Study Neuroscience 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 Neuroscience

Neuroscience is interdisciplinary by nature: It is a tremendously varied field composed of individuals engaged in a wide variety of research and non-research activities. Neuroscience has displayed accelerated growth in recent decades. In the past decade, biotechnological advances have dramatically expanded the toolkit of neuroscientists, further fueling this growth.

Neuroscientists conduct both basic and applied neuroscientific research, they serve as consultants to communities and organizations, they diagnose and treat people, and they teach future neuroscientists and other types of students. They assess behavioural and mental functioning—stepping in to help when appropriate. Neuroscience comprises a large number of subdisciplines, including but not limited to: neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuroendocrinology, neuropathology, neuropharmacology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, behavioural neuroscience, and cognitive neuroscience. 

Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia (UBC)

Neuroscience has been a research area within UBC for at least 6 decades. Currently, there are over 110 research faculty members on the UBC Vancouver campus who either identify as being neuroscientists or are involved in neuroscience-related research. Neuroscientists at UBC represent over 13 departments from the Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Arts. Laboratory and teaching areas are located across the UBC-Vancouver campus, at UBC Hospital, and at Vancouver General Hospital.  Since 1984, there has been a graduate program in neuroscience at UBC, offering MSc and PhD degrees. The UBC graduate program in neuroscience is a multidisciplinary, research-oriented program administered through the Faculty of Medicine and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC, and aims to provide students with a broad knowledge of Neuroscience as well as intensive program in at least one area of research.

Beginning in 2022W, UBC’s Faculties of Science, Arts, and Medicine will offer an Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience at the UBC Vancouver Campus. This new BSc specialization in Neuroscience brings together research and teaching expertise spanning the three faculties and multiple departments to offer a unique interdisciplinary approach to neuroscience. Graduates with the Neuroscience specialization will be well positioned to apply their unique training to tackle complex problems in healthcare, research, and policy.

Program details

If you are interested in the undergraduate program in neuroscience, you will need to declare Neuroscience as your specialization at the end of the first year of your BSc degree. After your second year, you will have the option to select from two areas of emphasis: Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience or Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience. Note that the number of required courses is purposely limited to allow you the flexibility to explore other courses and disciplines—with the aim of encouraging the creative thinking that is so fundamental to neuroscience. In the final year of your degree, you will complete a capstone project. If you are interested in additional research experience, there are also directed studies courses available.


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

  • Upon completion of their degree, graduates will have the skills, knowledge, and ability to:
  • Describe and apply historical and foundational concepts and theories in neuroscience.
  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge of neuroscience.
  • Describe behavioural and neurobiological features of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
  • Design a neuroscience experiment, including design, ethics, data collection, and statistical analyses.
  • Summarize a neuroscience academic article, in terms of strengths, limitations, and future avenues.
  • Review and integrate a body of neuroscience literature into a concise synopsis.
  • Produce well-crafted instructions, reports, essays, presentations, discussions, and debates.
  • Explain the ethical and societal implications of neuroscience research and theory.
  • Produce a critique of a piece of neuroscience research, technique, and field of study.
  • Develop, reflectively analyze, and edit a personalized curriculum and career plan.
  • Provide, receive, and integrate peer/mentor feedback on academic work.
  • Program effectively for the purposes of data collection, processing, analysis, and presentation.

Career options in Neuroscience

With an undergraduate degree

  • Examples include:
  • Counselor/therapist
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Neurological technician
  • Research assistant
  • Social worker
  • Social service specialist
  • Youth worker

With additional study

  • Examples include:
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Neuroscientist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Speech language pathologist
  • Teacher/Professor