You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.



Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.Sc.



N. Abraham, D. Altshuler, A. Angert, V. Auld, L. Aviles, C. Brauner, V. Christensen, M. Doebeli, M. Gordon, C. Harley, C. Hauert, S. Hinch, D. Irwin, K. King, C. Kremen, B. Leander, W. Maddison, J. Mank, L. Matsuuchi, M. O'Connor, S. P. Otto, N. Pante, D. Pauly, J. Richards, D. Schluter, P. Schulte, T. P. Snutch, K. Soma, D. Srivastava, E. B. Taylor, W. Tetzlaff, A. Trites, A. Vincent, M. Whitlock.

Professors Emeriti

W. Milsom, J. Richardson, R. Shadwick.

Associate Professors

J. Jankowski, P. Matthews, K. Marshall, K. Mizumoto, M. Ramer, L. Wegener Parfrey.

Assistant Professors

S. Benson-Amram, K. Gaynor, R. Germain, B. Matthews, D. Rosen, K. Sugioka, M. Tseng, K. Wei.

Program Overview

Zoology encompasses over 50 principal investigators. Research interests of faculty members can be divided into several broad categories with substantial overlap of interest and collaboration among these arbitrary groups. The program vigorously promotes integrative research in biology and actively participates in several interdisciplinary programs, including the graduate programs in genetics, neuroscience, applied mathematics, and resource management.

Zoology offers a wide variety of research programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in the following areas: cell and developmental biology, community and population ecology, comparative physiology and biochemistry, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology.

In addition Zoology is actively involved in several interdisciplinary programs of instruction and research including:

  • Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
  • Centre for Biodiversity Research
  • Centre for Applied Conservation Research (CACR), Faculty of Forestry
  • Genetics Program
  • ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries)
  • Institute of Applied Mathematics
  • BC Cancer Research Centre
  • Life Sciences Institute

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess an M.Sc. degree in Zoology or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the M.Sc. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Exceptional students may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program from the bachelor's level.

Program Requirements

Original research supervised by a faculty member constitutes the major component of work toward the Ph.D. degree. Most Ph.D. students are not required to complete coursework unless it is recommended by the dissertation committee, or as a condition of admission. All Ph.D. students are required to present and defend a research proposal and pass a comprehensive examination on their research area within l8 months of registering in the Program. The comprehensive exam is an oral examination (administered by all four supervisory committee members) intended to assess the student's breadth of knowledge in the general subject area(s) of the proposed research (i.e., it is not a defense of the written proposal).

The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements. The Ph.D. is a four-year program, but many students take longer due to the nature of the research undertaken.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.Sc. degree program normally possess a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences or a related area, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

The M.Sc. degree requires a combination of coursework and research for a total of 30 credits. 12 credits of courses are required with the remaining 18 credits being thesis research. Single courses typically range from 3-6 credits each. Students have considerable flexibility in their choice of courses including graduate and up to 3 credits of senior undergraduate courses in zoology, botany, microbiology, genetics, forestry, conservation, and earth and oceans sciences, as well as several other areas. Students may also design their own courses in the form of "Directed Studies" supervised by a faculty member.

Although research conceived independently of the student's supervisor is encouraged, the minimum requirement for the M.Sc. degree is to successfully complete directed research. The M.Sc. is a two-year program, but due to the nature of the research undertaken many students take longer.

Contact Information

Department of Zoology, Graduate Program
6270 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.5807
Fax: 604.822.2416
Mimi Yu, Graduate Program Manager

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