Degree spotlight: Applied Biology

Degree spotlight: Applied Biology

Do you care about animals, food security, climate change, sustainable agriculture or the environment? Are you looking for a program where you learn from others, engage in debate and discussion, and take part in hands-on learning and research?

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology degree teaches the real-world application of life sciences through research-based and hands-on learning experiences. Students begin with a foundational understanding of biology and are encouraged to customize the program to explore what’s most interesting to them.

What you learn in Applied Biology

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology degree has two programs to choose from.

Applied Animal Biology

In Applied Animal Biology, students learn the fundamentals of animal behaviour and physiology and explore the role of animals in human society and the ethical and environmental issues that arise. You’ll study the field of animal science as you apply your knowledge to real-world biological issues through hands-on field work and research on farms, as well as in laboratories, animal shelters, and wildlife rehabilitation centres.

The program offers the flexibility to focus on your specific interests, while equipping you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to pursue a career in this fast-growing field. Throughout the program, you’ll receive training that primes you for graduate work, or admission to veterinary or human medicine.

Sustainable Agriculture and Environment

In Sustainable Agriculture and Environment students learn how to produce food in a way that protects our soils, water, and air. You’ll learn how to manage biodiversity and habitat for the organisms we rely on to help us grow our food, and how to grow food in urban environments. You’ll apply your thinking to a range of environmental challenges, including sustainable crop production, food security, biodiversity, soil and water resources management, and climate change.

You can also tailor your studies to focus on your particular interests – whether they’re in agricultural production, integrated agro-ecosystem management, or plant or soil science. The program will prime you for a professional career in shaping a more sustainable, food-secure future.

Student Scoop


“In my third year I was a field research assistant in northern BC. We lived in camper vans, caught sapsuckers, took DNA samples and released them back into the wild. It was an incredible experience.” – Afnan A. Read about Afnan’s experience as a student in the Applied Animal Biology program.


Why choose Applied Biology?

Students choose the Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology degree because they get to study real-world biological issues, problems, challenges, and their solutions. It’s also an opportunity to tackle a range of environmental problems within a single program.

This is a hands-on degree, where students get practical, in-the-field experience with plenty of opportunities for practicums and coops. Students also receive training in research skills for graduate work.

For students in the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment program, the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm is an on-campus living laboratory for experiential learning. The UBC Farm is located on the Vancouver campus – virtually uniquely among North America research universities – and offers a wide range of interdisciplinary learning, research, and community programs.

What can you do after graduating?

Many Applied Animal Biology graduates go on to careers in veterinary medicine, natural resource planning, ecology, agronomy, conservation, land management, organic farming, ecosystem restoration, biodiversity, and more.

Graduates from the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment program are equipped to pursue a wide range of careers and may go on to careers as biologists, agrologists, geoscientists, natural resource planners, ecologists, organic farming specialists, conservation officers, and more.

Connect with a UBC advisor near you

Connect with a UBC advisor near you

As you settle into your new school year, our UBC advisors are ready to help you plan for 2024, and the next steps in your journey to UBC.

Our advisors can answer all of your questions about the university, including admission requirements, the application process, and what life is like as a UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver student.


Find an event in your area

UBC offers a variety of in-person events. You can take part in in-person campus tours, information sessions, fairs, student experience events, and student meetings.

At these events, you’ll get to ask us your questions about UBC, and find out information relevant to where you live and what curriculum you’re studying.

Keep checking back to see if more sessions have been added!


How to register

To find out if UBC is hosting an event specific to you and your area, visit our tours and events page. Based on your profile, we’ll show you a list of all the events available to you – just click the category you’d like to browse.

To register, simply click the event card and follow the instructions to reserve your spot.

After you’ve created your account, you can find all of the events you’re registered for any time on the your account page.


Other ways to connect with UBC

If UBC isn’t running any events specific to your region, there are still plenty of ways to connect:


We’re looking forward to meeting you!



Do you follow us?

Do you follow us?

At UBC, we’re pretty social. In fact, we have dedicated accounts on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok for anyone who’s aspiring to be a UBC student, applying to UBC, or getting ready for their first day on campus. Sound like you? Click that “follow” button for answers to your questions, important reminders, and to have a peek at student life.


Get answers to your questions

Have a question about UBC? Head over to InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. Our team of advisors is online Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Pacific Time), answering all of your questions about applications, admissions, awards, and more. If you’re in a different time zone, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you when we log in for the day. 


Get important info and reminders

Looking for application tips? Worried about missing a deadline? We’ve got you covered. On our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you’ll find information on how to apply to UBC, reminders about key dates and deadlines, and the inside scoop on events of all kinds – starting with info sessions before you apply, celebratory events, and even orientations.


Get a peek at student life

If you’re curious what life is like at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, you’ll find what you’re looking for on Instagram and TikTok.


On Instagram, we share our own photos from around campus and re-post our favourite shots. On Instagram Stories and TikTok, we often hand the microphone (and camera) over to current students so you can see UBC life through a fresh set of eyes.




Find us on social media

@ubcadmissions on Instagram

@ubcadmissions on Facebook

@ubcadmissions on Twitter

@ubcadmissions on TikTok



Go Global

Go Global

Being a UBC student doesn’t mean that you need to stay in British Columbia. Through Go Global, UBC offers a variety of ways for you to explore the world while earning credits towards your degree.

Whether you want to live in Scotland for a year, spend a summer semester in Costa Rica or complete a global health practicum in Ghana and Zambia, there are plenty of international study options through Go Global.

Go Global programs give you an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, experience international issues and ideas in the real world, and connect meaningfully with people in a host country as a student — not just as a tourist. It also allows you to gain confidence, take courses not offered at UBC, and pay UBC fees in an international setting.

The following are the programs that Go Global offers.




With Go Global’s Exchange program, you can travel and study in another country for a term or more while earning credits towards your degree. For example, you can explore pre-med or pre-law at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen or choose to go to Monash University at one of its campuses in Melbourne or Kuala Lumpur.

Find an Exchange experience (Okanagan)

Find an Exchange experience (Vancouver)


Summer Abroad 


In the Summer Abroad program, you can spend the summer studying in another country—like France, India or Costa Rica—have fun, and experience a new culture without interrupting your winter semester course load. You can also add a summer term before you begin your winter Exchange program.

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Okanagan)

Find a Summer Abroad experience (Vancouver)


Research Abroad


As a UBC student, you are eligible to conduct research at many of UBC’s 150 partner universities. You can get hands-on research experience at a university abroad and build non-credit work experience over the summer.

You can visit Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and conduct research in a laboratory on the shores of Lake Geneva and at the foot of the Alps. Or you can build research experience at the University of Tokyo while taking part in Japanese cultural activities.

Find a Research Abroad program (Okanagan)

Find a Research Abroad program (Vancouver)


Global Seminars


Global Seminars offer you the chance to take UBC credit courses taught by UBC faculty members with a group of other students in an international location. Global Seminars are unique UBC courses involving engagement with partners in another part of the world. They run in the summer and are each unique in terms of location, course content, length and cost. For example, you can study geographical migration patterns in Spain and Morocco or learn about sustainable food systems in Italy.

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Okanagan)

Find key dates and previous global seminars (Vancouver)



International Conferences and Special Programs


Through partnerships and memberships with international learning organizations, Go Global occasionally offers a range of international programs beyond Exchange, Summer Abroad, Research Abroad, and Global Seminars.

Find an International Conference or Special Program


Find more information and talk to a Go Global Advisor:


Go Global UBC Okanagan


Go Global UBC Vancouver


What have UBC graduates gone on to do?

What have UBC graduates gone on to do?

As one of the globe’s top 40 universities, it’s no surprise that some of UBC’s graduates have gone on to accomplish incredible things. Applying to UBC opens the door for you to try many new academic avenues, clubs, sports, volunteer opportunities, and more. Your path might help you follow the footsteps of some of these outstanding alumni.


Canadian prime ministers

UBC has educated three prime ministers. Our current leader, Justin Trudeau, earned a bachelor of education from UBC in 1998. Kim Campbell and John Turner, who have also held the top office, were both graduates from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.


Nobel Prize winners

Eight Nobel Laureates are associated with UBC – most famously Michael Smith, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993 for his ground-breaking work in reprogramming segments of DNA. Smith was just one of a longstanding community of faculty and alumni who have earned international recognition for their important work. At UBC, you can conduct research as an undergraduate, led by our outstanding academic faculty.


Olympic athletes

The Thunderbirds Varsity program has an enduring legacy of success. Their athletes have won more intercollegiate championships than any other Canadian university, and they boast an impressive roster of champions that includes 241 Olympians. During your time at UBC, you can join or cheer on some of the best athletes in the world.


Rhodes Scholars

The Rhodes Scholarships, established in 1902, were designed to bring outstanding students from across the world to study at the University of Oxford in the interests of promoting international understanding and public service. Eleven Canadians are selected each year to join a class of 84 Scholars from across the world. In that time, 74 UBC students have been selected for the prestigious award. You could be studying alongside them, or claim the honour yourself.


Royal Society of Canada Fellows

The Royal Society of Canada is the highest accolade a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences in Canada. A total of 289 UBC professors have been named to the Fellowship across multiple faculties – including Dr. Pieter Cullis who developed the lipid nanoparticle delivery technology that enables advanced nanomedicines, such as the highly effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. At UBC, a Royal Society of Canada Fellow could be teaching you in the fall.



Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Create orientation on the Okanagan campus

Before you hit the books on your first day at UBC Okanagan, join other new-to-UBC students on campus for Create on September 4! Create is a day-long orientation event designed to welcome new students like you to the close-knit UBC community.


What to expect

You’ll get to know your learning community, a small group of other UBC students from your degree or faculty. Together, you’ll:

  • Meet your fellow students: Join with your Orientation Leader and a small group of fellow first-year students from your faculty, and take part in social events to have fun and make new friends.
  • Enjoy an official welcome: Hear from UBCO leadership in a welcome ceremony, and have a chance to show your UBC Okanagan school spirit!
  • Join workshops and information sessions: Hear from campus experts about their services and personal experiences to help shape your UBCO journey.
  • Tour the campus: Take a guided tour of campus and locate all the essentials.


Who can attend

All new first-year UBC Okanagan students are encouraged to attend Create.


How to register

Register for Create – the first day of class will be here before you know it.


Are you a student at UBC Vancouver? Check out the details for your orientation, Imagine UBC.



Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

Imagine UBC orientation on the Vancouver campus

On September 5, join thousands of new-to-UBC students and hundreds of volunteers for Imagine UBC, your orientation event that celebrates the start of the academic year. For most students, Imagine UBC replaces the first day of classes.

By early September, you’ll receive an email with your personalized Imagine UBC schedule, where students will be invited to attend a variety of events throughout the day.

What to expect: new students

If you’re a first year or transfer student Imagine UBC is an incredible opportunity to:

  • Make new friends
  • Meet student leaders, professors, and the Dean of your faculty
  • Find out about services and resources
  • Learn all the ways to get involved at UBC

Over the course of the day you’ll connect with other new students from your Faculty, check out hundreds of booths hosted by current students for UBC’s clubs and organizations, and start to find your place at UBC. New students will receive an email by early September with their personalized Imagine BC schedule.

What to expect: returning students

Learn more about your department or program, stop by the Main Event to explore hundreds of UBC clubs and resources, and feel the energy that comes with the start of a new academic year! Returning students will receive an email by early September with their personalized UBC schedule.


No matter who you are and what you are interested in, there is something for you at Imagine UBC.

– Indra Hayre, Arts student



If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to


Heading to UBC’s Okanagan campus? Check out the details for your Create orientation!




10 things you never knew about UBC

10 things you never knew about UBC

Did you know UBC has been named the most sustainable university in Canada, or that there’s an outdoor echo chamber in the middle of UBC’s Vancouver campus? UBC’s hallowed halls have produced some of the world’s best thinkers and leaders, as well as some exceptional curiosities, in its 100+ year history. Read on to learn more fun trivia about the university.


1. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum houses Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can get close to the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth.


2. UBC has a quidditch team. Members compete at major events in North America, representing UBC and the city of Vancouver. Past players have also participated on the quidditch world stage as part of Team Canada in the World Cup.


3. UBC’s Vancouver campus is home to a number of apple trees that are direct descendants of those that inspired Newton to compose his theory of gravity in 1661. The trees are planted near UBC’s TRIUMF lab, which houses the largest particle accelerator cyclotron in the world.


4. UBC alumni include eight Nobel Prize winners, plus three Canadian prime ministers, 74 Rhodes Scholars, and 226 Royal Society of Canada fellows. Our varsity athletes have won a combined total of 58 Olympic medals.


5. All the street signs on both UBC campuses are bilingual. At UBC Okanagan, the signs feature both English and Nsyilxcen, the traditional language spoken by the Okanagan’s original people. At UBC Vancouver, which is built on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people, you’ll navigate by signs in English as well as the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language.


6. The buildings on UBC’s Okanagan campus are heated and cooled using energy from the groundwater under the campus. At UBC Vancouver, the pools in the Aquatic Centre are replenished from rainwater that lands on the roof.


7. The Kryptonian language in the Superman movie Man of Steel was developed by Christine Schreyer, an associate professor of anthropology on UBC’s Okanagan campus.


8. UBC’s Vancouver campus is the ninth most popular filming location on earth. It’s served as the setting for many films and TV shows, including The Butterfly Effect, Smallville, three X-Men movies, The X-Files, Legion, Supernatural, 50 Shades of Grey, and more.


9. UBC’s Okanagan campus hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate!) in fall 2016 during the pair’s royal tour of Canada. The couple dedicated a new Aboriginal art installation commemorating UBC’s centennial and the 10th anniversary of the Okanagan campus, and joined 1,500 UBC students in watching an inter-squad volleyball game.


10. The Seed Lending Library on UBC’s Vancouver campus has a mission to conserve precious seed varieties by allowing members of the public to sign out seeds in order to grow, harvest, and pass them on to other gardeners.