Why come here?

Our Department

The Department of Zoology at UBC is internationally renowned for its research in a variety of modern biological sciences, including ecology, evolution, physiology, neurobiology, cell biology and development. The department has many strong interdisciplinary connections between different areas of research.

Zoology has a solid computing infrastructure of computer labs, compute servers, loaner equipment, colour and poster printers, and three computing support staff for knowledgable help. See our other departmental research and teaching facilities.

UBC has a great library, both paper-based and on-line. We have full on-line access to almost all journals, as well as Web of Science, etc. Here is the Library's site.

The above all make it easier to do great work, such as these theses.


Here are some other reasons to come to The University of British Columbia.


What, your life is more than just school? Look at where we are located! (And here is a towercam on campus.) Vancouver's magnificent harbour is ringed by mountains to the north and swimming beaches are within walking distance of the most densely populated areas. Within a half-hour's drive of the city centre are ski slopes with breathtaking views of the city and surrounding areas. The mountainous terrain and fjordlike coastline of B.C. are readily accessible for skiing, camping, hiking, mountaineering, swimming, scuba diving, sailing, and fishing. The world-famous ski resorts of Whistler and Blackcomb are within two hours' drive of the city. A mild climate allows year-round participation in many activities. As Canada's third largest city, Vancouver is a thriving business and cultural centre with many fine ethnic restaurants and markets. Its cultural attributes include symphony, opera, live theatre, and numerous galleries, museums, gardens, and parks.

Consider pursuing graduate studies in Zoology at UBC, visit How to Apply

What degree would you like to obtain?

The Department offers graduate programs leading both to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.

MSc Degree

The M.Sc. degree requires a combination of course work and research for a total of 30 credits. Twelve credits of courses are required with the remaining 18 credits being thesis research. Single courses typically range from 3-6 credits each. Students have considerable flexibility in their choice of courses including graduate and senior undergraduate courses in Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Genetics, Conservation, and Earth and Oceans Sciences, as well as several other departments. Students may also design their own courses in the form of "Directed Studies" supervised by a faculty member.

M.Sc. students are also required to conduct research towards their degrees. Although research conceived independently of the student’s supervisor is encouraged, the minimum requirement for the M.Sc. degree is to successfully complete directed research. The MSc is a 2-year program, but due to the nature of the research undertaken many students take longer.

Students who originally register in the M.Sc. program may switch to the Ph.D. program after 12-18 months, on the advice of their research committee. Switching to the Ph.D. program, is only possible if the student has completed 12 credits of course work in the first 18 months of their program with a first class standing. Such transfers must then comply with the Ph.D. regulations (see below).

PhD Degree

Original research supervised by a faculty member constitutes the major component of work toward the Ph.D. degree. Ph.D. students are not required to complete course work unless it is recommended by the thesis committee. All Ph.D. students are required to present a research proposal and pass a comprehensive examination on their research area within l8 months of registering at the University. The comprehensive exam is an oral examination (administered by all four supervisory committee members) intended to assess the student’s breadth of knowledge in the general subject area(s) of the proposed research (i.e., it is not a defense of the written proposal).