Applied Animal Biology


Do you want to study or work with in your career? UBC’s Applied Animal Biology program is intended for people just like you. In this major, you’ll learn about animal physiology and behaviour, as well as the role of — and ethics around — animals in human society. Gaining practical in-the-field experience, applying your knowledge to real-world biological issues, and building your research skills along the way primes you for graduate studies or a career in this fast-growing field.

What You Need to Know

UBC’s Applied Animal Biology program is flexible and practical, and provides you with 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. It also means you’ll get a broader awareness of career paths and opportunities to work with animals beyond the careers you’ve already heard of.

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.

In completing your Applied Animal Biology degree, you will take a combination of degree requirements (required of all students) and restricted electives (courses selected from a curated list of approved electives). You’ll be able to round it all out with some unrestricted electives (courses you get to pick yourself).

Applied Animal Biology students need a strong foundation in the sciences, so you’ll take first-year chemistry, math and biology before moving on to the subject-specific courses. There are too many exciting courses to list here, but some of the learning you can look forward to in this program includes:

  • 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.

Applied Animal Biology Major

  • APBI 260 Agroecology I (6 credits)
  • APBI 311 Comparative Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Osmoregulatory Physiology (3 credits) *This course is credit excluded with BIOL 364*
  • APBI 312 Reproductive and Digestive Physiology (3 credits)
  • APBI 314 Animals and society (3 credits)
  • APBI 315 Animal welfare and the ethics of animal use (3 credits)
  • APBI 316 Equine Biology, Health and Welfare (3 credits)
  • APBI 319 Aquaculture and the Environment (3 credits)
  • APBI 327 Introduction to Entomology (3 credits) (Equivalency: BIOL 327)
  • APBI 360 Agroecology II (3 credits)
  • APBI 361 Key Indicators of Agroecosystem sustainability (3 credits)
  • APBI 398 Research Methods in Applied Animal Biology
  • APBI 410 Applied Animal Health and Physiology (3 credits)
  • APBI 413 Stress and Coping in Animals (3 credits)
  • APBI 414 Animals and Global Issues (3 credits)
  • APBI 415 Applied Animal Behaviour (3 credits)
  • APBI 416 Animal Welfare and Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • APBI 418 Intensive fish production (3 credits)
  • APBI 419 Fish Diseases (3 credits)
  • APBI 428 Integrated Pest Management (3 credits)
  • APBI 444 Agroforestry (3 credits)
  • APBI 460 Advanced Agroecology (3 credits)
  • APBI 490 Topics in Applied Biology
  • APBI 495 Principles of Wildlife Management in Forests and Agricultural Environments (3 credits)
  • APBI 496 Applied Animal Biology Practicum (3/6 credits) Restricted enrollment.
  • APBI 497 Directed Studies (2 - 6 credits). Restricted Enrollment.
  • APBI 498 Undergraduate Essay
  • APBI 499 Undergraduate Thesis
  • BIOC 402 Proteins: Structure and Function
  • BIOC 403 Enzymology
  • BIOC 410 Nucleic Acids-Structure and Function
  • BIOC 420 Advanced Biochemical Techniques
  • BIOC 421 Recombinant DNA Techniques
  • BIOL 153 Human Biology (7)
  • BIOL 155 Human Biology (6)
  • BIOL 204 Vertebrate structure and function (4 credits)
  • BIOL 205 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 230 Fundamentals of Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 234 Fundamentals of Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 260 Fundamentals of Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 306 Advanced Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 310 Introduction to animal behaviour (3 credits)
  • BIOL 325 Introduction to animal mechanics and locomotion (3 credits)
  • BIOL 327 Introduction to Entomology (3 credits) (Equivalency: APBI 327)
  • BIOL 328 Introductory parasitology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 331 Developmental Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 335 Molecular genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 336 Fundamentals of Evolutionary Biology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 337 Introductory genetics laboratory (3 credits)
  • BIOL 338 Introduction to Genomics. An introduction to genome biology and application of genomics (4 credits)
  • BIOL 363 Laboratory in Animal Physiology (2 credits)
  • BIOL 402 Aquatic Ecology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 404 Ecological Methodology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 411 Insect Ecology
  • BIOL 413 Zoogeography (3 credits)
  • BIOL 416 Principles of Conservation Biology (3credits)
  • BIOL 425 Biomechanics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 427 Ornithology and Herpetology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 441 Cell Biology of Intracellular Trafficking (3 credits)
  • BIOL 445 Darwin's Fishes (3 credits)
  • BIOL 450 Molecular Adaptation of Animals to the Environment (3 credits)
  • BIOL 454 Comparative Animal Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 455 Comparative Neurobiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 457 Comparative Environmental Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 464 Animal Developmental Genetics. Role of genes in embryonic development. Emphasis on tissue specific expression patterns and the role of genetic networks in establishing cell types (3 credits)
  • CAPS 301 Human Physiology (6 credits)
  • CAPS 390 Introduction to Microscopic Human Anatomy (3 credits)
  • CAPS 391 Introduction to Gross Human Anatomy (3 credits)
  • CLST 301 The Technical Terms of Medicine and Biological Science
  • CONS 486 Fish Conservation and Management (3 credits)
  • CPSC 110 Computation, Programs, and Programming (4)
  • CPSC 301 Computing in the Life Sciences (3 credits)
  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 310 Principles of Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • EOSC 315 The Ocean Ecosystem (3 credits)
  • EOSC 470 Biological Oceanography (3 credits)
  • EOSC 475 Marine Microbiology (3 credits)
  • EOSC 478 Introduction to Fisheries Science (3 credits)
  • FNH 350 Fundamentals of Nutrition (3 credits)
  • FRE 295 Managerial Economics
  • FRST 308 Forest Entomology (2 credits)
  • FRST 386 Aquatic Ecosystems and Fish in Forested Watersheds (3 credits)
  • FRST 395 Forest wildlife ecology and management (3 credits)
  • FRST 430 Advanced Biometrics (3 credits)
  • FRST 546 Research Methods and Philosophies in Science (3 credits)
  • ISCI 433 Ethical Issues in Science (3)
  • KIN 151 Biomechanics I (3)
  • KIN 190 Anatomy and Physiology I (3)
  • KIN 191 Anatomy and Physiology II (3)
  • LFS 340 First Nations Health and the Traditional Role of Plants (3 credits)
  • LFS 350 Land, Food & Community II (3 credits)
  • LFS 450 Land, Food & Community III: Food System Sustainability (3 credits)
  • LFS 496B Career development internship (3 credits)
  • MATH 103 Integral Calculus with Applications to Life Sciences (3 credits)
  • MICB 202 Introductory Medical Microbiology and Immunology (3 Credits)
  • MICB 302 Immunology (3 credits) (Pre-reqs: MICB 202, and third-year standing)
  • MICB 306 Molecular Virology
  • MRNE 415 Structure and Function in Marine Animals (3 credits)
  • PHIL 332 (previously PHIL 435) Environmental Ethics (3 credits)
  • PHIL 333 (previously PHIL 433) Bio-Medical Ethics (3 credits)
  • PHYS 118 Electricity, Light and Radiation (3 credits).
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology (3)
  • PSYC 306A Principles in Animal Behaviour (3 credits)
  • PSYC 363 Principles of Animal Learning (3 credits)



Are you an exceptional achiever? Do you have a strong interest in research? Then the Applied Animal Biology Honours program just might be the perfect fit. If you’re interested in a research-intensive career, including areas in veterinary medicine, biomedical science, animal welfare, animal reproduction and wildlife conservation, you may especially benefit from this opportunity. Admission to the Honours program is competitive. To learn more about this option, please consult the UBC Academic Calendar.


You may choose to supplement your Applied Animal Biology major with a minor program, which involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization. As an APBI student, you’re eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, Commerce, Fermentations, Sustainable Food Systems, or Science. Learn more about minors, including application timelines, here.

Dual Degree with Master of Management

If you are interested in complementing your LFS degree with a strong foundation in management, consider applying for the Bachelor of Science (Applied Biology) – Master of Management Dual Degree. Please note: admission to this program is primarily available to students coming directly out of high school. Depending on enrolment, the UBC Sauder School of Business may release a limited number of spaces on a competitive basis to students who are going into their third year at UBC (or those who are transferring to UBC for their third year). For more details about this dual-degree program option and for information about how to apply, please see the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.

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.

Where Can a Degree in Applied Animal Biology Take You?

LFS graduates have gone on to careers in veterinary medicine, human medicine, biomedical research, animal ecology, sustainable aquaculture, animal training, animal nutrition, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife conservation, agricultural extension and animal welfare. Some examples of exciting careers in the field of applied animal biology include:

  • farm manager;
  • field biologist;
  • teacher (elementary through high school);
  • college instructor; and
  • wildlife rehabilitator.
  • Click here for a bio of BCSPCA Chief Scientific Officer Sara Dubois, an LFS alumnus!
  • Or check out alumnus Katelyn Mills, who now works as a research assistant in UBC’s animal welfare program.

Get a head start on your career-related work experience while you’re at UBC. Check out our job board for postings that relate to your field of study!

Got Questions?

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, Lesley Dampier.

Meet Our Community