Study Biology at UBC

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About Biology

Biology is a very broad field dedicated to the study of all aspects of living things and their vital processes. It encompasses the study of animals, plants, insects, and microbes as well as their relationships with their environments. Biologists work in industry, government labs, universities, park services, consulting companies, and other areas. Consider the range of occupational fields in the life sciences: agronomy, biophysics, developmental biology, environmental law, forensic entomology, forestry, genetic counseling, immunology, medical practice, molecular biology, neurobiology, secondary school teaching, veterinary medicine, and much more.

Program details

The Biology Program at UBC’s Vancouver campus offers an extremely rich range of specialty and course options that span the field’s many sub-disciplines. It is overseen by two Departments: Botany (in the academic field, one of the largest and strongest in North America) which focusses on plant science; and Zoology, another powerhouse department conducting research and teaching in developmental biology, comparative animal physiology, ecology and evolution. The Biology Program has one Major, two Combined Majors, eight Honours, and three Combined Honours options.


Over the course of a four-year degree, this program could help you build the following skills:

  • Interdisciplinary application of biological theories, practices and ethics
  • Experiment and project design, organization, and implementation
  • Critical analysis and synthesis of scientific research and literature
  • Field work techniques, such as plot study surveys and population estimates
  • Laboratory proficiency including usage of scientific equipment and knowledge of safety protocols
  • Data collection and maintenance of accurate records
  • Statistics and quantitative reasoning
  • Development and evaluation of models, such as estimating the flow of pollutants through an ecosystem, or predicting growth or decline of populations

Programs offered

  • Major or Honours, Biology
  • Honours, Animal Biology
  • Honours, Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Combined Major or Combined Honours, Computer Science and Biology
  • Honours, Conservation Biology
  • Honours, Ecology and Environmental Biology
  • Honours, Evolutionary Biology
  • Honours, Marine Biology
  • Honours, Plant Biology
  • Combined Honours, Chemical Biology (See Chemistry)
  • Combined Major or Combined Honours, Biology and Oceanography
  • Co-op


Academic Calendar Entry
Program Specialization Website
Undergraduate Advisors

Research and Library Help
Involvement and Career Resources

Career options in Biology

With an undergraduate degree

  • Animal husbandry and animal care worker
  • Clinical research assistant
  • Cytogenetic technologist
  • Forensic laboratory analyst
  • Government field scientist
  • Health care administrator
  • Lab technician
  • Medical and clinical lab technologist
  • Quality controller
  • Science journalist, writer
  • Wildlife rehabilitator

With additional study

  • Animal biologist
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Conservationist lab technician
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Ecologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Forestor
  • Genetic counselor
  • Medical editor
  • Medical laboratory technologist
  • Nurse
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Ornithologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Teacher
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoologist

UBC Science Biology Graduates Work As

  • PhD Candidate in Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge
  • Dentist, Fairmont Dental Group
  • Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Student, University of Edinburgh
  • PhD Candidate in Microbial Evolution, University of Oslo
  • Genetic Counsellor, Alberta Health Services
  • Research Assistants, BC Cancer Agency
  • Science and Math Teacher, St. George’s School

Related Professional Groups

More career resources