Five things you never knew about UBC Forestry

Five things you never knew about UBC Forestry

Do you imagine Forestry to be all about trees and lumberjacks? Not even close!

UBC’s Faculty of Forestry is the largest of its kind in Canada and is ranked top three in the world for its education and research. It offers the chance to study one of six science-based degrees, which will help you master topics including conservation and globalization, forest genetics, ecology, resource management, urban biodiversity, and more.

UBC Forestry also provides you with ample opportunities to get out of the classroom. You’ll be able to focus on the areas of your degree you find most interesting with on-site research, travel, and co-op work placements. A Forestry degree will challenge you academically, and provide a foundation for a wide selection of sought-after careers.


Why choose UBC Forestry?


You may already know that UBC Forestry has this year added a new degree for you to study. Here are five more facts that make the faculty unique.


  1. The UBC Forest Sciences Centre is built to look like a forest inside, with live plants and trees in the atrium and a treehouse study area exclusively for Forestry students.


  1. UBC Forestry has two research forests totaling more than 15,000 hectares in Maple Ridge and Williams Lake, British Columbia. UBC Vancouver is also surrounded by 750 hectares of forest, letting you study in a wooded environment.


  1. Every year during Forestry Week, the UBC Forestry Undergraduate Society paints Omar the Truck and parades it around campus.


  1. The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing helped design the victory ceremony medal podium for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.


  1. UBC Forestry professor Suzanne Simard has her very own TED talk and was featured on an episode of Radiolab.


The student scoop

Noa Berman Mayer UBC Student Story

Want to learn more about studying in the Forestry Faculty? Meet Noa, who began her UBC journey in the Faculty of Arts before she chose to focus exclusively on environmentalism and conservation with a Forestry degree.


Programs spotlight: People, culture, and society

Programs spotlight: People, culture, and society

Are you fascinated by the forces that shape human history? Do you want to learn more about the evolution of individual communities and peoples? Do you want to explore topics at the intersection of politics, art, culture, literature, music, design, and geography? One of UBC’s people, culture, and society programs could be for you.

Explore your program options 

Indigenous Studies

The Indigenous Studies program at UBC Okanagan explores the perspectives, histories, and contemporary issues of Indigenous peoples from around the world. You’ll examine key topics such as Indigenous governance, the justice system, land claims, traditional ecological knowledge, and other critical components of Indigenous heritage. This program will prepare you for a career in government, environmental assessment and resource management, Indigenous leadership, or Indigenous-focused non-profit or community organizations.


The student scoop

Ella Maija Tailfeathers, First Nations Studies, UBC

Meet Elle-Máijá, a First Nations Studies undergrad and groundbreaking filmmaker who discovered her passion for Indigenous representation in media.


Religion, Literature, and the Arts

Religion, Literature, and the Arts at UBC Vancouver is the only program designed to allow you to study religions across different cultures. You’ll gain a deep understanding of Western, Near Eastern, and Asian religions and traditions, and as well as those practiced in other geographic regions. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore complex relationships between history, culture, language, art, and music, and to study abroad in one of 42 different countries.


Gender and Women’s Studies

Gain a deeper understanding of sexuality, femininity, embodiment, and social justice in the Gender and Women’s Studies program at UBC Okanagan. This dynamic and interdisciplinary program focuses on historical and contemporary roles of gender in global cultures. You’ll build theoretical and research skills through courses in the humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies.


The student scoop

Emmy Chahal, Cultural Studies, UBC Okanagan

Meet Emmy, a Cultural Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies undergraduate who learned to question more, and judge less.


Social Work

Social work is a profession that lets you promote social justice at individual, family, organizational, community, and societal levels. The Social Work program at UBC Vancouver is a two-year degree that will prepare you for the different areas of the profession, including direct practice, group work, and developing communities. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the values of human dignity, social equality, and social justice, and learn through a variety of real-world field placements.


See a full list of people, culture, and society programs at UBC

Which UBC Forestry program is for you?

Which UBC Forestry program is for you?

Are you looking for a science-based degree that challenges you academically, provides exciting opportunities to enrich your university experience, and opens the door to a breadth of in-demand careers? UBC’s Faculty of Forestry – ranked top three in the world – has six programs that span topics from wood engineering and sustainability to soil science and urban planning.

No matter which Forestry program you study, you’ll be part of a diverse, close-knit community where faculty get to know their students by name, and where you have ample opportunities to dig deeper into your specialization with research, travel, and unique classroom experiences.


Bachelor of Science in Forest Sciences

If you have an inquisitive mind and want to unravel the mysteries of nature, Forest Sciences is an ideal program for you. You’ll study the scientific principles related to the growth and development of forest organisms and the ecology of plant and animal communities. This knowledge will help you better understand aspects of our forests such as wildlife, fire, insects, diseases, soil, tree genetics, and forest regeneration.

“I like the flexibility in terms of choosing what topic within Forest Sciences that I can focus on. There are suggested specializations, such as hydrology or entomology, but I’m also able to choose a topic that I’m interested in. There is a specialization in International Forestry, where students are required to spend time abroad and learn about forest ecosystems in a global context.”

–Jennifer Hong, alumna, Forest Sciences

Learn more about Forest Sciences


Bachelor of Science in Forestry

The interdisciplinary Forestry program combines biological, physical, and social sciences with technology to advance your understanding of sustainable forest management. Among other areas, you’ll develop your knowledge in topics spanning forest planning and management to the operational aspects of extracting timber. You can choose from two majors – Forest Resources Management or Forest Operations – which are both accredited by the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board.

“I decided to go into Forest Resources Management at UBC because I love being in the forest. I am extremely passionate about protecting our natural resources and managing them properly. It has given me the opportunity to learn to manage B.C. forests in a sustainable manner. The field schools provide a safe outdoor learning environment that allows students to apply their skills prior to working in the industry.”

–Thomson Kennedy, 4th year, Forest Resources Management

Learn more about Forestry


Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Conservation

Have you ever considered becoming a conservation scientist? Do you want to play an active role in protecting and managing our natural environment, such as wildlife, forests, rivers, oceans, and land? In Natural Resources Conservation, the faculty’s most popular degree program, you’ll learn about the maintenance of habitats and the persistence of diverse natural resources, and gain a better understanding of the balance that is needed among environmental, social, economic, cultural, and aesthetic values.

“The Natural Resources Conservation Program will give you the skills and knowledge to meet the big challenges our world is facing right now. It will help you think holistically about how different disciplines can come together to solve our biggest environmental challenges and achieve a balance between our increasing needs for goods and services and the protection of our ecosystems.”

–Valentina Coy, 3rd year, Natural Resources Conservation

Learn more about Natural Resources Conservation


Bachelor of Science in Wood Products Processing

If you’re an innovative thinker who loves to tackle problems, you’ll enjoy the blend of science, engineering, and business in the Wood Products Processing program. You’ll gain a broad understanding of wood science, business, and advanced manufacturing operations while you develop essential transferable skills such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, and teamwork.

“If you are interested in building a successful professional career in an innovative, creative, and sustainable industry, then the Wood Products Processing program will provide you with a strong foundation. The faculty offers a strong co-op program, a positive tri-mentoring program, and a range of leadership-building classes.”

–Jonathan Jean-Hwa Chu, 4th year, Wood Products Processing

Learn more about Wood Products Processing


Bachelor of Urban Forestry

The Urban Forestry program – the first of its kind in Canada – teaches you about planning and managing urban green spaces and ecosystems for human welfare, ecological health, and the protection of our cities’ support systems. You could learn how to tackle the problems arising from increased urban populations and global warming, and help create more sustainable and greener communities.

“The Urban Forestry program at UBC was an unforgettable experience that has opened many doors for my career. The program gave me the ability to balance an urban lifestyle while pursuing my passion for the outdoors. I was amazed at how quickly I met friends with similar interests and how quickly professional opportunities emerged through the forestry community. When I was just getting started, I quickly realized that the industry is buzzing and that the skills I was learning were in high demand. The design aspects of the program allowed my ideas to come to life and curated a set of practical skills for producing green sustainable landscapes. My favourite part of the urban forestry program was solving real-life problems by using green design, making cities more liveable. The integrated foundation of traditional forestry, landscape architecture, and design makes the urban forestry program the most competitive degree in the expanding greenspace management industry.”

– Reginald Daniel, Alumnus, Urban Forestry

Learn more about Urban Forestry


Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology (BEST)

Want to help lead the world’s shift from fossil fuels to sustainable sources? The BEST program is the faculty’s newest BSc degree and the first in Canada to focus on the growing bioeconomy – the parts of the economy that involve producing renewable biological resources and transforming them into valuable products. You’ll learn how to design and develop innovative products and biofuels from forest and plant materials, as well as guide government policies and land use strategies for a sustainable future.

“Starting this September, the BEST program will enrol its inaugural class, learning the sciences required to address the global challenge of combatting climate change using biobased alternatives.”

-Dr Scott Renneckar, Program Director Forestry Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology

Learn more about Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology


Co-operative education opportunities

Completing a co-op is your chance to get real-world experience, make an average salary of $3,133 per month, and begin building your professional network. All six Forestry programs offer co-ops so that you can learn about possible careers and jobs in your field of interest. UBC Forestry students have completed co-ops at companies like West Fraser, Interfor, and J.D. Irving, as well as local municipalities, the provincial and federal governments, UBC’s Advanced Renewable Materials Lab, Pioneer Forest Consulting, and many more.

Check out the Forestry co-op Instagram account to see the kinds of experiences UBC students are gaining as they get their hands dirty in labs and forests, and travel as far as South Africa, India, Indonesia, Japan, Finland, and Germany. Plus, you can read students’ stories about their work terms.



Programs spotlight: Health and life sciences

Programs spotlight: Health and life sciences

Whether you’re interested in understanding the intricacies of animal behaviour or uncovering the secrets of the brain, you can begin your journey at UBC. Immerse yourself in a passionate community of like-minded professors and students who are dedicated to the study of human health, the biodiversity of our planet, and the living organisms we share it with.


Explore your program options


Discover the world too small to see with the naked eye in the Microbiology program at UBC Okanagan. You’ll master techniques that let you observe structures and organisms at the microscopic level, and become an expert on topics such as gene regulation, immune responses, and why certain people are susceptible to particular diseases. A lot of your learning will be hands-on in the lab, and you’ll have the chance to direct your own original research.


Food Science

Every wonder why things taste the way they do? The Food Science program at UBC Vancouver lets you apply knowledge from chemistry, biology, and engineering to understand what creates the unique flavours of food. You’ll learn how foods change during processing, how to prevent foodborne illnesses, and how land, food, and community influence each other. UBC’s Food Science program is accredited by the Institute of Food Technologists, and is the only Food Science Bachelor of Science offered in British Columbia.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Dive into the animal kingdom and learn how organisms interact with the world around them. In the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at UBC Okanagan, you’ll explore animal behaviours and adaptations while gaining a deep understanding of biodiversity through lab work, job placements, and field work in British Columbia and overseas. You’ll develop a foundation that prepares you for a range of careers in conservation, environmental assessment, aquaculture, and more.


The student scoop

Meet Brooke, a Biology alumna who tracked cheetahs in South Africa as a volunteer before deciding to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.


Cognitive Systems

Are you fascinated by the human mind? The Cognitive Systems program at UBC Vancouver sits at the intersection of computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. Study the tools that allow people to think – such as language – and explore what it means for machines to generate their own knowledge. You’ll learn how to interpret data, design your own cognitive systems, and navigate ethical complexities. Through hands-on research experiences, you’ll work at the outer limits of scientific understanding, and push the boundaries of understanding the mind.


See a full list of health and life sciences programs at UBC



Improve your English and earn a UBC degree with Vantage One

Improve your English and earn a UBC degree with Vantage One

Do you have an excellent academic record, but don’t quite meet UBC’s English language admission requirement? If you fulfil UBC’s general and degree-specific requirements, there are alternative pathways to help you achieve your UBC degree.


What is Vantage One?

UBC’s Vantage One programs are designed for international students who do not yet meet the English language requirement to enter directly into a UBC faculty. Vantage One courses last 11 months, and add English language instruction to your first-year degree courses. You can choose from Arts, Engineering, or Science, and you’ll be taught by award-winning UBC faculty members.

The Arts and Science Vantage One programs take place at UBC Vancouver, while Engineering involves studying at both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. When you successfully complete your Vantage One program, you’ll progress into your second year at UBC, where you can study the following degree programs:


Why choose Vantage One?

The program is designed specifically for international students. Vantage One is a first-year cohort program, which means you’ll follow a set timetable and take nearly all of your classes with the same people, helping you to make friends from day one. It also includes a one-week orientation, which will assist you with essential needs like health insurance, setting up bank accounts, and learning how to thrive in the classroom at UBC.

There are over 50 highly-trained faculty and staff at Vantage One, who will help you build on your academic performance, English language development, study skills, and readiness for your second year. While you will be completing the same courses as other UBC students, your classes will be tailored to you. They’ll offer options like smaller class sizes, innovative teaching methods, language instruction integrated with coursework, and the ability to connect closely with faculty. Best of all, taking part in a Vantage One program does not add extra time to your degree.


What are the requirements?

Vantage One accepts students with a minimum score of 70 on the TOEFL and 5.5 on the IELTS. Certain sub-scores apply for each test, so be sure to review the full English language requirements on the Vantage College website.


How do you apply?

  1. Choose your UBC Vantage One program: Arts, Engineering, or Science.
  2. Meet the Vantage One admission requirements.
  3. Apply online and pay the fee.
  4. Submit your required documents.
  5. Stay in touch.



Is Medical Laboratory Science right for you?

Is Medical Laboratory Science right for you?

Are you looking for a different kind of science degree? Maybe you see yourself in the field of healthcare, research, biotechnology, or running a lab after you graduate?

UBC’s Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science is a gateway to those options and more.

Medical Laboratory Science is the study of the scientific principles and techniques practised in hospital and medical research laboratories. In this specialized degree you’ll develop your understanding of a wide range of disciplines related to human health and disease, and be taught by award-winning faculty.

What will I learn in Medical Laboratory Science?

After entering the BMLSc degree in your third year at UBC, you’ll be part of an intimate cohort of 24 students. Because of the smaller class size, you’ll be able to gain hands-on lab experience and master a diverse set of technical laboratory skills.

Through your coursework, you’ll learn the theoretical and practical laboratory techniques needed to design and conduct experiments, and to analyze the results. You’ll also learn about human health and disease through a broad range of health science and laboratory disciplines, including clinical chemistry, genetics, toxicology, pathology, hematology, histology, and medical microbiology.

If you’re passionate about research, you could complete a directed studies research project with faculty, or apply for the Summer Student Fellowship Program, which will provide you with research experiences in pathology and laboratory medicine. These opportunities will sharpen your transferrable skills, develop your thinking across different fields, and help steer you toward a unique career.

What can I do with a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree?

BMLSc graduates have a variety of exciting and rewarding careers to choose from. Many of our former students have moved into roles as research assistants or technicians in academic, clinical, or industry laboratories.

You could also take further studies to become a health professional in fields such as dentistry, medicine, optometry, medical laboratory technology, and more. Our graduates have high acceptance rates into medical, dental, and graduate schools, specialty technologist training programs, and public health and health administration programs.


Student Scoop

Lily Takeuchi, UBC medical laboratory science

Meet Lily, who built a breadth of career-related skills during the degree and presented her own undergraduate research at the University of California, San Francisco.


How do I apply to Medical Laboratory Science?

To be eligible for admission you must meet the general admission requirements of UBC and complete all the prerequisite courses – which can be taken in the first and second year of a UBC Bachelor of Science. Medical Laboratory Technology diploma holders who have completed the specific chemistry prerequisites noted on our website are also eligible.

Learn more about how to apply to Medical Laboratory Science.


Why choose Biomedical Engineering at UBC?

Why choose Biomedical Engineering at UBC?

Are you interested in how engineering, medicine, life sciences, computer science, and mathematics work together to solve health problems? Do you want to help transform people’s lives? Biomedical Engineering at UBC could be the right program for you.


What is Biomedical Engineering? 

Biomedical engineers use engineering tools like design, modelling, and fabrication, and apply them to science and healthcare issues. They develop new technologies that enable doctors, therapists, biotech companies, and researchers to improve human health.

Technologies developed by biomedical engineers touch every aspect of our lives. They include the ultrasound images that give us the first glimpse of our children, extended-release drugs that allow us to sleep through the night, lifesaving cardiac stents, and high-performance robotic surgery.


What will you learn?

As a Biomedical Engineering student at UBC, you’ll take specialized courses to help you build a unique foundation in engineering, biology, math, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, design, and the healthcare system. In your third year, you’ll have the chance to customize your degree based on your interests. You can choose from four different streams:

  • Biomechanics and biomaterials teaches you about applying classical mechanics, and how to solve biological problems by viewing the body as an engineered structure.
  • Cellular and molecular bioengineering lets you apply engineering principles to cellular and molecular biology. You’ll focus on developing cell-based therapeutics in regenerative medicine and drug delivery.
  • Biomedical systems and signals helps you learn about the processes that produce and transform signals in biological systems, and the way that these signals are translated by the body.
  • Biomedical informatics and systems biology lets you explore genomes and patient healthcare information using math and data systems such as machine learning.

Through traditional classroom instruction, hands-on studio time, Co-op opportunities, and lab work, you’ll graduate with a deep knowledge of biology, human anatomy, and physiology, and understand how to combine it with engineering design. After finishing your studies, you’ll be ready to work across a range of life science-related jobs, such as designing biomedical devices or pharmaceuticals, or working in fields like medical diagnostics or clinical engineering.


The student scoop

Nadine Truter student story

Meet Nadine, who is learning how to design treatments at a molecular level to help cure patients’ illnesses.


What makes the program unique?

  1. Learn in-demand skills. Vancouver is home to over 300 life sciences companies – many of which are ranked in the top 100 technology companies in Canada. Globally, too, there is an increasing call for engineers with biomedical training, with the US Department of Labour Statistics estimating that the number of jobs for Biomedical Engineers will increase by 27 percent over the next three years.


  1. Discover each topic in depth. Although UBC’s Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs both offer an introduction to biomedical engineering as a specialization, the Biomedical Engineering degree provides a much deeper level of knowledge, suitable for entering the industry or academia. When you graduate, you’ll be accredited as a Biomedical Engineer by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).


  1. Prepare for a fulfilling career. Many Biomedical Engineering graduates go on to medical school, research or advanced degrees, or start their own businesses. For those who choose employment, you’ll be ready for a job in biotechnology companies, biomedical device companies, diagnostic companies, e-health companies, hospitals, government research facilities, or in areas outside life sciences. You’ll work on exciting projects like developing artificial organs, prosthesis, diagnostics, biomedical devices, instruments, and new safety devices.


  1. Gain work experience while you study. Co-op Education provides the opportunity for you to gain paid, full-time experience in a variety of work settings, test out possible career options, and begin building a professional network – all before graduation. You’ll benefit from a variety of support workshops, one-on-one coaching, and work experience relevant to your future career goals.


  1. Work on a real-life project. One of the program’s final courses is a real-world design project, which will challenge you to apply the skills you’ve learned to an open-ended problem in biomedical engineering. You’ll work in small teams under the supervision of a faculty advisor or a practicing professional engineer from the industry, and be tasked with designing a new device or technology to solve some of today’s toughest medical problems.


Degree Spotlight: Bachelor of Design

Degree Spotlight: Bachelor of Design

Are you fascinated by the built environment? Do you dream of making your mark on the world? Design impacts society and the environment, and can create cultural change. This cross-disciplinary design degree allows you to imagine the world you want to live in, and learn how to build it.


What will you learn?

The new Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism degree is the only undergraduate program in Canada that draws from all three disciplines. Over four years, you’ll explore how design is connected across multiple scales, from the body to the city.

The program is very hands-on. Much of the teaching takes place in the design studio, which you’ll attend three days a week. As well as creating your own independent studio projects, you’ll have the chance to participate in a design+build, where you’ll sketch and test constructions as a team before erecting a final product.

Many of your courses will be maker-focused, including materials study, 3D modelling, and drawing by hand. Alongside those practical skills, you’ll learn about site analysis and structures, as well as the history and theory of design.

You can find out more about the degree by watching this video.


Why choose the Bachelor of Design degree at UBC?

  1. It’s one of the best schools in the world. UBC is the number one school in Canada to study the built environment, and places in the top 30 globally.


  1. Vancouver acts as a living lab. Known for its compact, sustainable urban design, the city of Vancouver is a rich study environment to examine the interaction between natural and urban landscapes. Your design projects could include transforming an urban park in the downtown core, or reimagining parking garages in the age of autonomous vehicles.


  1. You’ll have a lot of career prospects. The degree has a special focus on entrepreneurship and design, and you’ll graduate with skills you can use within and outside the design community.


  1. You can study abroad. Urban design differs all over the world, and UBC students have the chance to explore unique built environments across the globe. You’ll be able to combine classroom-based learning with community-based fieldwork, and, if you wish, gain work experience abroad through the Coordinated International Experience (CIE) program.


  1. You won’t have to narrow down your options. The Bachelor of Design degree lets you draw from all three disciplines of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism without having to specialize in one stream.


What can you do after graduating?

The program will prepare you to take a number of routes into the design world. Your degree could be the first step towards graduate studies to become an architect or landscape architect. You can also apply your new skills in spatial design, critical thinking, and digital media tools to pursue a career in many related fields, such as set design, industrial design, game design, lighting design, and urban planning.