Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Full-time/Part-time Bachelor of Science 8040bsc

Make a difference with a BSc in Ecological Restoration

Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Become a part of Canada’s premier environmental and restoration related programs. BCIT invites you to join one of the most unique educational models in Canada. In the time it takes to do a typical university degree, you can get two academic credentials; a Diploma in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) or Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM) and a Bachelor's Degree in Ecological Restoration.

Completion of either of these two-year diploma programs (or similar programs elsewhere) will provide you with the strong foundation needed to apply for entry into BCIT’s Degree in Ecological Restoration. This degree, the first of its kind in Canada, provides world-class applied training on restoring the numerous damaged aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that exist across British Columbia, Canada, and around the world.

Ecological Restoration (ER) is a scientific discipline that has recently emerged due to the increasing need to restore damaged ecosystems. Restoration scientists and practitioners are ‘ecosystem physicians’ …. Doctors apply knowledge of physiology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and parasitology to address human health issues. ER practitioners apply knowledge of: ecology, hydrology, geochemistry, geomorphology, and engineering to address ecological health issues1. Natural habitats across the province have been severely impacted due to habitat destruction, urban sprawl, invasive species expansions, and direct damage due to industrial contamination of soils and aquatic resources. These factors combined with the resulting increase in number of threatened and endangered species have resulted in the strong need for ecosystem restoration work across the province and around the world.

The Bachelor Degree in Ecological Restoration provides graduates with a strong foundation in the methods available to restore a broad range of ecosystems that have been impacted by human influences in British Columbia, across Canada and in other parts of the world. Ecological Restoration graduates will not only bring skills and expertise to current employers but will also be leaders and innovators in this rapidly-developing industry.

These programs, in partnership with the newly established BCIT Rivers Institute, are widely renowned locally and internationally for their “field oriented” learning and applied research. The Rivers Institute plays a leadership role in the protection and restoration of rivers and provides support and mentoring to the next generation of river stewards. Working with our many diverse partners on a wide range of applied restoration projects, students gain extensive experience tackling some of the many environmental challenges facing local, regional, provincial and international communities.

NOTE: 1 This analogy was originally described by Hood and Simenstad in Roman, C.T. and D.M. Burdick’s (2012) book titled: Tidal Marsh Restoration: A Synthesis of Science and Management. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Program Entry

COVID-19 Notice to Applicants

Please visit Admission during COVID-19 to learn how BCIT Admissions is supporting applicants. At this time, there are no program-specific changes for applying to this program.

Application processing

Full-time: this program is open to applications beginning October 1st (or next business day).

Part-time: applications are accepted throughout the year.

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.

  • English: two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
  • Post-secondary: one of the following:
    • BCIT diploma:

      *Currently enrolled full-time BCIT diploma students applying to the full-time degree may be conditionally accepted based on successful completion of their diploma.

    • Alternate entry**:
      • A two-year diploma in a relevant discipline (e.g., natural resource management) from a recognized post-secondary institution or
      • Successful completion of at least the first two years of a university program in a relevant discipline (e.g., natural resource management, ecology, environmental science, forestry). This must consist of a minimum of 60.0 university credits comprised of 30.0 credits at the 100 level and 30.0 credits at the 200 level and above (1 credit is equivalent to 15 hours course work). Credits must be university-transferable. Departmental review is required.

      **Alternate entry applicants must meet with the program area prior to applying for an assessment of their academic background. The assessment will evaluate the applicant’s academic background and identify whether bridging courses must be completed prior to applying into the program. When all necessary entry requirements have been completed, the applicant can apply by uploading their completed assessment document along with their latest transcript showing the completion of required bridging courses, if needed.

  • Completion of a post-secondary level course in introductory statistics (equivalent to BCIT's MATH 2453) prior to admission to the program. Applicants' academic qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Note: **For the alternate entry path these are the minimum requirements for admission to the Ecological Restoration degree program. Due to the diverse background of applicants the Ecological Restoration program reserves the right to require additional course upgrades prior to entry.

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). Credential evaluation reports from other Canadian services may be considered. These reports must include course-by-course evaluations and GPA calculations.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Applicants currently enrolled in the last term of their degree/diploma must be on track to complete by May. To apply submit both of the following documents from your post-secondary institution:

  • Transcript of completed courses
  • Confirmation of enrolment letter verifying your current course enrolment and registration in the final term of your degree/diploma

International applicants

Part-time Studies (course-by-course) programs are only available to international students who have a valid status in Canada. If you are currently outside of Canada, please apply to a full-time program or ISEP.

Apply to program

To submit your application:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements.
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Apply Now

Learn more about how to apply

Scheduled intakes

Part-time: January and September.

Full-time: September each year.


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Full-Time Studies Tuition & Fees page for full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Approximately $1,500.00 (general estimated cost, and subject to change)

A laptop will be required for some courses; approximate cost is $1000.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


As a student in the Ecological Restoration, Bachelor of Science program, you’ll receive a solid foundation of the skills, knowledge, and experiences required to meet today’s many natural resource management and ecosystem restoration challenges.

Your learning experiences will be unique with much of the learning done through hands-on field applications involving actual ecological restoration initiatives. You will also be involved in group and individual projects, case studies, class presentations, guest lectures by active restoration specialists, laboratory sessions, field labs and an applied research project.

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Level 5 (Fall - 15 weeks) Credits
  LIBS 7001 Critical Reading and Writing 3.0
  RENR 7000 Foundations of Chemistry 3.0
  RENR 7004 Fish & Wildlife Ecology & Management 4.0
  RENR 7006 Field Skills for Ecological Restoration 4.0
  RENR 7007 Planning for Ecological Restoration 4.0
  RENR 7008 Indigenous Perspectives in Natural Resources Management 3.0
Level 6 (Winter - 15 weeks) Credits
  MATH 7100 Biostatistics for Natural Resource Managers 4.0
  RENR 7001 Foundations of Biology 3.0
  RENR 7002 Environmental Assessment 3.0
  RENR 7100 Principles of Ecological Restoration 3.0
  RENR 8001 Population and Community Ecology 3.0
  RENR 8201 Terrain and Stream Channel Assessment for Ecological Restoration 3.0
Level 7 (Fall - 15 weeks) Credits
  RENR 8101 Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration 4.0
  RENR 8102 Restoration of Freshwater Aquatic Ecosystems 4.0
  RENR 8300 Applied Research Project 1* 4.0
  RENR 8301 Research Design & Implementation 3.0
**And complete one course from the list of Ecological Restoration specific elective courses. Electives will vary depending on needs of the program and industry. Elective course offerings will be determined by the department.
Level 8 (Winter - 15 weeks) Credits
  LIBS 7002 Applied Ethics 3.0
  RENR 8103 Conservation Biology 4.0
  RENR 8104 Applications of Fire in Ecosystem Restoration 4.0
  RENR 8400 Applied Research Project 2* 5.0
**And complete one course from the list of Ecological Restoration specific elective courses. Electives will vary depending on needs of the program and industry. Elective course offerings will be determined by the department.

*Note: For Part-time Studies, Program Head approval is required prior to registration for RENR 8300 Applied Research Project and RENR 8400 Applied Research Project 2
General Education Component Credits
LIBS 7001, LIBS 7002, RENR 7008, and RENR 8301, are accepted as General Education electives. Courses are completed in Levels 5-8.

**Ecological Restoration Specific Electives

Complete one course in Level 7 and one course in Level 8:
  RENR 8106 Wetland and Estuary Restoration 4.0
  RENR 8107 Restoring Wildlife Populations 4.0
  RENR 8108 Applied Stream Channel Morphology 4.0
  RENR 8109 Restoration of Old Fields & Grasslands 4.0
  RENR 8110 Lake Restoration & Applied Limnology 4.0
Note: ASER 329 Mining Reclamation (UVIC course) is also acceptable. Not all courses are offered every term. Check with Program Head.
Total Credits: 79.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The delivery methods for the Bachelor of Science in Ecological Restoration are a combination of classroom-based delivery, hands-on field applications and distributed learning modes. Instruction methods include group and individual projects, group activities, case studies, class presentations, guest lectures by active restoration specialists, laboratory sessions, field labs and exercises, and an applied research project.

A key component of the Ecological Restoration undergraduate degree are the field visits to active restoration projects in the Lower Mainland and other parts of the province. Students in the program go on several multi-day field trips to locations like Squamish, Lillooet, Merritt, Logan Lake, Kamloops, Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland. Real-world ecological restoration scenarios will be presented through assignments and team-based projects within courses, with a capstone Applied Research Project being the culmination of applied learning in the program.

Program length

Approximately 24 months for the full-time program.

Part-time students may proceed at a pace of their choice, but must complete the program within seven years.


Students must obtain a mark of 50% or better based on assignments, exercises, quizzes, exams and projects, as indicated in the individual course outlines.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Graduating & Jobs

Job Opportunities

There is currently a shortage of qualified restoration biologists and practitioners trained in the techniques needed to restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in British Columbia and other jurisdictions in Canada and abroad. This program will provide a solid foundation for students wishing to embark upon a career involving the conservation, maintenance and restoration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Graduates will be qualified for employment with organizations whose mandates involve the restoration of natural ecosystems, particularly fish and wildlife habitats. Upon graduation, students will have the skills and knowledge to qualify for existing positions and develop rewarding careers with municipal, regional, provincial and federal government agencies, private industry, stewardship groups and other NGOs as restoration biologists in training, resource management technicians, and habitat restoration specialists.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Professional associations

Graduates from BCIT’s Degree program in Ecological Restoration, who have completed the first two years in BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program will meet the academic requirements for application into the College of Applied Biology.

Graduates from the ER program who have completed their previous education at another institution should complete the Academic Self-Assessment Tool for R.P.Bio. to determine whether their prior education meets the entry requirements of the College of Applied Biology.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Eric Anderson, MSc, PhD
Program Head

Ken Ashley, BSc, MSc, MASc, PhD
Faculty Director, Rivers Institute

For a complete list of faculty and staff and their contact information, please see the Ecological Restoration Staff Biographies [PDF].

Advisory committee

  • Edith Tobe, Executive Director, Squamish River Watershed Society
  • Ken Hall, Professor Emeritus, UBC
  • Jennifer McGuire, Executive Director, Ministry of Environment
  • Bridget Doyle, Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, Tseil Wauthuth Nation
  • Brian Titaro, Stewardship Technician, Metro Vancouver
  • Gillian Donald, Owner, Applied Ecology
  • Pontus Lindgren, Environmental Manager, Westpark Electric
  • Bruce Blackwell, Principle, BA Blackwell
  • Emily Gonzales, Ecological Restoration Specialist, Parks Canada
  • Marlow Pellatt, Ecological Restoration Specialist, Parks Canada
  • David Polster, President, Polster Environmental Services
  • Kevin Shantz, Research Officer, Metro Vancouver

Contact Us

Giti Abouhamzeh, Program Assistant
T: 778-331-1392

Questions or comments?

Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.

As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.


Sign up to receive updates, invitations to events, and information about BCIT and your program.

We promise not to spam you, we won’t share your personal information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

How To Apply


Contact Us

Information Sessions

Attend an upcoming information session for this program:

Explore all upcoming BCIT info sessions.

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Search Programs

Continuing Your Education

M.Sc. in Ecological Restoration

Canada’s first master’s program specializing in Ecological Restoration.

BCIT Career Path Option

Ecological Restoration
Master of Science

Ecological Restoration
Bachelor of Science