Program length:

2 years

Program Tuition Fees:

Domestic Fees*

International Fees

*30% discount applies for Canadian Forces members and veterans


Fall (October), Winter (January), Spring (April), Summer (July)




The Associate of Arts (AA) degree prepares students for life as an educated person and lays a solid foundation for further study.

This two-year, 60-credit (20 courses) undergraduate program is equivalent to the first two years of a four-year degree in the Arts. It prepares students to transfer to research or teaching universities to complete a bachelor’s degree or serves as a credential to enter the labour market. The AA degree is accepted for transfer into bachelor degree programs at University Canada West (UCW) and all British Columbia degree-granting institutions, provided other admission requirements are met.

Graduates of the AA program will be able to:
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to help you find a career.
  • Become an effective oral and written communicator for the workplace.
  • Develop the ability to work collaboratively.
  • Prepare for entry into four-year bachelor’s degree programs.
  • Prepare for entry-level positions in the industry of your choice.

Courses are provided in face-to-face learning environments.

With the completion of 30 credits in the Associate of Arts degree, a student may transfer to the Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication or Bachelor of Commerce degree seamlessly. Alternatively, the student may continue in the Associate of Arts degree and complete the program with an additional 30 credit hours of study as per provincial Associate of Arts degree guidelines. Please refer to the Course Descriptions section for detailed information on the actual courses.

Class Profile

UCW is home to students from more than 100 countries around the globe. Communicating with fellow students and sharing experiences can further enhance your learning experience.

Program Structure

The Associate of Arts program is an interdisciplinary set of courses designed to provide core skills in writing, communication, research and team performance. UCW Academic Advisors can help with your course selection to meet your post-secondary education goals.

NSO 098 – Student Orientation

Through this mandatory orientation students come to understand their academic expectations, requirements, and rights and responsibilities at University Canada West. Students learn how to access university services and systems that they need for success in their studies. Orientation includes practices of information literacy, academic integrity, critical thinking and academic writing.

ENGL 100 – Academic Writing

To succeed in academic environments, students must be able to communicate effectively in writing. Students apply principles of rhetoric and critical thinking to readings drawn from a variety of academic disciplines. They read closely and analyze different types of essays (e.g., narrative, expository, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, persuasive) in terms of how each best engages different types of audiences and contexts. They develop sound writing skills through a recursive approach that employs pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading and practice essential research strategies.

ENGL 102 – Critical Analysis & Writing

Undergraduate students are expected to write increasingly complex texts and develop arguments that provide persuasive grounds for their positions on topics and solutions to problems. This course builds on the skills taught in ENGL 100. Students develop their ability to listen, read challenging texts, analyze an issue from multiple perspectives and collect and assemble evidence. Students become skilled at appealing to the needs of a particular audience, connecting reasons to claims and developing a method for building successful arguments with those who disagree. They analyze context, audience, purpose and genre in written communications, and integrate relevant and appropriate media to create effective and accurate messages can be received and understood. Students are introduced to research and writing, composition, critical thinking, and preparing and presenting professional presentations for academic environments and classrooms. The course culminates in a signature assignment that, through structured experiences, non-judgmental reflection and acquired writing skills, helps students understand their strengths and challenges as advanced learners and the skills they need to succeed in their program.

1 Quantitative Science Course

1 Lab Science Course

1 Additional Science Course

2 Humanities Courses

2 Social Science Courses

2 Arts Courses – any level

6 Arts Courses – 200-level

AA students must take three 100, 200 or 300-level, or other approved, elective courses.

Learning Methods

Students in the AA degree program are required to demonstrate both written and oral communication skills. These skills will be developed and evaluated through:

  • Lectures and class discussions
  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Team tasks

Academic Standing

Students must remain in Good Academic Standing to continue their studies at UCW. For full details about Academic Standing, refer to the current Academic Calendar here.

Entry Requirements

  • Canadian High School (Grade 12) diploma or equivalent with an overall average of C or better (2.0 on a 4.33 scale)


  • Twenty-one (21) years of age or older and out of high school for at least two years, and
  • Documented success through academic, professional or volunteer activities


  • For students whose first language is not English, academic IELTS – 6.5 or better with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing band, or equivalent. More information is available in the English Proficiency section of this website.

For students who need to upgrade to meet our English proficiency requirements, UCW offers English pathway courses in our University Access Program.

For full requirements visit our admissions page.

Please note: Meeting the minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

University Access Program
Full Entry Requirements

AA Tuition Fees

2022 Fees

Number of courses 20 20
Cost per course $801** $1,827**
Total Tuition Fees $16,020 $36,540

2023 Fees

Number of courses 20 20
Cost per course $921** $1,920**
Total Tuition Fees $18,420 $38,400

2024 Fees

Number of courses 20 20
Cost per course $1,014** $2,018**
Total Tuition Fees $20,280 $40,360

Tuition deposit for international students: $7,900

First term tuition deposit for domestic students: $500

*30% discount applies for Canadian Forces members and veterans on all programs.

**Additional costs related to textbooks and materials for each course are not included in tuition.

More on Tuition & Financing
Awards & Scholarships

Graduation Requirements

UCW students must fulfil the requirements listed in the Academic Calendar in order to be eligible to graduate. For full details about Graduation Eligibility, refer to the current Academic Calendar here.