Food and Environment



*Please note, the Food and Environment 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.*

Food is a central part of life. It nourishes us, connects us to the land, and draws us together. When you study Food and Environment at UBC, you’ll learn how to produce healthy food and develop thriving, engaged communities while still managing the environment responsibly. Practical hands-on experience at UBC Farm and in the field, as well as collaboration and interaction with faculty and community professionals, gets you ready to contribute your expertise and vision through an ever-evolving and rewarding career.

What You Need to Know

*Please note, the Food and Environment major has been renamed the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major. The information below is for current Food and Environment students only.*

In the Food and Environment (FENV) major, you’ll have the flexibility to target your learning experiences in the direction(s) you most desire: integrated agro-ecosystem management; conservation of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as it relates to agriculture; resource economics; or an area of study you choose for yourself. FENV is strongly connected to the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, putting you in touch with our living lab on campus for maximum experiential learning. You’ll also have opportunities to expand your learning through hands-on experiences during an intensive practicum — all of which contribute to your career readiness after graduation.

UBC’s Food and Environment program is where you’ll learn how all systems of living things interconnect, and how it all ties into land and food systems. You’ll learn how to apply this knowledge in driving behaviour change in other humans to foster more sustainable and environmentally responsible actions — particularly where it relates to food production. From running a rooftop garden to diversifying habitat in order to promote bee populations, FENV keeps its eye on how we can continue to feed a growing population while maintaining environmental health. This program brings together ecology, agricultural sciences and environmental thought as the backdrop to issues around how we use our land and water to produce food, as well as other agricultural products and ecological services.

In completing your Food and Environment 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 fine-tune your degree with some unrestricted electives (courses you get to pick yourself).

Food and Environment students need a strong foundation in the sciences, so you’ll take first-year chemistry and biology before moving on to courses that are more specific to your area of study. A snapshot of the learning you can look forward to in this program includes:

  • CONS 210: Visualizing Climate Change
  • APBI 361: Key Indicators of Agroecosystem Sustainability
  • APBI 419: Fish Diseases
  • APBI 414: Animals and Global Issues
  • APBI 428: Integrated Pest Management

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.

Food and the Environment Major

FENV students, for support in exploring your restricted electives, please contact your Program Advisor, Lesley Dampier (

  • ANTH 210 Eating Culture
  • APBI 210/BIOL 210 Vascular Plants
  • APBI 222 Introduction to Horticulture
  • APBI 244/GEOB 204 Introduction to Biometeorology
  • APBI 290 sec 001 Insects as Food and Feed
  • APBI 311 Animal Physiology I
  • APBI 312 Animal Physiology II
  • APBI 315 Animal Welfare and the Ethics of Animal Use
  • APBI 318 Applied Plant Breeding
  • APBI 322 Horticultural Techniques
  • APBI 324 Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy (Equivalents: BIOL 324)
  • APBI 327 Introduction to Entomology (Equivalent: BIOL 327)
  • APBI 328/BIOL 317 Weed Science
  • APBI 342/FRST 310 Soil Biology
  • APBI 351 Plant Physiology
  • APBI 401 Soil Processes
  • APBI 402 Sustainable Soil Management
  • APBI 412 Belowground Ecosystems (3 credits)
  • APBI 414 Animals and Global Issues
  • APBI 417 Vegetable Production and Post-Harvest Physiology
  • APBI 418 Intensive Fish Production
  • APBI 419 Fish Diseases
  • APBI 426 Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • APBI 428 Integrated Pest Management
  • APBI 442 Grapevine and Berry Crop Biology (3 credits)
  • APBI 444/FRST 444 Agroforestry
  • APBI 490 Topics in Applied Biology
  • APBI 495 Principles of Wildlife Management in Forest and Agricultural Environments
  • APBI 497 Directed Studies
  • APBI 498 Undergraduate Essay
  • APBI 499 Undergraduate Thesis
  • BIOL 200 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 204 Vertebrate Structure and Function
  • BIOL 230 Fundamentals of Ecology
  • BIOL 260 Fundamentals of Physiology
  • BIOL 310 Introduction to Animal Behaviour
  • BIOL 324 Introduction to Seed Plant Taxonomy (Equivalents: APBI 324)
  • BIOL 326 Experimental Biology of Invertebrates
  • BIOL 404 Ecological Methodology
  • BIOL 416 Principles of Conservation Biology
  • CHEM 111 Structure, Bonding, and Equilibrium in Chemistry
  • CHEM 121 Structure and Bonding in Chemistry
  • CHEM 123 Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 205 Physical Chemistry
  • CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry for the Biological Sciences
  • CHEM 235 Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • CONS 200 Foundations of Conservation
  • CONS 210 Visualizing Climate Change
  • CONS 302 Issues in Genomics and the Environment (3 credits)
  • CONS 330 Conservation Science and Sustainability
  • CONS 340 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Forestry and Conservation
  • CONS 370 Aboriginal Forestry
  • CPSC 110 Computation, Programs, and Programming
  • ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 221 Introduction to Strategic Thinking
  • ECON 234 Wealth and Poverty of Nations
  • ECON 255 Understanding Globalization
  • ECON 335 Fertility, Families and Human Migration
  • ECON 355 Introduction to International Trade
  • ECON 371 Economics of the Environment
  • ENVR 200 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • ENVR 300 Introduction to Research in Environmental Science
  • EOSC 110 The Solid Earth: A Dynamic Planet (or GEOG 103: Our Changing Environment: Water and Landscapes. Credit may be obtained for only one selection)
  • EOSC 111 Laboratory Exploration of Planet Earth
  • EOSC 314 The Ocean Environment
  • EOSC 315 The Ocean Ecosystem
  • EOSC 329 Groundwater Hydrology
  • FNH 200 Exploring Our Food
  • FNH 250 Nutrition Concepts and Controversies
  • FRE 302 Small Business Management in Agri-food Industries
  • FRE 306 Introduction to Global Food Markets
  • FRE 340 International Agricultural Development
  • FRE 374 Land and Resource Economics
  • FRE 385 Quantitative Methods for Business and Resource Management
  • FRE 420 The Economics of International Trade and Environment
  • FRE 460 Economics of Food Consumption
  • FRE 490 Current Issues in Food and Resource Economics
  • FRST 201 Forest Ecology
  • FRST 304 The Science Underlying Forestry Issues
  • FRST 308 Forest Entomology
  • FRST 318 Forest and Conservation Economics
  • FRST 386 Aquatic Ecosystems and Fish in Forested Watersheds
  • FRST 395 Forest Wildlife Ecology and Management
  • FRST 399 Introduction to Research Methods
  • FRST 430 Advanced Biometrics
  • FRST 443 Remote Sensing in Forestry and Agriculture
  • FRST 495 Biological Diversity and Forest Management
  • GEOB 270 Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG 121 Geography, Environment and Globalization
  • GEOG 122 Geography, Modernity and Globalization
  • GEOG 310 Environment and Sustainability
  • GEOG 352 Urbanization in the Global South
  • MATH 101/103/105 Integral Calculus
  • MICB 201 Introductory Environmental Microbiology
  • PHYS 100 Introductory Physics
  • PHYS 101 Energy and Waves



You may choose to supplement your Food and Environment 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, 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

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.

As noted above, the Food and Environment major has been renamed the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment Major and will no longer be accepting new students under this name. However, if you are a current APBI student and started with LFS 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 and may still select this major. This major is not competitive.

If you are a high school, college or university student and you want to major in Food and Environment at UBC, please review the exciting Sustainable Agriculture and Environment major for information and application instructions.

Where Can a Food and Environment Major Take You?

Graduates of the Food and Environment program at UBC have gone on to careers in:

  • sustainable agricultural systems management;
  • organic farm management;
  • environmental farm planning;
  • government agricultural extension services; and
  • vegetable crop management.

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 have questions about how your transfer credits apply, get in touch! One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.

If you are already in the Food and Environment major and have specific questions about restricted electives and Directed Studies, please contact your program advisor, Lesley Dampier.

Meet Our Community