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Pre-core course guide

Welcome to the pre-core years! Years 1 and 2 are the years in our BCom program before you begin your foundation business courses (in year 3, your core year), and are referred to as the pre-core years.

1. Know your timeline

  • May: Pay your deposit as per UVic offer
  • early June: Find your registration date and time in Online Tools
  • mid-June: Course registration for fall and spring terms
  • June 30: Housing application deadline
  • July/August: Find out about orientation for September

2. Shape your pre-core years

Make the most of your first 2 years. In addition to your required courses, you should choose electives that fit with your goals and interests.

This is your time to broaden your knowledge through a diverse selection of topics, dive into areas of curiosity and challenge, and build a foundation for your business knowledge and tools later on. 

Elective focus

Take 1 or more of these course bundles to gain knowledge in topics and areas you find interesting and that are relevant for all business leaders.

Each Elective Focus consists of 5 courses (7.5 units). You will not earn a formal credential but it can be a great way to shape your first 2 years in BCom and prepare you for core. Some courses appear in more than one Elective Focus. You can also use the list below for inspiration to select individual electives.

Develop awareness around non-profit organizations, social justice issues and ethics in business.

Strongly recommended

  • SJS 200 - Introduction to the Practice of Social Justice
  • PHIL 232 - Moral Problems of Contemporary Society
  • PHIL 330 - Professional and Business Ethics

Plus any 2 courses below

  • ADMN 200 - International Community Development Through Capacity Building
  • ADMN 316 - Public Sector Communications
  • ADMN 409 - Non-profit Governance and Management
  • ADMN 422 - Ethical Public Management
  • ANTH 200 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • ENSH 304 - Writing for Government and the Public Sector
  • ER 314 - Ethical, Legal and Policy Aspects of Environmental Restoration
  • HSTR 120 - History of Human Rights
  • PHIL 337 - Ethics: Theory and Practice
  • SJS 100 - Introduction to Theories of Social Justice
  • TS 300 - Networking, New Media and Social Practices

Develop knowledge of creativity, data analysis and technology tools to improve your business messages with impactful images, numbers and words.

Strongly recommended

  • One of:
    • AE 322 - Digital Arts
    • AE 330 - Visual Design for Marketing, Advocacy and Persuasion 
    • ART 105 - Foundation Photography and Video Art
    • ART 106 - Foundation Core Media Technologies and Arts
  • One of:
    • CSC 100 - Elementary Computing
    • CSC 105 - Computers and Information Processing
  • One of:
    • DHUM 150 - Tools, Techniques, and Culture of the Digital Humanities
    • TS 200 - Introduction to the Human Uses of Technology
    • TS 300 - Networking, New Media and Social Practices
Plus any 2 courses below
  • AE 422 - Advanced Digital Arts
  • ART 261 - Digital Media Arts I
  • ART 262 - Digital Media Arts II
  • ECON 205 - Managerial Economics
  • ENSH 303 - Writing for Business and the Private Sector
  • ENSH 304 - Writing for Government and the Public Sector
  • ENSH 305 - Visual Rhetoric for Professional Writers
  • ENSH 403 - Digital Communication and Social Media
  • HINF 350 - Human Aspects of Health Care Information Systems
  • STAT 359 - Data Analysis

Develop communication skills to help you not only be well prepared for core but also for the real world challenges and opportunities you will likely face overseas for your exchange and/or co-op work terms.

Strongly recommended

  • any course in language acquisition (except English); if you have completed French immersion in high school, we encourage you to deepen your knowledge of advanced French or pursue an additional language
  • ISP 200 - Introduction to Intercultural Studies
  • LING 159 - Indigenous Language I
  • LING 397 - Issues in Cross-Cultural Communication
  • THEA 150 - Public Speaking

Plus any 2 courses below

  • ANTH 200 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • ENSH 303 – Writing for Business and the Private Sector
  • ENSH 304 – Writing for Government and the Public Sector
  • GEOG 101B - Space, Place and Society
  • GNDR 100 - Gender, Power and Difference
  • GNDR 332 - What's Race Got To Do With It?
  • HSTR 329B - Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Canada since 1900
  • LING 290 - Encoding Language in Writing
  • LING 377 - Global Contexts of Language
  • LING 395 - Language and Society
  • PHIL 232 - Moral Problems of Contemporary Society
  • SOCI 100A - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life

Develop awareness about the contemporary and historical issues our Indigenous Peoples have faced. This focus is intended to provide both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students with a program incorporating Indigenous world views and ways of knowing, being and doing.

Strongly recommended

  • IS 101 - Indigenous Foundations
  • IS 201 - Introduction to Indigenous Studies

Plus any 2 courses below

  • ADMN 330 - Indigenous Governance in Canada
  • ANTH 200 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • ANTH 433 - Coast Salish Culture and Contemporary Life
  • GEOG 304 - Coastal Conservation
  • GNDR 203 - Indigenous Womxn in Canada
  • HSTR 330 - Topics in Canadian History
  • IS 100 - Responsibilities and Reciprocity in the Place You Are Now
  • IS 400 - Research Seminar in Indigenous Studies
  • LING 290 - Encoding Language in Writing
  • POLI 263 - The Politics of Indigenous Peoples
  • POLI 363 - Indigenous Politics in Canada
  • SPAN 304 - Indigenous Latin America, Social Justice and the Environment (in English)
  • any course approved in the Indigenous Studies minor

Develop increased awareness and sensitivity to the wide variety of differences that exist among people, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and sexual identity, disability, neurodiversity and beyond. Learn how these differences not only make us unique, but shape and impact lived and future experiences. Welcome, respect and value this diversity along your BCom journey as a UVic student and beyond in your personal and professional life. 

Strongly recommended

  • GNDR 100 - Gender, Power and Difference
  • HSTR 329A - Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Canada to 1900 or HSTR 329B - Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Canada since 1900
  • SJS 100 - Introduction to Theories of Social Justice
  • SOCI 235 - Racialization and Ethnicity

Plus any 2 courses below

  • AHVS 312 - Gender, Identity and Film
  • ASL 100A - American Sign Language I
  • CS 102 - Introduction to Canadian Contemporary Issues
  • GDS 201 - Global Development 
  • GDNR 203 -  Indigenous Womxn in Canada
  • GNDR 204 - Gender, Health, Power and Resistance
  • GNDR 206 - Monstrous Women
  • GNDR 244 - Queer Film
  • GNDR 340 - Indigenous Cinema Decolonizing the Screen
  • HSTR 100 - History, Power and Justice
  • IS 100 - Responsibilities and Reciprocity in the Place You Are Now
  • PSYC 205 - Psychology of Diversity
  • SOCI 103 - Settler Colonialism and Canadian Society
  • SOCI 215 - Class and Social Inequality
  • SOCI 281 - Sociology of Genders

Develop awareness of sustainability and environmental issues that shape triple bottom line decisions in business.

Strongly recommended

  • CS 201 - Issues and Ideas in Canadian Environmentalism
  • GEOG 101A - Environment, Society and Sustainability
  • HDCC 200 - Introduction to Human Dimensions of Climate Change

Plus any 2 courses below

  • ADMN 331 - Governance for Planetary Health
  • ANTH 302 - Globalization, Health, and the Environment
  • ECON 111 - The Economy and the Environment
  • EOS 110 - Oceans and Atmosphere
  • EOS 120 - The Dynamic Earth
  • ES 200 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ES 240 - Ecological Processes
  • GEOG 101A - Environment, Society and Sustainability
  • GEOG 103 - Introduction to Physical Geography
  • GEOG 130 - Climate Change
  • GEOG 209 - Introduction to Environmental Management
  • GEOG 252 - Introduction to Coastal Geography
  • GEOG 314 - Global Environment Change and Human Response
  • GNDR 207 - Gender, Globalization and the Love Industry
  • GNDR 306 - Gender and International Development
  • HSTR 101E - Environmental History of the World
  • PHIL 333 - Philosophy and the Environment
  • SOCI 355 - The Corporation, Capitalism, and Globalization

Develop perspectives regarding international relations, politics and your own role in our complex world. This focus will help you not only be well prepared for core, but also for the real world challenges and opportunities you will likely face overseas for your exchange and/or work terms.

Strongly recommended

  • HSTR 329B - Race, Racism and Ethnicity in Canada since 1900
  • ISP 200 - Introduction to Intercultural Studies
  • POLI 103 - The Worlds of Politics
  • POLI 240 - International Politics

Plus any 2 courses below

  • ANTH 200 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • EUS 100 - Introduction to European Studies
  • EUS 200 - Introduction to European Cultures and Identities
  • FRAN 265 - Global French Connections
  • GEOG 101B - Space, Place and Society
  • GEOG 211 - Political and Economic Geography
  • GEOG 347B - Geographies of Development
  • GNDR 100 - Gender, Power and Difference
  • GNDR 332 - What's Race Got To Do With It?
  • HSTR 324C - British Columbia in the 20th Century
  • PHIL 201 - Critical Thinking
  • PHIL 232 - Moral Problems of Contemporary Society
  • POLI 210 - Comparative Politics
  • POLI 344 - International Political Economy
  • SOCI 202 - Constructing Social Problems

Recommended courses

These courses are highly recommended for all BCom students

  • ECON 104 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 205 - Managerial Economics
  • ES 200 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • PHIL 201 - Critical Thinking
  • SOCI 100A - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life
  • THEA 122 - The Acting Experience
  • THEA 150 - Public Speaking
  • COM 100 - Understanding World-Class Organizations and ENT 100 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship (2 business electives in pre-core)

Certificates

Earn an additional credential alongside your BCom degree by adding any of these optional 10.5-unit certificates. Simply take the courses in your pre-core years and declare your certificate.

In your fourth year you will apply to graduate for the certificate at the same time that you apply to graduate from BCom! Talk to a BCom advisor if you need help declaring your certificate.

If you really like a specific language, consider focusing your studies toward a Certificate in Language and Cultural Proficiency for 10.5 units, offered through the Faculty of Humanities.

Currently available in 6 languages (with course prefix):

  • French (FRAN)
  • German (GMST)
  • Japanese (PAAS)
  • Mandarin (PAAS)
  • Russian (SLST)
  • Spanish (SPAN)

UVic offers an American Sign Language Certificate for 10.5 units. 

Structure of this certificate

  • ASL100A - American Sign Language I
  • ASL100B - American Sign Language II
  • ASL200A - American Sign Language III
  • ASL200B - American Sign Language IV
  • + 4.5 units approved electives

UVic offers a Gender Studies Certificate for 10.5 units. 

Structure of this certificate

  • GNDR100 - Gender, Power and Difference (1.5)
  • + 9.0 units approved electives

UVic offers a Media Studies Certificate for 10.5 units. 

Structure of this certificate

  • Complete all of:
    • MDIA 200 - Media in the 21st Century (1.5)
    • MDIA 300 - Critical Media Practice (1.5)
  • Complete 1.5 units from:
  • Complete 1.5 units from:
    • IS 100 - Responsibilities and Reciprocity in the Place You Are Now (1.5)
    • IS 101 - Indigenous Foundations (1.5)
    • IS 201 - Introduction to Indigenous Studies (1.5)
  • Complete 1.5 units of:
    • eligible electives from lower-level media and /or culture courses in technical and non-technical areas (100 - 200 level).
  • Complete 3.0 units of:
    • eligible electives from upper-level courses in particular media, culture and/or film and television (300 - 400 level).

The Transformative Climate Action Certificate is a flexible, interdisciplinary, program that equips participants to engage with the social and political challenges of adapting to the rapid effects of climate change.

Learn how to build collaborative solutions in ways that support diverse communities, enhance social resilience and overcome polarization.

  • 3 core courses
    • TCA 210 - Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Climate Change
    • TCA 310 - Transformation in Complex Systems
    • TCA 320 - Politics, Policies and Planning for Climate Action
  • +4 electives taken from a selection of UVic courses, including TCA courses.

Career connection

 Take courses that connect with a career you might be interested in!

  • ECON 104 - Principles of Macroeconomics
  • MATH 102 - Calculus for Students in the Social and Biological Sciences
  • STAT 359 - Data Analysis

  • ECON 111 - The Economy and the Environment
  • ENSH 303 - Writing for Business and the Private Sector
  • PHIL 201 - Critical Thinking

  • ANTH 304 - Technology and Culture
  • ECON 111 - The Economy and the Environment
  • ECON 205 - Managerial Economics
  • ENSH 202 - Technical Communication, Written and Verbal
  • PHIL 201 - Critical Thinking
  • POLI 211 - European Integration and the European Union
  • POLI 327 - Political Economy in the Global South
  • SOCI 100A - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life
  • SOCI 100B - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Contemporary Society

  • ECON 305 - Money and Banking
  • ECON 306 - International Economics
  • MATH 102 - Calculus for Students in the Social and Biological Sciences
  • STAT 359 - Data Analysis

  • ADMN 311 - Intro to Public Administration
  • ADMN 314 - Public Sector Research and Analysis
  • ADMN 411 - Public Sector Project Management
  • ADMN 420 - The Public Policy Process
  • ENSH 304 - Writing for Government and the Public Sector
  • POLI 101 - Canadian Politics
  • POLI 202 - An Introduction to Political Theory
  • POLI 210 - Comparative Politics
  • POLI 233 - Contemporary Political Problems
  • POLI 240 - International Politics
  • SJS 100 - Introduction to Theories of Social Justice

  • ANTH 200 - Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • SOCI 204 - Self, Identity and Society
  • PSYC 231 - Introduction to Social Psychology

  • PHIL 201 - Critical Thinking
  • SJS 100 - Introduction to Theories of Social Justice
  • SOCI 204 - Self, Identity and Society

  • AE 200 - Design
  • AE 310 - Introduction to Applied Design
  • AE 330 - Visual Design for Marketing, Advocacy and Persuasion
  • ART 105 - Foundation Photography and Video Art 
  • ART 106 - Foundation Core Media Technologies and Arts
  • DHUM 150 - Tools, Techniques, and Culture of the Digital Humanities
  • ENSH 202 - Technical Communication, Written and Verbal
  • ENSH 302 - Copy Editing
  • ENSH 303 - Writing for Business and the Private Sector
  • ENSH 305 - Visual Rhetoric for Professional Writers
  • ENSH 400 - Technical Communication
  • ENSH 401 - Web Design
  • ENSH 403 - Digital Communication and Social Media
  • ENSH 405 - Print Media Genres and Techniques for Professional Communication
  • ENT 100 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • SOCI 100A - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Social Life
  • SOCI 100B - Introduction to Sociology: Understanding Contemporary Society
  • SOCI 204 - Self, Identity and Society
  • TS 300 - Networking, New Media and Social Practices
  • WRIT 102 - Introduction to Professional Nonfiction

  • ADMN 312 - Leading and Managing in Public and Non-Profit Sectors
  • ADMN 316 - Public Sector Communications
  • ECON 329 - Development and Economics
  • ENSH 304 - Writing for Government and the Public Sector

  • DHUM 150 - Tools, Techniques, and Culture of the Digital Humanities
  • MATH 102 - Calculus for Students in the Social and Biological Sciences
  • STAT 359 - Data Analysis

  • CSC 105 – Computers and Information Processing
  • CSC 110 – Fundamentals of Programming I
  • CSC 115 – Fundamentals of Programming II

  • TS 300 - Networking, New Media and Social Practices
  • TS 400 - Technologies of the Future
  • WRIT 102 - Introduction to Professional Nonfiction

  • ECON 329 - Development and Economics
  • SJS 100 - Introduction to Theories of Social Justice

  • CS 201 - Issues and Ideas in Canadian Environmentalism
  • ECON 111 - The Economy and the Environment
  • EOS 110 - Oceans and Atmosphere
  • EOS 120 - The Dynamic Earth
  • ES 200 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • GEOG 101A - Environment, Society and Sustainability
  • HDCC 200 - Introduction to Human Dimensions of Climate Change

3. Pick your fall and spring courses

  • review course availability in the UVic timetable
  • review detailed course descriptions in the UVic Calendar
  • build an “ideal” course plan for your first year by using the optional Plan Ahead tool
  • be flexible by thinking of a few back up courses in case your first choices are full or not offered
  • write down or save all the relevant course codes and course registration numbers (CRNs)
  • think of what your second year might look like, but remain flexible as course selection may be different next year  

Be flexible with your course planning: the courses in this guide may not be offered every academic session and some courses may have prerequisites. Find a list of courses without prerequisites. Check the UVic Academic Calendar for course availability.

Study plan

Below is a recommended study plan for the BCom pre-core years: the 6 required courses listed below and notes about when to take your 21.0 units of non-business electives. The order in which the required courses are displayed is recommended for a balanced schedule and academic success.

Use a blank timetable or the Plan Ahead tool, and map out a conflict-free schedule that fits your learning style, including alternate courses and/or sections if some are full or unavailable. Remember that some courses have more than one required component, including lectures (A), labs (B) and tutorials (T). Find more tips for building your timetable

Year 1

Fall term courses (September-December)

Course Section CRN
ECON 103    
1 of: ATWP 135, ENSH 101, or ENSH 102     
4.5 units of electives    

Spring term courses (January-April)

Course Section CRN
Math 151    
6 units of electives    

Year 2

Fall term courses (September-December)

Course Section CRN
STAT 252    
ATWP 250    
COM 200    
COM 204 (this is a non-credit, required, pass/fail course)    
3 units of electives    

Spring term courses (January-April)

Course Section CRN
7.5 units of electives    

Refer to our Program Planning Worksheet for more information.

Good things to know:

  • you are not restricted to 100-level courses in your first year and 200-level courses in your second year
  • can't find a course in an area you’re interested in? Don't hesitate to go beyond this list and look at courses in other subjects. Ask a BCom advisor if you are not sure.
  • do not take ED-D 302: you will take COM 204 instead in second year of BCom

4. Register

  • learn about registration a few days before you plan to register
  • register as early as you can, ideally right on your registration date and time
  • review important dates for 2023-2024, such as the various drop deadlines

5. Ask for help

Get to know the BCom advisors and don’t hesitate to book an appointment or send an email whenever you have a question. Come prepared to your advising appointments and write down your questions.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. I am not sure my course schedule is well balanced. Any tips?
  2. Where on campus can I get help with my MATH 151 course?
  3. I am not sure I am studying in the most effective way. Any suggestions?
  4. I am interested in accounting, which courses should I take?
  5. I have a learning disability: where on campus can I get the right support?