IR Language Requirement

Language word cloud

As part of the IR program, students are required to take a certain number of language credits in addition to the Faculty of Arts language requirement.

  • IR Majors: 12 credits all in one language other than English
  • IR Minors: 6 credits all in one language other than English

Once students have completed their language requirement, they must email irmajor.program@ubc.ca to have their degree navigator updated.

Please note the following with regards to the language requirement:

  • The language chosen for these credits can be the one used to satisfy the Faculty of Arts requirement carried to a higher level (eg. Span 101, 102, and 201 cannot be used toward IR if you are using Span 202 for your Arts language requirement), or it can be an additional language.
  • Students who are using a grade 12 language from high school to meet the Arts language requirement cannot take courses below this level towards the IR requirement. For example, if you have taken French 12 in high school but receive permission from the French department to enrol in a course(s) below Fren 112 (the equivalent to Fren 12), these courses will not count toward the IR language requirement as they must be at a higher level than what you’ve used for the Arts requirement.
  • The final course taken towards the language requirement must be taken for percentage grades instead of credit/D/fail.
  • Credits taken toward the IR language requirement can be used toward your BA elective requirements.
  • French Immersion students can satisfy the IR Major language requirement by completing Fren 224 and 225.
  • As language immersion is a great way to learn a language, students may also wish to complete some of their language credits through an International Learning Experience such as exchange or group study or by participating in the Canadian Federal Government language immersion program: Summer Explore.

Language Testing

Students may satisfy the IR language requirement by proving the appropriate competency through examination. Arrangements for such examination must be made through the academic department providing instruction in the language. No course credit will be awarded for satisfaction of the IR language requirement in this manner.

Students who will be testing for their IR language requirement in the same language as their Arts requirement but at a higher level, need to make this clear to the department administering the competency exam to ensure that the correct language level is being tested.

Students who wish to present a language other than those instructed at UBC may be permitted to do so through a challenge examination, where appropriate expertise to test the student’s competency in the language is available. Arrangements for such examination must be made through Arts Academic Advising. No course credit will be awarded for satisfaction of the language requirement in this manner.

Results of language exams should be forwarded to irmajor.program@ubc.ca.