Applied Plant and Soil Sciences


*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

APSS students, for support in exploring your restricted electives, please contact your Program Advisor, Andy Black (

  • 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
  • CHEM 235 Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 301 Aqueous Environmental Chemistry
  • CONS 210 Visualizing Climate Change
  • CONS 302 Issues in Genomics and the Environment
  • EOSC 330 Principles of Geomorphology
  • EXCH 373 Applied Science Exchange
  • EXCH 375 Student Exchange Program, Education
  • EXCH 380 Student Exchange Program, Undergraduate
  • EXCH 381 Study Abroad Program
  • FRST 100 Sustainable Forests
  • FRST 200 Forest Plant Biology I
  • FRST 201 Forest Ecology
  • FRST 202 Forest Ecology (distance education version)
  • FRST 210 Forest Plant Biology II
  • FRST 211 Forest Classification and Silvics
  • FRST 239 Tree and Stand Level Measurements
  • FRST 302 Forest Genetics
  • FRST 303 Principles of Forest Science
  • FRST 304 The Science Underlying Forestry Issues
  • FRST 305 Silviculture
  • FRST 308 Forest Entomology
  • FRST 309 Forest Pathology
  • FRST 311 Plant Physiology I
  • FRST 318 Forest and Conservation Economics
  • FRST 339 Forest Level Measurement and Productivity
  • FRST 385 Watershed Hydrology
  • FRST 386 Aquatic Ecosystems and Fish in Forested Watersheds
  • FRST 395 Forest Wildlife Ecology and Management
  • FRST 399 Introduction to Research Methods
  • FRST 413 Ecological Plant Biochemistry.
  • FRST 421 Quantitative Forest Management
  • FRST 424 Sustainable Forest Management
  • FRST 430 Advanced Biometrics
  • FRST 439 International Forestry
  • FRST 443 Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Management
  • FRST 490 Visual Resource Management
  • FRST 495 Biological Diversity and Forest Management
  • GEOB 102 Our Changing Environment: Climate and Ecosystems
  • GEOB 103 Our Changing Environment: Water and Landscapes (or EOSC 110: The Solid Earth: A Dynamic Planet. Credit may be obtained for only one selection)
  • GEOB 200 Atmospheric Environments
  • GEOB 270 Geographic Information Science
  • GEOB 370 Advanced Geographic Information Science
  • GEOB 407 Vegetation Dynamics: Disturbance, Climate and Human Impacts
  • GEOB 479 Research in Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG 310 Environment and Sustainability
  • GEOG 312 Science and Society
  • GEOG 318 Sustainability in a Changing Environment
  • LFS 302 International Field Studies
  • MATH 103 Integral Calculus with Applications to Life Sciences
  • PHYS 101 Energy and Waves
  • UFOR 403 Ecological Restoration



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:

  • biometeorologist
  • natural resource planner
  • ecologist
  • seed production agronomist
  • agroforestry consultant
  • conservation officer
  • land management specialist
  • academic instructor
  • land remediation specialist
  • greenhouse manager
  • organic farming specialist
  • farm weather consultant
  • crop protection technician
  • biodiversity specialist
  • 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!

Got Questions?

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.

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