only did Arts One prepare me for my classes, but for the social university experience. Because I was a commuter student, I was prepared to go through my first year alone. Thankfully, my first year was much more eventful.  The size of the seminars also helps with fostering new friendships. With only 20 people in the seminars, you begin to know each person by name in the first two weeks. Then you begin to understand why some of your classmates see things in a different way than you, and how amazing that is. You must have an open mind to people and their ideas. I grew so much by realizing that not everyone will see things the way that I do. There was several times when I would mention something that I saw as so apparent, yet not many others saw it. Every class, I learnt something new by my peers. The tutorials were extremely helpful, as well. Arts One made me a better student, a better friend, and a better person.”

Caitlin F., Arts One 2010W, ‘Dangerous Questions, Forbidden Knowledge’


Watch the UBC Faculty of Arts video introducing Arts One Program on YouTube.

‘Sit in’ on some of our UBC Arts One lectures on our YouTube channel.