Study Biotechnology at UBC

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About Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the scientific manipulation of living organisms, especially at the molecular genetic level. One of the biggest applications of biotechnology is the genetic engineering of certain food crops to incorporate desirable traits in them, such as disease or pest resistance. Computers are used to closely study the genetic structure of organisms and tools such as the 'gene gun' are used to introduce desirable genes into the DNA of organisms. Biotechnology is also vital to the medical field in creating new medicines, as well as applicable to the environmental sector, for example in the development of bacteria that consume toxic chemicals and reduce pollution. There are also much older forms of biotechnology that include biological techniques used for brewing wine and beer, and for making bread and cheese.


Program details

The Honours Biotechnology program is offered in cooperation with BCIT. Students complete a 30-credit first-year program at UBC and then move to BCIT for two years, returning to UBC for about two years of academic and co-op work terms. The combination of theoretical and practical studies focused on microbiology and related disciplines is designed for students hoping to work in the growing biotechnology sector of our economy.


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

  • Collaboration with cross-discipline laboratory teams
  • Presentation of technical and scientific data to non-technical audiences
  • Quantitative and qualitative analytical skills
  • Compliance with quality control and safety regulations
  • Analytical method development or validation (QA/QC)
  • Use of ELISA, PCR, CRISPR technology in plant and animal cells, gel-electrophoresis, western blot, protein purification, isolation and characterization, bacterial culture, cell passaging, and plant micropropagation
  • Use of instruments for bioinformatics, gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, fermenters, microscopy, liquid chromatography-triple quad mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)

Career options in Biotechnology

With an undergraduate degree

  • Bio-production operator
  • Biotechnology lab technician

With additional study

  • Bioinformaticist
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Bioservices scientist
  • Biotechnical scientist
  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Health care administrator
  • Pharmaceutical or medicinal chemist

UBC Science Biotechnology Graduates Work As

  • MSc Candidate in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto
  • Research Technologist, STEMCELL Technologies
  • PhD Candidate in Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia
  • Research Assistant, BC Cancer Agency
  • PhD Candidate in Molecular and Cellular Pathology, University of Michigan

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