Biotechnology

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Enjoy hands-on laboratory training and high-calibre foundational courses as you learn about scientific manipulation of living organisms. This program equips you with current scientific and technical expertise and the business and communication skills to start your biotechnology career as soon as you graduate.

Why this program?

  • Study in a rigorous, highly specialized honours program.
  • Complete laboratory training at BCIT.
  • Enhance your learning and professional development with practical experience in co-operative work placements.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 5 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Biotechnology is the scientific manipulation of living organisms, especially at the molecular genetic level. One of the biggest applications of biotechnology is the genetic engineering of certain food crops to incorporate desirable traits in them, such as disease or pest resistance. Computers are used to closely study the genetic structure of organisms and tools such as the ‘gene gun’ are used to introduce desirable genes into the DNA of organisms. Biotechnology is also vital to the medical field in creating new medicines, as well as applicable to the environmental sector, for example in the development of bacteria that consume toxic chemicals and reduce pollution.

Honours Biotechnology is offered in cooperation with the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT). You must complete a 30-credit first-year program at UBC before transferring to BCIT for two years. Then you return to UBC for two years of academic and co-op work terms. Some applications of biotechnology include the genetic engineering of food crops for disease or pest resistance, creating new medicines, and, in the environmental sector, the development of bacteria that consume toxic chemicals and reduce pollution.

Campus features

The Michael Smith Laboratories, named after the late Nobel laureate UBC professor, are located in the heart of campus. The Laboratories bring together first-class scientists to solve biological problems using genetic engineering techniques (such as cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, gene expression) and to encourage biotechnology transfer activity on- and off-campus.

Your future

A UBC education will introduce you to people and ideas from around the world, open doors to new opportunities, and take you places you never imagined. You’ll graduate not only with expertise in your chosen field, but with the skills you need to continue growing, learning, and evolving with your career over time.

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 a minimum score of 24 points, 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.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Mathematics (Standard or Higher Level; IB Math Studies does not meet the requirement)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics (Standard or Higher Level)
  • One year of Chemistry immediately prior to IB Diploma
  • One year of Physics immediately prior to IB Diploma (may be waived with scores of 5 or higher in IB Mathematics and IB Chemistry)
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