*Please note, the Applied Plant and Soil Sciences major will no longer be accepting new students. If you are a current LFS student and started the major prior to the 2018 Winter Session, you may complete your degree using the requirements listed below. If you would like to switch to the new Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major, you should first consult with LFS Student Services.*
Do you get fired up about the pivotal role plants play in maintaining a balanced ecosystem? Have you got a hunch that humans could improve crop production, if only you could get in there and figure out the way? UBC’s Applied Plant and Soil Sciences (APSS) major opens those doors for you.
What You Need to Know
*Please note, as of the 2018 Winter Session, the Applied Plant and Soil Sciences major will no longer be accepting new students. The information below is for current Applied Plant and Soil Sciences students only.*
The Applied Plant and Soil Sciences degree integrates plant-soil-atmosphere systems with a focus on the science underpinning crop production and ecosystem management. As an APSS student, you’ll have the flexibility to emphasize a major area of interest such as plant production and protection, soil quality, climate change, food security or land reclamation. Classroom learning meets hands-on experience in our rooftop garden, in urban community gardens and at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm.
APSS combines your core academic courses with electives that allow you to focus on your individual interests. You’ll have opportunities to develop your research skills and build your real-world skills through internships, practicums, co-ops and job placements. By the end of your degree, you’ll possess deep competencies in integrating scientific principles and communicating these effectively to diverse audiences.
In Applied Plant and Soil Sciences, you will take a combination of degree requirements (required of all students), restricted electives (courses selected from a curated list of approved electives) and general electives (courses you get to pick yourself). Some examples include:
APBI 200: Introduction to Soil Science
APBI 210: Vascular Plants
APBI 324: Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy
APBI 351: Plant Physiology
APBI 442: Grapevine and Berry Crop Biology
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 Plant and Soil Sciences Major
APBI 222 Introduction to Horticulture
APBI 244 Introduction to Biometeorology
APBI 260 Agroecology I
APBI 318 Applied Plant Breeding
APBI 322 Horticultural Techniques
APBI 324 Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy (Equivalents: BIOL 324)
APBI 327 Introduction to Entomology
APBI 328 Weed Science
APBI 342/FRST 310 Soil Biology
APBI 360 Agroecology II
APBI 361 Key Indicators of Agroecosystem Sustainability
APBI 401 Soil Processes
APBI 402 Sustainable Soil Management
APBI 412 Belowground Ecosystems (3 credits)
APBI 417 Production and Postharvest Physiology of Vegetable Crops
APBI 426/BIOL 421 Plant-Microbe Interactions
APBI 428 Integrated Pest Management
APBI 442 Grapevine and Berry Crop Biology (3 credits) Pre-reqs: One of APBI 210, BIOL 210 and BIOL 234. (BIOL 260 recommended.)
APBI 444/FRST 444 Agroforestry
APBI 440 Plant Genomics
APBI 460 Advanced Agroecology
APBI 490 Topics in Applied Biology
APBI 495 Principles of Wildlife Management in Forests and Agricultural Environments
APBI 497 Directed Studies
BIOL 200 Fundamentals of Cell Biology
BIOL 201 Introduction to Biochemistry
BIOL 203 Eukaryotic Microbiology
BIOL 209 Biodiversity of algae, fungi and bryophytes
BIOL 230 Fundamentals of Ecology
BIOL 234 Fundamentals of Genetics
BIOL 301 Biomathematics
BIOL 306 Advanced Ecology
BIOL 320 Survey of Algae
BIOL 321 Morphology and Evolution of Bryophytes
BIOL 323 Structure and Reproduction of Fungi
BIOL 324 Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy (Equivalents: APBI 324)
BIOL 335 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 336 Fundamentals of Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 337 Introductory Genetics Laboratory
BIOL 343 Plants and Peoples
BIOL 351 Plant Physiology I
BIOL 352 Plant Physiology II: Plant Development
BIOL 404 Ecological Methodology
BIOL 406 Plant Ecology I
BIOL 411 Insect Ecology
BIOL 412 Phytogeography
BIOL 415 Evolutionary Processes in Plants
BIOL 416 Principles of Conservation Biology
BIOL 417 Phylogenetic Biology
BIOL 418 Evolutionary Ecology
BIOL 430 Genome Evolution
BIOL 433 Plant Genetics
BIOL 436 Integrated Functional Genomics
BIOL 440 Plant Genomics
BIOL 462 Ecological Plant Biochemistry
BIOL 463 Gene Regulation in Development
CHEM 205 Physical Chemistry
CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry for the Biological Sciences
You may choose to supplement your Applied Plant and Soil Sciences Major with a Minor program; a minor involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization – Applied Biology students are eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, a Minor in Commerce, a Minor in Fermentations or a Minor in Science. Learn more about minors, including application timelines, here.
Dual Degree with Master of Management
Interested students may apply for the Bachelor of Science (Applied Biology) – Master of Management Dual Degree program option. For details regarding this dual degree option and application see the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.
As noted above, the Applied Plant and Soil Sciences major will no longer be accepting new students as of the 2018 Winter Session. If you are a current APBI student interested in the Applied Plant and Soil Sciences major and if you started prior to the 2018 Winter Session, 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 may also wish to review the new Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major to see if which option is best for you.
If you are a high school, college or university student and you want to major in Applied Plant and Soil Sciences at UBC, please review the exciting new Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major for information and application instructions.
Where Can a Degree in Applied Plant and Soil Sciences Take You?
LFS graduates in the area of Applied Plant and Soil Sciences can pursue the following careers:
natural resource planner
seed production agronomist
land management specialist
land remediation specialist
organic farming specialist
farm weather consultant
crop protection technician
ecosystem restoration consultant
soil fertility consultant
irrigation and drainage consultant
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!
If you have general questions about planning for or choosing this major, or have questions about how your transfer credits apply, please please review the information about the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major and then get in touch. One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.
If you are already in the Applied Plant and Soil Sciences major, and have specific questions about restricted electives and directed studies, please contact your program advisor, Andy Black.
My intention is not to say don't plant, don't do community gardens, but I don't think it is necessarily in the best interest of Vancouver to push something without informing people of all the considerations they need to make.