Global Resource Systems


Do the words self-directed and learner-centered appeal to you? The Global Resource Systems (GRS) program at UBC offers exactly that kind of learning path. Combining arts and science courses, GRS gives you the flexibility to build your own bachelor of science around a) a region of the world and b) a resource discipline from within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Academic rigour, a diverse selection of courses across faculties and meaningful international experiences are what take you from being a curious and engaged GRS student to graduating as an adaptable, well-rounded human being with the problem-solving skills today’s world needs.

What you need to know

We really are living in a global village — moreso every day. In UBC’s Global Resource Systems program, you’ll gain an understanding of agricultural and natural resource systems from a global perspective. A GRS degree gives you a resource specialization and sets it within a specific global regional context, creating a depth and specificity of knowledge that is very valuable for employers in those sectors.

Offering you a deeply customized course of study, GRS grants you the flexibility to design your own curriculum to gain the skills and knowledge that you want, building your degree out across the sciences, social sciences and humanities. This systems-wide approach represents interdisciplinary thinking at its best — and that’s such a valuable mindset for the future that lies ahead. GRS also develops your cross-cultural sensitivity through language and cultural training, as well as through significant time spent studying or volunteering abroad. You will graduate the program with a sophisticated international understanding, well-developed problem-solving competencies, and a sense of your place as a partner in creating a sustainable world.

The Global Resource Systems program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems emphasizes local and international resource issues. You’ll earn your bachelor of science by combining courses in science, the humanities and the social sciences, relating these courses to a common resource and region of the world. Using this systems thinking approach, you’ll gain a broader understanding of your issue of interest. GRS is designed to prepare you to participate on an international stage: you’ll be exploring complex resource issues while simultaneously developing both a scientific and socioeconomic approach to these issues. Regional or international in scope, experiential learning is a requirement of the program; this typically involves one or two semesters of studying or volunteering abroad, usually in the region of your specialization. (Destination, duration and activity are flexible — it’s more about the experience itself of learning and working within a different community.) Should you choose, you can complete an undergraduate thesis during your fourth year under the supervision of a faculty member. Research assistant opportunities are also available throughout the calendar year.

In Global Resource Systems, you will build your own unique degree path from a combination of science, humanities and social science courses. You can take courses from any faculty at UBC toward your degree.

As an interdisciplinary Global Resource Systems student, your first-year science courses might look like this:

  • BIOL 121, BIOL 155, MATH 102, CHEM 121

but will also include language courses such as:

  • JAPN 101, CHIN 203, FREN 111, SPAN 207

For your exchange semester(s) in third or fourth year, you’ll take:

  • E.g. EXCH 380 (15-30 credits)

Because of the cross-faculty and flexible nature of the GRS program, some other possible courses are:

  • ASIA 101, ASTU 201/202, HIST 220, ECON/FRE 374, GEOG 350, AFTS 380A

For more information about the required courses and those that support the GRS program, please consult the dedicated Global Resource Systems website, or the UBC Academic Calendar. Current students, please use the ‘Degree Navigator’ tool in your Student Service Centre (SSC) to track your progress.


You may choose to supplement your Global Resource Systems major with a minor, which involves taking courses in a subject area outside of your specialization. As a GRS student, you are eligible to apply for a Minor in Arts, Commerce, Fermentations, Sustainable Food Systems, or Science. To learn more about minors, including application timelines, click here.

Dual Degree with Master of Management

If you’re thinking of taking your Global Resource Systems degree to another level — or into the business arena — you may want to apply for the Bachelor of Science (Global Resource Systems) – 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). Learn more about this dual-degree program option and the application process in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration section of the UBC Academic Calendar.

GRS is a second-year entry program, meaning you’ll need to have completed 24 credits before your start date. Most students apply between December and February of their first year so they can begin the GRS program the following September. You can find out more details at the Global Resource Systems site. You can also read more about admission requirements and timelines in the UBC Academic Calendar.

Where Can a Degree in Global Resource Systems Take You?

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 general questions about planning for or choosing this major, or if you have questions about how your transfer credits apply, please contact us. One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services is ready to help.

If you’re already in the GRS major and have specific questions about your international experience or program requirements, please contact your program coordinator, Roxana Quinde in the GRS office.

Curious to Know More?

If you’d like to search out more details about this powerful, future-forward program, Global Resource Systems maintains a dedicated website.

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