Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

at UBC's

Okanagan Campus

Investigate the world at the molecular level in biochemistry and molecular biology, the study of chemical compounds and reactions that occur in living organisms. This program includes a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover metabolic pathways, the chemistry of winemaking, pharmacology, and more. Choose to specialize in biochemistry or the more medical aspects of cell and molecular biology.

This program is also offered at UBC's Vancouver Campus
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Why this program?

  • Learn from researchers deciphering genetic code, developing disease-fighting pharmaceuticals, studying protein structures, and more
  • Study on a tight-knit campus where you can work closely with professors and peers
  • Work as a teaching assistant, pursue your own research, or work alongside professors on theirs
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Program information

  • Campus: Okanagan
  • Faculty: Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours No
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Get your UBC degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which specifically deals with the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids – the basic constituents of living cells. You can choose from one of two program options: General Biochemistry or Medical Biochemistry.

Biochemists work to understand the structure of cells and how they function at the molecular level. They look at the role of these macromolecules in metabolic pathways, how the pathways are controlled, and the consequences of genetic or metabolic disruption. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology can lead to work in mass producing chemicals that are usually found in the body in tiny amounts, mapping the human genetic code, or creating genetically engineered crops that are more resistant to adverse weather conditions, spoilage, disease, and pests.

Experiential learning and research

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program includes a strong lab component, which is essential for students working in this area, and the opportunity to do a directed-studies research project with various professors in both chemistry and biology.

The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences also supports student research through the Undergraduate Research Awards, which allow students to carry out their own projects over the summer months, and other awards, which provide opportunities to work with professors on their research.

You can connect with your peers who are interested in or studying biochemistry and molecular biology through the Biochemistry Course Union, a student organization on UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Life at UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC's Okanagan campus is renowned for its research opportunities and access to professors. On a tight-knit campus like the Okanagan’s, you’ll be able to work closely with award-winning faculty and make meaningful connections with your peers. Professors are collaborating with student researchers and community partners in a variety of industries.

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Your future

Graduates from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program on UBC’s Okanagan campus go on to graduate or medical school, or careers in fields such as:

  • Microbiology
  • Food science
  • Pharmacology

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

  • Completion of the IB Diploma with competitive scores, including at least three Higher Level courses and additional points for Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.
  • Completion of Standard Level or Higher Level English A at a minimum score of 3, where English is the primary language of instruction. (If you are an international student with a score of less than 3 in IB English A [SL or HL], or you are taking English B [SL or HL], you may be eligible for UBC Vantage One programs.)

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Mathematics minimum grade of 3, excluding IB Math Studies*
  • IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11/junior-level Chemistry
  • Grade 11/junior-level Physics is strongly recommended

* If your intended start year is 2021: IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL, IB Math Analysis and Approaches HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL. IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL will not satisfy the requirement.


Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
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