Study Botany at UBC

Join Canada's top-ranked science community. You apply online through youbc, but first, we'll run you through a few important things to consider before you begin your application.

Apply to UBC Science

About Botany

Botany is the branch of biology that involves the study of the structure, properties and biochemical processes of all forms of plant life, including algae, fungi, ferns and trees. Also included within its scope are plant classification and the study of plant diseases, as well as the interactions of plants with people and their physical environment. Positions for people with botany backgrounds are usually in educational institutions, government and environmental organizations and in industry. Drug companies, the oil and chemical industries, lumber and paper companies, seed and nursery companies, fruit growers, fermentation industries (including breweries), and biotechnology firms all hire people trained in botany. Environmental concerns, such as air, water and soil pollution, will create openings for ecologists in government and industry. The search for new drugs and medicines and useful genes for improving crop plants will continue to create a need for botanical explorers.

Program details

UBC doesn't offer an undergraduate degree in Botany. However, the Department of Botany offers programs of study jointly with the Department of Zoology, such as the Major or Honours Biology Plant Biology option.


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

  • Identify, classify, record and monitor plant species
  • Do ecological surveys and environmental impact assessments
  • Manage a plant collection, for example, at a botanic gardens
  • Search for new species
  • Study the effects of pollution or new buildings on plant life
  • Identify and purify chemicals produced by plants so they can be used in products such as drugs, food, fabrics, solvents and building materials

Career options in Botany

With an undergraduate degree

With additional study

  • Agricultural chemist
  • Agrologist
  • Botanical consultant
  • Botanical field technician
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Mycologist
  • Plant breeder
  • Plant pathologist
  • Soil scientist
  • Taxonomist

Related Professional Groups

More career resources