Master of Arts in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (MA)
The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability. Our mission is to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales. More often than not, we achieve this through collaborations across students and faculty in a manner that recognizes our collective skills, intellectual histories and methodological approaches, and yet encourages our interdependencies as we consider real world problems.
The Resources, Environment and Sustainability (RES) graduate program provides a home for interdisciplinary students focusing on the integration of the biophysical (ecological), socio-economic, and political realities of resource management within the context of a sustainable, healthy environment.
What makes the program unique?
Over fifty percent of our core faculty are Canada Research Chairs and faculty mentoring has led to a high success rate of our students winning major fellowships and scholarships. There are multi-year funding packages offered for top applicants to the RES program. RES has over 400 alumni since the graduate program started in 1994.
Meet a UBC Representative
TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement
IELTS Overall Score Requirement
Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date15 September 2019
There is no guarantee of funding for Master’s students in RES. That being said, many of our master’s students receive funding during their program and/or receive scholarships or awards.
RES typically distributes one-time entrance awards to the majority of incoming students. The amount of these awards varies year to year, however over the last three years the awards have been in the range of $3000-$5000. This amount is in addition to any funding you may receive from a faculty grant, external scholarship or award.
Funding for Master’s students can come in the form of a Research Assistant (RA) position with a faculty member, a Teaching Assistant (TA) position as well as from various scholarships and awards.
However, as there is no guarantee of funding for your program, it is important to have a discussion with a potential supervisor about what funding might be available to you prior to accepting any offer of admission to the program.
Lastly, Canadians and Permanent Residents are eligible for government student loans and UBC bursaries.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,665.26||$2,925.58|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$930.14 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Boyd, David (Sustainable Development, Environmental Law and Policy, Human Rights and Environment, Rights of Nature, Environmental Justice, Plastic Pollution)
Chan, Kai (Human Ecology, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Applied Ethics, Values and Lifestyles, Sustainable Development, ecosystem services, sustainability science, conservation science, cultural ecosystem services, environmental values, conservation finance, environmental assessment, social-ecological systems, resilience, payments for ecosystem services, incentive programs)
Chang, Stephanie (Community vulnerability and resilience to natural disasters)
Dowlatabadi, Hadi (The systematic study of systems at the interface of humans, nature, technology and policy)
Giang, Amanda (Atmospheric Pollutants, Climate Changes and Impacts, Chemical Pollutants, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Public Policies)
Harris, Leila (Drinking Water, Fresh Water, Water, Resources Management, Development Policies, International Development, Gender Relationship, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Social Contract and Social Justice, water politics, water governance, Environmental justice, gender and social difference, equity and social justice, participatory resource management, Turkey and Middle East, Africa , Ghana, South Africa)
Johnson, Mark (Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs, Land and Soil, Climate Changes and Impacts, Agriculture, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Running Water Hydrosystem, Fresh Water, Ground Water and Water Tables, Ecohydrology, Carbon cycle, Land use, Water and Sustainability, Biogeochemistry, Data Science)
Kandlikar, Milind (Environment Management and Protection, Climate Changes and Impacts, Clean Technologies, Air Quality and Climate Change, Technological Risk, Technology and Development)
Ramankutty, Navin (Environment and Society, Agriculture, Climate Changes and Impacts, Global food security, Sustainable agriculture, Climate impacts, Land use change)
Satterfield, Theresa (Sustainable development, environmental health, First Nation & land management, social and cultural consequences of contamination)
Wittman, Hannah (Social Movements, Environment and Society, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Agriculture, food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, socio-ecological systems, agro-ecology)
Zhao, Jiaying (Psychology - Biological Aspects, Environment and Society, Socio-Economic Conditions, Cognitive Science, Poverty, Sustainability, Behavior Change, Public Policy)