You may not realize it, but many of your LFS projects and assessments are preparing you for life after graduation. Things like research, presentation skills, group work and project management are examples of transferable skills that will serve you well in your future career, so keep your focus on getting the most out of each individual course.
But learning doesn’t happen only in the lecture hall. From global learning opportunities and co-op experiences to working on the UBC Farm and field studies that let you apply your education hands-on, there are many ways to complement your in-classroom experience and invest in your own academic success.
Enhance Your Classroom Experience
LFS Core Series
The LFS core series brings you together with students from other majors and the wider community to collaborate on food-system challenges. You’ll be examining interdisciplinary issues and thinking through solutions that work on an economic, ecological and human level. The core series comprises two mandatory courses at the first-year level and two upper-level courses that you may take depending on your program.
Land One: first-year program
For students in Applied Biology and Food, Nutrition and Health, Land One is a limited-enrolment first-year cohort option that LFS offers jointly with the Faculty of Forestry. This unique way of experiencing your first year of LFS lets you take your core first-year courses in an integrated format to deeply explore real-world issues from both Indigenous and Western perspectives. You’ll take many of your classes with the same group of peers, as well as instructors from a variety of disciplines. Land One will set you up well for the final years of your degree.
Third- and fourth-year students who are deeply passionate about a topic or a particular area of research should consider directed studies. In directed studies, you will work with a faculty supervisor, conduct original research and write a high-level paper — all of which will take you further if you’re interested in being published or pursuing graduate school. Not as intense as a thesis, but definitely putting you out there as someone who knows how to take learning to the next level.
If you’re planning on a research-intensive graduate degree, we strongly encourage you to complete an undergraduate thesis. Available for each major and more intensive than directed studies, the undergraduate thesis preps you with the research, writing and presentation skills that will help you level up — it could even result in publication. Plus, the thesis offers an amazing opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading thinkers in the field of land and food systems.
Practicums are designed for you to gain experience in potential fields of future employment working with animals (APBI 496) or at the UBC Farm (LFS 496). These optional courses give you hands-on opportunities to apply knowledge from your previous coursework to experiential work in wildlife rehabilitation, animal shelter management, research and farm animal management. Learn how to get going on practicums here.
Build your independence and adaptability by leaving your own back yard. Study for a term or two at a university in another country, spend the summer learning overseas, or go lend your brainpower to research in another location. This is a great way to develop your competencies and enhance your employability! Initiative and self-direction, right this way.
Making it Work in Your Program
Thesis, directed studies, practicums, international learning . . . how is a student to know how these great experiences fit into an undergraduate degree? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you on the specific webpage for your major. That’s where you can read more about the experiential learning opportunities that fit best with your degree program. So if you’re taking Dietetics, you’ll find more information on the Dietetics webpage. If you’re taking Applied Animal Biology, you’ll find more information on that page. And so on. Below you will find a link to the program pages.
Check Out Our Programs
At UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS), we take an interdisciplinary approach to investigating and solving problems, because today’s problems are complex. Working through them involves many different areas of expertise. In the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, our interdisciplinary programs power you toward an academic degree and prepare you for the working world.
Improve Your Skills in the Classroom
Dreading that upcoming presentation? Curious about how to be a good group member? We don’t all have the same level of skill or prior training in these things. But the UBC Learning Commons website has your back. That’s where UBC experts have curated some great information and resources that’ll help you master those job-ready skills. The payoff for investing some time now to learn new work strategies will prove invaluable in the future. Even if you take away only one new idea to put into practice, you’re going to see improvements to your in-classroom experience and your academic success.
Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)
Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are free, structured group study sessions designed to help students understand key concepts and practice the skills necessary for success in traditionally challenging courses. PASS sessions complement what you learn in lectures, but are not a replacement. They’re also a great way to meet other Forestry or Land and Food Systems students in your classes.
Our Zoom sessions are welcoming, supportive and engaging, and help students understand course concepts and develop study strategies for the specific subject matter. They are facilitated by upper-year Forestry and Land and Food Systems students who have been successful in the course in previous years.
For more info, visit ‘Academic Resources’ or click on the PASS session in the LFS Undergraduate Events Calendar.
Still Have Questions?
If you are a prospective, new or veteran LFS student and you have questions about how to ensure you’re making the most of your academic and classroom experience, we encourage you to visit an academic advisor in LFS Student Services. We’re happy to help you navigate your degree and will ensure you are connected to the right people and resources to make informed decisions.