Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Why study Biology at UBC’s Okanagan campus?
Tap into research opportunities and the expertise of renowned UBC Okanagan professors working in campus labs such as the Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology Research Facility; the Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES); and the Centre for Microbiome & Inflammatory Research.
Work in health sciences, environmental assessment, food production, national parks, and engineering firms. Biology serves as the gateway to a wide range of careers, including veterinary medicine, molecular genetics, ecology, and neuroscience.
Join biology professors on campus safaris focused on the Okanagan region’s vast biodiversity. Hands-on experiential learning is an integral part of UBC Okanagan’s biology program.
Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network, and earn money to pay for tuition.
what you need to know
Get your UBC degree in biology, the study of all aspects of living things and their processes, including plants, animals, and insects, and their relationships to their environment.
Students in our undergraduate program gain an excellent foundation in all fields of biology while learning the practical skills of a working biologist. Learning takes place in the laboratory and in the field.
Students can choose to specialize in a number of subject areas, including ecology, cell and developmental biology, and physiology.
This program is accredited by the College of Applied Biology and offers you a wide variety of practical experience in laboratory and fieldwork, using computers, and in communication (both oral and written).
At UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with a major, minor, or honours in biology.
UBC Okanagan’s biology program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover evolution and ecology, human anatomy and physiology, zoology, microbiology, basic health science, and more.
- BIOL 122 — Physiology of Multicellular Organisms
- BIOL 205 — Comparative Invertebrate Zoology
- BIOL 318 — Immunology
Browse biology courses and descriptions.
The following links take you to biology program details in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Communications and Rhetoric Certificate
Students can receive a Certificate in Communications and Rhetoric by completing 15 credits through courses from four thematic interdisciplinary and relational clusters, and a final capstone project. This is an add on to any major; some credits can be double-counted.
Learn about graduate studies in biology.
For your application to be considered, you will need to:
- meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
- demonstrate a certain level of English competency
- meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to
Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.
Find your specific requirements at https://you.ubc.ca/
WHEN TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR
Declaring helps you plan your program more effectively, build your education, and stay connected.
Students are encouraged to declare their major in biology at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements.
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.
Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.
Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”
Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1.877.807.8521.
Your Career Options
Build a broad foundation and great career potential with a UBC degree—respected by employers around the globe. Explore career routes such as the food industry and agriculture, medicine and health sciences, pharmaceuticals, and winemaking.
- Agricultural technologist
- Agrology technician
- Aquaculture technician
- Bacteriology technician
- Biological laboratory technologist
- Botanical technician
- Conservation officer
- Environmental educator
- Environmental impact assessor
- Fish and wildlife officer
- Fish hatchery technician
- Food bacteriological technician
- Food inspector
- Food science technologist
- Forensic biologist
- Hydrometric technologist
- Interpretive naturalist
- Microbiology quality control technologist
- Park warden
- Pathology assistant
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
- Plant breeding technician
- Pollution control technologist
- Science policy analyst
- Seed technologist
- Soil conservationist
- Wildlife manager
- Architectural, engineering, and other scientific companies
- Agricultural, dairy product, cosmetic, fertilizer, food, or pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Coal, oil, gas, and forestry companies
- Federal, provincial, and municipal laboratories or regulatory agencies
- Engineering and land appraisal firms
- Food and beverage processing and manufacturing companies
- Post-secondary educational institutions
- Private or public laboratories, including forensics
- Service firms to agriculture/agricultural supplies wholesalers
- Zoos and museums
Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to:
- build your resumé with professional experience
- learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs
- expand your network of industry contacts
- earn money to pay for tuition
Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science offers research-based MSc and PhD degrees in biology, which provide students with theoretical, practical, and analytical expertise, as well as experience in the application of scientific results to real-world problems.
Graduates of this program will, in many cases, meet the academic and reporting requirements for membership in the College of Applied Biology, the governing body for Professional Biologists in British Columbia. Graduates obtaining the MSc will be prepared for positions in government, management, industry, education, consulting, or for PhD research.
Graduates obtaining the PhD will be prepared for careers requiring advanced independent research and teaching in academia, government, and industry.
Gain Valuable Experience
Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.
- See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions. Experience university life abroad as a resident, or earn academic credit while participating in summer group-study courses led by UBC profs.
- Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance made available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.
Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:
- Pursue innovative and original research as part of the Undergraduate Research Awards.
- Volunteer as a research assistant or pursue directed studies or honours opportunities, some of the many opportunities for undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience.
Get a financial boost to start your research experience. Pay for travel and other expenses. Win merit-based cash awards that look impressive on your resumé.
- Undergraduate Research Awards: The URA offers an $8,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $9,500 per student. For international students, the IURA offers a $9,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $10,500 per student.
- NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards: Minimum $7,500
- Rogers Family Charity Trust Award in Biology: $6,500
- Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
- Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
- Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project—a life-changing experience.
Meet Your Peers and Profs
Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC Okanagan’s biology program: ourstories.ok.ubc.ca.
WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the biology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.
- Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
- Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
- Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
- Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
* Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox
On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.
Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an Indigenous student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.
- Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
- Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
- Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
- The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
- Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.
Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.
Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.
- Make friends with similar interests and explore career options with the Biology Course Union.
- Join the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Mentoring Program which supports the success of young women transitioning from their undergraduate education to a career in science or engineering.
- Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining various campus clubs.
Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.
UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.
Find out more about living in residence.
UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.
More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.
UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.
A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.
Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.