Forest Sciences

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Study scientific principles related to forests, forest organisms, and plant and animal ecology. Forest Sciences is based on the principle that forests are complex ecosystems made up of thousands of living organisms and non-living components, and that our use of one part of the forest ecosystem can impact all of the others.

Why this program?

  • Specialize in an area such as genetics, ecology, entomology, pathology, silviculture, or hydrology
  • Focus on forest ecosystems in another part of the world with an international specialization
  • Earn academic credits toward a Registered Professional Biologist or Registered Professional Forester designation
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Forestry
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Forest Sciences
  • 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.

If you have an inquisitive mind and want to unravel the mysteries of nature, Forest Sciences could be for you. As a student in this academically challenging degree, you’ll improve your understanding of forest wildlife, fires, insects, diseases, soil, tree genetics, and forest regeneration.

You’ll also learn how to ask and approach important questions like: How do plants and animals in forest ecosystems react to insects and disease, climate change, pollution, harvesting, and recreational use? How can we sustain the biological diversity of our forests while meeting our resource needs?

Experiential learning and research

As a Forest Sciences student, you’ll:

  • Complete extensive, hands-on lab work.
  • Take part in a week-long field school at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge, BC.
  • Write an original, six-credit thesis under the supervision of a faculty member in your final year.

Campus features

The award-winning Forest Sciences Centre on UBC’s Vancouver campus offers wireless study space, high-tech classrooms, and labs equipped with the latest technology.

The Faculty of Forestry also has two major research forests in British Columbia, and jointly manages a third, altogether totalling 25,000 hectares or more than 60,000 acres.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

Surrounded by 750 hectares of forest, UBC offers the chance to study in a forested environment. Learn from award-winning faculty members in the nature-inspired Forest Sciences Centre, whose main atrium and study area feature giant live plants and a large skylight supported by massive wood beams. As a Faculty of Forestry student, you'll also have access to two research forests for field schools and other learning opportunities.

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Your future

Pursue a career as a forest geneticist, a biodiversity specialist, a fisheries and wildlife officer, a forest ecologist, a pathologist, or an entomologist. Many Forest Sciences graduates go on to graduate school and careers in research and teaching. Others acquire professional certifications as Registered Professional Foresters or Registered Professional Biologists.

Program graduates

  • Senior Research Associate, Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University
  • Instructor, Renewable Resources Management Program, Yukon College
  • Yukon College Research Scientist and Tree Breeder, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

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: Forestry; Forest Bioeconomy Sciences and Technology; Forest Sciences; Natural Resources Conservation; Urban Forestry

  • IB Mathematics, excluding IB Math Studies*
  • IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics 
  • Grade 11/junior-level Chemistry 
  • Grade 11/junior-level Biology (strongly recommended) or Physics

* 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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