Earth and Environmental Sciences

at UBC's

Okanagan Campus

Explore how the planet works and its deep history, then discover how to deploy that knowledge to benefit society and the environment. You'll study the nature and properties of Earth systems, while learning how to apply scientific knowledge from a broad range of disciplines.

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Program information

  • Campus: Okanagan
  • Faculty: Irving K. Barber 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.

Develop an understanding of the fundamental natural processes that shape Earth and its environment, and an appreciation of how humans are influencing its future. The Earth and Environmental Sciences program allows you the flexibility to pursue your interests, from the solid earth sciences to the environment. Choose from courses covering mineral resources, water resources, river hydrology, climate and paleo-climate, hydrogeology, land use management, environmental assessment, geochemistry, and other topics. By the time you graduate, you’ll have gained skills in experimentation, observation, data collection, laboratory techniques, and spatial data analysis, and learned how to integrate multiple information sources and communicate your conclusions.

As a Bachelor of Science student on UBC’s Okanagan campus, you can choose a major, honours, or minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Complement your major with a minor in topics such as Biology, Data Science, Environmental Chemistry, or Geography. Or choose courses that meet the academic requirements you need to register as a Professional Geoscientist or Professional Agrologist.

Experiential learning and research

Work with renowned UBC faculty members on research projects related to hydrology, geomorphology, geochemistry, environmental systems, and tectonics. Or study at other universities around the world through the Go Global program.

In your third or fourth year of study, you’ll have the option of completing directed studies and conducting independent readings and research. If you choose the honours option, you’ll undertake an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science holds an annual undergraduate research conference on UBC’s Okanagan campus to showcase student research projects.

Campus features

The Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences is home to a wide range of research facilities:

In addition, individual faculty members have active research programs backed by modern laboratory facilities, including the Complex Environmental Systems Lab, the PALEO Lab, and the
Structural Geology and Tectonics Group

Life at UBC's Okanagan campus

On UBC’s Okanagan campus, you'll gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community. Modern on-campus residences are close to academic supports, and surrounded by hiking and biking trails, sandy beaches, and vast lakes. Take part in on-campus events, volunteer in the community, or explore the outdoors.

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Your future

You’ll graduate with a broad foundation in earth and environmental sciences and be well positioned to access multiple career paths. As an Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate, you could work for:

  • Mineral exploration and resource extraction companies
  • Environmental and geotechnical consulting firms
  • Provincial and federal geological surveys
  • Provincial and federal ministries that oversee environment, habitat, and land use
  • Government research laboratories
  • Universities and colleges

Program graduates

  • Hydrogeology Consultant, BGC Engineering Inc.
  • President and CEO, HEG Exploration Services Inc.
  • Project Manager, Golder Associates
  • Section Head, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

UBC stories

"One year after graduation, I am now working full time for MiEnergy, a renewable energy company in Saskatoon where I have a dynamic role that includes installation, communications and marketing, as well as project coordination."

Jenna Gall, Earth and Environmental Sciences Read the full story

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

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics is strongly recommended

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

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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