Applied Animal Biology

Do you want to study or work with animals in your career? In this major, you’ll learn about animal physiology and behaviour, as well as the role of — and ethics around — animals in human society.

Why study Applied Animal Biology?

This program is flexible and practical, and provides hands-on experiences that prepare you for a career after graduation. Our instructors are passionate about what they do, and come from a variety of backgrounds, which means you’ll be learning with professionals who are outstanding in their fields.

Program Overview

If you want to study and/or work with animals, UBC’s Applied Animal Biology program is ideal for you. This program gives you a broad background in the fundamentals of animal behaviour, animal physiology and related fields as they apply to farm, companion and other animals. You’ll learn about the role of animals in human society, and examine the ethical, environmental and other issues that arise from our connection with them.

This degree program offers training in the research skills you’ll need for graduate work, and — with the appropriate selection of courses — it can even prepare you for admission to veterinary and human medicine. Throughout your degree, you will be offered a variety of opportunities to gain practical experience on farms, as well as in laboratories, animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres. In Applied Animal Biology, you’ll grapple with real-world biological issues, problems and challenges, and you’ll study — and possibly even devise — real-world solutions to them. This experiential learning gives you transferable skills to take with you into the workforce, or into further studies at grad school.


Applied Animal Biology students need a strong foundation in the sciences. Here is a selection of courses available to students in the program:

  • APBI 314: Animals in Society
  • APBI 315: Animal Welfare and Ethics of Animal Use
  • APBI 410: Applied Animal Health and Physiology
  • APBI 414: Animals and Global Issues

To see the complete list of required courses for this program, please consult the UBC Academic Calendar. Current students, please use the ‘Degree Navigator’ tool in your Student Service Centre (SSC) to track your progress.

How to Apply?

If you are a current APBI student interested in the Applied Animal Biology major, you will be prompted to select your specialization through your Student Service Centre (SSC) when registering for second year. This major is not competitive. (You’ll only need to formally apply if you are interested in the Honours program, which is competitive.) If you are a high school, college or university student and you want to major in Applied Animal Biology at UBC, you should apply for the Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology. You can learn more here.

Questions? Contact us!

If you are a prospective or current student with questions about planning for or choosing this major, or if you’ve got questions about how your transfer credits apply, please get in touch. One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.

If you’re already in the major, and have specific questions about restricted electives and directed studies, please contact your program advisor, Dan Naidu.