Master of Science in Zoology (MSc)
The Department of Zoology is internationally renowned for its research in a variety of modern biological sciences including ecology, evolution, physiology, cell biology, and developmental biology. The department has many strong interdisciplinary connections between the different areas of research.
What makes the program unique?
- Students have considerable flexibility in their choice of courses including graduate and senior undergraduate courses in Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Fisheries, 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 other than their supervisor.
- Zoology has a solid computing infrastructure of computer labs, computer servers, loaner equipment, colour and poster printers, and three knowledgeable computing support staff.
- UBC has a great library with full on-line access to almost all journals, as well as Web of Science, etc.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
Please consult this webpage for full details on how to apply: https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/graduate-program/prospective-students DEADLINES: December 1st - NSERC CGSM Fellowship Deadline. January 15th - Deadline to be considered for the Zoology Graduate Fellowship. Please note: If an applicant does not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement, they will not be eligible to apply for a Teaching Assistant (TA) role during their first year of study. In subsequent years, students will be eligible to apply for a TA position once the English language proficiency is met.
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: 97
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.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
- Three Referees. Ideally, the referees should be faculty members who have supervised your studies and/or research directly - Curriculum Vitae - Statement of Intent intent outlining your research experience, proposed research project (or ideas), and explaining your interest in working with the particular faculty member(s) - Scanned copies of up-to-date unofficial transcripts of marks from all post-secondary institutions attended
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 September 2020
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 Zoology (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.
Cell and Developmental Biology: molecular and genetic bases of development and cellular function Comparative Physiology: aspects of animal physiology from a comparative perspective, particularly those mechanisms underlying adaptive responses to environmental constraints Ecology: blends field ecology and natural history with ecological theory and conservation biology Evolution: encompasses evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, conservation genetics, theory, and systematics
The Zoology Aquatics Facility, otherwise known as the Initiative for the Study of the Environment and its Aquatic Systems (InSEAS), is an aquatic animal research facility designed to foster research, and the development of fisheries and aquaculture in western Canada. https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/research/facilities/aquatics The UBC Bioimaging Facility is a multi-user microscopy facility that is open to everyone and provides both training and service. The facility has been known as the most comprehensive biological imaging facility in Western Canada. https://www.bioimaging.ubc.ca/about/ The Zoology Computing Unit builds and maintains the computing infrastructure needed for the research, teaching and administration functions of the department. https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/research/facilities
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|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)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (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
The Department of Zoology has a minimum funding policy for all Graduate students. Support will be in the form of a combination of Teaching Assistantships (TA), awards/scholarship, or Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) paid from the supervisor’s research grants. The minimum level of salary support will include any tuition costs not covered by another source.
Please consult this page for detailed funding information.
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 Zoology (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.
Abraham, Ninan (Mammals, pathogens, genetic analysis, proper cell funtion, development, maintenance and proper functioning of T- and B-cells )
Altshuler, Doug (Zoology; flight control; visual guidance; visual neuroscience; neuroethology; avian biomechanics; aerodynamics; wing morphing; motor control)
Angert, Amy (Plant biology; Zoology; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; biogeography; biological responses to climate change; Conservation Biology; Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes; evolutionary ecology; population biology)
Auger-Methe, Marie (Fisheries sciences; Statistics; Zoology; Animal movement; Polar ecology; Statistical Ecology)
Auld, Vanessa (Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Zoology; Cell; Cell Biology; Development; Developmental Genetics; epithelia; Genetics; glia; in vivo imaging; Molecular Genetics; nervous system; Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis; permeability barriers)
Aviles, Leticia (Community ecology (except invasive species ecology); Animal behaviour)
Brauner, Colin (Gas exchange, ion regulation and acid-base balance in fish, Evolution and comparative physiology)
Cheung, Wai Lung (Impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services)
Christensen, Villy (Fisheries management)
Doebeli, Michael Walter (Mathematical ecology and evolution, evolution of diversity, adaptive speciation, evolution of cooperation, game theory, experimental evolution in microorganisms)
Germain, Rachel (Ecology; evolution)
Gordon, Michael (Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Zoology; Chemosensation; Drosophila; Feeding; Gustation; Neural circuits; Neuronal Systems; neuroscience; Sensory systems; Taste)
Harley, Christopher (Fisheries sciences; Zoology; climate change; community ecology; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; marine algae; marine invertebrates)
Irwin, Darren (Zoology; evolutionary genetics; genomic differentiation; hybridization; ornithology; seasonal migration; speciation)
Jankowski, Jill (Ecology)
Kremen, Claire (Natural environment sciences; Zoology; agroecological farming systems; Reconciliation of agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation; sustainable landscapes)
Leander, Brian (Plant biology; Zoology; Comparative organismal biology; Evolutionary morphology; Evolutionary protistology; Marine biodiversity; Marine invertebrate zoology; Phylogenetic biology; Species discovery)
Leitch, Duncan (understanding sensory system adaptations in diverse organisms; contributions of nervous system properties to natural behaviours)
Li, Yue-Xian (Calcium signalling in neuroendocrine cells Fertilization calcium waves in oocytes)
Maddison, Wayne (Arachnology, Biodiversity, Spiders, Phylogenetic Theory and Programming)
Mank, Judith (evolution; How selection acts on males and females within a species; How the genome responds to contradictory selection to encode sexually dimorphic traits; Sex chromosomes; Gene regulation; Sexual conflict)
Marshall, Katie (Animal physiology, environmental stress; Environmental Change; Marine biodiversity; Population Ecology; invertebrates and temperature adaptation)
Matsuuchi, Linda (Cell signaling of specific membrane receptors, combining aspects of Cell Biology, Immunology , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Matthews, Philip (respiratory adaptations of animals, primarily insects)
Matthews, Benjamin (Genomics; Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Zoology; Aedes aeygpti mosquitoes; Arboviral pathogens; Chikungunya; Comparative Physiology; Dengue fever; Genome of mosquitoes; Yellow fever; Zika)
Sample Thesis Submissions
The program vigorously promotes integrative research in biology and actively participates in several interdisciplinary programs, including the graduate programs in genetics, neuroscience, applied mathematics, and resource management.
Zoology offers a wide variety of research programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in the following areas: cell and developmental biology, community and population ecology, comparative physiology and biochemistry, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology.