Chemistry

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Chemists study what already exists, and also create new substances and materials at the molecular level.

Chemistry Undergraduate Student in lab at UBC Okanagan

Why study Chemistry at UBC’s Okanagan campus?

Career opportunities

Build a broad foundation with a globally recognized UBC degree. Career options include environmental chemist, food scientist, and professions in the pharmaceutical and health-care industries.

Access to professors

Visit profs for advice on your courses, career mentorship, or to just talk science. Get involved in cutting-edge research projects designing new catalysts that turn biomass into refined fuels, using super computers to help find cures to heart disease, or finding new pharmaceuticals in plants—just a few of the topics renowned UBC faculty researchers are exploring.

Research potential

Profs at UBC’s Okanagan campus are publishing their discoveries in the top scientific journals around the globe. Students are a big part of the research culture on campus and often have their work published, too. Instead of just reading about science, be the one who makes the discoveries that go into textbooks.

Co-op experience

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 chemistry, and learn how to control matter. Chemistry can be used to make smart materials that can monitor your life signs, to analyze parts per trillion of environmental contaminants, and design nanostructured materials that can efficiently convert water into fuel.

Chemistry can turn enzymes into microscopic industrial machines, producing life-saving pharmaceuticals or eating up pollutants.

Your UBC Okanagan chemistry degree can open doors to medical, dental, osteopathic or veterinary school, and many other careers in health-related professions.

Att UBC Okanagan, you can complete a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with a major, minor, or honours in chemistry. You also have the opportunity to become an undergraduate research scholar with support through prestigious research awards.

UBC Okanagan’s chemistry program includes a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses that cover atomic, molecular, physical, organic, environmental chemistry, and more.

Sample courses:

  • CHEM 121 — Atomic and Molecular Chemistry
  • CHEM 123 — Physical and Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 323 — Methods in Forensic Chemical Analysis

Browse chemistry courses and descriptions.

The following links take you to chemistry 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) in chemistry

Learn about graduate studies chemistry.

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 chemistry at the end of their first year in order to take the prerequisite second-year courses. Refer to the Academic Calendar for admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.

Tuition Fees

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

Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe. Build a broad foundation and great career potential with undergraduate chemistry studies. Job opportunities range from environmental scientists, chemists and lab managers, to pharmaceutical and health-care professionals. The professional training you get as part of your research activities will position you for a multitude of career options.

  • Agricultural scientist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Chemistry teacher
  • Chemical engineer
  • Chemical information management specialist
  • Chemistry research technologist
  • Consultant
  • Consumer product chemist
  • Environmental chemist
  • Food scientist/technologist
  • Forensic chemist
  • Formulation chemist
  • Geochemist
  • Hazardous waste management specialist
  • Laboratory manager
  • Occupational safety specialist
  • Oil and petroleum chemist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Patent agent
  • Pharmaceutical chemist
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Pollution control technologist
  • Process chemist
  • Quality assurance technician
  • Quality control manager
  • Science writer/journalist
  • Soil scientist
  • Technical writer
  • Technology transfer officer
  • Toxicologist
  • Water/wastewater treatment analyst
  • Cosmetics and fragrance companies
  • Computers and telecommunications
  • Pulp and paper companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government agencies
  • Universities, colleges, and schools
  • Hospitals and other medical organizations
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Environmental and pollution control firms
  • Fine and heavy chemical manufacturing companies
  • Food and beverage production companies
  • Mining and metallurgy companies
  • Law firms
  • Oil and gas companies
  • Plastic manufacturing companies
  • Museums
  • Engineering firms
  • Industrial inspection firms
  • Scientific research and development companies

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 PhD degrees in chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology. UBC Okanagan also has an Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program in which students may have a chemistry department faculty member as their primary supervisor. Our graduates go on to become proven leaders in their chosen professions.

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.
  • Apply for a Chemistry Travel Subsidy (up to $500), awarded to undergraduate and graduate students presenting at a conference practically anywhere in the world.

Follow your ideas and jump-start your career:

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.

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 chemistry 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 aboriginal 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 one of the Chemical Sciences Course Unions.
  • Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining 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 at you.ubc.ca.

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.