Cellular, Anatomical, and Physiological Sciences

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Take courses in human structure and function with emphasis in nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and gastrointestinal systems while you study life processes. The overarching goal of this program is to provide interdisciplinary training in life and health sciences while preparing you for a career in academics, or biotechnology or medical fields.

Why this program?

  • Study in a highly selective honours program with small classes in upper years ensure you get individual attention.
  • Prepare for graduate studies in health sciences or for medical, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy, or veterinary medicine.
  • Attend lectures and labs in UBC’s state-of-the-art Life Sciences Centre.
  • Receive instruction from the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s world-renowned researchers.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • 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 Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

The Honours Cellular, Anatomical, and Physiological Sciences (CAPS) program enriches a core study of physiology through a broad curriculum. You’ll study the human body structure and function, but also receive interdisciplinary training that prepares you for a wide range of careers in academic, biotechnology, or medical fields. Courses are offered in human structure and function with emphasis in nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and gastrointestinal systems.

Cellular, Anatomical, and Physiological Sciences is available only as an Honours degree. The program is extremely competitive, with only about 15 students admitted to the specialization each year. Students apply at the end of their second year. The specialization is specifically geared towards students intending to pursue graduate studies in the biological sciences (including medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary school), with the majority of graduates from the program each year entering medical school.

Campus features

The Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology Club of UBC is a thriving club in the Alma Mater Society. It’s a great place for first-year students to make contacts with current undergraduate and graduate students, and get a sense of what a major in these programs is all about.

Experiential learning and research

As a CAPS student, you’ll spend a year carrying out a research project under the supervision of a research faculty member that forms the basis of a graduating honours thesis. In addition, you may choose to do a 12-16 month cooperative education program, working in a research laboratory as part of their undergraduate training.

Your future

Program graduates frequently enter graduate programs in biological or health sciences. The rigorous, cross-disciplinary nature of the specialization makes it an ideal pathway for entry into professional schools such as medicine, pharmacy, or dental.

Program graduates

  • Medical student, University of British Columbia
  • Graduate student in Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University
  • Medical student, Queen's University
  • Research assistant, UBC Biomedical Research Centre
  • Master of Physical Therapy candidate, University of British Columbia
  • Dentist, Emerald Park Dentistry

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.
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