University of British Columbia
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.
In addition to research, I sought a department that valued collaboration, inclusivity, and community amongst its students and faculty, as I knew that being happy in graduate school would depend on so much more than just my research. The incredible sense of community found within UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre, Institute of Oceans and Fisheries and surrounding departments inspired and drew me toward applying to them. I feel grateful every day that I get to interact with such brilliant, compassionate, and creative researchers.
Please consult this webpage for full details on how to apply: https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/graduate-program/prospective-students
December 1: NSERC CGSM Fellowship
Mid-January: 4 Year Fellowship or Zoology Graduate Fellowship
More awards information here: https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/graduate-program/current-students/awards-fellowships
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: 97
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.
Clarification: no commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary but you must contact your potential supervisor(s) before applying as many faculty won't accept students who they have not previously been in contact with.
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.
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
Original research supervised by a faculty member constitutes the major component of work toward the PhD degree. PhD students are not required to complete course work unless it is recommended by the thesis committee or unless the student has been admitted without a Master's degree. All PhD students are required to present a research proposal and pass a comprehensive examination on their research area within 18 months of their program start date. Each PhD student is expected to deliver a one-hour lecture on their completed doctoral research in one of the departmental lecture series before their doctoral dissertation examination.
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
|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)|
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.
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 on our website for detailed funding information.
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.
95 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 87 graduates:
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
|2011||Dr. Charish showed that Drosophila septate junctions and Gliotactin are necessary for epithelial cell division. This work demonstrates a new and unconventional role for junctional proteins|
|2011||Dr. Markel investigated how variable ocean climate, marine protected areas, and the loss of top predators such as sea otters affect rockfish population dynamics on the west coast of Vancouver Island. His findings contribute broadly towards understanding how marine species and ecosystems respond to climate change and overfishing.|
|2011||Dr. Hall examined the relationship between harbour porpoise behaviour, and oceanographic and celestial events. She found the foraging strategies used by porpoise are specialized and are related to season, tidal direction, and lunar phase. She also discovered two sites where porpoises breed, the first to be identified in British Columbia.|
|2011||Dr. Eliason Parsons discovered that Fraser River sockeye salmon populations are adapted to cope with their specific upriver migration conditions. This research suggests that some sockeye salmon populations may be more susceptible to climate change, raising conservation concerns.|
|2011||Dr. Blachford showed that sexual reproduction gains an evolutionary advantage by dampening the good and bad luck had by individuals. He also explained why small mammals diminish their lifetime reproduction during and after a population crash, and how this strategy can be cued from activity of neighbours rather than from the actual mortality agents.|
|2011||Dr. Vergara examined the function and development of the vocalizations of beluga whales. She identified signals that are important for maintaining contact between mothers and their calves, and evaluated the role of vocal learning in repertoire acquisition. Her study helped identify continuity in vocal communication processes across species.|
|2011||Dr. Baker examined the physiology of white sturgeon, a primitive fish with ancient origins. Using whole animal, in vivo and in situ approaches, he found that sturgeon exhibit a novel pattern of pH regulation that may be common in primitive fishes and has implications for tolerance to carbon dioxide and vertebrate evolution.|
|2011||Dr Cohen studied the nuclear entry of a poorly characterized group of viruses called parvoviruses. Many viruses must enter the nucleus of the host cell in order to replicate. Dr Cohen discovered that parvoviruses use a unique mechanism involving disruption of the nuclear membranes. Her work may lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies.|
|2010||Dr. Barrett investigated the genetics of adaptation to new environments using a combination of field experiments with threespine stickleback fish and theoretical models of population genetics. He demonstrated that ecological mechanisms play an important role in the origin and maintenance of biological diversity in new environments.|
|2010||Dr. Rummer discovered a novel mechanism in which oxygen delivery to muscle can be greatly increased in fish, well beyond that of other vertebrates. Muscle oxygenation may represent the first step in the most successful adaptive radiation event among vertebrates, that of the fishes.|
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.