Pharmaceutical Sciences

at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Study the sciences behind drug discovery and development, including pharmacology, formulations, nanomedicine, diagnostics, and analytical chemistry. You'll graduate ready for grad school or a technical position in pharmaceuticals, life sciences, or biotechnology.

Why this program?

  • Gain knowledge and practical skills to contribute to the discovery, development, and evaluation of drugs and therapies
  • Get the training you need to provide meaningful contributions to discussions among academic, industry, and government professionals
  • Pursue a career as a professional, entrepreneur, or emerging leader in pharmaceutical sciences
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Degree: Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op No
    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.

As a Pharmaceutical Sciences student at UBC, you’ll study foundational natural sciences and pharmaceutical sciences while developing your teamwork, leadership, and entrepreneurialism. You’ll graduate with the knowledge, practical skills, and problem-solving abilities you need to contribute to important economic, social, and political discussions.

Experiential learning and research

Within the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences degree, you’ll choose one of three streams:

  • General studies: Focus exclusively on coursework.
  • Research focus: Complete a research project or practicum in year 4.
  • Honours with research focus: Complete a research project or practicum in year 4, plus 12 additional credits of coursework.


If your practicum application is successful, you’ll be placed with a government organization or an industrial partner (e.g., a biotech, drug, nutraceutical or personal care company) for one term.  You’ll gain hands-on experience, learn critical skills, and earn 15 credits toward your degree.


If your research application is successful, you’ll work on a research project with a professor from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for one term. You’ll learn critical research skills and earn 15 credits toward your degree.

Campus features

As a Pharmaceutical Sciences student, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art laboratories with high-end research equipment. You’ll also be trained in ultra-high-pressure liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, microparticle analysis, and microscopy.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

UBC's Pharmaceutical Sciences degree is the only one of its kind in western Canada and the only one taught in English in all of Canada. It's also one of the few degree programs in the country where professional research equipment is placed in teaching laboratories for industry- and research-relevant learning.

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Your future

As a Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate, you can go on to graduate school and academia, or pursue a career in:

  • Government policy and regulatory affairs
  • Biotechnology
  • Healthcare administration and provision
  • Medical device sales and marketing
  • Pharmaceuticals, including generic medications
  • Nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, or cannabis products
  • Personal care products, including shampoo, lotion, and makeup
  • Veterinary drugs
  • Process manufacturing
  • Paint and other industrial formulation manufacturing
  • Quality assurance management

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: Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • 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.)
  • IB Chemistry
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Biology

Note: Grade 11 Biology requirement listed is only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Biology course.

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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