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.
UBC’s Faculty of Science is home to an array of outstanding scientists and students who strive to unravel the principles that underlie our universe - from the subatomic to the macroscopic, from pure mathematics to biotechnology, from ecosystems to galactic systems. In this session hosted by Professor Mark MacLachlan, Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, we’ll hear from faculty members and graduate students on some of the exciting research happening within the Faculty of Science. We’ll also take a look at the wide range of graduate programs available, what it's like to be a grad student in Science, and also provide some application advice. Be sure to join us and get an insight into how UBC Science is discovering new scientific knowledge and preparing Canada’s and the world’s next generation of scientists.
Please consult our departmental website for detailed admission requirements and instruction on how to apply: https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/graduate-program/prospective-students
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.
- 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
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.
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||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|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)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (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.
|2016||Dr. Petley-Ragan studied how glial cells support the development and function of the nervous system. Using the fruit fly, Lindsay found that an outer layer of glial cells produces a key component of the extracellular matrix and that these glial cells maintain the structure of the nervous system and animal health.|
|2016||Dr. Haggarty evaluated British Columbia's Rockfish Conservation Areas using visual surveys and spatial modeling. She found little evidence of fish population recovery. Her analysis highlights the need for continued monitoring and showed that recreational non-compliance may be hampering the effectiveness of conservation areas and impeding rockfish recovery.|
|2016||Dr. Gavelis showed that a single-celled organism evolved into a complex eye. He found that this strange cell used bacteria to form a miniature retina and cornea. His work sheds new light on eye evolution, showing even simple organisms can have complex adaptations.|
|2015||Dr. Jeanniard-du-Dot investigated the biology and ecology of fur seals in the Arctic and in Antarctica. She showed that the foraging strategy and efficiency of females affect their survival and reproduction success. Her study helps us understand how environmental changes impact the health of polar animals and their population for conservation purposes.|
|2015||Songbirds exhibit an extraordinary amount of diversity. Dr. Delmore showed how differences in seasonal migration could contribute to the generation of this diversity. Using state of the art genetic sequencing techniques she also provided novel insight into the genetic basis of songbird diversity and seasonal migration.|
|2015||How many salmon do harbour seals eat? This simple question is difficult to answer. Dr. Thomas developed a diet analysis method involving high-throughput DNA sequencing, to better understand the ecological role of harbour seals. He found that seals target salmon species of concern in the juvenile life stage, and eat adults of abundant salmon species.|
|2015||Dr. Taves studied stress hormones which are normally produced by the adrenal glands. These hormones are generally thought to suppress the immune function, but it turns out that the immune systems of birds and mammals also produce those hormones. The hormones may be critical in development of a competent and appropriately responsive immune system.|
|2015||Dr. Slogan examined engineered fish habitat in Vancouver harbour, while developing a tool for managers. Results show how infrastructure affects light and current patterns thereby altering seaweed and invertebrate presence, while the effectiveness of microhabitats varies with tidal height. These findings will improve future design and feasibility.|
|2015||Marine ecosystems have been altered over millennia, but ecological data are typically only reported every ten years. Dr. Al-Abdulrazzak developed methods to integrate diverse data types, such as anecdotal evidence and satellite imagery. She used these methods to quantify changes in the distribution and abundance of marine species in the Persian Gulf.|
|2015||A hummingbird's ability to maneuver is critical for avoiding predation, catching prey, and defending territory. Dr. Segre studied the underlying aerodynamic and physiological mechanisms that determine hummingbird maneuverability. His research demonstrated that wing shape and muscle power capacity is correlated with improved maneuvering performance.|
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.