Bring your lifelong learning into focus.

Humanities are those studies created by the human desire for knowledge and understanding of our history, classical traditions, literature, language and philosophy. These studies encompass disciplines that address a variety of needs:

  • examine the ethical values in our lives
  • examine our social responsibilities
  • develop intellectually sound ways of reflecting on what it means to be a human being

Studying the humanities increases our appreciation of ideas and of various modes of thinking. It leads to a greater understanding of values within cultural and historical contexts. It can sharpen our skill in formulating our own ideas, developing them coherently, and expressing them clearly and effectively. It can help us read difficult texts with increased comprehension and powers of analysis. All of these help us learn how to learn: essential skills in the workplace and in our personal lives.

The Humanities Diploma Program is designed to meet the needs of those members of the community who wish to follow an integrated course of full- or part-time study in the humanities, and who may need an introduction to university study. Its flexibility will enable you to choose—in consultation with a program and faculty coordinator—a particular topic, theme or area of study, and to arrange a selection of day or evening courses directed towards that topic. Emphasis will be placed on interdisciplinary approaches.

Program outcomes

This program will help you:

  • gain a richer appreciation of ideas and of various ways of thinking
  • develop a greater understanding of values within cultural and historical contexts
  • sharpen your skill in formulating ideas, developing them coherently, and expressing them clearly and effectively
  • read difficult texts with increased comprehension and powers of analysis

Courses

To complete the Humanities Diploma Program, you will choose day or evening courses offered through the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty has over 140 regular members and offers a wide range of undergraduate courses in:

  • English
  • French Language & Literature
  • Germanic Studies
  • Greek and Roman Studies
  • Hispanic & Italian Studies
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Medieval Studies
  • Pacific & Asian Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Slavonic Studies
  • Women's Studies

The Faculty Coordinator will help you design your course of study and select your topic. There are many options to choose from, but here are a few examples of how a program might be structured:

  1. A course of study within one area, with courses drawn mainly from one department (e.g., Chinese literature and society; twentieth-century Russian literature and film)
  2. A semi-interdisciplinary program, with courses drawn from two or three departments (e.g., The Immigrant Experience in Canadian History and Fiction; Ancient Greek Philosophy and Myth)
  3. A fully interdisciplinary program, with courses drawn from a wide range of departments (e.g., in period studies such as European Medieval History; in thematic studies, such as Women in Contemporary Society)

Courses outside the Faculty of Humanities may be taken with permission of the Program or Faculty Coordinator. 

Required study

The first course in the program is An Introduction to Humanities. We suggest that students take this course first: it provides an introduction to various ways in which texts from different disciplines interpret, question and reflect upon what it is to be a human being. This course is restricted to students in the Humanities Diploma Program.

Admission and completion requirements

Admission requirements

The Humanities Diploma Program is designed for people with both traditional and non-traditional educational backgrounds. The prerequisites for this program are that you have:

  • some life experience
  • an interest studying some area or areas of the Humanities
  • a desire to deepen your ability to read, think and write about what it means to be human

If you are accepted into the program, you will be admitted to the university under special provisions for diploma students, as long as you meet the English language proficiency requirement. English is the primary language of instruction at UVic, and all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English prior to admission.

Completion requirements

Your program will be made up of courses totaling 18 or more units: this works out to approximately 12 courses. Your choice of courses should be directed towards a particular area or topic of interest to you, within the humanities departments. Courses outside the Faculty of Humanities may be taken with permission of the Program or Faculty Coordinator. Students in the program are subject to all normal prerequisite structures and enrollment limits, as stated by each department in the university calendar.

Diploma candidates will be expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 4 (B-). The program must be completed, on a full- or part-time basis, within a maximum period of six years.

Completion of the program will lead to a Diploma in the Humanities, awarded under the authority of the Senate of the University of Victoria.

Transfer credits

Up to six units of applicable previous credit—which has not been used for a degree—may be given for appropriate courses at the recommendation of the Faculty Coordinator and with the approval of the Dean of Humanities. Please note that credit used toward a completed degree is not transferable.

Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $125.00
UVic application fee ($114.50 if transcripts come from institutions outside Canada) $71.75
UVic student fees (when taking less than 4.5 units per term) $159.97
Tuition (12 courses, $526.60 per course) $6,319.20
Estimated Total $6,675.92*
*IMPORTANT NOTE:
Fees listed in this section are only an estimate. Total program fees will vary depending on course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Application dates

Starting in
September 2016
Availability
Accepting Applications
Delivery Style
Face to face
Apply by
July 30, 2016
Apply online Contact us for more info
Starting in
January 2017
Availability
Accepting Applications
Delivery Style
Face to face
Apply by
Nov. 30, 2016
Apply online Contact us for more info

How to apply

Students apply to the program either by letter or through the online application form, and then complete an application to the University of Victoria.

Your program application should include information about:

  • who you are
  • your reasons for wanting to join the program
  • your educational background
  • if you have previous credit you wish to transfer into the program

Your admission to the program will be primarily based on this information, so be sure to give us a good idea of who you are and why you are interested in taking the program. Be sure to also include your complete name, address, email, phone number and UVic student number (if you have one).

If accepted into the HDP program you will then apply to UVic or, if you have been admitted previously, ensure that your registration status is current. Please be sure to include the required fee with these application forms.

*English is the primary language of instruction at UVic and all applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English prior to admission.

You do not need transcripts from previous educational institutions in order to be admitted to the Humanities Diploma program. However, you may want transcripts on file at UVic to take care of the English requirement, if you are planning to transfer to a degree program, or if you want transfer credit. Please arrange to have transcripts from any post-secondary institutions you have attended sent to UVic soon after you have started the program.

NOTE: your admission to the University will be for the program only. If you wish to enroll in a regular degree program in the future, you will need to qualify for the status change, based on admission criteria that are in effect at the same time.