Why study biology?
Biology is the science with the most immediate impact on our lives. The tremendous development of biological knowledge and awareness in the past 50 years has changed the way we perceive our role in the world. We are beginning to realize that we are but one of millions of species, all sharing the same global ecosystem. Living things are unique in that they increase and maintain their levels of organization while the universe generally moves in a direction of less complexity or increasing disorder. This requires energy, and one of the fundamental concepts uniting the fantastic diversity of living forms is the need for a constant supply of usable energy. How organisms act and interact with themselves and their environment in procuring and using this energy is one of biology’s major areas of study.
What type of career can I expect?
That’s up to you. Your studies in biology will open the door to a variety of career opportunities. Usually, studies in biology are required as prerequisites for entry into specialized fields of study, including medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. Biology is also an academically satisfying subject in its own right. Many of our students have gone on to graduate studies in various fields of biology as varied as biotechnology, environmental toxicology, and neuroscience.
Once you earn a BSc, you are well placed to compete for entry-level positions such as lab technicians or managerial trainees in firms that require background knowledge in the sciences. The BSc program can prepare you for a variety of careers, depending on the focus you choose. Governmental agencies are primary employers of biologists.
Career possibilities include:
- public sector research or management that might include work with land management, environmental protection, fish and wildlife service, food and drug sector, geographical survey, health agencies or agriculture
- private sector opportunities such as employment at zoos and aquariums, environmental consulting firms, museums, theme parks, or private foundations
- lab assistant
- teaching at the elementary or secondary level
Why study biology at UFV?
Our program will prepare you for a successful career in biology and for continued studies in graduate and professional schools. In addition, we offer pre-college biology for upgrading students, and first-year courses for non-majors, primarily for arts and education students. UFV is currently one of only three publicly funded post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland to offer a BSc in biology.
Teaching is our top priority at UFV. Our smaller classes ensure a lower student-to-instructor ratio that creates a personalized learning environment larger institutions simply cannot match. Students who earn a biology degree at UFV will get a richer lab-intensive experience than is possible at any other local university. Many of our graduates report that they value the close contact with faculty, ample hands-on experience in labs and in the field, and the sense of esprit de corps that is characteristic of the students and staff of the Biology department.
UFV offers a major and a minor in biology as part of its Bachelor of Science. Students can specialize in concentrations such as pre-medicine, ecology, molecular genetics and biology of organisms as well as prepare for a career in teaching. An extended minor in biology is also available in the Bachelor of Arts degree program offered by the Faculty of Arts.
How much will it cost? Can I afford to take this program?
Consult the UFV calendar at www.ufv.ca/calendar for a complete list of fees, keeping in mind that new fees are usually set in May. In addition to tuition fees, you should be prepared to cover additional costs of $80 to $100 per course for books and other supplies.
It’s worth a visit to the UFV financial aid and awards office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of about $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available online at www.ufv.ca/fineaid/budget
I'm interested. What’s the next step?
Check out our online calendar at www.ufv.ca/calendar or our website at www.ufv.ca/biology. Make sure you read the Biology department’s information carefully. Visit the download centre and download the appropriate application forms. You can then either mail your complete application, along with the documents listed in the calendar and the $45 processing fee, to any UFV campus or centre on or transmit it through the Internet at www.pas.bc.ca
Is there a co-op program?
You can earn your BSc with work experience through the co-op option. The Biology department is currently developing closer ties to local biotechnology companies with the goal of facilitating more student co-op placements and summer jobs. We have been told that employers are selecting UFV Biology students because of specific courses that provide appropriate experience.
What sort of support will I get?
Plenty. For more information about support and student services at UFV, visit www.ufv.ca/studentservices and learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment.
Sounds good. What do I do now?
Apply right away. Visit www.ufv.ca/ar/admissions/apply for a step-by-step process to becoming a UFV student. Have specific questions? Contact the Biology department directly at www.ufv.ca/biology or by calling the Biology department head 604-504-7441, local 6361 or the science advisor at 604-557-4079.
I'm not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?
Absolutely! We want to hear from you. If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services at 1-888-504-7441 to arrange a tour, attend a Becoming a Student info session, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling.
Also, feel free to contact the Biology department head at 604-504-7441, local 6361 or the science advisor at 604-557-4079.