Earth and Environmental Sciences
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Why study Earth and Environmental Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus?
Build a broad academic and experiential foundation with a globally recognized UBC degree. Career options include hydrologist, hydrogeologist, geological or environmental consultant, and employment in the mineral resources sector.
Our close-knit campus allows you to work together with faculty to conduct or assist with research projects. Some of the many topics being researched by renowned UBC faculty researchers include: hydrology, geomorphology, geochemistry, environmental systems, and continental tectonics.
Work closely with your fellow classmates and professors while studying in an outdoor setting. You will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge to achieve solutions to real-world resource management, environmental, and geological problems.
Our degree structure allows you to choose the courses best suited to your interests. You can plan your program to meet the academic requirements for the professional geoscientist designation with Engineers and Geoscientists BC or for professional agrologist with the BC Institute of Agrologists.
Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network, and earn money to pay for tuition.
what you need to know
Get your UBC degree in earth and environmental sciences and learn to apply scientific knowledge from many disciplines. Develop an understanding of the core natural processes that shape the Earth and its environment, and an appreciation of how humans are influencing the planet.
Study a variety of topics, including mineral resources, water resources, river hydrology, climate and paleo-climate, hydrogeology, land use management, and geochemistry. By the time you graduate, you will have gained skills in observation, data collection, laboratory techniques, spatial data analysis, the integration of multiple information sources, and the communication of your findings.
Depending on course selection, graduates will be eligible for jobs in industry and government, addressing topics as diverse as environmental protection and mineral exploration. Students can choose courses leading to registration as a professional geoscientist or professional agrologist.
At UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with a major, minor, or honours in earth and environmental sciences.
UBC Okanagan’s earth and environmental sciences program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover the relationships among air, water, rocks, minerals, and biota.
- EESC 111 — Earth Science
- EESC 325 — Structural Geology
- EESC 402 — Freshwater Resources
- EESC 314 & 315 — Environmental Impact Assessment
Browse earth and environmental courses and descriptions
The following links take you to earth and environmental sciences program details in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- BSc major in earth and environmental sciences
- BSc earth and environmental sciences honours program
- Minor in earth and environmental sciences
Communications and Rhetoric Certificate
Students can receive a Certificate in Communications and Rhetoric by completing 15 credits through courses from four thematic interdisciplinary and relational clusters, and a final capstone project. This is an add on to any major; some credits can be double-counted.
Learn about graduate studies in earth and environmental sciences.
For your application to be considered, you will need to:
- meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
- demonstrate a certain level of English competency
- meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to
Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.
Find your specific requirements at https://you.ubc.ca/
WHEN TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR
Declaring helps you plan your program more effectively, build your education, and stay connected.
Students are encouraged to declare their major in earth and environmental sciences at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements.
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.
Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca — there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.
Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”
Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1.877.807.8521.
Your Career Options
Build a broad foundation and establish great career potential with a UBC degree — respected by employers around the globe. Career opportunities include geologist, hydrologist, geochemist, and environmental specialist.
- Contaminated sites specialist
- Environmental geoscientist
- Environmental impact assessor
- Environmental policy analyst
- Environmental reporter/writer
- Environmental standards enforcement officer
- Hydrometric specialist
- Land use analyst
- Mine geologist
- Park warden/naturalist
- Stream restoration specialist
- Water resource manager
- Wetlands specialist
- Agricultural, environmental, mineral exploration and mining, and resource industries
- Consulting firms specializing in mineral exploration, geochemistry, agriculture, groundwater, environmental geology, and engineering
- Environmental education and communication firms
- Government geological surveys, environment ministries, government research laboratories
- International aid organizations
- Universities, colleges, and research institutions
Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to:
- build your resumé with professional experience
- learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs
- expand your network of industry contacts
- earn money to pay for tuition
Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
The Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science offers MSc and the PhD degrees in earth and environmental sciences. UBC Okanagan also has an innovative Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program in which students may have an earth and environmental sciences faculty member as their primary supervisor.
Gain Valuable Experience
Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.
- See the world through Go Global, a UBC program for exchange and study with more than 150 international partner institutions. Experience university life abroad as a resident, or earn academic credit while participating in summer group-study courses led by UBC profs.
- Travel to conferences or competitions with financial assistance made available through the Tuum Est Student Initiative Fund, which provides financial support up to $3,500.
Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:
- Pursue innovative and original research as part of the Undergraduate Research Awards.
- Volunteer as a research assistant or pursue directed studies or honours opportunities, some of the many opportunities for undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience.
Get a financial boost to start your research experience. Pay for travel and other expenses. Win merit-based cash awards that look impressive on your resumé.
- Undergraduate Research Awards: The URA offers an $8,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $9,500 per student. For international students, the IURA offers a $9,000 salary plus a maximum of $1,500 for research expenses, for a total of up to $10,500 per student.
- NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards: Minimum $7,500
- Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
- Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
- Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project — a life-changing experience.
Meet Your Peers and Profs
Find out what students, faculty, and alumni have to say about UBC Okanagan’s earth and environmental sciences program: ourstories.ok.ubc.ca.
WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the earth and environmental sciences program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.
- Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
- Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
- Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
- Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
* Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox
On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.
Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an Indigenous student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.
- Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
- Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
- Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection, and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
- The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
- Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.
Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active — from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.
Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.
- Make friends with similar interests, attend events, and explore career options with the EESC Course Union.
- Join the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Mentoring Program which supports the success of young women transitioning from their undergraduate education to a career in science or engineering.
- Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun in various campus clubs.
Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.
UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.
Find out more about living in residence.
UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.
More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.
UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.
A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.
Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.