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UBC vs UVic vs UCalgary for a prospective arts student

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UBC vs UVic vs UCalgary for a prospective arts student

Which one is the best overall for someone studying an arts discipline (likely Econ/Political Science)?

Attributes the prospective student thinks are important: class sizes, instructional quality, curriculum/programming, peers, affordability.


All are solid universities. The student is from Vancouver and it seems in recent years 30% of the class is international. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but perhaps it is better to attend a university that is weighted more towards domestic students.

Lucky for them their parents are paying for the bulk of tuition and living expenses.
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Jul 31, 2017
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SFU, and Alberta are solid choices too.

For an arts undergrad degree it really doesn't matter much.
[OP]
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Fair enough. I think it would be good to get out of Vancouver. So I will suggest Calgary.
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For teenagers, young adults and adults, how can they tell themselves that they are really suited for social sciences? For example, while they can go take courses at college and university in Canada and/or overseas, would they still need beginner level jobs in exchange programs, organizations, petitions, campaigns to test their skills so that their performances can tell if they are really suited?
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redflagdealsnewb wrote: Which one is the best overall for someone studying an arts discipline (likely Econ/Political Science)?

Attributes the prospective student thinks are important: class sizes, instructional quality, curriculum/programming, peers, affordability.


All are solid universities. The student is from Vancouver and it seems in recent years 30% of the class is international. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but perhaps it is better to attend a university that is weighted more towards domestic students.

Lucky for them their parents are paying for the bulk of tuition and living expenses.
What is your end goal in terms of work that you plan on doing? If you are planning on getting an Economics degree and working in the Financial industry, aim with the top tier Universities assuming you are accepted, can afford it, etc.

Many times people go into these liberal arts (aka basket weaving courses) and sink tons of money into something that does not have much marketable gain. It is best to focus on what you want to end up in 5 to 10 years and work towards that.
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redflagdealsnewb wrote: All are solid universities. The student is from Vancouver and it seems in recent years 30% of the class is international. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but perhaps it is better to attend a university that is weighted more towards domestic students.
I imagine the bulk of international undergraduate students are in the technical/scientific and business fields of study, not arts.
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redflagdealsnewb wrote: Which one is the best overall for someone studying an arts discipline (likely Econ/Political Science)?

Attributes the prospective student thinks are important: class sizes, instructional quality, curriculum/programming, peers, affordability.


All are solid universities. The student is from Vancouver and it seems in recent years 30% of the class is international. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but perhaps it is better to attend a university that is weighted more towards domestic students.

Lucky for them their parents are paying for the bulk of tuition and living expenses.
Econ & Poli Science are considered "Arts"?
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Swerny wrote: Econ & Poli Science are considered "Arts"?
It's been a while since I attended university, but believe that is the case. At most universities there are faculties are arts, sciences, or a combined faculty. Science would be bio, chem, physics, math, cs, geology, etc. Arts would be history, philosophy, economics, political science, etc. Some universities will award you a BS in an art discipline if you take calculus. However, I would still consider that to be an Arts degree.
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hightech wrote: What is your end goal in terms of work that you plan on doing? If you are planning on getting an Economics degree and working in the Financial industry, aim with the top tier Universities assuming you are accepted, can afford it, etc.

Many times people go into these liberal arts (aka basket weaving courses) and sink tons of money into something that does not have much marketable gain. It is best to focus on what you want to end up in 5 to 10 years and work towards that.
While I'd agree that having a goal in mind helps, as someone with a liberal arts degree, it's far from a death sentence.
Yes you do need to be marketable, but that's on the individual. With that being said, in my case I also went to college for marketing so do have a bit of a business background.

A lot of my university peers had no idea what they wanted to do though and either did grad studies (I briefly considered it to be honest) or went to teachers college, so I do agree with the general sentiment.

Anyways, regardless of school, a minor wouldn't hurt.
Example going into philosophy, poly sci or a language? Get a minor in business.

Going into gender studies or history with no intention of doing grad studies or teaching... good luck...
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IceBlueShoes wrote: A lot of my university peers had no idea what they wanted to do though and either did grad studies (I briefly considered it to be honest) or went to teachers college,
It's a pity the system here isn't geared for young adults to take a break from studying and figure what they want to do. Always some stigma to being a slightly-mature student in some fields/universities, though better than "elite" education in the U.S. (though those who studied liberal arts tend to take kindly on their own for professional hiring).
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University is not, or at least does not need to be, a technical training program for your career. some people go to university just to get a job. that's fine, if that's what you're looking for, do not study humanities.

i went to university to learn how to think critically, how to write cohesively, how to do research, and grow academically. my advice is this:
if you think you will enjoy getting an education, and you can afford it (IE not walking away from your degree with a huge amount of debt) study what is interesting to you.

if you have to borrow every dollar to go to school, study something that will lead directly to a job. but an entry-level welding job will pay considerably more than an entry-level business job, so consider all your options.
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TrueToy wrote: University is not, or at least does not need to be, a technical training program for your career. some people go to university just to get a job. that's fine, if that's what you're looking for, do not study humanities.

i went to university to learn how to think critically, how to write cohesively, how to do research, and grow academically. my advice is this:
if you think you will enjoy getting an education, and you can afford it (IE not walking away from your degree with a huge amount of debt) study what is interesting to you.

if you have to borrow every dollar to go to school, study something that will lead directly to a job. but an entry-level welding job will pay considerably more than an entry-level business job, so consider all your options.
Humanities isn't simply isn't basket weaving (is this even a real thing?), art history or gender/social studies. Languages fall into that pool (well did where I went), which is why I said to combine with a business minor and you'll be infinitely better off.
I went to university to get a job (be more marketable), but also how to think critically (don't really get to do that in college), grow as an individual and yes I know how to research, although research isn't my forte which I freely admit.

With that being said, electives should be something "fun". I took a bunch of random things because I was genuinely curious. Western philosophy and astronomy were 2 of the most interesting ones, but family studies and sociology also gave me a different perspective on life.
Canadian politics and international studies also were eye openers, but again, that's just my experience.

Having a plan is important. Helps keep you somewhat focused, but also so you don't end up being one of those 50yr old life students who never finishes what they start, let alone mountains of debt.
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From what I gather higher-ed is pretty standardized. Avoid the schools with insane class sizes (likely Ontario). BC and Alberta likely provide stable higher-ed funding and offer a comparable experience.

The top three schools in Western Canada are UBC, UofC and UofA. All three are great and I am confident he will have made a good choice if he attends any of them. I think the Alberta schools are better though. Alberta is a much better place to start your career.
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Not all Canadian universities are alike. See student to faculty ratios on page 51 of 71

https://www.ipb.uwo.ca/documents/2013_p ... icator.pdf

Also Canadian schools perform poorly compared to their American counterparts when you consider student to faculty ratios.

Toronto's student to faculty ratio was 39 in 2011 using US methodology. The AAU public mean was 24.2.

https://www.utoronto.ca/sites/default/f ... os5103.pdf
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Swerny wrote: Econ & Poli Science are considered "Arts"?
Was at a notary today and while waiting to get the documents done, looked at the diplomas on the wall. Notary got a degrees in social sciences and as conferred a BSc/BS. From one of the institutions in the title too.
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thriftshopper wrote: Was at a notary today and while waiting to get the documents done, looked at the diplomas on the wall. Notary got a degrees in social sciences and as conferred a BSc/BS. From one of the institutions in the title too.
Econ majors can graduate with a BS but I think that is stupid. Canadians can be very stupid about labelling arts majors as unemployable, so the universities give them BS diplomas....

Interestingly, at most Ivy League schools everyone gets an AB, even the Physics majors.
Last edited by redflagdealsnewb on Dec 10th, 2021 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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redflagdealsnewb wrote: Interestingly, most Ivy League schools everyone gets an AB, even the Physics majors.
Liberal arts has a cachet among the upper classes in the U.S. (hence the preponderance of liberal arts colleges). Getting a technical degree -if not from a top-tier institution - is almost seen as vulgar.
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Umm, if it is not too late, I suggest you either learn skills for jobs or aim for nursing, education, MD, or engineering in a university. Tons of university grads out there with heavy student loans and no jobs. Dont be like those people.
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