Study Zoology at UBC

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About Zoology

Zoology is the study of animals, their function and way of life. It includes: development, evolution, ecology, physiology, and behaviour. Zoologists study everything from single-celled protozoa to whales. All aspects of animal function are included - molecular biology, cell ultrastructure, tissues and organs, and the physiology of animals, through to the interactions of individual animals, the dynamics of whole populations of animals, and the structures of communities and ecosystems. Some zoologists specialize in studying particular kinds of animals: entomologists study insects, herpetologists study amphibians and reptiles, ornithologists study birds and mammalogists study mammals. Other zoologists concentrate on special kinds of questions, such as: workings of digestive processes, mechanisms and function of aggressive behaviour, or the special adaptations of parasites. Yet other zoologists work in special fields: aquaculture and mariculture, wildlife conservation and management, and population or community structure. Zoology makes a direct contribution to society through its contributions to veterinary science, medicine, dentistry, animal husbandry, aquaculture, fisheries biology, environmental management and conservation.

Program details

UBC doesn't offer an undergraduate degree in zoology. However the Department of Zoology offers programs of study jointly with the Department of Botany, including major or honours Biology, Animal Biology option.


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

  • Use modelling software to predict future scenarios, such as changes in habitats or population numbers
  • Write scientific reports and issue recommendations
  • 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

Career options in Zoology

With an undergraduate degree

  • Biology teacher
  • Laboratory technician
  • Wildlife biologist

With additional study

  • Animal biologist
  • Researcher
  • Wildlife educator
  • Wildlife rehabilitator
  • Zookeeper
  • Zoologist