Pursuing an Undergraduate Degree with FNIS


This page is to serve as a starting point and general guide for students looking to apply to First Nations and Indigenous Studies at UBC.  If you have any further questions please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page, or send an email to cis.program@ubc.ca.





What is FNIS?

First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS) was founded in 2001 to provide students with an understanding of the histories, contemporary realities, and political concerns of Indigenous peoples in Canada and beyond.  As an interdisciplinary undergraduate program within the Faculty of Arts, FNIS reflects the belief that deep understanding and ethical engagement are central to the wellbeing of resurgent Indigenous communities and foundational to more respectful Indigenous-settler relations.


What can I expect to get out of FNIS?

The Program’s students are provided extensive experience with Indigenous political theory and politics, aesthetics, literature, and contemporary social concerns, in the classroom and on a first-hand basis. In their final year, students participate in the 400-level Research Practicum that allows them to apply their problem-solving skills to the needs and priorities of Indigenous communities.  Students are partnered with an Indigenous organization to design and implement a project based upon the organization’s needs. Through this partnership, students make meaningful contributions to their partner organizations, turning knowledge gained in the classroom into lived experience, and the organization receives the final research product to assist in their own work.


How do I get into the Program?


Potential students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree with a specialization (Major or Minor) in First Nations and Indigenous Studies must first gain admission to the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Arts in Vancouver through a personal application to the university. This can be done online once you have created your own Campus-Wide Login (CWL) account. Potential students should check to see if they meet UBC’s general admission requirements before applying. For all information related to gaining admission to UBC, please visit: http://you.ubc.ca/

Tip: If you are a high school student, your school’s guidance counselor is a great resource to utilize if you are thinking about pursuing a post-secondary education. They will tell you which high school courses you will need and which extracurricular activities to pursue if you want to succeed on your university applications.


I have been accepted to UBC! What should I do now?

Congratulations on your acceptance to UBC Vancouver! The next step towards completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations and Indigenous Studies is building your personal timetable and registering for prerequisite FNIS courses. Please take a look at the current Major and Minor requirements to see which courses you will need to take in order to graduate with a specialization in FNIS. Next, log on to the UBC Student Service Centre (SSC) and browse through the list of courses offered by FNIS. If you meet the prerequisite requirements of a course you may add that course to your Worklist. After adding the required FNIS courses you can continue to add courses from other departments to fill up your timetable with up to 15 credits per semester. When you are satisfied with your timetable, you can confirm your registration in those courses once your registration date arrives. For all information related to course registration and enrolment, please visit: http://students.ubc.ca/enrolment/courses/registration

Tip: Academic Advisors in the Faculty of Arts are available to assist and guide students through building a timetable and registering for courses. If you have any further questions about enrolment in FNIS, contact Tanya Bob, the CIS Associate Director at tanya.bob@ubc.ca.


I have registered for my courses, now what?


Once you are registered in courses it’s time to begin your transition to UBC life. If you are not from Vancouver and are looking for a place to live you may want to consider applying for student residence on-campus. There are also Orientation Programs specifically designed for UBC newcomers! Be sure to review the many opportunities that are exclusive to new students and participate if you choose to.

As a new student of First Nations and Indigenous Studies, feel free to introduce yourself to the Program’s welcoming faculty and staff. There is also a FNIS student-run club, the First Nations Studies Student Association (FNSSA), which you can get in touch with to learn about student experiences at UBC and within FNIS specifically. Be sure to check out the FNSSA Facebook group or the FNSSA Facebook page, as well as the First Peoples Writing blog, which are regularly moderated by FNSSA members.


Have we left anything off this list?  If so, please send an email to cis.program@ubc.ca to have an item considered for this page.