Admission and Program Requirements

Students should refer to the admission requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for general information and minimum academic guidelines. In general, a bachelor’s degree in Science (Ecology, Biology, Zoology, Statistics, Mathematics), or in relevant quantitative subjects within Arts (Geography, Economics) will be required. Degrees from other disciplines will be considered where an applicant’s main background is in policy or sociology of fisheries, and where evidence of quantitative experience can be provided. A master’s degree is normally required for admission to the doctoral program.

Graduate students from other universities should consult the UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage and the UBC Student Services webpage to determine whether to apply for Regular Visiting Student status, Exchange Student status, or Visiting International Research Student status. Regular Visiting Students must follow the same application procedure outlined above for regular graduate students.

Masters and Doctoral Program Requirements

Admission 2016 and later

Students who have the agreement of an IOF faculty member to supervise their research are encouraged to apply through the RES (Resources, Environment, Sustainability) program. Students may also be admitted through other departments, such as Zoology, Geography, Earth and Ocean Sciences, or Interdisciplinary Studies as long as they are supervised by an IOF faculty member.

All RES (Resources, Environment, Sustainability) program students admitted Sept 2016 onwards will need to follow the RES rules for their Masters or PhD program – there is no more FISH stream in the UBC Calendar or exceptions to the RES program rules.

For example, for RES students who start their program in Sept 2016 onwards:

  • FISH courses may be taken as electives in the RES program, as they fit within the RES course requirements.
  • All RES Masters and Doctoral students admitted Sept 2016 or later must register in either RES 599 or RES 699, not FISH 599 or FISH 699.
  • All RES doctoral students admitted Sept 2016 or later will need to follow the RES program Comprehensive Exam process.
  • Students in the RES Master Program who are supervised by IOF faculty members should take FISH 520 (6 credit) instead of RES 502 (3 credit) and a FISH method course that is approved by the supervisor (see below table).
Course # Course Name Credits Notes
RES 599 Thesis Course 12 You must enroll in a thesis course for every term of your program, including summer terms
FISH 520 Fisheries Conservation, Governance, and Evaluation 6 Required course
RES 507 Human-Technology Systems 3 Required course
RES 510 Social Ecological Systems 3 Required course
Methods FISH methods course 3 Required, must be approved by your supervisor
Elective 1 3 Selected in consultation with your supervisor
Total Number of Credits 30


Please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Johannesen (IRES Graduate Program Manager) should you have any questions.

Admission 2015 and earlier

MSc Program Requirements: Resource Management and Environmental Studies, Fisheries Stream

The RMES (Fisheries Stream) MSc is comprised of a minimum of 36 credits – 18 credits of coursework and an 18-credit thesis (FISH 599).  There are two required courses, FISH 500 (3 credits) and FISH 520 (6 credits), which leaves 9 credits of electives, which can be fulfilled with FISH and/or RMES courses, and with courses from other departments (such as AGEC, BIOL, ECON, FRST, GEOG, and ZOOL).  Please see here for a list our courses as well as potentially relevant courses in other departments).

Of your 18 credits of coursework, 15 credits must be at the 500-level and above. Three credits may be undertaken at the 300- or 400-level if you so choose (with the approval of your supervisor).  Both FISH 500 and FISH 520 should be completed in your first year as they offer an excellent introduction to fisheries research and provide a solid foundation for your electives.

An exciting option to consider for electives is courses offered through the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, located on Vancouver Island.  Upon the approval of your supervisor, you may register for Bamfield courses via the UBC SCC (the course code for these courses is MRNE).

PhD Program Requirements

Resource Management and Environmental Studies, Fisheries Stream

Students admitted to the RMES (Fisheries Stream) PhD Program are required to take FISH 500 (3 credits), FISH 520 (6 credits) and FISH 699 (Doctoral Dissertation), as well as two methods courses decided in consultation with their supervisory committee.

FISH 520 may be waived for students who have previously completed it, or who have previously undertaken equivalent coursework.

Additional coursework may be selected in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee and approved by the graduate advisor of the Fisheries Stream.