Master of Science in Applied Animal Biology (MSc)
Applied Animal Biology offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to a M. Sc. degree in animal physiology, behaviour, welfare, and management of livestock, companion animals, research animals, wildlife species, aquaculture, and on the human-animal relationship.
The program is enriched through collaboration with colleagues in other UBC graduate programs such as Zoology, Population and Public Health, and with agencies such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Dairy Farmers of Canada and other livestock agencies and the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA).
On-campus teaching and research facilities are located in the MacMillan Building. Off-campus research facilities available to students include: the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz; shared research facilities at Fisheries and Oceans Canada at West Vancouver; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the BC SPCA.
What makes the program unique?
UBC is uniquely equipped to offer you a rich and well-rounded graduate degree in Applied Animal Biology. After all, we have been honing our expertise for over a century: The Faculty of Agriculture (now LFS) was one of UBC’s three founding faculties back in 1915, with Animal Husbandry as one of Agriculture’s first four programs. Still today, our MSc and PhD programs benefit from state-of-the-art on-campus teaching and research facilities, as well as off-campus research facilities. The Applied Animal Biology program is also home to the UBC Animal Welfare Program, the Dairy Education and Research Centre, and a graduate certificate in Aquaculture.
The Animal Welfare Program is one of the largest and most respected programs in the world in the field of animal welfare science. Since its inception in 1997, the Program’s research has led to improvements in the lives of animals in British Columbia and around the world. The mission of the program is to improve the welfare and humane care of animals in agriculture, research, companionship and other areas through active efforts in research, education and public outreach. For additional information visit: https://awp.landfood.ubc.ca/
Graduate training at the M.Sc. level in applied animal biology requires that the student completes a body of research leading to a thesis. Students are expected to publish their research results in relevant leading international refereed journals.
Completion of the MSc program requires a thesis (12 or 18 credits) plus coursework, for a total of 30 credits. With a 12-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 6 credits of senior undergraduate courses. With an 18-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 3 credits of senior undergraduate courses.
Students who are planning a professional career will typically enrol in the 12-credit thesis option. The 18-credit value option requires a more intensive research experience and is more appropriate for students considering the PhD program or a research career. The thesis credit decision should be determined in consultation with the student and research advisor at the start of the program.
Additional coursework may be recommended upon consultation with the student’s supervisory committee.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
2) Meet Deadlines
May 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 July 2022
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Applied Animal Biology (MSc)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
On-campus facilities include laboratories in the MacMillan Building. Off-campus research facilities available to students include: the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre in Agassiz; shared research facilities at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at West Vancouver; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; and the BC SPCA. Field research facilities for studies in wildlife rehabilitation are also available. The Dairy Education and Research Centre is unique in Canada and is one of the largest in the world, providing state-of-the-art research facilities for developing and adapting new technologies relevant to the dairy industry. This facility contains 300 free stalls, a 24-cow milking parlour, office, laboratory and public reception areas. It helps meet the Faculty’s expanding programs in large-animal nutrition, reproduction and behaviour/welfare. The Centre’s scientists also have strong linkages with numerous dairy organizations at the provincial and national level that has, and will continue, to facilitate on farm research. For more information about the centre, visit: https://dairycentre.landfood.ubc.ca/
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
All full-time doctoral students within the AANB program will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 for each of the first two years of their M.Sc. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Applied Animal Biology (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Cerri, Ronaldo (Animal and dairy sciences; Animal behaviour; Animal developmental and reproductive biology; Animal physiology; Agricultural Machinery and Technology; Animal Production; Animal Reproduction; Biotechnology and Activity monitors; Dairy cattle reproduction; Endocrine Regulation; Endometrium-conceptus cross communication; Estrous cycle physiology in cattle; Inflammation and stress; Production medicine in dairy cattle)
Farrell, Anthony (Angiogenesis)
Fraser, David (Welfare of animals on farms, animal ethics, animal behaviour, Animal welfare, innovations in animal housing and management, practical and cultural dimensions of applying ethics to animal issues)
Frommel, Andrea (Animal physiology, environmental stress; Sustainable Aquaculture; climate change; Early development in fish; Alternative feeds in aquaculture; Fish physiology)
Protopopova, Alexandra (Animal; Community Health / Public Health; rabbit; dog; cat; animal shelter; Animal behaviour; Animal welfare; community initiatives; climate change and pet ownership; cultural differences in human-companion animal relationships; free-ranging dogs; one health)
von Keyserlingk, Marina (animal welfare, ethics of animal use, farm animals, dairy cattle welfare, Animal Welfare Behavior, housing and management and how these contribute to animal health and welfare of dairy cattle)
Weary, Daniel (Animal welfare, dairy cow, acoustic communication and vocal behavior in wild birds and mammals how vocal and other behaviors can provide us with information about an animal)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Applied Animal Biology offers opportunities for advanced study and research in animal physiology, behaviour, welfare, and management of livestock, aquaculture, and wildlife species.