Co-founder and Executive Director
Animals in Science Policy Institute
Applied Animal Biology offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to a Ph.D. 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.
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/
I came to the Animal Welfare Program at UBC for the people; the faculty are world-leading scholars, and are friendly, welcoming and accessible. I spoke with numerous former and current students and all agreed that the leadership within this program has created an environment to support student interests and creativity that empowers exploration, development, and success. Arriving at UBC felt like my new home.
Graduate training at the Ph.D. level in applied animal biology requires that that the student complete a body of research leading to a dissertation. Students are expected to publish their research results in relevant leading international refereed journals. Coursework is not mandatory but if needed is decided upon in consultation with the student's supervisory committee and normally includes graduate courses in areas relevant to each student's research.
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.
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:
Overall score requirement: 90
Overall score requirement: 6.5
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.
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.
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.
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.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
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: dairycentre.landfood.ubc.ca/
|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)|
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.
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 four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
26 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 20 graduates:
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Animal Biology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
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.
|2020||Dr. Burnett studied the role of automated activity monitors in the reproductive management of dairy cows. Her findings show the correlation between increased estrous expression and improved fertility. This research demonstrates the importance of estrous expression in breeding decisions and provides alternatives for reducing hormonal interventions.|
|2020||Dr. Amendola found that inhalation of CO2, commonly used to kill laboratory rats, induces negative emotional states. Her research shows that rats experience anxiety at low CO2 concentrations, and that the onset of these feelings varies between individuals. Her results indicate that CO2 compromises rat welfare even for the least sensitive of rats.|
|2019||Dr. Smid showed that dairy cows have a partial preference to access various outdoor areas and that outdoor space allowance influences this preference. In addition, she showed a positive influence of an outdoor space on the expression of heat behaviour of dairy cows. These results show the importance of access to the outdoors for dairy cattle.|
|2019||Dr. Neave investigated how dairy calves and dairy goats cope with common stressful feeding practices on commercial farms. She found that personality traits impact feeding behaviour, feed intake and growth. Her work proposes alternative feeding practices that improve animal welfare by attending to individual needs and promoting natural behaviour.|
|2019||Dr. Eriksson studied how standing behaviour around calving relates to hoof lesions in dairy cows. She found that both long daily standing time, and long standing bouts were related to a higher risk of these lesions. This knowledge will help farmers to evaluate what management practices can affect the claw health of their animals.|
|2019||Dr. Stojkov studied the management of vulnerable dairy cows. His findings improve our understanding of how dairy cows are managed once they leave the farm. This will help to guide future research, policy and development of better industry practices.|
|2019||Dr. Daros studied some of the most common diseases of milk producing cows. Aiming to improve dairy cow's welfare he has revealed some of the factors associated with disease onset that will help guide future disease prevention protocols. Such protocols include better hoof care and nutritional management for indoor and outdoor housed cows.|
|2019||Dr. MacRae examined facial expression, vocalizations and changes in eye temperature as potential indicators of pain in harbour seals. This work represents some of the first research on pain and pain indicators of the harbour seal. Her research contributes to the welfare of seals by improving understanding of their pain responses.|
|2018||Dr. Sumner demonstrated that promoting cooperation among dairy farmers and veterinarians can identify shared goals and improve communication across their diverse perspectives in improving calf welfare.|
|2017||Dr. Robbins examined attitudes towards contentious animal welfare issues. He also experimentally explored how ordinary people understand the concept of animal welfare. His research highlights the vital role social science and philosophy play in the debate about farm animal welfare.|
Applied Animal Biology offers opportunities for advanced study and research in animal physiology, behaviour, welfare, and management of livestock, aquaculture, and wildlife species.
I initially came to UBC after being awarded an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award in 2017, and quickly decided that I didn't want to leave. I spent 8 months working on laboratory rat welfare projects as a research assistant. During this time, I developed a passion for research and a desire...