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Arts and Integrated Studies

Plan your studies

Bachelor of Integrated Studies planning resources

While the Integrated Studies program provides you with great flexibility, it also requires that you plan your coursework carefully. Here are some resources to help you prepare.

We also recommend that you see an Integrated and General Studies advisor early on in your planning process to help with your program plan.

Frequently asked questions

  • The BIS is a professional degree completion program, designed primarily for students with prior academic and/or professional training and experience who are wanting to attain a credential for professional and educational advancement.
  • The BIS provides the greatest flexibility of any degree program. Students work with an academic advisor to select courses that best meet their learning goals, schedules, and professional needs.
  • The BIS is rigorous, as students must complete foundational and advanced coursework in no less than six disciplines.
  • The BIS is transfer-friendly.
  • Most students can complete their BIS degree more quickly than other options.


BIS graduates have an excellent track record of success in completing graduate study, teacher education qualifications, professional certification, and advancement in a diversity of career fields. While UFV is the only BC institution to offer a BIS, Integrated Studies programs are found in other parts of Canada. The degree is recognizable across the country.

We recognize that it can be difficult at times to explain what an Integrated Studies degree is. We encourage BIS graduates to speak to potential employers and graduate schools about how they have met the degree’s six core competencies; about the broad perspectives and specific skills gained through introductory and advanced study in multiple disciplines; and about any additional specializations or credentials (e.g., Themes, minors, etc.) completed as part of the degree.

Reach out to an academic advisor, the Centre for Experiential and Career Education (CECE), or to the program chair if you have questions about preparing for subsequent study.

It is possible to complete all 120 credits of your degree online, though the choice of courses may be more limited. UFV still delivers most courses in person or in a hybrid format, except during times of public health or local emergencies. Some programs offer many of their courses fully online, however, and students may also seek special arrangements to complete some of their courses through independent arrangement.

Students can also transfer credits into their degree program from other institutions that also offer online study. Before planning to do so, however, BIS students should consult with an academic advisor and submit a Letter of Permission request. 

Possibly. Students can potentially draw upon their professional training and experience in two ways.

First, in some cases, this experience may meet one or more of the competency requirements in the degree. The use of professional experience towards degree competencies is not automatic; students will need to provide evidence of having met the competency outcomes as part of an assessment process. Please visit the “Plan Your Studies” section of this website and speak with an academic advisor for more information.

Second, students may want to consider pursuing academic credit through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and/or course

challenge process. In a PLAR review, students identify courses for which they feel they already meet the learning outcomes. They then compile and present evidence of having met course-specific learning outcomes. These outcomes can be found in the most recent versions of a course’s official outline, as found in the UFV Calendar.

Note that credits earned through the PLAR process are treated the same as transfer credits. Students cannot use more than 90 credits in total of credits awarded through transfer and PLAR.

More information on PLAR and course challenges can be found on the PLAR website.

The Adult Education Department (ADED) also provides additional information on PLAR. Students with experiences specific to adult education should contact that department for more information on PLAR for ADED.

Before beginning the PLAR process, book an appointment with an academic advisor to review how PLAR can work in your program.

Yes! UFV is a transfer-friendly institution, and the flexible design of the BIS allows students to use transferred credit towards up to 75% of their required credits (up to 90 credits in all). Students with transfer credits are still responsible for meeting degree requirements, as well as the requirements of any additional programs completed concurrently, such as minors or certificates. Transfer credits will also be assessed to see how they may be applied towards degree requirements.

Generally, yes. The BIS program does not limit the use of older credits completed at UFV. BIS students are often lifelong learners, with educational

experiences spread out over multiple points in their life. Credits completed at UFV years earlier will usually still appear on your MyGradPlan.

Older credits (10+ years) earned at other public postsecondary institutions, including those in other provinces, will usually still be recognized. However, they may not recognize as equivalent disciplinary credit at the same level in which the course was originally completed. For instance, a 300-level course completed at another institution 15 years ago may articulate as a 100-level course at UFV, unless a course syllabus or outline can be provided.

Yes! The Diploma in General Studies ladders directly into the BIS. Students can ladder from other UFV diploma programs as well as from diplomas completed at other recognized post-secondary institutions.

The BIS degree program has been in place since 2002, but for most of this time, it was known as the Bachelor of General Studies. Following internal consultations and program redesign, the degree was renamed the Bachelor of Integrated Studies. The newer name better reflected the ways in which students integrate professional study and experience and multi-disciplinary study into their degree.

The degree has been offered as the BIS since 2019.

BGS students can remain in the program as a BGS student if they would like, or they may request a change to the Bachelor of Integrated Studies at any point up to applying to graduate.

Students can no longer enter the program with the goal of completing the degree as the Bachelor of General Studies. New students to the degree can only complete the Bachelor of Integrated Studies. Any current student in the

BGS who chooses to not enroll in a course over a 12-month period will be automatically removed from the program by the Office of the Registrar, and they will need to reapply to the degree program. If this occurs, the student will need to reapply for admission under the Bachelor of Integrated Studies designation.

If you are currently a student completing the BGS, and you are interested in switching into the BIS, please make an appointment with an academic advisor at

Unfortunately, no. Once a degree is conferred by UFV, the degree cannot be exchanged for the Bachelor of Integrated Studies.


General Studies diploma planning resources

While the General Studies program provides you with great flexibility, it also requires that you plan your coursework carefully. Here are some resources to help you prepare.

Make an appointment with a General Studies advisor early in your program to help with your program planning.

Changing programs? If you are currently enrolled in another program, and you are considering applying to the General Studies Diploma, make an appointment with an Academic Advisor. The advisor can work with you to review how courses you have already completed can be used in the diploma, and they can help answer questions you may have about applying to the program.

Program planning worksheet

Use the General Studies Diploma Worksheet to plan and track the courses you need for your program.‌

Additional resources

Student success handouts, prepared by UFV Counselling, contain a wealth of information about writing, studying, concept mapping, time management and more.

Core competencies

The UFV General Studies Diploma (GSD) program allows you to fully customize your program to meet your learning and professional objectives. As part of the program, you will demonstrate competency in these areas:

  • Effective communications
  • Use and interpretation of numerical data

And one of the following two areas:

  • Digital 
  • Scientific practice

These competency requirements can be met using courses from many different disciplines. You can meet all through UFV courses alone or by using a combination of UFV and transfer credits.

Are you currently employed with McDonald’s?

Receive credits toward one of four credentials, including the General Studies diploma & the Bachelor of Integrated Studies through a new UFV-McDonald's partnership.

Learn more