Cellular and Physiological Sciences

Study Cellular and Physiological Sciences 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.

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About Cellular and Physiological Sciences

Physiology explores the basis of life. Physiologists view life from the simplest to the most complex levels of organization--from the subcellular to the whole person. For example, they research the male and female reproductive systems, the process of birth, and the physiology of the fetus and newborn. Some physiologists study neurophysiology in an attempt to unravel mysteries of the brain with respect to control of eye and limb movements and the neural control of circulation. Others do cardiovascular research including the study of normal and abnormal heart rhythms, mechanisms of contraction of the heart, age-related changes in heart function, and the influence of the kidney in the control of blood pressure. Physiologists that study cellular physiology examine how the stomach is protected from its own acid, how nerve and muscle cells communicate with each other, how bone cells make and break down bone, and how various hormones are produced, secreted, and are involved in controlling cell function. Physiology provides the basic information for understanding the normal function of the body, explains how normal function may be altered in pathological conditions, and provides insight for developing strategies to manage and treat various diseases and conditions.

Program details

Physiology at UBC is a popular program and students need relatively strong marks to get into the program. Students must apply for acceptance at the end of their second year. There are a number of prerequisites and minimum grade requirements necessary for entry into the program.


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

  • Application of an in-depth understanding of the human body, spanning from a histological level to gross anatomy and physiology
  • Interdisciplinary approach to observing and exploring life and health sciences
  • Development and execution of research proposals and experimental design
  • Research and laboratory techniques with consistent application of safety protocols
  • Laboratory report writing and presentation
  • Mock clinical testing in physiology labs, including usage of technology and tests for electrocardiograms, spirometry, and oral glucose tolerance
  • Technical biochemistry lab techniques using PCR, gel electrophoresis, UV spectrophotometry, and protein assays

Career options in Cellular and Physiological Sciences

With an undergraduate degree

  • Clinical research assistant
  • Forensic laboratory analyst
  • Lab technician
  • Medical and clinical laboratory technologist
  • Quality controller

With additional study

  • Anatomist
  • Cardiologist
  • Cytologist
  • Dentist
  • Developmental biologist
  • Doctor
  • Geneticist
  • Medical researcher
  • Neuroscientist
  • Oncologist
  • Physiologist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Veterinarian

UBC Science Cellular and Physiological Sciences Graduates Work As

  • Medical Student, University of British Columbia
  • Graduate Student in Community Health & Epidemiology, Dalhousie University
  • Medical Student, Queen's University
  • Research Assistant, UBC Biomedical Research Centre
  • Master of Physical Therapy Candidate, University of British Columbia
  • Dentist, Emerald Park Dentistry

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