Prospective Students for New Program

The Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences is offering a Major program with an Honours option. The Major program will:

(i) Provide a comprehensive overview of systems biology, from sub-cellular events to whole body physiology, with a strong focus on the human condition.

(ii) Explore how complex biological systems function, in humans and relevant model systems.

(iii) Examine the molecular and cellular mechanisms of human diseases.

(iv) Emphasize experiential learning, scientific reasoning, and experimental design.

Program Mission

Educating students to design, conduct, and communicate life science research spanning from the molecular to organismal levels, aiming to advance human health and treat diseases.

Program Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this program students will be able to:

1. Select and defend the use of different model systems1 and technical approaches to investigate the mechanistic basis of human health and disease.

2. Distill salient information from the literature and identify gaps in our knowledge regarding human health and disease.

3. Formulate research questions and hypotheses, and design experiments, to address current knowledge gaps.

4. Collect, analyze and interpret data using quantitative, computational, and qualitative techniques.

5. Effectively communicate scientific ideas, procedures, and discoveries relevant to human health and disease to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

6. Incorporate factors2, such as biological sex, into all levels of inquiry where appropriate.

This is a 3-year program that commences in year 2, offering an overview of physiological systems. In year 3, students will build upon this foundation by investigating and applying physiological principles in hands-on settings, with a primary focus on understanding the mechanisms of disease. In year 4, students will have the opportunity to customize their education to align with their specific interests within CAPS, while also having ample elective space. Fourth-year CAPS courses are interactive, literature-based examinations of research relevant to human health and disease.

Ready to embark on your journey with our major? Discover the step-by-step application process now.

Navigate our detailed program map and comprehensive course details.

*This serves as the official guide for UBC’s academic programs, courses, services, and policies. For any discrepancies, please refer to the UBC Academic Calendar.

Whether you’re curious about the curriculum, career prospects, or any other details, our advisors are here to guide you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at